I have been in a bit of a loop for a while now, so hear me out please.

I have an HP Probook 4540s that has been with me for about 5 years now. I have an original Windows 10 Education installed on it. A few months ago, I started getting these screens:

  1. Boot device not found. Please install an operating system on your hard disk (black screen).
  2. Recovery. Your PC/device needs to be repaired. The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information (blue screen).

When I would get one of them, I would re-install Windows. Then after about a week or so, I would get either the same screen or another one, so I would re-install Windows again. I went through this process about 3 or 4 times on my own.

I finally took it to a large reputable laptop support shop.

Visit #1) They tested my hard drive and found it had 16 delays. They told me it is well on it's way to being ruined, so they changed it to a SeaGate 1TB hard drive. I went home and installed my own Windows 10 Education.

Visit #2) The next day after installation, Windows suddenly froze and wouldn't get back up again. Went again, they said the problem is with my Windows copy. It was made for a Legacy Boot Mode and that made the device very slow. (Is this true? I have always been on Legacy and nothing like this has ever happened). They downloaded their own Windows copy that supposedly was made for the UEFI boot mode.

Visit #3) After a week of careful usage of the laptop, I got this:

No bootable image found

I went back. They said they don't know exactly what the problem is. They reset Windows. They cleaned the fan, then finally said all these problems may be from the laptop's old age. Meaning, the CPU's performance has maybe degraded with all its years of usage, to take care of the fan and not put the laptop in hot places.

Now today, after using the laptop perfectly fine for less than 2 days after the last visit, out of nowhere, Windows started Automatic Repair and kept on restarting, never wanting to successfully boot into Windows.

I thought maybe the problem is with Windows 10 Education (although I had worked on it before with no problems.) So, I decided to install a Windows 8.1 copy off a USB that I know is working fine on my laptop (because I installed it before).

The laptop wouldn't boot from the USB and kept going to Automatic Repair. I read around and read that I should disable Fast Boot and Secure Boot from the BIOS when we are using UEFI boot mode. I did. Windows 10 booted normally after that (therefore, I didn't install Windows 8.1).

I think the problem is either with Secure Boot on my laptop, or with the combination of Secure Boot and Fast Boot together.

What is going on exactly? Is this suspected to be a software or hardware issue? The laptop's behavior is quite sudden and what worked on it yesterday may very well not work on it tomorrow, so I am not able to be certain 100% that it's a Windows problem.

  • Honestly, the combination of all these issues sounds like the computer has reached it's end of life.
    – Tim G.
    May 31, 2017 at 17:52
  • Normally, I would think so too. But the problem is that none of this mess had happened before I went to the repair shop. Meaning, previously, when I installed Windows, the laptop would work perfectly showing no CPU issues or anything, until of course Windows fails again. That's why the repair shop suggested changing the hard disk. The only problem was coming from it. No other CPU problems or anything were ever encountered. I can't help but think that maybe there is a setting that should be disabled or something. Jun 1, 2017 at 21:12


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