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problem with windows 10; want to do low-level format so can install usb-based windows 10

Hi

in 2015 I bought an Inspiron 15 7000 series laptop. It originally had windows 8. In June or July of 2016, I took advantage of Microsoft's offer to upgrade it to a Windows 10 via online. I got it to work fined. In October of 2016, I suddenly got a blue screen with the message 'no boot device found'. I used the diagnostics tool but nothing resolved the problem. I can go to the command prompt and I can see an x:\ and I am able to display the contents of the drive. 

I bought a usb-based windows 10 in order to just start from scratch but during installation, I end up with a display saying  no drive detected. 

I now want to do a low-level format, that is, erase everything in the drive, treat it like a 'virgin' drive and then install my usb-based windows 10 software.

When I am in command prompt, I am unable to execute the format command because the system gives me a 'drive is protected' msg.

What tool could you recommend I use to low-level the hard drive so I can install my usb-based windows 10?

Thanks.

vwmdabbler

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RE: problem with windows 10; want to do low-level format so can install usb-based windows 10

vwmdabbler wrote: I suddenly got a blue screen with the message 'no boot device found'

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I don't think you can format hard drive because of the message. I do suggest you run the Diagnostic tool again to check the hard drive.

1. Turn off computer and disconnect all peripherals - printer, flash drive, external drive, etc....).

2. Power on system, quickly start tapping the F12 key continuously. In boot menu, stroll down to diagnostic and then click on it. After quick tests, click on hard drive and run Thorough Test mode. Report back any error code. Please click on link below:

Running Dell F12 Preboot Diagnostics - YouTube

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RE: problem with windows 10; want to do low-level format so can install usb-based windows 10

If there's no error code on the hard drive, I suggest you reseat hard drive in the system. Please watch Dell video below:

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RE: problem with windows 10; want to do low-level format so can install usb-based windows 10

Lastly,

Reset the BIOS to Default Values and see if that will make a difference.

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