Unable to find boot device

By Prometheus25 ยท 12 replies
Aug 27, 2005
  1. My Gateway computer, which ran XP Pro, had a hard crash several months ago. Now, I am unable to boot the computer at all. When I start up the computer I get the "Unable to find boot device. Select proper boot device or insert boot media." message. When I look for my hard drive under the Bios, there are no hard drives listed. I can't reinstall the OS because there "isn't" a hard drive. I have checked unplugged wires and none are present. If anyone could help me, it would be appreciated.
  2. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    Do you hear or see an activity from the HDD?
    You can try Clearing the CMOS and then see if bios can see the drive.
    Also check the web for a BIOs update
    You do not give any details from the Hard failure you mentioned .What issues have you had during this time ,or has the machine been fine.
  3. Prometheus25

    Prometheus25 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    honestly, I don't know if it is a hard drive failure. The hard drive still runs, at least the activity light still works, and I can reach the C:\BIN files via the DOS. And, if you don't mind me asking, what is the HDD and CMOS?!
  4. urbandragon

    urbandragon TS Rookie Posts: 231

    the C:\bin dir sounds like your C:\ is a RAMDRIVE which is files from your cdrom/floppy drive loaded into system memory.

    check bios for your primary hard drive.. also make sure that your hard drive is in the list of boot devices,

    possible problems i see. your bios settings were changed so that your hard drive is not in the boot list, or possibly your ide controller may have crapped out..

    another thing is if you boot to the xp cd does it come up saying no hard drive detected or will it let you try to install xp..

    if it will get to the would you like to install or repair choose the repair option. this will lead you to the recovery console.

    from the recovery console do the following.
    chkdsk /r
    your master boot record may have become corrupted, and these should fix your boot record. *the chkdsk /r will actually check the entire disk for problems and it can take up to 30 min or more*

    *answer to your questions about CMOS and HDD*
    CMOS in short is where all of your motherboard settings are kept. it will be referred to as CMOS possibly BIOS..
    HDD is the 3 letter abreviation used for Hard Drive.
  5. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    You wrote a "hard crash" this is what I was refering to not HDD. I do not think HDD is bad either, but Iam trying to understand if any symptoms exist.
    - in order to Clear the CMOS you would have to look for instruction at the Manufacturer's web site for you Mb ,model This would force a reset of your BIOS which may again see your HDD You could do a search in this forum also.
    You said you can get to c:\ bin are there no other files on the C: drive?

    How did you get to DOS?
  6. Prometheus25

    Prometheus25 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well, I have a disk to install Windows ME, we upgraded to XP later on. (this was a long time ago, so it wouldn't have caused this problem. I use the CD and click to install. This won't work, but when I cancel out of this program, it takes me to Dos. Here I can access my A:, D:, E:, and C:\BIN files. So, let me get this sraight, reset my BIOS accoding to the manual that is hopfully at the manufacturer's website. After this, see if my HDD is present, straighten out all the Boot crap, reinstall windows, and hope it never happens again? :giddy:
  7. Prometheus25

    Prometheus25 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    quick thaught, could my problems resolve around a faulty IDE cable? since my hard drive functions (it has power) but it can't be read, could there be a short or some other IDE cable related failure. Could I be correct or is this just senseless babble
  8. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    bent pins,crimped conductor ,burnt terminal ends,the list can go on.When you mentioned earlier about checking connections to your drive ,I took for granted you confirmed ,cables,connections and even jumpers.(Do not use Cable Select,use Master/Slave only)
    When ther is a problem with one component u must check its configuration first.
  9. Prometheus25

    Prometheus25 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks a lot, I'll check that out right away and give you an up to date sit-rep soon.
  10. Prometheus25

    Prometheus25 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have tried your suggestion and have come to no conclusion. My BIOS is still unable to detect my hard drive and the same message appears. However, since I don't keep extra IDE cables handy, I substituded my original CD drive cables; which, correct me if I'm wrong, which I probably am, I belive is the same thing or may be able to serve the same purpose. after trying both availabe black plastic insert thingies (forgive me, I cannot come up with the name right now) an d it didn't fix my problem.

    Did I for get to do something or is there a possible other silution?
  11. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    IDE cables for Roms are normally 40 conductor cables, HDD's need 80. You can tell by the thinner feel and look to the 80.
    Have you tried any diagnostic software from the Mfg of your HDD .you download it to a bootable floppy/Media .These can often chk the disk ,fix errors and format/partition.
    Are you able to boot to a Dos start up disk?
    Failing the above ,you will need to swap to another HDD.load window and get your files with the old drive as Slave.
  12. Prometheus25

    Prometheus25 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, I figured it wouldn't work, but I didn't really care. I won't have access to a computer with a floppy drive untill tomarrow, so I'll try then.
  13. Prometheus25

    Prometheus25 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    After talking with a computer maintenance place, they said they could look at it for $48 dollars an hour. Hell, screw that! I would rather buy stuff that might work and test it myself!
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...