No boot device

  jsjr44 15:38 11 Aug 2006

Dell desktop was running when I left. Upon return I noticed the screen was blank. Moved mouse and PC tried to reboot, only to say no boot device could be found. Running windows XP. Tried to reboot and now hard drive is making noises. Help!

  Chris147 15:42 11 Aug 2006

Which version of Windows are you running?

  jsjr44 15:46 11 Aug 2006

XP Professional

  Chris147 15:55 11 Aug 2006


If you can get to another WinXP PC, copy the following 3 files (from the C drive - you may need to 'unhide' them in the Tools, Folder Options menu) to floppy:

boot.ini , NTDETECT.COM , ntldr

Now boot your PC and enter the BIOS (usually Del or F2 during boot). Change the first boot device to floppy A: - making sure HDD0 (your hard drive) is the second boot device).

Insert the floppy and reboot. If the PC boots, copy the files on the floppy to your hard drive.

If the PC still wont boot, get a copy of a Win98/ME bootdisk and (at the A:> prompt) type:

fdisk / mbr

If this STILL doesn't work your hard drive has died - sad, but not uncommon.


  Chris147 15:56 11 Aug 2006

That should be:

fdisk /mbr


  jsjr44 15:59 11 Aug 2006

Thank You. I will try that.

  rawprawn 16:11 11 Aug 2006

One other thing to try, reseat the IDE Cable or better still try another one. I had the same problem on a Dell machine, and after a lot of searching it turned out to be the cable

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