computer will not boot up after iinstalling new hard drive


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computer will not boot up after iinstalling new hard drive

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Deminsion 8400 will not boot up prior to and after replacing hard drive.

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  • Hi trumanp,

    Welcome to the community.

    The no boot issue may occur because of several reasons. The hard drive may be one of the reasons, but there may be faults with any software or the Operating System. It will be great if you can give me some information on when the system was working well last time and the reason the hard drive was replaced.

    All Dell systems come with an on-board diagnostics; I would recommend you to put the old hard drive back in and then run the diagnostics. This would determine if there are any errors in the hardware.

    To run the diagnostics follow the steps mentioned below:

    • Switch on the system and start tapping the F12 key on the Dell logo.

    • Choose the option Diagnostics or Boot to Utility Partition.

    • Run Express test.

    Note: The mouse won’t work so use the arrow keys on the keyboard to choose the options.

    If the tests pass than it indicates that there is no hardware failure, so we can try to reinstall windows and that should resolve the issue.

    Please run the tests and let me know in case you get any error message. If the tests pass then you will need to have CD’s for re-installation of Windows Operating System and drivers. If you do not have the CD’s, I can arrange for them to be sent to you. I have sent you a friend request; please add me as a friend and send me a personal message with the system Service Tag.

    For more help with the diagnostics please click on (32 Bit Diagnostics) for help in future. Also you can refer to the Web Article ID 266616 on our support website

    Glad to help. Keep me posted

    Thanks & Regards,
    To learn more about Dell Products, Services, and Drivers, click Here


  • I ran the diagnostics prior to replacing the hard drive, i got a code 7. I had a momentary power failure while on vacation when i powered up to restart nothing would happen this lead to diagnostics and the code 7 finding. I assume I have lost all drivers pior to replacing hard drive. basically same thing thing now except diagnostics said hard drive PASS. have new win 7 OS to install but can't boot up. keep gitting no boot device installed?

  • Hi trumanp,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Firstly, I would like to inform you that the Windows 7 may not be compatible with the system you are using.

    However, before that I would like you to check in the BIOS whether the system is recognizing the hard drive. To check please follow the steps mentioned below:

    • Switch on the system and tap the F2 key on the Dell logo to enter the BIOS screen

    • Once at the BIOS screen, go to the Drives option on the left hand side and check if the hard drive is recognized. You should be able to find the details under drive details on the right hand side.

    If the hard drive is not recognized, try reseating the hard drive. If the hard drive is recognized I would recommend you to try installing the Windows XP which came with the computer and see if it boots up normally.

    I would also like to inform you that to install Windows 7 you will need a DVD drive; please check whether you have a DVD drive with the system. It should be mentioned on the Optical drive.

    Other system requirements for Windows 7:

    If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here's what it takes:

    • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
    • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
    • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

    For more information on Windows 7 compatibility you can visit the below mentioned link.

    I would definitely be able to help you with setting up Windows XP which went with the system. However, if you are planning to install Windows 7, please check the compatibility and also there may be issues in getting the right drivers once the Windows 7 is installed.

    Thanks & Regards,
    To learn more about Dell Products, Services, and Drivers, click Here


  • I did check last night and the current new hard drive is listed and being controlled by BIOS.  The new hard drive is 1TB and I have a Pentium 4 processor. I am at work so don't have access to the service tag #. I don't know how to install drivers without being booted up. I did replace the mother board battery as a diagnostic tool prior to installing new hard drive. I keep getting the message "no boot device installed" what ever that means. I will be home around 4:30 (cst) and will check in. Please feel free to use my personal email

    <ADMIN NOTE: Email id removed per privacy policy>


  • Hi Truman,

    As you mentioned on the message that the audio is not working well. Here are a few suggestions.

    The Dimension 8400 system went with an integrated audio driver. The driver as listed in the dell support site is for Windows XP. However, you can try downloading this same diver on your system and install it in the compatibility mode.

    Firstly download the driver from the link below.

    The driver generally gets saved in the C drive> Dell>Drivers> R94481.EXE

    However you can change the location and save it on your desktop.

    Once it is saved on the desktop. Right click R94481.EXE and click on properties>Click on Compatibility option on the top>Click on Help me choose the settings>Check the box ‘Run this program using compatibility mode for’ for Choose the option windows XP service pack 3 in the drop down below. Check the box ‘Run this program as the administrator’ and click on apply.

    Then try installing it. In case of any issues with the compatibility mode you can also check the following link:

    Please try these steps and write back for further help.

    Thanks & Regards,
    To learn more about Dell Products, Services, and Drivers, click Here


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