Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Dell 660s Won't Boot, Hard Drive Locked, How Do I Unlock

  1. #1

    Dell 660s Won't Boot, Hard Drive Locked, How Do I Unlock


    After the power strip was turned off by my 5 year old granddaughter my computer won't boot. It tries to repair itself but fails. I have tried tapping F12 to get to the boot menu but everything I have tried has failed. I don't have a recovery disk. Lesson learned there. I had the computer diagnose the startup and it found no problems.

    I have tried to reset it but I get a message that says, "A required drive partition is missing."

    If I try to refresh it says, "The drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again."

    It has a Seagate hard drive #ST500DM002.

    Can anybody tell me how to unlock the drive or anything else that would help? My computer skills are very limited.

    Thanks, Danny

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    Ask Dell. They'll check if you're the owner then help you. Probably a password thing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    I don't think it is a security feature.

    A couple of weeks ago I re-installed Win 8.1 on my system (reason doesn't matter here), and went about re-installing programs I used. Then I let windows update download and install all it's updates - around 80 updates I think. My computer re-booted partway through the process of installing updates, and never finished booting. At some point while attempting to install the updates, I saw an error message and it stated it was undoing the changes made by the updates. After that it rebooted and went into some mode where it said it was attempting to repair my OS, and gave a % as to how far it was into repairing my OS - which never went higher than 10%.

    After about 30 min of seeing it stuck at 10%, I decided to turn my PC off via the power switch, and turn it back on. I got a message saying "The drive where Windows is installed is locked" or something very much like it. I decided to just re-install again. I have install disks for Windows 8.1, and was able to re-install windows for the 2nd time that weekend.

    There may be a simpler solution to your problem, but that is what I did.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    Sorry but it is a Bios security feature. Nothing we can do on here to help you out. Contact Dell.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Thanks for the replies. I tried the dell chat. My computer is less than 5 months out of warranty and they wouldn't respond. Same with calling them. I made an 8.1 boot disk but couldn't get it to install.
    Last edited by danrclem; 28 Feb 2015 at 19:26.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by danrclem View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I tried the dell chat. My computer is less than 5 months out of warranty and they wouldn't respond. Same with calling them. I made and 8.1 boot disk but couldn't get it to install.
    Is the boot disk seen by your system? If not, you are experiencing the "UEFI" syndrome. Check out the link below:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8Ml1IbVp-8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    The drive is locked by winre - attributes may be set as "read only" as far as it knows windows is in repair mode..
    The issue with reset is it wiped the drive, but did not find the recovery image - thus still in repair mode..

    Download and create windows 8.1 installation > Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help
    You will need to use a pc with windows 7 or better to download the media..

    Create USB media - boot the locked pc from the media - once you get to the install screen - press F10 to bring up a command prompt..
    Type> diskpart
    type> select disk 0
    type> attributes disk

    A message will appear - look at - Read Only
    If yes , type> attributes disk clear readonly

    type> exit

    Disk should now be unlocked..

    Run windows 8.1 setup and allow it to install by defaults - so as to save the recovery partition
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    KYHI, I finally got the time to work on this and I don't know if I'll be able to work on it before next weekend. I have Windows 8 installed on my computer so does that matter?

    Create USB media - boot the locked pc from the media - once you get to the install screen - press F10 to bring up a command prompt..
    I created the media on a dvd. I put the disc in the drive, shut down and restarted. Is that how I boot from the media? I got to the install now screen and pressed F10 and nothing happened.

    If and when I'm able to bring up a command prompt and type >diskpart, do I hit enter or just put spaces between it and type> select disk 0?

    Do I do the same thing for type>attributes disk clear readonly and type>exit?

    I'm a complete computer novice.

    Thanks, Danny
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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