Dell Laptop Not Booting Up - Damaged Hard Drive?



I have a Dell laptop that is not booting up. I get the following message at bootup:
No bootable device found
Press F1 key to retry boot
Press F2 key to reboot into setup
Press F5 key to run onboard diagnostics

When I got to reboot into setup, it shows the Primary Hard Drive = none & Dock eSATA Device = none.

I also have gone through the onboard diagnostics and the Hard Drive is not detected.

Appreciate your advice on what I should do next? Was thinking of buying an external case to put this drive in another computer to see if it can read it to get some data from the drive? Is there a freeware software that you recommend to check or get information from the drive?

Steve R Jones

Steve R Jones

I would do the external case. Win Explorer would be good enough to get data off if you can.


Thanks for the info. I placed the drive in an external drive and connected to another computer via a USB. The external drive did not show up. Is there any else I can do? Thanks


Your boot sector might have been damage it can be repair sometimes but it's complicated.
Sometimes it work easy sometimes it does not.
I have use Hyren's CD in the past to try recover the boot sector.
Check windows computer management, you may just need to remount the drive. (admin tool)
if it does not work,

1- I would use a SMART tool and see if the disk has any error. ( some error will indicate if the surface is damage or head broken etc )
2- Use a partition tool to see if it can read the data, some can repair at the same time.
3- Try to remake the boot sector, scan the disk for error and fix.
4- Give up and format the drive, Simple format no deep formatting.
5- Run a recovery tool to try and get image, music video files etc ( you will need a 2nd HD )
6 - I would run the company utility tool to see if the drive can be self repaired, or it will give a RMA number.
7 - if under warranty, use the RMA number and contact the seller or company. Check there website or warranty info paper.

Most of this is time consuming depending on the speed and size of HD.