I'm not a beginner when it comes to computers but am quite stumped by what's going on and would like an opinion from some experts!
I recently acquired a Samsung X25 Laptop (1.86 Celeron M processor).
I got it without a hard drive or RAM.
So I tried to start it up (from battery as I'm waiting for a power supply, should have it in a few days). All the lights turned on, but the screen didn't and nothing happened.
I then got some DDR 2 ram for it (1GB) and put it in. Turned it on and hey presto the CD drive made some whiny noises, and the BIOS screen came up. In setup (F2) it recognized the ram and showed the CD/DVD Rom.
Before going out and buying a new hard drive for it (and using the laptop), I figured I'd try it with one of my USB 2.5" drives.
The 80GB 2.5" drive wasn't erased, and was formatted as FAT32. I put it in and the laptop wouldn't go past the bios screen. I then changed the jumper on the hard drive from 'Cable Select' to 'Master', and the laptop recognized it in setup, but wouldn't do anything else, and just had a blinking cursor.
I have a XP Pro (SP2) installation CD so put that in, and it will not boot. CD Drive is recognized in setup, and is set to be the first booting device (followed by removable media and then hard drives). Yet the computer doesn't boot from CD, it's almost like it doesn't recognize it.
The CD is fine since my Intel macbook boots from it.
So I figured there was something wrong with the hard drive so I backed everyhting up, and formatted it to NTFS. Put it in and the computer wouldn't even recognize it in setup, and I got a 'Operating system not found' error.
So I tried to reformat it to FAT32 again, and it still says 'Operating system not found'
I went into setup and changed the primary hard drive settings from "Auto" to "user" (Other options were removable ATAPI drive, CD/DVD-ROM etc.) and upon restarting it recognized the hard drive as "80062MB" or something like that (whereas before formatting it recognized it as a different name). Now that it's recognized it I get just a blinking error after the BIOS again. The CD still won't boot.
I have tried booting it from a USB stick (on which I installed XP) in which case it says Invalid Drive, and I have also tried to install XP onto the laptop's hard drive via USB on my macbook, but in XP Install when I select it it says "this hard drive cannot be accessed for installation etc. etc. etc.".
Yet upon plugging the hard drive back into its USB enclosure it works absolutely fine in mac and windows (on my macbook) for both reading and writing.
So what is wrong with the samsung? Could it be that the CD drive is broken? How would I check it? Alternatively if the CD drive is fine why is it not booting from the XP CD?
I really appreciate any help and apologize if my post is mind-numingly boring and long, I just tried to describe everything as best I could,