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[SOLVED] No Boot Device Available...not the typical error! HELP!

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] No Boot Device Available...not the typical error! HELP! within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Just got a Dell Dimension 9200 (XPS 410) that came with two SATA II HDDs (160GB & 320GB). The factory


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Old 03-11-2008, 08:05 PM   #1
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Just got a Dell Dimension 9200 (XPS 410) that came with two SATA II HDDs (160GB & 320GB). The factory install was Vista Home Basic but the previous owner upgraded to Vista Home Premium and that's how I received it. I wiped the drive to do a clean install on XP Pro w/ SP2. Once the install was complete all was fine until you restart. Upon restarted I got the dreaded "No boot device available" error. Having this issue in the past I had a CD with "fixntldr" on it which worked like a charm. I used it for this current issue and it booted right up no prob. I copied the boot.ini / ntldr / ntdetect.com files to the C: as recommended and restarted to test it. No luck, I still got the boot error. After repeated trys at the fixntldr fix followed by multiple OS reinstalls, I decided to do a clean install of Vista Ultimate thinking that maybe my new machine just didn't like my copy of XP Pro w/ SP2. After Vista was completely installed, I installed the updates and other typical crap and rebooted and VOILA the boot error strikes again! I checked all my cables, ran diagnostics on my drives and checked my bios and this one has me boggled . I'm sure it's an easy fix that I'm overlooking. Thanks in advance for the help!

Specs:

Dell Dimension 9200 (XPS 410)
Intel Quad 2 Core Q6600 (2.4Ghz, 1066FSB, 8mb L2)
4GB DDR2 667Mhz (3GB recognized of course)
Seagate 160GB SATA II 7200RPM (ST3160815AS)
Maxtor 320GB SATA II 7200RPM (STM3320620AS)
256MB Nvidia Geforce 7600GT PCIe x16
Creative Audigy SE
16x DVD
20x DVD+/-RW DL (lightscribe)

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Old 03-11-2008, 08:36 PM   #2
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UPDATE!!

The problem is definitely boot related! "fixntldr" and "Ultimate Boot CD for Windows" both allow me to get past the error and goes to the OS but the issue remains whenever I try to restart without a boot CD.

I tried playing around with the boot.ini file and making sure the OS hdd is set to "Active" and is a Primary partition but no luck.

Solutions are still needed. Thanks.

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Old 03-12-2008, 11:18 AM   #3
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Do you have the SATA drivers for your hard drives???... If Yes, then while you are installing XP from a retail CD (Full Installation) press F6 (Default command for loading external drivers. The reason i believe is that you have two hard drives and when the previous owner installed Vista Premium, it was an upgrade so the drivers were already available. In this case I believe you will have to find the drivers and make them available to the computer. Another thing is since you have two hard drives you will need a program to convert them into a single disk for use. I am leaning towards RAID configuration. If your computer has RAID support then it might have been configured with RAID 0 which is "Combine all hard drives into one, add them up and make the whole space into one hard drive". In that case you will have to first have to install RAID drivers which override any need for SATA drivers. This feature is quite common nowadays especially when you do a clean install. Make sure that you know all the configurations and have all of the drivers available before you continue. If you have any more questions post back and someone will be happy to help you.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:28 AM   #4
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First of all, which do you want on the thing, Vista or XP?

Second, if you want XP, most likely you didn't install the Sata drivers for the OS disk from a floppy (must be downloaded in advance), and you should do that at the F6 prompt.

Third, do you have your boot order set to:

CDRom - 1st
Floppy - 2nd
Sata Boot Drive - 3rd


Fourth, do you have your boot order initially set the Boot Device Priority setting under the hard drive area to have the Sata you are using to boot as the first in boot order?

Fifth, clear up the raid issue for us, do you plan on using raid, or do you not. If not, then you must turn off the Raid controller in the Bios.

These are some common must-do things before we get too far with this.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:39 PM   #5
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EEK!

First I would like to say thank you chaps for the help and now I shall walk quickly into a wall repeatedly until I create a door

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j7.../doofus_01.jpg

I can't believe how many times I overlooked the dang boot sequence issue. Everything was in order so guess I ignored the frickin lack of numbers next to them! Gosh I feel so lame!......Anyway, thanks again for the help.

Hopefully my next issue (if any) will be one worth the effort
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:16 AM   #6
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We are glad you got it going. All of us sometimes miss the small things and that is why we have this venue to check on ourselves. Think I have been there and done that same thing a few times and most likely will visit there again along the way.

Anyhow, don't be a stranger on here, stick around and enjoy the forum and have a great day.

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