Hard Drive Problems/Dell Inspiron N5110


QUESTION: Hello, I have just bought a Dell Inspiron N5110 from car boot sale. This laptop turns on but will not get past the screen shown in the photo. Hard drive has been removed, all other parts are still in place.


Intel Core i5 Processor (unsure of exact speed or generation because unable to access desktop due to error).
Windows 7 Home
15" Screen
HDMI, USB, Ethernet ports, and SD card reader

What does this error mean:

Reboot and Select proper Boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press any key.

please advise.

ANSWER: Hi Craig!

I didn't see a picture, and there isn't enough information to say for sure, but MOST likely, whoever sold this computer, had the hard drive formatted (erased) to protect their personal information (and yours).  Since no operating system is found on the disks, booting to it fails, giving you the no boot device message.  You will need to install Windows yourself.

If you did not get (or do not have) the installation disc, you can download it here, then use the product key on the computer (probably under the battery) to activate it.


You can get the drivers from support.dell.com.  Install the System Software first, then the Chipset before any other drivers.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello there, thanks for replying!

I can confirm that the hard drive is removed. I wanted to ask you that I want to install a 1TB hard drive inside the laptop. Can the laptop handle/be fitted a 1TB hard drive? If yes, can I go for a 1TB with 7200rpm serial sata instead of 500gb 5400rpm serial data hard drive? Where can I get 1TB hard drive any recommendations? I prefer Western Digital.

Also where can I download windows 7 installation disc onto a USB drive? The link you gave me does not work.

Please advise.


ANSWER: Hi Craig!

If you like WD, you will need the Black model of mobile drives (2.5") - it is their only mobile model that has 7200RPM speeds.

The links can come and go ... try browsing their page for the correct link that works:

These ISO's are offered by Microsoft's online partner, Digital River, so they are safe.

To install it via USB, use Microsoft's USB tool or follow these directions:

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello again, many thanks again for the reply. I have a Dell recovery operating system windows 7 home premium. I just wanted to ask you will the Dell recovery system work and install Windows using the key located underneath the laptop near the battery area?

Please advise. Thanks.
P.S. How do I rate you?

Hi Craig!

I think because there was not a clear answer to be given that I "rejected" the question by explaining why I "couldn't" answer it, which does not allow rating.  I've been burned several times by people that rated my answer poorly when I tried to give a generic answer to a problem for which they supplied too little information to properly answer it.  If I have been helpful, you may rate this reply :)

"Hello again, many thanks again for the reply. I have a Dell recovery operating system windows 7 home premium. I just wanted to ask you will the Dell recovery system work and install Windows using the key located underneath the laptop near the battery area?"

If you have a Dell DVD for Windows installation, then yes, it will work to reinstall your system.  If it came with your system, it will not require a product key to be entered during (or after) installation, as OEM media should automatically activate.  However, IF you are asked for a key, the one on the sticker will work.

Feel free to follow up with any other questions you might have.

Take care Craig!

Hard Drive Problems

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I can answer questions about server hardware RAID and general storage for servers and PC's - hard drive issues, troubleshooting, advice, specs, and information. While some apparent drive/RAID array failures can be recovered, I can only provide advice/recommendations in the event of catastrophic data loss. I don't assist in actually recovering from this type of data loss on this forum.


I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I am currently ranked in the top 5 All-Time in Server Hardware and Hard Drives in a very popular and large forum similar to AllExperts.

I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

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