1. Joined : Oct 2015
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10
       06 Oct 2015 #1

    Help! Laptop crashed, boot media missing, and BIOS can't detect drive.


    Please, help. My laptop suddenly crashed and now it says "Boot media missing" when I restarted. After that, it always takes me to "Preparing Automatic Repair" and then the 'Troubleshoot' menu.

    In the 'Troubleshoot' menu, it has two options: 'Reset this PC' and 'Advanced options'.

    When I choose "Reset this PC", it asks me whether to keep my files or remove everything. I've tried both and it displays an error. When I choose to keep my files, it says that drive is locked and tells me to unlock the drive and try again. When I choose to remove everything, it says that there is a problem resetting the PC.

    And then I've moved to "Advanced options". The options are: System Restore, System Image Recovery, Startup Repair, Command Prompt, UEFI Firmware Settings, and Go back to previous build. I've tried all of these and it all returned an error. When I chose UEFI Settings, it restarted to BIOS/UEFI setting. And my BIOS/UEFI can't detect my hard drive. DISKPART from Command Prompt can't detect it either.

    Please, help me. My project is due in 3 days and I've got all my files in there. Is there a way to fix this? Or to recover my files? Please, I nees urgent help. Thank you very much.
    Last edited by lifeisawkward; 06 Oct 2015 at 10:40.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 6,564
    Win 10 Pro (1607)
       06 Oct 2015 #2

    Hi, first on recovering your files, as that should be your priority.
    Note: this is where you really really learn you need backups, and should use disk imaging periodically to avoid this sort of catastrophe.

    What do you need?
    1. a boot CD that allows you to boot up using the files on the CD, so you run (in RAM) a sort of mini-OS that lets you access your hard drive- assuming it is accessible and readable.
    2. a storage device e.g. flash drive, USB drive, that you can copy your files onto, assuming they are accessible.

    Now, you have not said what your laptop is, whether it's got a BIOS or uses UEFI (replaces for BIOS in newer laptops).

    This (rather full and complex article) addresses the latter situation, where most (all?) downloadable boot CD's will not work if your laptop uses UEFI.

    That article also includes links to finding bootable CD's.

    I'll post this now as you may be rather worried.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 6,564
    Win 10 Pro (1607)
       06 Oct 2015 #3

    Another (much easier) approach is if you have access to another PC.

    Take the hard drive out of your laptop and put it into an appropriate case. This allows you to connect it via a USB lead to another PC. You can then (try to) read your files off the disk.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 6,564
    Win 10 Pro (1607)
       06 Oct 2015 #4

    One further thought that occurs is this: if when you try to view your HDD contents, and find the partition structure is damaged in some way such that you can't, you may need a program that will attempt to recover the files, and rebuild the Master File Table (assuming NTFS formatting).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 6,880
    Windows 10 Pro
       06 Oct 2015 #5

    dalchina said: View Post
    Another (much easier) approach is if you have access to another PC.

    Take the hard drive out of your laptop and put it into an appropriate case. This allows you to connect it via a USB lead to another PC. You can then (try to) read your files off the disk.
    There are also just cables that will connect the laptop hard drive to a USB port without having to put it all the way in a case. I have one and it works great - but won't work on full size desktop drives.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Oct 2015
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10
       06 Oct 2015 #6

    @dalchina: Yes, my laptop uses UEFI instead of BIOS. Model name is Lenovo IdeaPad Z410. (Pardon my english.)

    Do you think a bootable Windows 10 installation media on a USB drive would help?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 6,880
    Windows 10 Pro
       06 Oct 2015 #7

    lifeisawkward said: View Post
    @dalchina: Yes, my laptop uses UEFI instead of BIOS. Model name is Lenovo IdeaPad Z410. (Pardon my english.)

    Do you think a bootable Windows 10 installation media on a USB drive would help?
    To be honest, it sounds like the hard drive failed. However, to be sure it is the hard drive and not the computer you need to physically remove the hard drive from the computer and try to read from it on another computer. You will connect it as the second (or third or whatever) on a separate computer - in addition to the hard drive the other computer boots from. There is a very minor chance that it might also be just a loose or dirty connection to the hard drive and removing the cable, blowing the connection out with air, and reconnecting the cable might fix it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Joined : Oct 2015
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10
       06 Oct 2015 #8

    @NavyLCDR: Yeah, I'll be buying an HD enclosure tomorrow morning. Hopefully, my files will be recovered.

    Before this happened, I've been getting some End-to-end errors reported by HD Tune. Does that have something to do with this problem?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : Jul 2015
    Posts : 6,880
    Windows 10 Pro
       06 Oct 2015 #9

    probably. Good luck!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  10. Joined : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 6,564
    Win 10 Pro (1607)
       06 Oct 2015 #10

    lifeisawkward said: View Post
    @dalchina: Yes, my laptop uses UEFI instead of BIOS. Model name is Lenovo IdeaPad Z410. (Pardon my english.)

    Do you think a bootable Windows 10 installation media on a USB drive would help?
    - not at this stage- the options aren't very helpful for you, being aimed at recovering from relatively minor 'soft' failures on disk to startup repair to refresh installs. Getting a 'traditional' boot disk like Hiren's or Falcon's to work with your laptop will waste a lot more time and be technically more complex than trying to recover your data by connecting it to another PC, plus at this stage we're not sure where the fault actually lies. Your priority is data recovery and viewing your HDD.

    The same problem with UEFI applies similarly to partition manager boot disks, which I might have used with a BIOS based PC for a quick look. I've not looked into this recently 'cos I'm still using BIOS..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 


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