No Bootable Device (Upon startup)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by LePhro, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. LePhro macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009

    As of just about a half hour ago, I started getting the "No Bootable Device" when I boot up into OSX... About a month ago I had XP Pro installed via bootcamp but removed that partition using the BootCamp Assistant. I have tried holding the Option key at power up but it does nothing, it plays the classsic bootup noise, stays white for about a minute, then continues to say "No Bootable Device -- Please insert boot disc and press any key to continue".

    So I'm in need of assistance, please. I would NOT like to wipe my drive clean at all, as EVERYTHING is in there... and my backup is too old to even matter anymore. iTunes music (which I can't redownload, nor will I ever, too much too download, I'd probably destroy my ISP if I did.) and other such files and projects... I know it's easy to say "Sorry, bud, should have backed it up more often" -- but that's hopefully what I won't get as a reply. From the sounds of it, it seems like somehow the MBR was wiped, and the Hard drive is fine... because I just powered it off, and on, then got the message, was working fine for weeks after I deleted the BC Partition.

    13" MBP w/ 2.53 C2D-4GB DDR3-250GB HDD


  2. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    Sorry, bud, should have backed it up more often!

    BAM! :D

    Silliness aside, the simple truth is that you should have because hard drives die, and usually only when it's finals week, or you have an important project for work, or when no backup is available.

    Oooooootherwise, you said the option key wasn't working. Are you able to boot to the system disk (with the dvd inserted in the machine, hold down the "C" key while it boots up. There isn't enough time usually to power on, insert disk, then boot from it, so you'll probably have to restart it again after inserting it). If so, once you boot up to it go to the Utilities menu, open up Disk Utility, and see if the drive and two partitions appear: "Macintosh HD" and "Untitled" by default. If so, try to repair permissions/disk (why not). If everything appears normal after that, quit the DU, then go back into the Utilities menu and go into Startup Disk. Set it to the Mac OS X partition then restart your machine.

    Since installing XP have you booted into the Mac side? If not, it's possible that you did delete it in the process of installing XP (or if it doesn't show up when you go to the StartUp Disk).

    The black screen with the white text saying "No Bootable Device" is the Windows side trying to boot up, and reporting an error.
  3. LePhro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2009
    Oddly, booting into the disk won't even work... And yes, I've booted 10+ times into OSX ever since deleting the XP partition about a month ago. Could DiskUtility somehow wiped the MBR for OSX as well as XP? This wouldn't make sense because I've booted to OSX no probs after getting rid of XP.

    Anyway of reinstalling the MBR?

    And if I do get booting into the disc working, there is one small thing. I bought the computer back when OS X.5 was installed on it, I then upgraded it to 10.6, so would the tools in the 10.5 disc antogonize with the 10.6 installation? I couldn't imagine it would, but you never know.
  4. paintballer macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2006
    Your Mac uses a GUID partition table, not an MBR. GUID partition tables include a protective MBR, which is pretty much useless and exists only to prevent software that expects an MBR from screwing up the GUID partition table. Nevertheless, it won't boot if the PMBR is screwed up. Fortunately, it's easy to restore, since it just lists a single partition with type 0xEE that fills the entire disk. If the MBR really is the problem, then the easiest way to solve it is probably just to dd the MBR (the first 512 bytes) from another disk with a GUID partition table to the disk that you're having the problem with. If you don't have another disk with a GPT then the PMBR should be something like this:

    0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
    0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 fe00
    ffff feee ffff 0001 0000 9e90 001e 0000
    0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
    0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 aa55
    I wrote a trivial program to restore the PMBR, it provides no advantages over just dding it, but it's available at if you want to look at it or use it for some reason...

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