Hard drive booting problem


New Member
Hi everyone

I do hope you can help.

I recently turned on my computer to find the message "No bootable devices", press F2 or F12… blah, blah, blah.

I'm running Vista on a Dell laptop. It's about two years old. After some fiddling, that message stopped appearing, but now every time I turn the laptop on it asks me if I want to start the machine in recover mode or normal mode. No matter which of these options I select, the computer still does not boot.

I did a bit of research and attempted a system recovery with two different CDs. No joy. The one that was recognised by my computer (the other didn't even boot) tried to reinstall Hal (?) and another element. However, I think it may be windows that is now missing (?) or I have a hard drive issue.

Could it be that I need to reinstall Vista? I have my product key but no CD to boot from. Does anyone know where I can get one? Do you think this will resolve the issue? If it means I lose my files, so be it - most are backed up anyway.

So, in summary:
- computer says "No bootable devices"
- I tried to recover windows with two disks… recovery didn't work, plus struggled to back anything up
- I don't have a Vista CD but do have the product key.

Please can you help?!

Thanks in advance

My Computer


Power User
when you first start your computer, are your hard drive(s) listed?
if not, you might try resetting the BIOS to default values.
if thats not the problem, your probably going to need a windows disc.

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Aleinware Area-51
    core 2 extreme x9000 2.8 Ghz
    4 Gig
    Graphics Card(s)
    (2) Nvidia 8800m GTX in Sli
    Sound Card
    Onboard RealTek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    42" JVC LCD HDTV
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080p 32 bit
    Hard Drives
    (2) seagate 7200rpm in RAID 0
    (1) maxtor external 1 terabyte firewire
    logitech Anywhere Mouse and built-in touchpad
    a really spiffy backlit one that i can change color ;>)
    Internet Speed


New Member
Hi Kword (great name by the way!)

When I enter setup via F2, the hard drives are listed, so I guess that's something. HDD is first in the boot sequence, but it just doesn't seem to want to work.

How would I go about resetting the BIOS values? Sorry, I'm pretty tech literate but no expert!

Also, seeing as how I have my Vista product key, is it legal and would it work for me to either borrow a friend's Vista CD to install with my key, or to buy one on ebay?

Thanks so much for your help

My Computer