Dell Inspiron 531 won't boot - Help please!

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Dell Inspiron 531 won't boot - Help please!

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Hi there,

 

I hope you can help me!

 

I have a Dell Inspiron 531 about 2 years old. When I tried to switch it on tonight it wouldn't boot up and I got a black screen with the following message:

no boot device available

SATA 0: Installed

SATA 1: Installed

SATA 2: None

SATA 3: None.


I have no idea what this means or how to fix it, but if someone can explain what i need to do and how to do it, i'll give it a go. I really need my pc - it has all my college work on it, and although its backed up elsewhere it will takie me an age to sort through it all again.

To add insult to injury, when I split from my husband last year he kept (and lost) the discs that came with the PC.

Please help!

Helen x


All Replies
  • Unfortunately this is usually a sign of a failing hard drive.  Without the disks you can't run a Dell Diagnosic to see for sure.  You can request backup CDs HERE.

    Vostro 460 – Intel Core i7 2600 @ 3.4Ghz - 16GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz –Kingston 240GB SSD – Seagate 320GB HDD – ASUS GeForce
    GTX 550 Ti 1GB DDR5 – 16X DVD-RW – 16X DVD-ROM - Antec 550w PSU - Windows 7 Home Premium X64 SP1- Dell E2211H 22"Flat Panel Monitor

  • Thanks,

    i have borrowed my mums Dell discs for hers (same as mine) - will they work, and if so what do i need to do with them??

    Helen x

  • Are you getting to the Dell spash screen at all?  If you are press F12 to change the boot sequence to the CD drive and boot with the Utilities disk.  On this disk is Dell diagnostic utility.  There is usually a quick and long test versions of the diagnostic utility.  Run the quick first and see if any errors show up.  If none show up then run the long.  Once finished post your results.

    Vostro 460 – Intel Core i7 2600 @ 3.4Ghz - 16GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz –Kingston 240GB SSD – Seagate 320GB HDD – ASUS GeForce
    GTX 550 Ti 1GB DDR5 – 16X DVD-RW – 16X DVD-ROM - Antec 550w PSU - Windows 7 Home Premium X64 SP1- Dell E2211H 22"Flat Panel Monitor

  • Thanks, I've done that and I get a screen offering me a memory test (which runs - and says eveything is a pass) and then there a system test which runs through until a error "SYSTEM_ERROR Unable to locate required nVidia South Bridge controller" and then it shuts down and starts again.

    I've had a look inside the casing and the cable that connects the HDD to the board has a crack in the casing that *might* maake the connection a little weak i suppose but i've tried holding it in place and it makes no difference.

    Also on the CD is the DOS command

    "A RAMDISK drive is available for this boot cycle as C: It contains several Hard Drive setup tools. Please use these tools only inder the direction of Dell Support Staff   F:\>"

    Hope this makes sense!

     

    Thanks

    Helen

  • This is a little odd so I'm going to suggest that you replace the CMOS battery.  You can get this battery, which is a 2032, at Walmart or any drug store.  The instructions for replacing the battery is HERE.  The inability to boot can also be caused by a dead CMOS battery.

    Replacing the battery is a long shot, but worth a try since it's inexpensive.  The test results would indicate a bad motherboard which would require a replacement.  I suspect your system is no longer under warranty so I would suggest taking it to a local computer shop to verify the problem.

    Vostro 460 – Intel Core i7 2600 @ 3.4Ghz - 16GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz –Kingston 240GB SSD – Seagate 320GB HDD – ASUS GeForce
    GTX 550 Ti 1GB DDR5 – 16X DVD-RW – 16X DVD-ROM - Antec 550w PSU - Windows 7 Home Premium X64 SP1- Dell E2211H 22"Flat Panel Monitor