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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting The System Overall | Troubleshooting Boot-Time Error Messages ]

No boot device

Explanation: The system has attempted to find a drive to boot the operating system, but has failed (the error message itself may not always be very clear that this is what has happened, especially the infamous "NO ROM BASIC - SYSTEM HALTED"; see here for more on that error.) The system cannot start up because there is no operating system for it to load. The boot process will halt here. Some systems may give you the option to retry the boot or to enter setup at this point, as a convenience. Otherwise, you must reboot the PC.

Diagnosis: All of the bootable drives in the system are not functioning. Normally this means that the floppy disk drive is either absent or not functioning, or has no disk in it, and the hard disk is either not connected or has no bootable active partition on it.

Recommendation:

  • If this is a new system with a hard disk that has never been formatted before, you need to boot from a floppy first, and partition and format the hard disk. Try that.
  • If you were trying to boot from the floppy disk drive, troubleshoot the floppy disk drive.
  • If you were trying to boot from the hard drive, troubleshoot the hard disk drive.

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