BIOS not recognising boot drive

martbean

n00b
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
16
Hi,

I have an Asus VivoBook X512DA laptop (Ryzen 5 3500U, 8GB RAM, 256GB Kingston NVMe) which is about 18 months old. One day I turned it on, logged in to Windows, opened Firefox and left the room. When I came back it had turned off. I turned it back on and it went straight to the BIOS (a very basic American Megatrends job which says "Aptio Setup Utility" at the top). The drive was missing from the boot list but visible in the NVMe drive list. If I boot to a command prompt I can see the contents of the disk are in tact and I've been able to copy things off it.

Here's what I've tried so far:
  • Boot from Windows recovery USB. None of the recovery/repair options work, including a clean install.
  • Run chkdsk /f multiple times. It says "Deleting corrupt attribute record" a couple of times but quits after a few seconds with "An unspecified error occurred".
  • Boot from Hiren's BootCD:
    • Tried all the available utilities: BOOTICE, EasyBCD, etc.
    • Taken a disk image backup with AOMEI Backupper
    • AOMEI Partition Assistant - rebuild MBR, disk surface test (passed)
    • Lazesoft Windows Recovery - finds the Windows installation, but none of the fixes have worked
    • bootrec /rebuildbcd - didn't find any Windows installations
    • bootrec /fixboot - "Operation completed successfully"
    • bootrec /fixmbr - "Operation completed successfully"
As far as I can tell the contents of the disk seem fine, it's just that the laptop doesn't recognise it as a boot device.

Is there anything else I can try before reformatting and reinstalling?

ETA: Asus say it's out of warranty and they want £40 just to look at it so I'm not sending it back under RMA.

Thanks,

Martin.
 
Last edited:

martbean

n00b
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
16
There are no options like that unfortunately. As I say, it's a very basic BIOS. I've tried loading "Optimized defaults" but that makes no difference.
 

DrDoU

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
Messages
2,699
are you able to boot straight out of the bios under something like boot order
 

martbean

n00b
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Apr 15, 2021
Messages
16
are you able to boot straight out of the bios under something like boot order
I'm not too sure what you mean but unless I plug in a bootable USB it goes straight to the BIOS so there's no option of doing anything else. If I exit the BIOS it restarts and goes straight back in to the BIOS.

Within the BIOS, there's nothing in the list of boot devices. If I plug in a bootable USB then I can see that in the list but presumably my HD should be in there.
 

DrDoU

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
Messages
2,699
can you see a boot load order:dvd,hd,NVMe,etc. try to load the NVMe from this boot order.
 

martbean

n00b
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
16
can you see a boot load order:dvd,hd,NVMe,etc. try to load the NVMe from this boot order.
Nope, nothing like that. Here's what I see. If I plug in a USB it'll show under Boot Option Priorities but there's basically nothing to select or configure.
 

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Nebulous

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
1,623
I'm looking at this:

"The drive was missing from the boot list but visible in the NVMe drive list."

I'm thinking the drive could be failing. Do you have another nvme drive to use?
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
28,448
I think at this point, I'd pull the drive, get the files off of it, format, and try reinstalling.
 

martbean

n00b
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
16
I'm thinking the drive could be failing. Do you have another nvme drive to use?
That was my first thought although I seem to be able to access everything on the drive so I'm not too sure. The only other NVMe drive I have is in my desktop PC and I'm not sure if it's the same form factor.

I think at this point, I'd pull the drive, get the files off of it, format, and try reinstalling.
Yeah, I've taken a copy of everything but I thought I'd ask the question in case there's something I can do to avoid the hassle of a reinstall.
 

Nebulous

[H]ard|Gawd
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Nov 16, 2005
Messages
1,623
Don't bother with a reinstall on that drive. Why do a reinstall twice? You can snag a new drive on the cheap and then do a clean reinstall. You can then pull off what you want from the old drive.
 

martbean

n00b
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
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Don't bother with a reinstall on that drive. Why do a reinstall twice? You can snag a new drive on the cheap and then do a clean reinstall. You can then pull off what you want from the old drive.
So you reckon this drive's on its way out then?
 

Nebulous

[H]ard|Gawd
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Nov 16, 2005
Messages
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So you reckon this drive's on its way out then?
Yup. If it's not seen/recognized in Boot devices, but seen/recognized in the Nvme menu, then it's failing and on it's way out. You've already made copies of what's on the drive so it's easier to get a new drive, reinstall windows and your wanted programs. You can get an external Nvme enclosure and you can access what you want from it.
 

Hallyday

n00b
Joined
May 20, 2021
Messages
19
Kingston seems to have some software for checking SSDs, called Kingston SSD Manager. Put the drive to an another PC, boot and have a SMART / error check from there. See what comes before ultimately coming to the conclusion that it indeed is shot.
 

martbean

n00b
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
16
Thanks guys. I'll give Kingston SSD Manager a try but yeah, it does sound like it's knackered. Not great considering I barely use this laptop and have only had it 18 months but never mind.
 
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