Dell Computer Boots with SupportAssist, Tries to Download Image


  • Instead of booting normally, my computer went into a Dell support scan, said there was an error with the operating system, downloaded an image, and asked to enter a Bitlocker key.


  • Oregon State University
  • University-Owned Computer
  • Dell Computer


Sometimes Dell computers switch storage settings from AHCI to RAID, causing a boot failure. After failing to boot, the Dell auto-recover process kicks in and attempts to download a new image for the computer. Allowing Dell Support Assist to download and install an image will overwrite all current settings and lose data. Instead the solution is to boot to the BIOS and fix the storage settings to allow the computer to boot normally.

This issue occurs because the device switches back to factory defaults, which can happen for a number of reasons.


For an OSU-managed computer, these steps should generally be completed by IT support:

  1. Reboot the computer and enter the BIOS
    1. Usually by pressing F2 at power on
    2. For details see:
  2. In the BIOS, go to General -> Boot Sequence. Set the Boot Option to UEFI.
  3. Go to System Configuration -> SATA. Select AHCI
  4. Exit BIOS and save settings
  5. The computer should now boot normally


For assistance, contact the Service Desk.

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Article ID: 137667
Fri 4/22/22 2:35 PM
Fri 4/22/22 2:41 PM