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Fix Boot Device Not Found Error in Windows 10/8/7

Jean updated on Nov 12, 2020 Partition Manager | How-to Articles

Does your HP, Dell, Lenovo laptop or desktop have the "boot device not found" error? This post will provide some general solutions to troubleshoot this issue for Windows 10/8/7 users, check the following outlines.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Perform a Hard Reset Turn off the computer. Remove the computer from any docking station and unplug the AC...Full steps
Fix 2. Reset Hard Drive Press the Power button for a few seconds to turn off the computer. Unplug the power cable...Full steps
Fix 3. Restore BIOS Default Settings Press the Power button to start the computer, and immediately after this, repeatedly press F10...Full steps
Fix 4. Check Bad sectors Take out hard drive from the original computer and connect it to another computer. Run EaseUS...Full steps
Fix 5. Rebuild MBR  Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the boot device not found whose MBR is damaged...Full steps

Boot Device Not Found Error Messages

'Boot device not found error' is one of the most common problems that happen to many computer users. It always occurs suddenly and unexpectedly and leaves people at a loss. When the problem occurs, you may see any of the following hard drive errors on the screen:

  • 'Boot device not found please install an operating system on your hard disk'
  • 'No boot device found - insert boot disk and press any key'
  • 'Boot device not found - hard disk (3f0)'
  • 'No boot device is available'

Causes of Boot Device Not Found Error

Boot device not found error occurs when the hard disk does not support the system boot process. As it indicates, Windows OS can't find a bootable device to boot from. Usually, it can be an internal hard drive, external USB drive, optical CD/DVD ROM drive, and network adapter.

Once the error shows up on your computer screen, the computer can on longer startup normally. Hence, you should take prompt measures right now to figure out what causes the bootable drive missing. Here in the following, you may use it as a reference.

  • The wrong boot order in the BIOS
  • Hard disk connection problem
  • System files or boot files unknowingly damaged
  • Master Boot Record (MBR) or boot sector is damaged on the bootable disk
  • Other outside attacks, such as third-party system protected application, virus, malware, etc.

How to Fix Boot Device Not Found Error

With those factors in mind, you're suggested to start out fixing boot device not found error by following the recommended solutions below. We offer both video and text tutorials for you. 

1. Hard Reset Your Computer

A hard reset can re-establish the connection between BIOS and the hardware, which may fix boot device not found 3F0 error.

  • Turn off your computer. Remove the computer from any docking station, and then unplug the AC adapter from the computer.
  • Now, press the power button for 15 seconds to drain the remaining power.
  • Press the power button to start the system. Once the "Startup" menu appears, use the arrow keys to select "Start Windows normally", and press Enter.

2. Reset Hard Drive to Fix No Boot Device Found Issue

Resetting hard drive may fix the boot device not found error if the error occurs because of some lose connections.

  • Press the Power button for a few seconds to turn off the computer.
  • Unplug the power cord. Now, disconnect and reconnect the hard drive.
  • Reassemble the computer and restart it to see if it works seamlessly.

3. Restore BIOS Default Settings

To exclude the possibility that your computer is wrongly set to boot from unbootable disk or device, you need to check the BIOS settings. Here, we take the hp computer as an example. To restore BIOS settings and make Windows OS detects the bootable hard disk, do as follows.

  • Press the Power button and press the F10 key repeatedly to enter the BIOS setup menu. (depending on different manufacturers, instead of F10, it's maybe ESC, F1, F2, F8...)
  • On the BIOS Setup screen, press F9 to select and load the BIOS Setup Default settings.
  • Press F10 to Save and Exit.
  • Use the arrow keys to select Yes, then press Enter when asked Exit Saving Changes?
  • Follow the prompts to restart your computer.

If resetting the boot order solves the problem, good luck for you. If not, the issue can be a little tricky. Pay some effort with the workaround of how to use Bootrec.exe in the Windows RE to troubleshoot startup issues. If this method doesn't work for Windows 10 boot device not found issue, don't despair, try the next solution. 

4. Check Bad Sectors on the Bootable Hard Disk

Bad sectors are defective clusters of storage in hard drives that may develop due to physical damage. If there are bad sectors, the hard drive won't respond to read or write requests. So you need to detect and fix bad sectors to fix boot drive not found error. EaseUS Partition Master, a professional partition and disk management tool, can help you do a surface test for bootable disk easily and quickly. Since you can't boot up the system on your current computer, you have to download this hard drive repair software on another workable PC and proceed with the detailed guide below.

Step 1: Download EaseUS Partition Master and install it. Right-click the disk that you want to check, and then click "Surface test".

click surface test

Step 2: The operation will be immediately performed. Bad sectors will be marked as red.

wait for the process to check your sectors

Bad sectors can be divided into two categories: logical bad sectors and physical bad sectors. The former can be fixed by CHKDSK /F or SFC command lines, whereas if there are too many physical bad sectors on your hard disk that result in boot device not found issue, you may need to consider replacing with a new disk.

5. Fix and Rebuild Damaged MBR

The Master Boot Record (MBR) is the information in the first sector of any hard disk or diskette that identifies how and where an operating system is located so that it can be boot (loaded) into the computer's main storage or random access memory. So, boot device not found error can typically happen when MBR went wrong. MBR damage may be due to malware attack, disk failure, or MBR overwrite.  In this case, you can try to rebuild MBR to solve the problem.

Step 1. Create a WinPE bootable disk.

  • Download and launch EaseUS Partition Master on a new PC which runs the same system as yours.
  • Click "WinPE Creator" on the toolbar. And select to create the bootable disk on a USB drive. If your computer has a CD/DVD drive, you can also create the bootable disk to CD/DVD.
  • Click "Proceed" to finish the process.
create a bootable disk

Step 2. Rebuild MBR.

  • Connect the bootable USB or CD/DVD to your PC.
  • Press "Del" when you are restarting the computer. Boot your computer from "Removable Devices" or "CD-ROM Drive". And then EaseUS Partition Master will run automatically.
  • Right-click the disk whose MBR is damaged. Choose "Rebuild MBR" to continue.
rebuild MBR
  • Select the type of MBR with the current operating system. Then, click "OK".
rebuild MBR
  • Click the "Execute 1 Operation" button at the top-left corner and click "Apply" to build the MBR. After that, your computer can boot normally again.
rebuild MBR

If none of the above methods resolves the boot device not found error in Windows 10, you can contact our technical support team to troubleshoot. 

Do You Need Specialized Services for System Boot Issues?
EaseUS also provides 1-on-1 remote assistance to fix the boot issue. If the solution above does not work for you, please contact our professionals via Email or LiveChat in this page. To ensure our professional assistance work, you are suggested to connect the unbootable system drive to a healthy computer when getting connected with us.

How to Fix Boot Device Not Found Error on HP in Windows

As there are many users are looking for solutions to HP laptop boot device not found error (3fo) or boot device not found HP desktop on Windows 10, let's take a look at its methods separately. For the full-page tutorial, link to HP Notebook PCs - boot device not found error or hard drive not detected.

  • Perform a hard reset
  • Restore BIOS default settings
  • Test the hard drive using HP PC Hardware Diagnostics
  • Reseat the hard drive
  • Perform an HP System Recovery

Boot Device Not Found FAQs

1. How do I fix boot device not found?

To fix boot device not found in Windows 10, this page covers five approaches in all. You can try hard reset your computer and hard drive, restore BIOS default settings, check bad sectors, and rebuild MBR. If these plans don’t solve the problem, you can contact EaseUS's technical support team via techsupport@easeus.com for help.

2. What causes boot device not found?

The possible causes of hard drive 3f0 error consist of:

  • Incorrect boot sequence in the BIOS
  • Master Boot Record (MBR) or boot sector is damaged
  • The hard drive connection issue
  • Malware attack
  • Corrupt hard drive partitions
  • Damaged hard drive

3. What do I do if my HP laptop says boot device not found?

As we mentioned in the above part, there are five ways to solve the HP laptop boot device not found problem.

  • Perform a hard reset
  • Restore BIOS default settings
  • Test the hard drive using HP PC Hardware Diagnostics
  • Reset the hard drive
  • Perform an HP System Recovery

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