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No boot sector on internal hard drive

Hi guys,

I've read several forum posts, and a few different places online, and I've been forced to actually write a forum post myself as I've not found the answer -- highly frustrating!

I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 that wouldn't boot. I ran onboard diagnostics and it came up with hard drive errors. I tried recovering, etc, but it was basically kaput.

So I bought a new drive (almost identical - WD 250GB SATA 2.5" drive, before and after), installed it, popped in a boot disk, as I don't have the boot disk and obviously can't use the recovery partition on the kaput hard drive.

However, when I boot now, I get the error:

"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 went in to the BIOS setup (I was surprised to see a gui interface!) and made sure CD/DVD was first for booting, and checked the new hard drive was found (it was - and correctly noted it was 250GB). I tried 2 Vista discs and a Windows 7 disc - and got the same error each time.

I'm right in saying that there won't be a boot sector on the internal hard drive yet, as an OS hasn't yet written to the MBR portion of the HDD - and my problem is that it isn't booting from the drive when it should be?

I managed to get the Win 7 disc (but neither of the Vista discs) to boot with the old, broken hard drive, but unfortunately that just hung.

Bit stumped as to where to look next! The diagnostics showed "cables OK" - does this include the ones for the HDD? When I ran diagnostics again with the NEW HDD in I got the error code 0148... I'm beginning to think it's maybe the connectors as opposed to the HDD?

 

Thanks for any help or hints on stuff I can read to further understand the problem.

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9 Replies
maggsAAA
Copper

Re: No boot sector on internal hard drive

PLEASE Lenard,

I have the EXACT same problem except you are clearly more computer savy than myself.  I have a Inspiron 1545.  Came with Vista but then I got the "free" Windows 7 Upgrade when it came out so I was running on the upgraded OS. 

It started making "clicking" noises recently.  Today, it wouldn't boot up at all.  I got a black screen with a message saying "internal hard disk drive not found
 To resove this issue, try to reseat the drive.

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

I tried getting help on the Dell support page and finally called Dell.  My 1 year warrenty ran out THREE weeks ago.  They wouldn't help me without charging me the 69.99 fee.  So I went out and bought a 49.99 new 2.5 hard drive.  Bigger and better I might add.  (came with a 180gb 54K rpm, now it has a 320gb 54K rpm).  So I installed it.  At first I just got the first part of the message your getting.  But then after starting it several times, I now get the exact same message you have. 

I don't have regular "function keys" so I held down the Fn key and while keeping it down, tried the 1, 2 and 5 keys and none worked.  I'm not savy enough to check the bios.  So I don't know if they are set up right.  But I assume they are.  The new internal hard drive is the same manufacturer as the old and all looks the same... except the size of the gb.

I have the same result with both the Vista start up discs adn the Win 7 upgrade discs. 

PLEASE let me know what you have found out.  My email add is <ADMIN NOTE: Email id removed per privacy policy>.  I'm at a complete loss and can't afford to pay support almost 70 just to find out what the issue is.  Please.  (I'm not even sure how these message boards work... do I need to keep logging in to check it or will I get a email notice if there's a reply to this... or what?)

By the way, this is my third Dell and I've had NOTHING but problems with it.  While it was under warrenty, they first had to send me a new DVD drive.  Then a while later they had to send me a new keyboard.  I can't say I'm happy with this dell ... at all.  Plus the woman at tech support (I think she is just a operator because she knew less than I did about computers) said that to replace the drive would cost me 150.00 so it only made sense for me to pay the tech support for the answers... because she was "SURE" they could fix it without me having to buy a new drive!  She ended up transfering me to sales and they quoted me much different prices for a new hard drive. 

I also will be contacting the WEstern Digital support tomorrow (I've already sent them a email) regarding the problem and will let you know what, if anything, I find out.

Thank you and good luck!

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ejn63
Diamond

Re: No boot sector on internal hard drive

See here:

http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dsn/en/document?docid=339949#Issue4

 

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RobPas
Copper

Re: No boot sector on internal hard drive

Much to late for you I guess, but i gained the same problem.

New hard drive and the message No boot .....

I got several CD/DVD's with purchasing my Dell laptop. I tried the Windows Vista at first and got the No boot message. After that I tried the DVD wich said: Drivers and utilities (for reinstalling Dell Inspirion Computer Software. It runs a few checks and after that I was able to install my Windows Vista again.

Don't ask me why, but it worked!

Robert

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Re: No boot sector on internal hard drive

LEONARDCHALLIS,

I have the exact same problem you have described above. Can't boot windows from the Installation CD that came with my laptop. I'm told no boot sector on the internal hard drive.  I'd love to know if you were able to settle the issue and if yes how'd you go about it...

Looking forward to hear from you...

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Re: No boot sector on internal hard drive

thank you for sharing.. i'll try this and see how well it works...  Gudday

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mmsartor
Copper

Re: No boot sector on internal hard drive

I have the "no boot sector on internal hard drive" message on my Inspiron 1545 (Windows 7). I ran diagnostics and Dell PC diagnostics did not ID any hardware faults. Did you restore your system/OS? If so, how did you do this? Is your laptop working well now?

Thanx for sharing....

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seanyblaze
Copper

Re: No boot sector on internal hard drive

switch your settings in f2 to first boot and on reboot with cd in press 1 and it will run the cd.

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dralion12
Bronze

Re: No boot sector on internal hard drive

Doesnt work

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osprey4
Diamond

Re: No boot sector on internal hard drive

Old thread and needs to be locked. Please start a new thread if you need help.

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