• Vista Laptop – can't find boot device


    My 11 YO Vista Laptop went to a Blue Screen shut down and when it tried to reboot the message the the boot device could not be found.

    Is it salvageable?

    Viewing 6 reply threads
    • #1624790

      The boot device is your Hard Drive. It’s possible it has failed.
      If you have a bootable Rescue CD/DVD, try booting from it and see if you can access the hard drive. If that is the problem, you can replace the drive and reinstall Vista from your Restore Disks.
      But you are dealing with old hardware and software. Depending on what you do with the computer, it may be time to replace it with a new laptop or a ChromeBook.

    • #1624812

      ? says:

      Wsmmi16,  if you like you can look at the “Create boot disk for Windows Vista,” section:


    • #1624895

      It may be salvageable, at least temporarily.

      One thing to try before taking more drastic measures, is to open the laptop case and remove the hard drive completely, then put it back in. That’s worked for me a few times.

      If doing this does work for you, then the very next step after you boot back into Windows should be to clone or image the hard disk, as there is a very good chance that it’s dying.

      Next after that, I would run a CHKDSK on the drive, as well as to run whatever hardware diagnostics software your laptop may have come with, with an emphasis on the hard drive.

      EDIT: While you have the laptop case open, it’s probably also a good idea to clean the insides with a can of compressed air. (Do not use a vacuum cleaner under any circumstances!!!) In my experience, I find that accumulated dust inside a computer can cause it to start doing weird things.


    • #1624999

      ? says:

      if you go so far as to “open the case,” you could check the button battery that keeps power to the motherboard. if it has not been changed in 11 years that could be a minor problem.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1625694

      (Do not use a vacuum cleaner under any circumstances!!!)

      I only ever use a vacuum cleaner, never had a problem.
      Make sure you and the vac nozzle are at the same potential as the PC by touching both on a metal part of the PC before cleaning.

      cheers, Paul

    • #1627600

      a common thing with high speed airflow devices.

      And that differs from high speed air from a can?

      cheers, Paul

      • #1635637

        a common thing with high speed airflow devices.

        And that differs from high speed air from a can?

        cheers, Paul

        Well that depends on your what your can is made of and how big, distance of hose, and if there are active electric power components involved, and also how clean your air is.

        Garage-sized compressors with pump, reservoir and some feet of pressured air hose can easily exhibit this problem if precautions aren’t taken … and that happens to look pretty much like a vacuum cleaner except in reverse, too.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1654147

        It’s static electricity, nothing to do with electrical power.
        The item with a static electrical charge is insulated from the things around it – otherwise it wouldn’t charge. The discharge and subsequent damage, occurs when two dissimilarly charged items meet, not when you move air around.

        cheers, Paul

        • #1654421

          BUT… moving air, especially dry moving air with dust particles (or snowflakes…) in it, often generates those charges and deposits them on nearby surfaces, especially those that the dust particles come in contact with. This can be affected by nearby magnetic fields such as those from an electric motor and wires with current in them, because motion of a charged particle… well…

          So yeah. For some reason the common/cheap household vacuum cleaner doesn’t usually come with integral grounding as standard.

          It’s not all that difficult to add that functionality yourself if you know what you’re doing, but… tedious and voids all warranties.

        • #1657304

          It’s not about “grounding” stuff, it’s having the things at the same potential so you don’t get a discharge through the components of the computer.

          cheers, Paul

    • #1627917

      Ran CHKDSK overnight – it was spitting out errors almost continuously.

      When I got up this morning the machine had rebooted with the Desktop looking normal.  Fired up Outlook (which is what I primarily use the machine for) which came up normally and received the normal e-mails without any problems.

      Used file explorer and everything still seems to be in existence.

      • #1628015

        You should backup (image) that disk immediately and and replace it. It appears to be failing. If you continue to use it, you may not be able to recover your data when it fails completely.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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