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Windows 7: No bootable device error

17 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
No bootable device error

Hi guys!

I usually fix these things by myself with a little Google magic and my limited knowledge (currently attending PSU for an IST degree). But I can't seem to find the answer to this one, or at least not one that applies to me.

My Mom's laptop suddenly got a "No bootable device" error. I tried using a restore/recovery CD with no solution. I tried using a Windows 7 install CD to just do a clean install but there seems to be no drives. The only drive showing is D: (the CD). Through my Google and forum searching I tried going into command prompt and doing a disk part and select disk 0, there is no such disk. When I list volumes it only shows D:. When I try to "Load Drivers" I get a Boot (X: ) drive. I tried looking through the DriveForce in the System32 folder, but I will be honest and say I do not know what I am looking for.

The computer runs Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. It is an HP and here are the stats for it from the HP website:
Product Number XH007UA#ABA
Microprocessor 2.40GHz VISION Technology from AMD with AMD Turion II Dual-Core Mobile Processor P540
Microprocessor Cache 2MB L2 Cache
Memory 4GB DDR3 System Memory (2 DIMM)
Memory Max 8GB
Video Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Graphics
Video Memory 128MB Display Cache Memory
Hard Drive 500GB (5400RPM)
Multimedia Drive SuperMulti 8X DVD±R/RW with Double Layer Support
Display 14.5" diagonal High-Definition HP BrightView LED Display (1366 x 768)
Network Card Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks


Edited to add: I think she has a virus. I found out that she had no protection active (hers expired) and I got an email from her with a link to a marketing website that she didn't send. She said the AOL webmail site kept asking her to put her password in and I told her not to as it sounded suspicious. She said she didn't enter her password again but as I stated before, I think she has a virus that caused this.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

If it is a virus, it is at the BIOS level. This is rare, but not unheard of. You will need to flash the BIOS to remove a BIOS virus, and you will have to find a BIOS flashing utility for her laptop model through the manufacturer support site, and the BIOS flashing utility must work in DOS mode.

The other possibility is that her hard drive has failed. This behavior is exactly the behavior that happens when a drive either fails or is starting to fail. It is also the same behavior if the hard drive is not connected properly to the motherboard. Try removing the drive from the system and then re-inserting it in the laptop. Follow these steps to remove the drive and re-insert.
  1. Shut down and turn off the computer.
  2. Unplug the AC adapter, then the battery.
  3. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds to close the circuit and drain any residual power left in the system (to prevent any shorts and also reset hardware/software connections with the BIOS).
  4. Remove the hard drive screws/cover and remove the hard drive.
  5. Re-insert the hard drive and replace the hard drive cover/screws.
  6. Plug in the battery and then the AC adapter.
  7. Turn the computer on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit

HDD could've been knocked loose, too. My friend's laptop did the same crap to him, and he came to me to ask about it. We opened up the laptop, and found the HDD was loose, and didn't connect. Try doing what Writh said.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I will have to find the hard drive first :\
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I am going to start removing screws and backing and see if I can find it. I see how it looks so I should be okay. I will post with results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

You guys are amazing!! Thank you SO much! I took apart the back and found it under a few doors. It was completely disconnected and the computer starts fine now.

How do you guys know this stuff? I know that seems like a silly question but I am a sophomore now and I am going to be doing this stuff for a living (possibly) eventually. I feel like I should know how to do it.

Thank you SO much again! I would have never thought of the hardware itself, I thought it was all software related.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

I actually thought of it because a group of people brought their laptops in to various computer repair places with the hard drive intentionally disconnected to see if the repair places could determine the cause. Turned out, all of the places except one figured it out. The one that didn't wanted to get them to buy a brand new computer because it would be too expensive to repair.

I heard this from a podcast through iTunes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Loose sata connectors are a pain, it is worth getting the locking type.

What is the word sophomore used to describe in this context?

I understand from the Greek and later early English usage it refers to a second something - perhaps a second year.

A second year of some kind of study, presumably.

Are sophomores at school, or university - how old are they usually?

I have no idea about the US education system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Sophomores can refer to high school (ages 15-18 are in high school, generally sophomores are 16-17 years old) or college (for undergraduates that are going for a 2 year associates or 4 year bachelor's degree. I am pretty sure graduate school for your masters does not have freshman, sophomore, etc.). I am referring to my sophomore (or second) year in college. You can be any age for that. I am 27. I have 2 kids, so I had a late start
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Right, so a university sophomore will be maybe 20, and a school sophomore would be about 17 ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 No bootable device error

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