SOLUTION: “No bootable devices found” on Dell Laptops – SSD not detected

A relatively new form of problem which has been introduced by the wider adoption of solid-state drives (and other drives with more particular power requirements than standard mechanical hard drives) is that of drive detection and compatibility.  This applies most notably to sleep/resume and cold boot detection of these devices, which sometimes are not detected at all on specific systems.  Occasionally a BIOS update on the computer or a firmware update to the drive can resolve the issue, but other times, the drive may simply be incompatible.

I have seen this most recently with Crucial brand SSDs, which by and large have proven to be a good value — when they work.  Reliability hasn’t been a concern with regard to the drives I’ve purchased for my clients, but on occasion, drive detection is a problem.  Specifically, some of the newer Dell Latitude laptops (of which I purchase and service quite a large number) seem to struggle with Crucial SSDs.

The message you will see on a Dell Latitude if this happens to you is:

No bootable devices found.
Press F1 key to retry boot.
Press F2 key for setup utility.
Press F5 key to run onboard diagnostics.

Interestingly, if the user presses F1 to retry, the machine then boots normally.  This indicates that the problem has to do with the machine not detecting the drive quickly enough during POST to continue with the boot process.

With other machines, the problem can be resolved by switching ON “Hot plug support” (or similar) in the BIOS Setup.  However, this option does not exist within Dell’s BIOS Setup.

So, then, what’s the solution?  Actually, it’s precisely the same thing I posted in my previous update as a response to a completely different problem: bypass the RAID controller and use AHCI interface instead.  The problem apparently seems to be related, at least in part, to how the system processes the communication between the drive and the chipset via the Intel RAID controller.  Disabling RAID does require jumping through a couple of hoops, but it’s relatively quick and easy.  See my post here for full instructions!

Once this is complete, the machine boots normally each and every time!

Donate to say "Thanks" if this post has helped save you time and money! 🙂

10 thoughts on “SOLUTION: “No bootable devices found” on Dell Laptops – SSD not detected

  1. Hello TripleS Computers,
    It’s true that RAID can conflict the boot procedure on many laptops. Changing to AHCI is a good tip. As for the brand of the SSD Hard Drive, we are very suspicious on using other brands than Intel or Samsung. Even some older Kingston SSD’s had us keep on searching for hours.
    PS: The tip on changing to AHCI via command prompt, on your other post is very very useful.
    Greetings to all the SSS Computers team

  2. Dell inspiron 14 3000 serie internal hard disk drive not found,to resolve this issue,try to reseat the drive.no notable devices….strike F1 to retry boot,F2 enter setup menu,F5 enter PSA.how to solve it?????

  3. Could actually be a failed drive. Try diagnostics on boot; F12 as the machine boots. If you have a 3000 series it is highly unlikely it is an SSD to begin with as they’re cheap.

    Steve

  4. I recently bought a Dell 5175, a real 2 in 1 (but did not realize I will get one only or the tablet alone for 5175 🙂 ) as refurb from the outlet and it soon started making this press F1, F2 … game. I read your other post and checked the BIOS. Alas, there is no option to chose IDE, RAID vs SATA. I don’t know if the problem happens only when the OS updated (and Dell seems to update every night on my 3000 series laptop)

  5. To solve this problem, you need to reinstall windows on SSD with HDD disconected.
    ONLY SDD to be on !!

  6. Hi! Thanks so much for your writeup. I have this issue as well, with a twist. Hopefully your extensive knowledge can be of service to myself and others.

    I installed a Samsung EVO 850 msata SSD as a primary drive and experienced the issue as described above. However, I had already set the BIOS to AHCI before I installed the drive and did a clean install of Windows 10. Yet it still shows the error above at POST, and pressing F1 pretty much immediately always results in a normal startup with no other problems.

    The system is an XPS 2720. I have to agree with your assessment that it simply doesn’t recognize the drive fast enough at POST. Have you come across any other fixes for this? I have checked that the BIOS is the most recent version (A13), and the chipset drivers on Dell’s website are apparently less current than the ones Windows auto installed. I tried setting the boot priority so that “Internal HDD devices” was the last option in order to delay it for a moment and that actually works on rare occasion but mostly the error message persists.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

  7. Hey Cam,

    Wow, that’s crazy to see with an 850 EVO drive; the first I have heard of it actually. Usually the Samsung drives offer fairly extensive compatibility across systems as it applies to such issues.

    However, I would start by checking to see whether a firmware update for the SSD exists. It may, and if it does, it could improve the situation. If not, you might be able to (and this sounds crazy I realize) plug the drive into an mSATA to SATA adapter and see if that resolves it (since the power supply would be providing power directly to the drive in that case and it may receive more power more quickly than it would when connected to the board’s mSATA slot). Neither of these is guaranteed to work, but I think that’s the direction I’d take if I was troubleshooting this particular one, if even for sake of addressing my curiosity. 🙂

    Please report back and let us know the results!

    Steve

  8. Hi Steve, thanks for the quick response.

    I had already scanned Samsung’s website for a firmware update but only found updates for the 840 models. I will go back and check more thoroughly.

    Good call on standard sata possibly getting powering faster, that may be the case. However the reason I opted for the msata drive was because there are no additional available sata ports on the motherboard (or room to fit a full size drive for that matter). I considered eliminating the optical drive and stealing the sata port and space from that, and maybe I will in the end. Hmmm, or could one of the sata ports on the board be split into 2 with a special cable, since they’re a serial format?

    There are several other people with these XPS 2720s that seem to have done this similar hardware exchange and have not encountered this problem, which makes me wonder if there’s something else I’m missing.

    Anyways, it’s not really a huge problem to hit F1 after a restart, it just kind of irks me that it doesn’t work flawlessly! Call it OCD I guess. If I find a solution I will proudly return to post it here 🙂

    -Cam

  9. Disabling the RADIUS and enabling AHCI was the fix for me, thanks a million. I was days trying to figure this out.

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