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Windows 7: No boot sector on internal hard drive error

28 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
No boot sector on internal hard drive error

Yesterday, I was browsing on my computer and heard a weird clicking noise when the CD drive was running. About a few minutes after that, Firefox froze so I did a hard reboot, and up comes this message:

"No boot sector on internal hard drive

No bootable devices--strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility
Press F5 to run onboard diagnostics."

I have no idea what it means, and I've been everywhere trying to do System Restore using the Windows 7 reinstallation disk, but unfortunately I couldn't create a restore point because my jump drive doesn't have enough space and Startup Repair couldn't solve my problem. I've even tried the bootrec.exe on Command Prompt but I had no idea what to do. This is the first time that this has happened to me. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1545 and I have Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

I'm on a tight limb about this problem right now because my warranty expired in early June this year, and I don't have the money for them to look at it, let alone buy a brand-new hard drive. If anybody could help me with this problem soon I will be really grateful, seeing as I use my computer for school and I start my new classes next Monday evening.

Thank you!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Nov 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


I would Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
HD Diagnostic
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP


Did you run the Dell Diagnostics by tapping F5 key given at bootup?

You'll need to run this and if necessary the HD diagnostics/repair extended CD scan linked by Theog above to know for sure if you're HD is working or reparable. Does it register in BIOS setup when you boot into there?

If so try booting into Safe Mode with Networking to install, update and run a full scan with Malwarebytes

If Safe Mode is not working, download, burn to CD or write to flash stick, boot and run a full scan with Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper.

Once the System is clean, boot into System Recovery Options via the F8 menu or disks as shown in tutorial, run Startup Repair repeatedly no matter what it reports. Post back results.

If this fails, try System Restore from Recovery Options list, then if that fails open a Command Line to run SFC -SCANNOW Run in Command Prompt at Boot

If these all fail you can copy out your data using your Windows 7 DVD or Repair CD: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console or Paragon Rescue CD.
System Repair Disc - Create

Then run Factory Recovery from its partition or disks you made or order from Tech Support, or find a Windows 7 installation DVD to clean reinstall using Product Key on COA sticker: Dell Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings
Clean Reinstalling Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

I've tried getting to Windows through all the Safe Modes, and it keeps taking me to the Windows 7 screen that has the option to install Windows and repair my system. However when the System Restore Options dialogue appears, the Windows 7 option is not available, and I have no clue what drivers to use for this since I tried all of them, and they all say that the location does not contain information about my drivers. The window that let me choose a recovery tool says "Operating system: Unknown on (Unknown) Local Disk.

Also, when Startup Repair can't find a solution, I looked through the details and it said something about an MBR error. I have no idea what that is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP


There is nothing in your response to indicate you are working from the detailed steps we gave you. Your HD needs testing right away using Dell Diagnostics or HD maker's CD scan to know if it's failing.

Please go back and follow the steps given, each of which is illustrated by a tutorial in the blue link.

Ask back any questions you have to get each step done correctly, keep working through them without skipping any.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

The possibilities are 1. A bootsector virus attack ( happened when you were browsing) 2. your drive giving up (weird clicking noise)

While the experts here tutor you on how to deal with this and you keep going with it, my suggestion will be to work in a parallel mode.

Prepare a bootable Lucid Puppy pendrive Lucid Puppy way to recover files from a non-bootable computer and try to recover data from your Hard disk, before subjecting it to any HDD diagnostic tests, which may stress it and make it worse. You may ask one of your friends to make this Lucid Puppy pendrive, while you keep working on your lappy's restoration process short of running a HDD diagnostic test.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP


In the steps I gave earlier there is a way to copy out your files using the booted Windows 7 DVD or Repair CD: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console, providing the HD still functions.

In the F8 System Recovery Options, Click on Recover Using A System Image, then Select A System Image, then Advanced, then Install A Driver, then OK to the message box. Copy and paste to USB or DVD/CD without interference from the boot disk's removal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Good for the OP to know that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 No boot sector on internal hard drive error

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