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HP Notebook PCs - Boot Device Not Found Error or Hard Drive Not Detected

This document is for HP notebook computers with the HP Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) beginning in late 2008.
The BIOS can be configured to specify the order in which the computer accesses available bootable hardware devices. The most common bootable devices are the internal hard drive, external USB drive, optical CD/DVD ROM drive, and network adapter. If a device fails during the process of checking each device for the required bootable files, the computer verifies that another device is available.
If the computer BIOS checks all the listed devices but does not find the bootable files, an error message like one of the following is displayed: 3F0 error or Boot Device Not Found. Please install an operating system on your hard disk.
Example of a Boot Device Not Found error screen with a Hard Disc error code
note:
If the computer starts successfully after receiving this message, you should perform a hard drive test.
If these boot device errors persist, perform the following steps in the order listed.

Step 1: Perform a hard reset

A hard or forced reset erases all information in the computer memory and might restore functionality. Resetting your computer forces the system to clear and reestablish the software connections between the BIOS and the hardware.

Step 2: Restore BIOS default settings

To restore the BIOS default setting, open the BIOS Setup screen as follows:

This video shows how to restore the BIOS to default settings on your HP notebook computer

  1. Turn off the computer and wait five seconds.
  2. Press the Power button to start the computer and repeatedly press the F10 key to enter the BIOS setup menu.
  3. On the BIOS Setup screen, press F9 to select and load the BIOS Setup Default settings.
  4. Press F10 to Save and Exit.
  5. Use the arrow keys to select Yes, then press Enter when asked Exit Saving Changes?
  6. Follow the prompts to restart your computer.
    If the computer restarts normally and the error message does not display, you are done. If the error message displays, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Test the hard drive using HP PC Hardware Diagnostics

HP PC Hardware Diagnostics enables you to test the main components on your computer by selecting quick tests or longer, more complete tests. You can use HP PC Hardware Diagnostics even if the computer does not open to Windows.
There are six hard drive tests. If you think there is a problem with the hard drive, first try the Quick Test ( 2 to 3 minutes). If the Quick Test does not find a problem, run the Extensive Test (2 hours or more) which also has a Loop Until Error option.
note:
If the test cannot run and the Hard Disk Does Not Exist message is displayed, contact HP Customer Support for assistance.
Follow these steps to test the hard drive:
  1. Plug the AC adapter into the computer.
  2. Press the Power button for at least five seconds to turn off the computer.
  3. Turn on the computer and immediately press Esc repeatedly, about once every second. When the menu appears, press the F2 key.
  4. When the HP PC Hardware Diagnostics menu displays, click Component Tests.
    HP PC Hardware Diagnostic UEFI screen
  5. In the Component Tests menu, click Hard Drive.
    Component Tests: Hard Drive
  6. Click Quick Test.
    Selecting the Hard Drive Quick Test
  7. Click Run once. If the computer has more than one hard drive, click Test All Hard Drives.
    The Quick Test begins.
    Running the Hard Drive Quick Test
  8. The Hard Drive Quick Test begins. If the computer has more than one hard drive, select the drive you want to test. To test all the hard drives, select Test All Hard Drives.
    When the test is complete, the results are displayed on the screen. Test results are also available in the Test Logs on the main menu.
  9. If the hard drive passes the Quick Test, but there is still a problem with the hard drive, run the Extensive Test. This test includes the SMART Check, Short DST, Optimized DST, and Long DST. To run these tests individually, select them from the Hard Drive Tests menu.
    If the hard drive fails one of the tests, write down the failure ID (24-digit code) so you have it available when you contact HP Customer Support. The information is also available in Test Logs on the main menu.
If the test passes but the error message continues to display, proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Reseat the hard drive

The Boot device not found error message can occur if the computer has been jarred and the connections to the hard drive are loose. Use the steps in this section to reseat the hard drive in your notebook.
note:
Only hard drive bay 1 supports bootable hard drives.

This video shows how to reseat the hard drive in your notebook

Before you begin reseating the hard drive:
  • You might need a Phillips head screwdriver or similar tool.
  • Transfer the computer to a clear, flat, stable work surface over a non-carpeted floor.
  • HP strongly recommends the use of an anti-static wrist strap and a conductive foam pad when working on the computer.
  warning:
The edges of metal panels can cut skin. Be careful not to slide skin along any interior metal edge of the computer.
  caution:
This product contains components that can be damaged by electrostatic discharge (ESD). To reduce the chance of ESD damage, work over a noncarpeted floor, use a static dissipative work surface (such as a conductive foam pad), and wear an ESD wrist strap connected to a grounded surface.
Check for loose connections and reseat the hard drive using the following steps:
  1. Press and hold the Power button for 5 - 15 seconds to turn off the computer.
  2. Disconnect the power cable.
  3. If your notebook model features a removable battery, remove the battery.
  4. Disconnect and reconnect the internal hard drive. For instructions to complete this procedure, see the Maintenance and Service Guide for your notebook model, found in the User Guides section of your notebook product page on the HP Customer Support website.
  5. After the hard drive is reconnected and the computer is reassembled, try to start the computer normally.
    If the computer starts normally and the error message does not display, you are done. If the error message displays, go to the next step.

Step 5: Perform an HP System Recovery

If none of the above actions resolved the error condition, back up your personal data, then perform an HP System Recovery on the notebook. Choose your operating system for more information.

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