no boot sector on internal hard drive

My kids old inspiron 6000 running XP Home won't boot up.

all it says is "no boot sector on internal hard drive".

I've run all the dell diagnostics, passes all hardware test I've run.

Do I need to reinstall XP?

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5 Replies

Re: no boot sector on internal hard drive

Can you boot into Safe Mode?

If you can, try a System Restore to an earlier date?


Does it have an IDE hard drive (HDD), or a SATA HDD?

Assuming you can... go into the BIOS, and change the SATA operation mode from AHCI to ATA?
(Scroll down to drives, press Enter or + to expand the drive menu, then down to "SATA Operation", press Enter.

Change the SATA operation mode to "RAID Autodetect/ATA", then press ESC to save and exit the BIOS)


If none of those work... and assuming the HDD is at least recognised in the BIOS, you may have to reinstall XP

However - a 'Repair' install will at least save you (/the kids) losing personal/important files



Last resort - it might be that you need to fix the MBR (Master Boot Record):

1.  Boot from the windows XP CD.
2.  Press the "R" key in the setup, to start the restoration console.
3.  Select your windows XP installation from the list, and enter the administrator password.
4.  Enter the command: "FIXMBR" (without the quotes) at the input prompt, and confirm the next question with a "Y" (without the quotes).
5.  Use exit to restore the computer.

From experience, I've found that:   “Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder”!!


XPS M1730:

Smoke Grey Magnesium Alloy Chassis - with White LED Backlights
17" UltraSharp WUXGA Widescreen TFT (1920 x 1200) with TrueLife
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300 @ 2.50GHz (800 MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)
4GB (2x 2GB) Patriot Signature PC2-5400 @ 667MHz
DUAL 512MB Nvidia 8800M GTX cards in SLi + 128MB Ageia PhysX
640GB SATA II (2x 320GB WD Scorpio Black 7200rpm)
8x Super-Multi DVD±RW
Creative X-Fi Notebook (ExpressCard) + Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II
Integrated 2MP Webcam
Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth 2.0 Module
Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-Card
TV Tuner and Dell Travel Remote Control
4-in-1 Flash Card Reader (SSD/MMC/MS Pro/xD)

230W AC Adapter / 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery

Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)

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Mary G

Re: no boot sector on internal hard drive

You have an IDE drive that might just need the Master Boot Record or system files repaired. Boot to the XP cd and run the Recovery Console. The command FIXBOOT might repair things or you can explore the commands in the Recovery Console. Before you try reinstalling Windows, make sure the hard drive has not failed. You should run CHKDSK  /R to check the drive first, then run FIXBOOT. Recovery Console instructions: HERE.

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Re: no boot sector on internal hard drive

Thank you! I've gotten it to load the recovery console, but it won't accept the chkdsk /r command.

I got it to accept fixmbr, but still won't boot. It appears to not be recognizing the C drive... 

Thanks again!

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Re: no boot sector on internal hard drive

I have not been able to get it into safe mode.

When it boots into windows off cd, it give me available unpatitioned space (76,317 MB)

I got it to accept fixmbr in the repair console, but that's the only command it would respond to.

Thank you...

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RE: no boot sector on internal hard drive

Whenever we get this error "No boot sector on internal hard drive", it means that our hard drive has no partition/ boot sector to boot/ start operating system (Windows).

The ultimate solution is to install Windows from beginning either by using CD/DVD or USB bootable flash drive. You need to have windows installation disc or bootable flash drive for that.

To secure old data (if any), you need to take the hard disk out connect it to another PC through SATA/IDE to USB converter. {And obviously everybody can not do that}  Generally the error appears in new hard drive.

Visit link for more info. : http://deepes007.blogspot.com/2015/04/solution-tono-boot-sector-found-on.html