Acer Aspire S7: Default Boot Device Missing or Boot Failed

PC Boot Failure error message.
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One morning on my primary laptop Acer Aspire S7-392-6832 running Windows 10, which (minus the lousy keyboard) has been a phenomenal machine, randomly got a blue screen during boot with the following message:

Default Boot Device Missing or Boot Failed.
Insert Recovery Media and Hit any key
Then Select 'Boot Manager' to choose a new Boot Device or to Boot Recovery Media

I've rebooted several times before this and there haven't been any changes to how I use the machine. So I was a bit puzzled to the cause of the sudden problem. None of the quick fixes worked... such as:

  1. Restore the BIOS setting to default (F2 during boot to get to BIOS)
  2. Change Bio Boot Setting from UEFI to Legacy
  3. Tapping WinKey + C during boot

The final fix for me was to download the flash to the latest BIOS version. I had apparently never upgraded my BIOS before, as I was going from V2.03 to V2.12, which covers the following fixes:

  • V2.05: BIOS
  • V2.08: Enhanced touch panel stability on system
  • V2.09: Fix system boot fail issue
  • V2.11: Add SPD auto switch case for Elpida and Update CPU microcode
  • V2.12: Fix Hynix 8G load only single channel and update SMBIOS memory information

Obviously, the most important fix looks to be V2.09: Fix system boot fail issue, so that made the risk of flashing the BIOS worth it (plus I had no other choices).

Before flashing, note that doing this incorrectly can ruin your computer. This process requires another computer running the same version of Windows (in my case Windows 10) and a USB stick. Here are the steps I took.

  1. On another computer running Windows 10, plug in a USB stick that you don't mind wiping (erase/backup data).
  2. Search for the program "Create a recovery drive".
  3. On the next screen, uncheck "Back up system files to the recovery drive" and click "Next".
  4. Select the USB drive, read the disclaimer, and click "Next". Wait for the process to complete.
  5. Download the BIO file directly from Acer. Mine was here, but to be safe, I recommend going to Acer Driver and Manuals and enter your SNID (likely on a sticker on the bottom of your Acer).
  6. Unzip the file you just downloaded from Acer and copy the file to your USB stick. (you can copy either the entire folder, or just the executable). My executable was called "isST2212.exe", but it's possible you downloaded a different version with a different name.
  7. At this point, you're done with the machine. Unplug the USB key and plug it into your Aspire S7.
  8. During bootup, you will now be given the option to boot to a Recovery Console.
  9. Select "Command Prompt" to get you to the a black console window.
  10. Navigate to the file you copied to the USB key from Step 6. It will most likely be the "d:". Then the name of the executable "isST2212.exe".
  11. Flashing of the BIO will begin. Make sure you plug in your computer and DO NOT turn off your machine, as this may permanently break your laptop.
  12. When the process is complete, remove the USB key and reboot the machine. Your Acer Aspire boot problem is now solved and you can get back to using your machine.

This solved the issue with no problems to my machine. It's been a few day with no additional problems. Other than this, this machine has been running smoothly and I'm glad the fix was a simple one. If you also have an Acer Aspire S7, but have not experienced this issue yet, I generally wait on the safe of avoiding any BIOS updates unless necessary.

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