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Old 11-11-2005, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry "Operating System Not Found"

My friend's Compaq Presario 1800 laptop started displaying this error message immediately following the COMPAQ splash screen during boot-up: "operating system not found". So he lets me borrow it so I can fix it, and the thing is kicking my @$$! At first I thought, that a boot sector or something was corrupt so I go into the bios and set the cd-rom as the primary boot device and put in a Windows XP cd but it doesn't load from it. It is as if it's not even getting past POST and going straight to that error message. So then I think maybe the hard-drive is just all messed up or something. So I contact a friend who also has a Presario laptop and an extra hard-drive. It's the exact same HD, but has not been loaded with an operating system. I start using that one and get the same message which is fine because I already knew it had no operating system. But now the problem is that I can't even re-format either of the hard-drives because it wont boot from my CD. I'd like to go into the bios and see if it even recognizes a hard-drive there but the Compaq bios is stripped bare. You can change date and time, and boot sequence and THAT IS ALL. There are no advanced options, no nothing. This computer was loaded with XP Pro, and I have a brand new XP Pro CD that I bought that I'm trying to use and it will not boot from it. Before it stopped working, the cd-rom was working perfectly, so it's not that problem either. I guess I'm just wondering what the hell my options are. If I could even get to a command prompt somehow I would do that, but it wont let me. Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 11-11-2005, 07:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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to boot from CD, you have to make sure the CD drive is the first drive in boot priority. you'll need to go into the BIOS setup and do that.

once you boot to the XP CD, at the forst screen, press r to go into the recovery console
press 1 and enter to log on to the XP installation
it will ask you for the admin password (usually blank, unless you or someone else changed it) so just press enter

once you've logged on, type the following:
fixmbr - then press enter
fixboot - then press enter
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Old 11-11-2005, 08:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's the problem...it will not load from the CD even though the CD-rom is the first boot device. I understand what to do when I can finally get into the windows setup, what I'm saying is that it will not let me get that far. It doesn't matter what CD I put in the drive, it wont boot from it. And it does recognize the CD-rom, and it does spin. And I disconnected it and reconnected it, cleared the CMOS, checked every connection, etc.
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Old 11-11-2005, 08:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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have you tried any other bootable disks?
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Old 11-12-2005, 02:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I tried a hard-drive testing utility that the online HP tech-support sent me, but it wont boot from that either...it just says "non-system disk" Floppy doesn't work, and there is no disk in it so that's not it. I even tried disconnecting the floppy completely but that caused more problems.
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