Storage, Drives & Media

2 Bronze

new hdd and "PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cables"



I have a dell xps 15 and last month the hdd started to do a “click clack” noise. It was a Toshiba SATA 5400 rpm 1 TB one. After a lot of working trying to fix it, I gave up and I bought a new hdd at the dell site, after checking that it was totally compatible with my laptop. The new hdd is a 7200 rpm, 320GB, SATA. I have the windows 7 operational system cd that came with my laptop, in case I had to reinstall the OS. I installed the new hdd and tried to install the OS, but I could not. I have the message on my screen: Operation system not found. I checked BIOS, put it back to original setup, put the boot menu to check the cd/dvd/cd-rw drive first, saved, and tried again, and again the same error. When I press Enter, I got the following message:

“Realtek PCIe GBE Family controller series v2.37 (10/28/10)

PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cables

PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM”

I came back to BIOS, ran the diagnosis, the complete one, and everything went fine. I checked the hdd assembling, removed it, removed the battery, pressed the power button for 1 minute, reassembled the hdd, and tried again, with the same “Operation system not found”.

I copied the windows cd to an external hd, reconfigured the BIOS, and tried to boot from the usb, and it did not worked.


What can I do? I do not have another laptop to check if my new hdd is working.


Thank you



Solution (1)

Accepted Solutions
2 Bronze

Hi ejn63,

I finally got it fixed!

The PXE-E61: media test failure, check cable error was caused by the system trying to boot to the network.

To fix it, on boot up, press F2, Setup -> Advanced,  change setting of Integrated NIC to Disabled.

Next, I burned (not copied) the Windows 7 ISO file to a flash drive and installed Windows 7, it worked that way.

Next, there were a lot of Windows 7 drivers to be installed and then updates to be installed. It took several hours, it was painful.

Now, I have a working laptop, but I need to reinstall a lot of programs and recover data from the failed HDD.


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Replies (17)
10 Diamond

You need to boot from the Windows disc to do the install.  Press F12 at powerup with the disc in the drive and choose the DVD drive as your boot device.

See here:

2 Bronze

Hi EJN63

I did it already, it was the first thing I did.

10 Diamond

Does the system boot from the DVD, or just skip past it (note that you must press a key when prompted)?  Are you certain the DVD drive reads correctly?

2 Bronze


I am having the same problem with my Dell Inspiron N5010. The hard drive failed, I replaced it (2.5" SATA 500GB). I have Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit ISO on a DVD and I am trying to boot to it. I get the same error code:

PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable.

I am not getting anywhere, need my computer fixed. Anyone from Dell tech support to help?



2 Bronze

Hi Anand

In my case, I found out that the CD optical device was having troubles to read the reinstallation DVD. It can read a regular CD, maybe a DVD (I did not test it), but cannot read a boot DVD. I created a DVD with the ISO image, but it is not necessary, the DVD has the windows and it is bootable. 

What I did was to remove the optical drive and replace it by another one, from a friend`s laptop and it did work fine!! Then I installed the windows, and after that, I used the other Dell DVD, with other drivers. Then I went to the Dell`s site and I downloaded the other drivers.

Good look and write if you need any help

2 Bronze

Hi Joe,

After replacing the HDD, the diagnostics are OK, including the HDD and optical drive diagnostics. So optical drive is not the problem.

In my case the laptop did not come with a Windows 7 64-bit DVD, so I downloaded the Windows 7 64-bit ISO file and burned it on a DVD, which I am using to boot up.

I am still stuck, can you suggest something else?



10 Diamond

Did you burn the ISO to DVD as is, or use a tool that burns the _image_ contained in the ISO to the disc?  The ISO itself when burned to a DVD WILL NOT be bootable?

2 Bronze

Once you download a ISO file and right click, Windows 7 menu has an option 'burn disc image'.

That's what I did (burned to DVD). From what I read on the Windows website, the ISO image on DVD will be bootable. The problem is something else.

Dell Tech Support - Can you please help?

10 Diamond

Will that disc boot another system?  If not, there's likely something wrong with the disc.  If so, there's a fault with the DVD drive in the notebook.

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