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! 🙂

36 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 notable devices….strike F1 to retry boot,F2 enter setup menu,F5 enter 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.


  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!


  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 🙂


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

  10. Hi! I experienced the same problem – No bootable device found.

    Any solutions to this? Dell Inspiron 13 (7359)

  11. My problem is my Inspiron 11 3162/3164’s bios does not detect the integrated SSD. Ubuntu recognizes it with the LiveCD running.

    The installed Ubuntu OS doesn’t boot

  12. So I had this issue today with a Dell Latitude 5580. Downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 7 and got the dreaded No bootable devices found.

    After flowing the above with no luck I discovered that where I had changed to Legacy boot the BIOS had decided that boot from Diskette should be at the top of the boot order. Removed this and put the SSD to the top and all is now fine.

  13. Thanks this article helped a lot!

    I had this issue with a Dell e6430 (BIOS v.A21) after clean installing Windows onto a new SSD. To fix it go to the BIOS -> System Configuration -> SATA Operation and change it to AHCI. Then reinstall Windows.

  14. I had the same problem and nothing worked; what did work was going into OS Support & clicking System repair (tap F12 when the computer is booting up & go to SystemOS Support & Recovery & System Repair should be the second option). Hope this helps!
    (You may have to do that a couple times in a row as it goes through each problem!)

  15. Hi Guys, I’m facing the exact same problem with one difference, when i was browsing all of sudden everything frozen and stopped responding. I’m running Win10 on a dell e7440 with 128Gb mSata SSD, prior to this i didn’t have any issues with my device.

    I tried all the suggestions but so far no luck, my money is on drive failure (corruption) which i believe impossible or close to impossible to recover or fixed.

    I appreciate your input.

  16. Hi Steve, I am facing the issue of ‘No bootable devices found’ on my Dell Latitude 3480 Notebook, which had Ubuntu 16.04 installed on it. It was running all fine since the last few months, however today it wont boot and I guess the issue is that of SSD detection. Since your solution is only for Windows, do you have any suggestions for Ubuntu installation? Please help out.

  17. hi i have dell inspiron 3330 laptop i installed windows 7 on a SSD, evrything went perfect except when the laptop reboots it says no bootable device found however if i go into bios and select internal hdd as the bootable device then it boots into windows, the bios is on system defaults, any ideas what might be the issue?

  18. My issue is the Dell Optiplex 3040 Desktop. It also appears to be with just Intel SSDs. It is sporadic but there is a problem. Usually from a warm boot. Can’t find anyone else having the problem but it does exist. Very frustrating.

  19. For me speaking for 3040, it has related to legacy still being available if you are booting UEFI (win 10), if the legacy (win 7) option is available it can cause this issue.

  20. I have a Latitude D630 Rundung a Crucial SSD. And After Shutdown because of empty battery i restarted the Maschine and gut the issue Seen above. BIOS Shows noch primary hdd anymore. Eventuell replacing hdd against another Crucial SSD gutes mehr the Same result (noch primary hdd in BIOS). Hdd mode is on ahci.

  21. Dell D630 is pretty ancient by today’s standards, probably will be tough to get any brand ssd to work with it. Try it with another laptop that ‘s not so old. I’ve got Crucial ssd’s to work on many older Dell laptops, such as Latitude E5420 and E5430, with no major problems.

  22. Hi Awesome site and thanks all for sharing, Latitude 7490 with new Crucial MX500 SSD – changed the SATA settings from RAID to AHCI, also changed the boot options to use ‘Windows Boot Manager’

  23. Had to change two things on my Latitude E6540 with A26 BIOS: First one was the SATA setting from RAID to AHCI, second one was the boot-mode from legacy to UEFI. No way to boot that ugly piece in legacy mode.

  24. Yup, same problem here on a new Dell G3 “gaming” laptop – changed from RAID to AHCI and then Windows 10 would see SSD and boot to windows. Thanks!

  25. Dell Latitude E5570 does not detect SSDs connected to the SATA-interface in the Bios, you cannot boot from them. If you boot from an usb stick, you can access the ssd just fine but the laptop’s EFI is not compatible to SSDs on SATA.
    The M2 slot works instead, so one must use a NVMe-SSD.

  26. @TheGunner:

    Hey, and thanks for writing. Not saying that it isn’t possible, but I’ve supported literally hundreds of this exact machine to date and I have never seen this symptom. Very many of them operate on SATA SSDs. I would suggest you check and see whether the problem might be the SATA SSD you are trying to use. Look one up, make sure everything is tight inside the computer, and then check the BIOS to see if it’s detected. If it is, it’s probably not the computer’s fault.

    If it isn’t detected, I’d suggest installing a standard hard drive and seeing if it is detected.

    Hope this helps.


  27. Yes, I was expecting my M.2 SATA SSD to work with my new Dell laptop, but it doesn’t, no matter what… I can only use the NVMe version.

  28. Hello experiencing the same problem with Dell Latitude 3480 on AHCI and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, the system just does not detect the hard drive on boot, but does so if I boot with a LiveCD, I can even Chroot into it and every SMART test runs fine, amy suggestions?

  29. I had a similar issue with it not detecting SSD, AHCI was set. i found out that i needed to set FASTBOOT to auto.

  30. Steve, I have an XPS 2720. It has a PM830 Msata 64gb cache only card. The diagnostics say it has failed. Only issue I see in the machine performance is when I boot up I have to hit F1 to continue and then all is well. In talking to Dell tech support, I get little of no support. They do not have any real knowledge of this unit and how it works and fall back on text book answers. Also Dell tells me they have no stock of a replacement. So I got a replacement on line. When installed the unit says “no bootable device”. Now remember this Msata is a cache only drive. All files and windows etc reside on the 2TB drive. When I hit F2, it sees the new Msata fine. But instead of showing “windows boot manager” as the 1st Boot device, it says Internal HDD devices. “Windows Boot Manager” no longer shows up and is not an option. I put the old Msata back in and works same as before, I have to hit F1 and then it proceeds to boot up just fine. The literature and blogs I can find suggest this Msata is just a cache card. Why is the replacement not allowing it to boot? I have exhausted all efforts with Dell but cant get anyone to talk about this unit and what is going on.

  31. Hey Phil,

    It’s very likely because the mSATA cache cards in these systems are paired using the Intel Rapid Storage Technology RAID controller. You actually don’t even need the mSATA card to correct the problem as the system can operate normally without it.

    Usually the solution in these cases is to break the pairing upon boot by entering the storage controller settings interface (CTRL+i in some cases?), then to boot to a working older build of WinRE (since builds newer than 1903 I think it is have a bug where the bootrec command doesn’t function properly). You can grab an old Windows 10 installation ISO and boot to that, then choose to Repair your computer upon it opening up I believe to get where you need to go. Then, once inside, open up a command prompt and try this:

    List vol
    Sel vol # (Where # is the vol of the FAT32 EFI partition)
    Assign letter=r
    CD efi\microsoft
    Ren boot boot.old
    Bcdboot c:\windows /s r:
    bootrec /fixboot
    bootrec /fixmbr

    Then reboot. Good luck.


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