Boot device

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

A boot device is any piece of hardware that can read or contains the files required for a computer to start. For example, a floppy disk drive, CD-ROM drive, DVD drive, and USB jump drive are all considered bootable devices. However, unless the necessary boot files are stored on the drive, diskette, or disc the computer will not be able to boot from that device.

Additional information

The most commonly used boot device or boot drive is the hard drive. When an operating system such as Microsoft Windows installed onto the hard drive it copies the boot files and drivers required to load Windows on the computer. When installing a new operating system, troubleshooting the computer, or booting from another drive such as the CD-ROM drive, a bootable disc or setup disc is inserted into the drive. If the boot sequence is setup properly in CMOS setup and the bootable disc is inserted the computer it will load from the disc instead of the hard drive.

No boot devices available

If the computer hard drive is not working, has not yet been setup, or there are no other bootable devices you will receive an error when the computer boots. Common errors in this situation are "no bootable device" or "no boot devices available". This error is an indication that the computer looked at all available devices, but did not see any drive with boot files. If the computer was working before getting this error message and no any new hardware has been added, it's very likely that your hard drive has failed.

No bootable device error message

However, before assuming the hard drive has failed make sure no cables (especially USB cables) are connected to the computer and that all diskettes, CD's, and any other USB devices are disconnected from the computer. In some situations, the computer may be trying to boot from a non-bootable device.

If there are no other disks, discs, or USB drives connected to the computer and you have recently moved the computer you may also want to open the computer and verify that the cables are properly connected to the hard drive.

If none of the above steps help resolve the problem unfortunately it is likely a bad hard drive.

Inaccessible boot device

If the computer has detected a boot device that is not bootable an error such as "inaccessible boot device" is shown as the computer boots. When this error occurs it is an indication of a corrupt boot device or a diskette, disc, or USB drive attached to the computer is not bootable. Remove any diskettes and discs from the computer and disconnect any USB drives, MP3 players, or cameras connected to the computer.

Boot, Boot disk, Boot sequence, Device