System boots from HDD, not SSD

I’ve got an old HP EliteBook 8760w with a 1TB HDD. It performs flawlessly (well as much as a 10+ year old laptop would).

In an attempt to increase performance out of it, I’ve attempted to upgrade to a SSD and install Gradua. Each time I go to install, the install will work, but upon reboot I’m met with “no hard drive found”. I’ve tried different SSD sizes and brands. The laptop always comes up with the “no hard drive” error upon rebooting.

When I put any size and brand HDD back in and install, it reboots with no issues, and the laptop is stable.

I had an ancient BIOS, so I upgraded to the latest and last version.

One time with the SSD installed I managed to get it to come back up, and when running fdisk saw the “boot” flag for the very first partition.

Ideas? I could just buy a bigger HDD and press on, but I’d like to have the performance increase with an SSD.

I would post the requested info found in the template, but that would be for the HDD install, not the SSD install I can’t get back to.

Something in the BIOS causing the issue?

Note - the laptop has two internal drive bays. There is a 500GB SSD in the second slot, and Gradua never has a problem seeing that drive when it’s installed on an HDD.

Is your Sata controller set to AHCI in the BIOS?
Just in case, maybe after the BIOS update this might have changed…

Confirmed, SATA Device mode is set to AHCI.

What if I turned on UEFI Boot? Currently set to Legacy Boot.

Sure, go for it!
If it doesn’t work, you’d better repeat the installation in UEFI mode, although reinstalling the Grub from a live USB might suffice.
See also Installation Procedure in our download page

Just did the fresh install with UEFI enabled. Rebooted and same error.

Decided to remove the extra SSD that was sitting in the spare bay and rebooted. This time the GRUB menu appeared, and after rebooting it five times in a row, the laptop kept finding the OS! I may be onto something.

Update - after doing a shutdown and turning back on, ran into the “No Hard Drive” error again. This time I noticed that it was trying to boot from the network, then erroring out. Went into the BIOS and saw that for the Boot Options, the Network Boot was the last option. The first option was “Notebook Upgrade Bay”.


Decided to swap the drives. Even though it’s labeled HDD2, I put the primary SSD in that slot. Turn the laptop back on, and did five successful shutdown and turn on.

Then I took the SSD I was using as an overflow drive and put it in HHD1, and again the computer came right up into the OS.

Crossing fingers, but I think I got it. :sunglasses:

Update 2 - Well mission fail. All set to start loading all of my data and programs, and decided to let it reboot one more time just to make sure it’s working, and now it won’t get past the no HDD screen. So just going to put the HDD back in and press on. Not sure why it hates booting from SSD, but its an old machine I got for free, so it’s just a testbed anyway.

… have you ever tried changing the boot order in the bios?

Brand, models and sizes?

Yes, priority was “notebook upgrade bay”, no option for primary hard drive. The Network boot was last, but it still kept trying the network boot.

Tried a 1TB Samsung, and a 500GB Axiom SSD. I’m starting to think its an actual issue with the notebook and not any sort of Linux that I install. Probably why I got it for free in the first place. :rofl:

Try a smaller one, 256GB should be the maximum for SSDs on this laptop.


could you list all the options you do get?

The smallest one I have laying around is 500GB, but since I can get a 128 GB SSD on Amazon for (US)$18, I’ll get one. Curious if a smaller size will work.

Just out of curiosity, why do you think the 256 is the max size the laptop can handle?

EliteBook 8760w:

Internal Storage:
Primary Storage: 320/500/750 GB 7200 rpm SMART SATA II HDD, 320 GB 7200 rpm SED (Self Encrypting Drive), or 128/256 GB SSD
2nd Primary Storage: 320/500/750 GB 7200 rpm SMART SATA II HDD, 320 GB 7200 rpm SED (Self Encrypting Drive), or 128/256 GB SSD

Upgrade Bay:
12.7 mm SATA optical drive or hard drive: Blu-ray R/RE DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL Drive, DVD-ROM Drive, 500 GB 7200 rpm HDD


That must be the solution. I found a 120GB SSD in an old computer and put that in the 8760w. Installed Garuda and rebooted. Then I did five start up and complete power downs. Each time the grub menu appeared and it booted right into the OS.
At some point the BIOS must have included 1TB HDD, because it had no problem loading that. But 500GB SSD (and certainly not 1TB) SSD’s are a no go.

Going to order a 256 GB SSD and install Garuda on that. Assuming I have no issues I’ll use my 1TB SSD in the secondary slot. Currently with the 1TB HDD the notebook has no problem reading and writing to the 1TB SSD in the secondary slot.

I know the problem with old HP laptops, for example Pavilion DV7 and others. The BIOS can manage a maximum of 1TB (960GB) HDDs but not SSDs of this size.


Thanks everyone for helping me work through this issue. I figured it was something hardware related. Forgot to check the specs to ensure it can handle current size drives. The notebook still has some use for me, so it’s worth the small amount to buy a 256GB SSD.


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