No bootable device (assistance please)

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#1
My work colleague has an acer aspire E1 which no longer boots into wondows, instead after the bios splash screen it flashes up "no bootable device" and asks to insert bootable disc.

I tried alt and F10 to start the recovery process but it just hangs after a few seconds.

Does this sound like hard drive failure?

If so, is there a way to use a new hard drive with the existing bios embedded windows 8 product key to reinstall the same version as before???

Thanks in advance
 
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#2
presumably there is no bootable disk attached/in the optical drive?

essentially its saying if cannot locate any media with a suitable boot image. i.e. either something is interrupting that (a USB flash drive or cd in the drive) or the hard drive has failed/become disconnected.
 
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#3
There is no other boot device attached. I have had the rear panel off to check the HD connection and it is solid so im guessing the drive has failed
 
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#5
Will try that tonight!

If it turns out to be a failed drive is it possible to buy a new hard drive to put in the notebook and use the embedded product key with a download of the right version?
 
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#7
All i know is the laptop came with win 8 pre-installed so i am guessing OEM would be the required
 
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#8
If it turns out to be a failed drive is it possible to buy a new hard drive to put in the notebook and use the embedded product key with a download of the right version?
Individuals are not allowed to buy OEM copies of Windows 8. OEM versions are for use by computer manufacturers only.
If you failed to make a backup of the laptop during the initial setup you will be required to buy a retail version of Windows 8 to install on to your new hard drive.
 
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#9
Individuals are not allowed to buy OEM copies of Windows 8. OEM versions are for use by computer manufacturers only.
If you failed to make a backup of the laptop during the initial setup you will be required to buy a retail version of Windows 8 to install on to your new hard drive.
Thanks for that! Not my laptop so unsure of what backups if any were made
 
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#10
Before you do anything try this, as it boots up, when a list of attached items shows, white writing, back screen. Press and hold down the delete button to get into the BIOS/UEFI and check "Boot Options" or similar, if the Hard Drive is not the 1st Boot item change to being the first, then Save & Exit, usually F10.
This should work, but if not back to the drawing board, best I can advise.
 
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#11
Individuals are not allowed to buy OEM copies of Windows 8. OEM versions are for use by computer manufacturers only.
If you failed to make a backup of the laptop during the initial setup you will be required to buy a retail version of Windows 8 to install on to your new hard drive.
funny how you can buy it from ebuyer :D

im sure the OP can find a copy to use, its not pirating if you already have an OEM sticker.
 
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#12
theres some debate whether this will work too:

The Windows 8 Setup Tool
If you have a valid Windows 8 product key (no matter whether OEM or retail, whether upgrade or the full product), you can produce an iso file using the Windows 8 Setup Tool. Download and execute the file Windows8-Setup.exe from Microsoft, enter your product key, and have the tool download the Windows 8 setup files. The tool will then be able to compile an iso file from the download. This procedure however has some restrictions, as it will determine the language and bit edition of the download from the system from which it is executed, and doesn't allow to change these parameters.
 
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#13
Microsoft have actually stated the following

“If they build their own PCs and they understand the complexities of setting up a PC from bare tin then by all means they’re welcome to take the OEM product and install it on a PC. It is designed to be installed on a new-built PC.

so yes individuals are allowed to buy OEM copies hence why they are readily for sale at many legitimate sources. and if you are having to get a replacement hard drive you would certainly qualify with no issue at all.

i had similar issue with my Dell Laptop. contacted Dell and they sent me free full backup OEM version of windows .. might be worth contacting Acer and see if they can send out the recovery disks.
 
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#15
Neil - your suggestion wont work as the original product key for the laptop is embedded in the bios as part of the growing UEFI system being adopted.
That aside the HD is fecked anyway, it wouldnt show in device manager or disk management on my pc so anything else was futile
 
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#17
Yes! Whilst it helps clamp down on piracy it makes the job of system recovery a tad more awkward.

It seems the lesson is to make a disc image of the recovery partition from day one to stand a chance of being able to do a clean install when the key is embedded
 
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#18
“If they build their own PCs and they understand the complexities of setting up a PC from bare tin then by all means they’re welcome to take the OEM product and install it on a PC. It is designed to be installed on a new-built PC.
I did not realise Microsoft had changed their stance on OEM software. That's good news.
 
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#19
the above statement came from MS own head of OEM ( or some such title ) i dont think its so much an actual policy change just MS being a little more flexible in there understanding of OEM use hence why you can pick up copies on places like ebuyer, amazon etc. Saying thta i would still try contact Acer for the recovery disks as with the serial embedded into the Bios you should be able to do a clean install and then you can actually pull out the serial number using software if you choose the activate later option.
 
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#20
Windows 8 install asks for the product key as part of the installation phase so its kind of difficult if you dont know it at that point.
The theory is that the software should be able to read the key but there are instances where it is not happening as it should.

The owner of the laptop is just going to buy a copy of windows 8 so they have both disc and key should things balls up in the future
 
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#21
Click "skip" when the installer asks for the installation key when prompted. On the next screen, you'll hit CTRL + SHIFT + F3 to get to the "I'm an Admin, let me set up this computer for first time use" mode.
Download RWeverything (this reads the key out of the BIOS on Win8 Machines ,Then, hit the start button and open up Windows Activation (not the Win8 tile app, there should be a different one that shoots you back to the desktop). It will have an "activate" button. Click it and let it fail activation the first time. Then, it will ask if you want to try with a new key.

Insert key you found with RWeverything. Activate. SUCCESS

of course you still need some kind of OEM /recovery disk but thats how to do it without the initial key and how to obtain the key from your bios
 
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#22
There are generic keys which will allow installation but not activation - this requires the key in the bios. There's info on my digital life if you search for windows 8 generic keys and as for as I can tell it's legitimate.
 
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#23
Does it have a cd drive? If so, get a linux distro on cd and set the laptop to boot from that. You may be able to get contents of the hard drive off with that.
 
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#24
theres some debate whether this will work too:

The Windows 8 Setup Tool
If you have a valid Windows 8 product key (no matter whether OEM or retail, whether upgrade or the full product), you can produce an iso file using the Windows 8 Setup Tool. Download and execute the file Windows8-Setup.exe from Microsoft, enter your product key, and have the tool download the Windows 8 setup files. The tool will then be able to compile an iso file from the download. This procedure however has some restrictions, as it will determine the language and bit edition of the download from the system from which it is executed, and doesn't allow to change these parameters.
But the thread Title says no bootable device so what good will a product key, etc be??

Neil - your suggestion wont work as the original product key for the laptop is embedded in the bios as part of the growing UEFI system being adopted.
That aside the HD is fecked anyway, it wouldnt show in device manager or disk management on my pc so anything else was futile
So correct me if I`m wrong but if no bootable device is found how do you know if HHD is not shown in Device Manager or have you described the fault in correctly
 
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#25
But the thread Title says no bootable device so what good will a product key, etc be??



So correct me if I`m wrong but if no bootable device is found how do you know if HHD is not shown in Device Manager or have you described the fault in correctly
Yes I can read (normally). I'm suggesting that for after a new drive is installed. There was some suggestion online that the info worked.
 
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#26
But the thread Title says no bootable device so what good will a product key, etc be??



So correct me if I`m wrong but if no bootable device is found how do you know if HHD is not shown in Device Manager or have you described the fault in correctly
I plugged the hard drive into MY pc via usb to sata and internally via sata and power supply. On both occasions the drive did not shown under device manager or disk management.

Anyway my colleague has now ordered a new drive and bought a recovery disc from acer who assure will work with the embedded key.
 
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#29
The drive has to show in order to assign a letter, can't assign a drive letter to thin air sadly.
 
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