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Hard Drive Is Not Being Recognized

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September 15, 2012 4:02:34 AM

My hard drive completely crapped out on me. I went out, bought a new one and tried to install. Turned on the computer and after the screen that gives you the option of Setup or Boot Options, I get a black screen that has the message:

No boot device available, wait for Enter key to retry.
SATA 1: Installed
SATA 2: Installed
SATA 3: None
SATA 4: None

I'll shut it off and try to get into Setup. I'll run Diagnostics and it'll recognize a drive. Since this is new, there is no operating system installed. I've unplugged everything then double and triple checked to make sure every cable is secure and plugged in. I'm a little lost, since when I had replaced another hard drive, it was easy breezy, and all I had to do was pop a couple discs in to install the OS and the drivers/utilities.

I honestly don't know what motherboard I have. My computer stats are:

Dell Studio XPS 8100 Intel Core i7
8 GB DDR3 Memory
(trying to install a new) Seagate Barracuda 500 GB SATA 7200 RPM

More about : hard drive recognized

a c 104 G Storage
September 15, 2012 10:04:23 PM

Hello,

Both SATA HDD's are being recognized by the BIOS.
Assuming the HDD that went south was the one with Win-7 Pro on it?

When you see "No Boot Device available", it means the BIOS doesn't find the BootMgr on the active system drive

Usually on Dell computers, (check your manual) Ctrl F11 or Shift F11 will restore the computer to factory fresh condition. However, if that restore partition was on the system disk, it died with the disk.

Do you have any restore disks? IF so, the OS and drivers will need to be installed from them.
Other option is to call Dell, and with your Service Code, they can get you going or send you restore disks that will.
September 16, 2012 4:48:45 AM

When should I press Crtl F11? During the Start Up screen? Because if I don't hit F2 or F12 for Set Up or Boot Settings, it immediately shows the "No Boot Available" screen where I can't do anything. I've hit the option to restore to Default settings in BIOS and I made sure that my SATA controller setting was set to RAID and not ATA. I do have discs that have the OS and Drivers, but how can I install when the hard drive isn't recognized?
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a c 104 G Storage
September 16, 2012 5:52:07 PM
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Hi again,

There are 6 phases in booting up a computer from off - to being logged on at the desktop.
Phase one is the POST, Phase two is System StartUp (just after the splash screen) where the system reads CMOS settings, and Phase three is the Boot Manager, where the BIOS hands off control to the boot manager to choose the OS.

The HDD is present (as seen in the BIOS) but the Boot Manager, Boot Loader and OS are missing. That's what it is telling you. Missing from the HDD.

So you need to load those components onto the new HDD! No big deal

Follow the instructions on page 269 of your manual "Reinstalling Win-XP or Vista". Windows will set them all up.
Set the SATA config to ACHI or RAID rather than IDE if that's a choice

It tells you how to set the Boot Order in the BIOS to the CD/DVD, so the BIOS will get the programs from the DVD disks you have and install them.
I always disconnect any other HDD's, like your second SATA drive, so the system will place everything on the boot disk during installation, then connect them back up when done.

Then install the drivers from the ancillary CD/DVD

Lastly reset the boot order back to the first SATA drive and you should be back in business with the new boot HDD.
September 18, 2012 10:09:27 PM

Thanks so much! Did as you said, and sure enough, I had to set the CD/DVD as SATA 1 so I could boot from the discs. You saved me such a huge migraine! I feel so foolish for not realizing that my hard drive was set at SATA 1 because in hindsight, it totally makes sense why my computer wasn't recognizing the hard drive when it had no OS/drivers. Thank goodness there are nice people on here to help out! :wahoo: 
September 29, 2012 12:01:35 AM

Best answer selected by seraphyn.
!