How do I fix no bootable device on Lenovo Windows 11?

If you see a “no bootable device” error when trying to boot your Lenovo computer with Windows 11, it means the boot configuration data is corrupted or your hard drive cannot be detected properly. This prevents the system from loading the operating system and can occur for several reasons. The good news is this issue can usually be resolved with a few troubleshooting steps.

What Causes the No Bootable Device Error on Lenovo?

Some common causes for the no bootable device error on Lenovo machines running Windows 11 include:

  • Corrupted BCD (Boot Configuration Data) – The BCD store contains boot information like bootloader settings. If this file is damaged, it can prevent booting.
  • Disconnected or failed hard drive – If the hard drive is not properly connected, has failed completely, or is degraded, the system won’t detect a boot drive.
  • Outdated BIOS/firmware – An outdated system BIOS can cause compatibility issues with booting newer operating systems like Windows 11.
  • Secure Boot disabled in BIOS – Windows 11 requires UEFI Secure Boot to be enabled for protection against malware. If disabled, it can lead to boot issues.
  • Fast startup enabled – Fast startup can sometimes cause boot problems due to incomplete shutdowns leading to data corruption.

How to Fix No Bootable Device Error on Lenovo

If you encounter the no bootable device error on a Lenovo system, try these troubleshooting steps:

Restart Your Computer

First, attempt a simple reboot by powering off the machine completely and restarting it. Press and hold the power button to force a full shutdown if necessary. This can clear some temporary glitches causing boot issues.

Check Connections and Hard Drives

Verify all hard drives are properly seated in their bays and data/power cables are securely attached. Try removing and reconnecting the cables and switching SATA ports if possible. Also check for any signs of physical damage to the drive itself. If you have multiple drives installed, disconnect all except the primary boot drive and attempt to boot again.

Access the BIOS

Enter the system BIOS setup, typically by pressing F1, F2, F10 or Delete at startup. Once in the BIOS, check that:

  • The hard drive with the OS installed is listed under boot priority options.
  • UEFI Secure Boot is enabled.
  • CSM/Legacy Mode is disabled.

If Secure Boot is off, enable it. If the boot drive is not listed first, reorder the priority. Save changes and exit the BIOS to reboot.

Boot Into Safe Mode

If you can access advanced startup options, boot into Safe Mode. This loads a minimal version of Windows with just essential drivers. Booting into Safe Mode can help identify and isolate potential software or driver conflicts causing problems.

To enter Safe Mode, access the advanced startup menu by holding Shift and selecting Restart from the Windows login screen. Next choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart. After your PC restarts, select Safe Mode from the startup settings menu.

Use Automatic Repair

The automatic repair tool in advanced startup options can automatically diagnose and fix some boot issues. To run it, access the advanced startup menu as above. Then go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Repair. Click your account name if prompted and let the repair tool run.

Restore or Reset Windows

If no other options have worked, restoring or resetting Windows may be necessary. This will revert system files, settings and programs back to a working state. Important files and data should be backed up first.

To restore Windows, boot to advanced startup > Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System Restore. Choose a restore point predating the issue. A reset will reinstall Windows but keep your personal files intact. Select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC and choose Keep My Files.

Clean Install Windows

A clean install of Windows 11 involves completely wiping the drive and doing a fresh OS installation. This gives you a totally clean slate but erases all your programs and data, so you’ll need to backup everything first. Reinstall all drivers, software and updates after installing Windows.

Check for Firmware Updates

An outdated BIOS could be causing compatibility issues with booting Windows 11. Check the Lenovo support site for any available BIOS or firmware updates for your specific model. Flashing the BIOS can potentially resolve boot problems related to aging system firmware.

Replace the Hard Drive

If you’ve exhausted all other options, the hard drive itself failing or degrading is likely the culprit. Replacing the storage drive with a new SSD or HDD compatible with your Lenovo system should resolve a no bootable device error stemming from hardware failure.

Detailed Troubleshooting Steps

Here is a more detailed guide on how to diagnose and fix the no bootable device error on a Lenovo computer:

1. Check Physical Connections

  • Power off the computer and disconnect all peripherals like external drives.
  • Open the case and check that SATA data and power cables are fully seated in the motherboard and storage drive(s).
  • Inspect cables for damage. Try using new SATA cables if possible.
  • Make sure storage drives are securely mounted in their bays.
  • Eliminate the use of any SATA adapters, cables extenders or splitters to rule them out as an issue.

2. Verify Boot Drive Priority in BIOS

  • Enter the system BIOS, typically by pressing F1, F2, F10 or Delete at startup.
  • Navigate to the Boot or Boot Priority menu.
  • Ensure the correct hard drive with the OS installed is listed first under boot priority or order.
  • If not, use the arrow keys to move it to the first position in the boot order.
  • Save changes and exit the BIOS.

3. Enable UEFI and Disable CSM in BIOS

  • Access the BIOS again as outlined above.
  • Find the UEFI or Secure Boot menu.
  • Enable UEFI or Secure Boot if they are disabled or set to CSM/legacy boot.
  • Conversely, disable CSM (Compatibility Support Module) if it is turned on.
  • CSM allows legacy/MBR-style booting, which can conflict with UEFI bootloaders.
  • Save changes and exit the BIOS.

4. Boot Into Windows Safe Mode

  • From the Windows login screen, hold down Shift and select the Power icon > Restart.
  • After your PC restarts, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart.
  • Once it reboots to the Startup Settings menu, press 5 or F5 to enable Safe Mode.
  • Log into your account in Safe Mode to see if the issue persists.
  • Safe Mode loads only minimal drivers which can help isolate software or driver conflicts.

5. Run Automatic Startup Repair

  • Access advanced startup options again from the login screen as outlined above.
  • Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Repair.
  • Click your account name if prompted.
  • Automatic Repair will run diagnostics and attempt to automatically fix boot issues.
  • After completing, it will restart your PC. Check if the problem is resolved on reboot.

6. Restore Windows or Reset From Advanced Options

  • Boot to advanced startup options and go to Troubleshoot.
  • To restore Windows, select Advanced Options > System Restore.
  • Choose a restore point from before the issue began and let the restore complete.
  • Alternately, select Advanced Options > Reset this PC to refresh Windows.
  • Choose Keep My Files to retain personal data.

7. Perform SFC and DISM Image Scans

  • Run System File Checker (SFC) to scan for and replace corrupt system files.
  • Open an admin Command Prompt and type sfc /scannow.
  • DISM can check the OS image for errors. Run DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth.
  • If errors are found, use DISM to repair the image: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

8. Update BIOS and Firmware

  • An outdated BIOS version can cause compatibility issues with Windows 11.
  • Check the Lenovo support site for a BIOS update specific to your model.
  • Follow their instructions to flash the BIOS to the new version.
  • Updated chipset, ME, and other firmware may also help resolve boot problems.

9. Replace the Boot Drive

  • If you still get a no bootable device error, the physical storage drive has likely failed or is corrupted.
  • Replace the boot drive – it should be compatible with your Lenovo system.
  • For best performance, replace it with an SSD.
  • After replacement, clean install Windows 11 to the new drive.

Additional Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some additional things to try if the above steps don’t resolve the no bootable device error:

  • Reset the CMOS – This clears BIOS settings to default.
  • Remove all but one RAM module and swap slots to test for bad RAM.
  • Try booting from a Windows recovery drive or installation media.
  • Check that the drive is enabled if using RAID.
  • Ensure correct partition alignment on an SSD with 4K sectors.
  • Update all device drivers from Lenovo support site for your model.

Preventing the No Bootable Device Error

You can take proactive steps to help avoid this error occurring in the first place:

  • Keep the BIOS and drivers updated to the latest versions.
  • Enable UEFI boot with Secure Boot in the BIOS.
  • Don’t use legacy CSM/MBR booting – go for GPT/UEFI instead.
  • Disable fast startup in Windows, as hybrid shutdowns can cause data corruption over time.
  • Don’t turn off forced-S3 power states for USB 3.0.
  • Regularly image or back up your system partition to protect boot files.
  • Monitor SMART parameters on mechanical drives for early failure warnings.

Recovering Data From a Unbootable Drive

If the no bootable device error is caused by a failed or corrupted hard drive, you may need to recover data from the inaccessible drive before replacing it. Here are some options for pulling data off a drive that won’t boot:

  • Use a Linux live CD like Ubuntu to mount the drive and copy files from it.
  • Connect the drive to another computer as a secondary drive and access files from there.
  • Remove the drive and connect it to another system using a USB adapter or enclosure.
  • Use advanced data recovery software to scan the disk and recover recoverable files.
  • Take the drive to a professional data recovery service for extraction of critical data.

Recovering data from a drive with hardware issues or filesystem corruption can be complex. The above options may allow you to salvage some files before the drive fails completely.

Common Questions

Why does my Lenovo laptop say no bootable device when I turn it on?

This typically occurs because the bootloader is corrupted and unable to load the operating system from the hard drive. Common causes are BCD corruption, disconnected hard drives, SSD failure, UEFI issues, and boot priority changes in the BIOS.

How do I boot from USB on Lenovo laptop with no bootable device?

First access the BIOS and make sure boot from USB is enabled under boot options. Connect the USB drive, restart and press F12 to bring up the boot menu. Select the USB drive to boot a recovery disk or Windows installer from the external media.

Can a virus cause no bootable device Lenovo?

Yes, a boot sector virus can sometimes corrupt or overwrite parts of the bootloader code leading to a no bootable device error. Booting into safe mode or using antivirus tools may fix this. In rare cases, a full OS reinstall is required to remove bootloader viruses.

Why is my secondary hard drive not showing up Lenovo?

If your data drive isn’t appearing, check the SATA cable connections, try different SATA ports, make sure the drive is enabled in BIOS, and inspect the drive for physical damage. Also look for errors in Disk Management and Device Manager. Drive failure is commonly the cause.

How do I bypass no bootable device on startup?

On some Lenovo PCs you can temporarily bypass the error by pressing Esc or F1 while booting up. This will load the BIOS setup utility, from which you may be able to boot to a safe mode or access advanced repair options. The underlying issue still needs to be resolved.


The no bootable device error on Lenovo computers with Windows 11 is generally fixable through BIOS settings, boot order changes, automatic repair tools or OS recovery options. Hardware failures like a dead drive may require replacement of the storage device. Backing up data in advance allows recovery if the drive is unbootable. With persistence and systematically working through different solutions, you should be able to resolve a no bootable device issue and get your Lenovo PC booting again.