02839: The Mystery Boot Error

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In recent months my laptop would fail to boot up and would instead return a rather scary "No Bootable Device" error message from time to time. It was a highly erratic problem that would prevent me from getting into my computer and my unusual remedy would be to flip the laptop over and give it a few taps or vigorous shaking. Eventually, the error message would no longer appear and I'd through to the actual computer and thus my work. It was annoying but not a deal-breaker and bringing it in for diagnosis did not seem like that big a priority.

This happened a bit more during my trip to Singapore and my running theory had been that it was related to something being loose inside and thus the shaking would help resolve things. But I didn't want to open up the computer myself as that would more than likely void the warranty - assuming this is still under warranty. After my troubles in the last trip, I promised that I would get it checked out upon my return to Manila as it felt like such a waste to get a new computer so soon after getting this one.

After a fair amount of using work as justification for procrastination, I finally made the trek to the official service center partner in the area. It was oddly difficult to get a ride despite the center also being in Taguig and there was a bit of a queue when I finally arrived. But I went through the motions and finally got my time with the receptionist who processes these repair requests and goes through the usual spiel that they'd need to bring the computer somewhere else and diagnosis would take a few days and any replacement parts would take 4-6 months to secure. They also insisted that the first solution would be to reformat the computer and I wasn't quite ready to go down that road despite being pretty sure that everything I needed had been backed up to the cloud.

However once they realized I had purchased the computer outside the Philippines, they refused to take the computer and instead suggested that I look for a third-party repair solution or bring it back to the country of purchase. I was pretty miffed about it but in typical Philippine customer service fashion they stopped providing other options and just stressed that policy dictated that they could not receive the machine.

The technician, who had arrived a little later, did try to tinker with the machine a bit to try to recreate the error while I was there since naturally, the computer booted successfully every time now that I was having someone look at it. He asked if I had reset the BIOS to which I had answered a little waspishly that I had not tinkered or made any changes to it.

I left pretty annoyed and started discussing options with Tobie and my sister in different chats while researching other solutions for the error message. Oddly enough most solutions were software based with different recommended settings for the BIOS as a way forward. Since my visit to the service center, the computer has been working okay and when I went to try some of the BIOS recommendations it seems my computer was already configured to those settings. Maybe the tech implemented the fix while we were talking out of pity or something. Maybe my attempt to reset the BIOS worked. Maybe it's going to screw up tomorrow. For now I'm back in wait-and-see mode if the error returns. I have a Singapore trip mapped out for April so I'll be able to get it checked out then. Or I find a technically-savvy friend locally who is better at tinkering than I am.

I really have a feeling it's going to be okay for the time being.