Dell Dimension E521 No Boot Device Detected - Failed Drive or MB???

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Dell Dimension E521 No Boot Device Detected - Failed Drive or MB???

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Hey all,
 
I am working on a Dell Dimension E521.  My aunt said that she messed with some settings and it's never booted up the same....When I boot the system it says "Boot from CD: Boot from CD: NO BOOT DEVICE DETECTED, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS F1 TO CONTINUE OR PRESS F2 TO SETUP MENU".
 
Soooo, when I press F2 it takes me to the BIOS, which has the following information:
 
System Info:
System: Dimension E521
BIOS Version 1.1.4 (12/09/06)
 
Boot Sequence:
1. Bootable Hard Drive (Not Present)
2. Onboard CD-ROM Drive
3. Onboard Floppy Drive
(all the rest say not present for USB, etc)
 
HDD Boot Sequence:
1. Bootable Add-in cards
 
Drives:
 
Diskette Drive: Internal
 
Drive 0: SATA-0 = ON
Controller: Serial ATA
Port: SATA-0
Drive details: Drive ID =
Capacity = Unknown
BIOS = Controlled by system BIOS
 
Drive 1: SATA-1 = ON
Controller: Serial ATA
Port: SATA-1
Drive details: Drive ID =HL-DT-STDVD-ROM GDRH10N
Capacity = Unknown
BIOS = Controlled by system BIOS
 
Drive 2: SATA-2 = ON
Controller: Serial ATA
Port: SATA-2
Drive details: Drive ID =TSSTcorp DVD+/-RW TS-H653A
Capacity = Unknown
BIOS = Controlled by system BIOS
 
Drive 3 SATA-3 = ON
Controller: Serial ATA
Port: SATA-3
Drive details: Drive ID =
Capacity = Unknown
BIOS = Controlled by system BIOS
 
SATA Operation:  RAID OFF (I also tried RAID ON but nothing happens)
 
SMART Reporting: On
 
Onboard Devices:
Integrated NIC: ON
Integrated Audio: ON
USB Controller: No Boot
Rear Dual USBO: ON
Rear Dual USB1: ON
Front USB: ON
 
HDD Acoustic Mode: Suggested
 
I have additional BIOS information if required, but I think this is the best information so far for review.
 
I have attempted to see if the SATA C Drive has power coming to it, and it does vibrate in my hand while plugged into the system, but does not wish to boot.  I tried plugging in the same blue cable that connects to the motherboard while trying to use P3 and P5 to power up the drive.
 
I tried to run the Vista Startup CD, but it does not detect a boot drive, so I cannot proceed with repairing the OS or formatting the disk.  I also tried to use a Dell XP Installation CD and it said it could not locate any hard disk drives installed on the computer. Looking at the system during the setup, the hard disk shows a heartbeat that looks like it is being accessed.
 
I have tried booting into Safe Mode but the system does not let me get that far without erroring out.
 
The motherboard has a yellow LED light on at all times and also when the system if off it glows a steady yellow.
 
When first booting, the LED'S 2, 3 and 4 are light up.  Then once it errors out to the error screen that there is no boot device detected, the LED'S resort to showing 1, 2 and 3 light up.  Then the floppy tries to boot up and after that I then receive the NO BOOT DEVICE error and the LED'S all go out. 
 
I put the System Disc in and I ran the Dell Diagnositcs.  I ran the Test System Diagnostics.  Once completed on the Express Test , I found that it said it ran okay.  I ran the Symptom Tree and checked the option for "Cannot boot OS" and it came back with no reported errors.  I can run the full Test System Diagnostics rather than the Express Test if desired, however I ran out of time this evening cooking dinner and taking care of our household. 
 
If anyone has any additional information to help me fix this problem I would greatly appreciate it.  I seem to be at a loss for the moment.  Not sure if I need to pick up another SATA drive and see if that helps or not (low on cash, but I might be able to find a used one somewhere cheap to try out), or if I need to somehow load SATA drivers to let the system recognize the drive, but she said the system worked fine until she messed with some "dial up" settings, but I find that hard to believe because I think the networking settings really don't have anything to do with the OS not being able to boot up and the HD not being detected.  I asked the teenager if he was doing anything to the system, but of course my response was cold at best and of course he doesn't download ANYTHING or visit bad sites.  Uh huh. I was 17 once :)
 
Please help if you can.  I hope to discover the problem that lies within this sick system.  There will be many thanks from me and possibly a six pack in it from my aunt!! 

 

Verified Answer
  • Hi,

    I came across this thread with no good answer but after I encounter this same issue I figured I should add my solution.

    I was working on a Dell dimension E521 and on boot up got this error "NO BOOT DEVICE DETECTED, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS F1 TO CONTINUE OR PRESS F2 TO SETUP MENU". After many forums and F2 entries here is what I discovered.

    1. enter Bios settings (F2)

    2. Move to "Boot Sequence" under "system"

    3.  in the Boot Sequence menu there are a list of device that are present and "not" present. Move the "present devices to the "top of the list"

    4. Now, with the present devices moved to the top of the list you should NOTICE the numbers 1 & 2 to the left next to the device name. That number 1 & 2 should be next to the present devices at the to of the list if not, read the menu at the bottom on how to move the numbers to the top. doing this will solve the "NO BOOT DEVICE DETECTED, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS F1 TO CONTINUE OR PRESS F2 TO SETUP MENU". error on boot up. In my Bios it say to use the "space Bar" to move the numbers but highlight your selected device and press the space bar to get the desired number or no number at all.

    GOOD LUCK ...this worked for me and I hope it work for you. Understand more Bios are standard and some are different so there may be some differences.

All Replies
  • Jiboo  

    Sounds like hard drive failure.

    Did you run Dell Diagnostics extended test on the hard drive or the so-called express test?

    You could got to the HD's manufacturer's side and download their diagnostics and used them to check the drive.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • I will perform an extended test this evening and report back with my findings.  I did locate someone who has a SATA drive that is clean that I might be able to borrow as well.  Thanks for responding to my post!  I appreciate it.

  • Jiboo 

    You are welcome.

    Personally, I've found using the manufacturer's hard drive diagnostics best.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Okay, downloaded the ISO for the Seagate Disk Wizard and it detected no hard drive devices.  I'm guessing the HD failed and will look into replacing it tomorrow.  Will report back once I have the HD installed.

  • Just got the new HD and installed it last night.  Vista OS detected the HD and it installed without a hitch.  Thanks for the advice.  This thread can be closed.

     

    Thanks again.

  • Jiboo 

    Happy to hear the problem is resolved.   Yes    Cool

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • I just wanted to tag onto this thread and say that I had the exact same problem with my E521 computer.  The only difference was that I had two internal hard drives installed and the hard drive that crashed was my non booting storage hard drive....not the hard drive loaded with Windows.  But just like the guy that started this thread, I had the exact same errors and trouble codes even though my primary Windows hard drive was fine and unaffected.  After many hours of troubleshooting and finally finding this thread, I replaced the secondary hard drive and my computer recognized the primary hard drive and booted up normally like nothing every happened.  

    I want to repeat that for whatever reason, that the computer code must be telling the computer not to boot for any reason if a non working internal hard drive is detected in the SATA chain.  It's the only explanation and a strange one at that.  Before replacing the hard drive, I switched the primary and secondary SATA cables and still the same beeping and error messages came up.  After removing the bad hard drive, no problems. 

    I just want to thank everyone who reports their findings on these forums...it definitely helps people when they are in a bind.

  •  Codeman00

    Thank you for the heads up.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • I was able to solve this problem earlier tonight by disabling the floppy drive.

  • I inherited an E521 yesterday that had the same the same problem.  Here's how I got past it.

    In the bios settings (v1.1.4), under System / Boot Sequence, it lists the devices in the right order, with HD first.  However, reading the help text below, you hit space to include / exclude a device.  My HD had no number jn front of it, I hit space and it added a "1.".  Save and exit and it worked fine.  That's my first encounter with a Phoenix bios that had both order and enable / disable in this dialog.

  • Hi,

    I came across this thread with no good answer but after I encounter this same issue I figured I should add my solution.

    I was working on a Dell dimension E521 and on boot up got this error "NO BOOT DEVICE DETECTED, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS F1 TO CONTINUE OR PRESS F2 TO SETUP MENU". After many forums and F2 entries here is what I discovered.

    1. enter Bios settings (F2)

    2. Move to "Boot Sequence" under "system"

    3.  in the Boot Sequence menu there are a list of device that are present and "not" present. Move the "present devices to the "top of the list"

    4. Now, with the present devices moved to the top of the list you should NOTICE the numbers 1 & 2 to the left next to the device name. That number 1 & 2 should be next to the present devices at the to of the list if not, read the menu at the bottom on how to move the numbers to the top. doing this will solve the "NO BOOT DEVICE DETECTED, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS F1 TO CONTINUE OR PRESS F2 TO SETUP MENU". error on boot up. In my Bios it say to use the "space Bar" to move the numbers but highlight your selected device and press the space bar to get the desired number or no number at all.

    GOOD LUCK ...this worked for me and I hope it work for you. Understand more Bios are standard and some are different so there may be some differences.

  • This thread has been locked due to it's age, if you have a similar issue, please use the 'New Post' feature at the top of this page and start a new thread.
     
    Bev.    

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell