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Boot Up Problems

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I have a HP Pavilion ze4200 laptop running XP. We turned it on one day and it wouldn't boot up and got a message referring to something called lass.exe (I'm assuming a virus of some sort). Now when I try to boot it up, I get a message saying initializing MBA then a media test failure with cable not connected message. Then it goes on to say "Operating System Not Found" and then just sits there. I've tried starting in safe mode using F8 but it just beeps at me and then goes to the above mentioned. I've tried putting in the Operating System CD and it eventually shuts down on me saying it encountered an error with a big blue screen. When I try to use the Recovery Console it just gives me a C prompt and nothing works. I've even tried the "format C: \fs" command and it goes on to say that everything will be erased...proceed with format (y/n)? When I type Y it says its an invalid parameter and goes back to the C prompt. Bottom line is that there is nothing I can get it to do. Nothing on the hard drive is important and reformatting would not be an issue...I just want it to work again. I haven't installed anything new (software or hardware) and I didn't do anything unusual to it. I'm at a loss especially when I can't even boot into safe mode. I just want a working laptop without having to install a new hard drive. Any ideas????
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initializing MBA is an old method of booting to a network; operating system not found typically means there is no OS on the harddrive or floppy.

Is there a floppy disk in the drive?

Drop into bios, does it detect a harddrive?

What does the blue screen say?

the invalid paramete on format c: leads me to believe that you are booting to the cd, which is taking the c: designation....but, to check that, type

DIR at the prompt

(and what is the prompt? c:\windows or c:\)

When you use the recovery console, does it say CHOOSE OPERATING SYSTEM and allow you to pick a WINDOWS installation

And does it ask for a password?
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