[nSLUG] Used laptop hard drive with no boot sector

Jack Warkentin jwark at bellaliant.net
Tue Apr 23 20:47:16 ADT 2013

Hi Frank

The syslinux GNU/Linux package contains a collection of boot loaders. If 
you already have a running system it can be used to replace the Master 
Boot Record (MBR) and install a boot loader on a hard drive.

In your case, I would suggest downloading the image for, and creating, a 
System Rescue CD. See


and booting this to repair the damage.

If you can't get the rescue CD to boot, I would suggest removing the 
hard drive from that laptop and installing it on another computer, then 
use syslinux, or, examine the contents of the drive to see if there is 
any useful information on it first.



Frank Geitzler wrote:
> I was given a used Dell laptop with a 40GB hard drive.  Unfortunately,
> when I powered it on, I received the message "No boot sector on hard
> disk -No bootable devices -strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup
> utility".  I attempted to boot the system with a Ubuntu Live CD, but
> received the same result -even after changing the Setup to specify
> booting first from the CD/ROM.  Does this mean that the hard drive must
> be replaced, or is there a way to replace the boot sector?  If it can be
> replaced, can anyone tell me how?
> Thanks,
> Frank Geitzler

Jack Warkentin, phone 902-404-0457, email jwark at bellaliant.net
39 Inverness Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3P 1X6

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