What You Should Do When a System Cannot Boot from a Hard Drive

A boot device is a hardware that contains files required for a computer to start. A hard drive, USB, CD or DVD are all considered boot devices. This article explains the troubleshooting process if you cannot boot from a hard drive.

  1. Check boot sequence

You may need to check if the boot sequence is in place. To do this, you will need to access BIOS. To enter BIOS, restart your computer. As soon as you see the manufacturer’s logo, note the key specified to enter Setup. The most common ones are F1, F2.

Press the key and enter BIOS. In BIOS, go to boot sequence tab. If you find that the boot sequence is wrong, move the preferred device (hard drive in the case) to the first place using up/down arrow keys. Hit Enter and restart your system. Now that the boot sequence is changed, check to see if the error persists.

  1. Windows crashes during boot

Sometimes Windows will start the booting process but may crash halfway through. This may indicate a software issue. You can repair it using Startup Repair operation.

  1. Use a Windows installation disc and click on Repair your PC.
  2. Then click on Troubleshoot > Startup Repair.
  3. Once you choose an OS, the tool will identify issues and fix them. If this doesn’t help, you will need to reinstall the OS or perform a reset.
  1. Errors after Windows starts

You may encounter an error ‘Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We’re just collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you’. This indicates hardware or software issue.

To test this, boot your computer using Safe mode where your drivers are not loaded. If your computer performs well in Safe Mode, try uninstalling any drivers for recently installed hardware and reboot the system. If your system boots normally, probably there was an issue with the device.

Perform the same steps for any recently installed application. These steps help you identify and resolve the issue and allow you to boot from the hard drive.

  1. Inaccessible boot device

If your hard drive is not working, you may receive errors such as ‘Inaccessible boot device’. This means that the computer is having trouble detecting your hard drive. It could be a result of corruption or damage on the hard drive. In such cases, in order to access your hard drive and retrieve data from it, you will need professional data recovery tools.

Note: Do check this article if you are wondering how to recover files from a hard drive that won't boot.

About Remo Recover

  • Remo Recover is designed to recover data from inaccessible and corrupt hard drives. It can recover all kinds of files like photos, videos, office documents etc.
  • In addition to hard drives, Remo Recover performs data recovery from USB’s, memory cards and all kinds of storage devices.
  • Sometimes you may also encounter errors such as ‘A disk read error occurred Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart’. In such situations, Remo Recover can help you recover data from disk read error.
  • Also, you may need to recover partitions from formatted drives. Remo Recover is designed with powerful algorithms to scan your drive and recover data with the original structure. So, it serves as a great tool to recover formatted partitions.
  • All file systems such as FAT 16, FAT 32, NTFS etc are supported.
  • All versions of Windows including Windows 10 are supported.
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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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