How to Fix Dell Laptop Hard Disk 0146 Error Code

Something has gone bad and you are not ready to accept that your computer, which was working fine just a moment before, now shows an error code 0146, indicating that its hard drive has sunk. Well, yes the error code 0146 is related to Dell laptop’s hard drive, which begins to experience problems when it becomes full or due to a program’s corruption, virus infections, or other miscellaneous reasons. Thinking of a bad hard drive may let you think of losing data stored onto it and may make you feel bad and sad. Replacing the hard drive is a recommended solution but while it is, we shall suggest some other workarounds also which can help you fix the error code 0146 on your Dell laptop.

**As you go through the steps, you may need help of your Dell support manual to navigate through options mentioned here. So, keep your Dell laptop support manual handy for help. You must perform each step one after another to check if the problem has fixed.

Step 1: Run a Virus Scan

A bad malware can corrupt your hard drive and result in this error. Open your antivirus, update it with the latest security definitions and run a full virus scan. Delete the resulting infections and run another online virus scanner to double sure that it is free of infections. When done, exit antivirus and start up a new program or play your favorite song. The error should be gone away and your computer should work fine.

Step 2: Run computer in Safe Mode and clean boot

Disconnect all the attached devices viz. USB keys, router, wireless printer etc. and turn off your computer. Turn it on again and press & hold the “F8” key quickly before the Windows logo comes up. Select “Safe mode with networking” and hit Enter. Open System Configuration Utility from the Start> Run> type “msconfig” and click OK. In the System Configuration Utility window, click General> Selective Startup> uncheck the “Load Startup Items” box> Services> check the “Hide All Microsoft Services” box> Disable All> Apply> OK. Restart your laptop when prompted. If the issue has resolved, go back to System Configuration Utility window> General> click Normal Startup> OK> restart computer. If the problem persists, run “chkdsk” utility to check and fix hard drive errors. Open Command Prompt and type “chkdsk /f /r C:” Hit Enter to proceed. When prompted, press “Y” to fix the errors. Repeat this procedure for other drives also if applicable. When done, restart your computer.

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Step 3: Run hard drive diagnostic

Before you do this step, make sure that your Dell laptop is fully charged as the diagnosis may take a good amount of time. If your laptop is not charged or half charged, plug its AC adapter into a power outlet to avoid losing charge and halting the diagnosis. Now turn off your Dell laptop. Now power it on again and repeatedly stroke the “F12” key on the keyboard unless you see the option “Diagnostics”. In newer Windows versions, you may need not repeatedly press “F12” as it comes on quickly when the laptop is powered on. Click “Diagnostics” and a series of testes will start running one after another to detect the problem. When the test is completed, and still results in 0146 error code, click “Yes” to continue. When you see a colorful screen, click “Yes” continue troubleshooting. If the error continues, move on to the next step.

Step 4: Change to SATA Drive

Go to Dell laptop BIOS and check whether the hard drive configuration has been changed to AHCI SATA from SATA Drive. If it is changed, change it back to “SATA Drive”. When done, back up all your data, delete all partitions (in other words format your hard drive) and reinstall Windows from scratch. That’s it! You will never get back this error.

Step 5: Check hard drive with another computer

Connect your hard drive to another computer (if you have one or your friend’s) using the SATA cable and check whether it is detected on it or not. If the hard drive is detected, recover all your data and back it up there. Run a hard drive diagnostic mentioned in the above step and fix errors. If the hard drive is not detected on this computer also, take expert help to recover your data and contact Dell technical support for a hard drive replacement.

Step 6: Is your Dell laptop under warranty?

If your Dell laptop is brand new and is in warranty period, contact Dell for a free hard drive replacement. If it’s out of warranty period, you may need to shell out for the hard drive.


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Should you continue facing the error code 0146, call us at +1-877-907-4935 and get an expert to help you.

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