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Operating System not found, VAIO

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I have a Sony VAIO pcg-fx150k. I recently replaced a crashed hard drive. The HD is recognized in the BIOS, and I have tried all manner of booting configurations, but the recovery cd will not work. When I turn it on there is a SONY logo, and the CD drive beings spinning, and then the cd abruptly stops as the black screen loads with "Operating System not found". The CD drive worked fine up until the HD crash, and the System Recovery CD is in mint condition. What could be wrong?

Also, while I am at it, I am not completely commited to windows at this point, and I have a completely blank hard drive, a cd drive and a floppy drive. What would anyone suggest as an alternative (as i am not going to pay for windows)? I am completely confused and SONY keeps telling me to take it in to them, which I will never do, I would rather smash it than pay them for something I already paid for years ago. They tried to charge me 30 dollars for a 1 minute phone call.

Thanks for your time, I would appreciate any information at all.
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Free operating systems


Freespire is a community-involved, Linux-based operating system that combines the best that free, open source software has to offer


Ubuntu is a community developed, linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers.


click on the link system recovery and recovery disc information at the above site

Troubleshooting a notebook computer that will not start to the System Recovery CD but will start to the hard drive.

Confirm that System Recovery CD #1 is inserted in the drive.
Clean the System Recovery CD with a soft dry cloth to ensure it is not dirty or damaged.
If another computer is available, try starting to the Recovery CD on that computer. If the computer starts to the CD and produces an error message stating that the CD is not for that computer, then the CD is good. If the second computer does not recognize the Recovery CD the CD may need to be replaced.
Reset the BIOS defaults.
Create a startup floppy disk for use in performing a system recovery with a non-natively supported CD/DVD drive.
Sony uses generic driver which will support the vast majority of PC CARD ATAPI CD/DVD drives.
Use of the Recovery CD should work regardless of the brand of CD/DVD drive, provided it is ATAPI compliant.
Sony does not maintain any list of CD/DVD drives that are known to allow a system recovery and does not guarantee that any particular CD/DVD drive from another manufacture will work at all.
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