Dell Dimension 4700 not finding boot drive (No boot device available)--HELP :-) - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

Dell Dimension 4700 not finding boot drive (No boot device available)--HELP :-)


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Dell Dimension 4700 not finding boot drive (No boot device available)--HELP :-)

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Hi there,

Any help would be greatly appreciated that thanks in advance.  It is the holidays, so I am trying to do this myself and seem to hit into a wall.

Long story short:

  • Original Dell Seagate Drive 160GB for about 3-year old Dell Inspiron 4700 gave me blue screen of death. 
  • My goal is to pull out the old drive, put in a new one, then attach the old drive and pull of any data that I can (pictures being the most important--let's not even talk about backing up right now!!!)

Here is where I am at.

  • Bought drive from staples (Western Digital Caviar SE16, 500 GB SATA)--old drive was a seagate Barracuda 7200.7, 160 GB SATA
  • pulled out old drive easily, plugged in new one easily
  • Grabbed my Dell reinstallation CD and plopped it in

  • It will not recognize the Dell CD/DVD Drive (SATA) that is in there and is saying I have no boot drive.  I hit F1 and it just laughs at me (not literally but figeratively :-)
  • I have already made it the master (putting the HD second) and it still does not work
  • I unplugged the HD to see if that helps and that did not do it either.
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  • I also tried the "boot cd" that came with the WD drive and it still give me no boot device available

When I go into the BIOS I see both drives (SATA1=new WD drive--3 IDE=Phillips cd/DVD)

I am at the end of my rope and getting cranky, but almost refuse to bring it in for the $300 tune-up I can't afford from the Geek Squad....any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance....Jon



All Replies
  • I am having a similar problem!  I have to unplug and replug my hard drive for the boot to recognize the HD.  Every other time I  boot the system it fails to recognize the HD is there.  I hope you get an answer to your question, it may help me too!


  • Is your system still under warranty jbchad300?  If it is... contact tech support ASAP.


    What system are you using... what OS, and what type of hard drive is in it - i.e. IDE or SATA?

    From experience, I've found that:   “Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder”!!


    XPS M1730:

    Smoke Grey Magnesium Alloy Chassis - with White LED Backlights
    17" UltraSharp WUXGA Widescreen TFT (1920 x 1200) with TrueLife
    Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300 @ 2.50GHz (800 MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)
    4GB (2x 2GB) Patriot Signature PC2-5400 @ 667MHz
    DUAL 512MB Nvidia 8800M GTX cards in SLi + 128MB Ageia PhysX
    640GB SATA II (2x 320GB WD Scorpio Black 7200rpm)
    8x Super-Multi DVD±RW
    Creative X-Fi Notebook (ExpressCard) + Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II
    Integrated 2MP Webcam
    Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth 2.0 Module
    Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-Card
    TV Tuner and Dell Travel Remote Control
    4-in-1 Flash Card Reader (SSD/MMC/MS Pro/xD)

    230W AC Adapter / 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery

    Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)

  • Warranty?  Heck no, I bought it in 2004 and didn't take the extended plan.  Windows XP, SP2 (whatever the latest fixes are).  It's a SATA.  bios is A10.

  • Hi Jon,

    The drivers on the Windows installation CD are only for IDE and EIDE drives.  In order to have Windows recognize a SATA (or other relatively new/exotic drive), the driver must be installed during the initial phase of the Windows installation.   You will need to get the driver.  It may be included in the box with the SATA drive, or you may need to download it from the manufacturers website.  I found the easiest way was to put the driver on a diskette, because the Windows CD will be in the CD reader.  (I bought an external USB diskette drive because my newer machine did not have a diskette drive built in.   There may be a BIOS setting to get the system to see the diskette drive.)

    During the first phase of the Windows installation there is a brief pause where you can press an F-key to install additional drivers.  Pay attention, it goes away after about 2 seconds.  Press the indicated F-key and insert the diskette with the driver.

    I am writing all of this from memory, and I appologize for the lack of details.


  • Hello,

    Just unplug the old drives data cable, leave it unplugged until you get the new drive installed.

    Make sure that the new hard drive is connected to port 0 (should be the one that the old drive was connected to) Use the CD to install Windows.

    Do you also have a CD named "Operating System", Reinstallation CD"? Mine is green in color. I'm not sure that the CD you show has Windows on it.

    Mis Dos Centavos,

    Gadfly at large

    Helping Dell Customers here since 1998

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