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Hard Drive not installed

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Attached File  eBay_Dell_Latitude_Plll_500Mhz_WinXP_Pro_Internet_DVD__item_6788829451_end_time_Jul_26_05_170318_PDT_.htm   119.89KB   34 downloads :tazz:
I purchased a Dell Latitude CPI off of ebay. To get onto my network at school I need to have up to date virus software, I need to have service packs 1/2 from microsoft for XP, and I need to have all of my updates for XP.

I did all of that. After I installed Service pack II the computer froze. Then when I restarted it the computer said that it could not find bootable devices. Then it said there was no hard drive. I do not know anything about computers I have no clue how the hard drive just up and disappeared. Can anyone help me?

The seller is willing to take it back and replace the hard drive. I just want to know if there is anything that I could do before I send it back.

I really need this computer.

The attachment is the listing with the information. Can someone help me out?
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Installing SP2 probably caused the problem -- it's become infamous for causing problems where none existed before. All you need is SP1, a third-party firewall, and a regularly updated antivirus application. Sp2 doesn't offer any security better than that. If you have your own copy of xp on cd, just re-install from scratch. Check Windows runs okay, then add SP1 NOT sp2. You'll know if C drive is okay as soon as xp setup starts. If it won't install then take up the guy's offer and send it back.
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Attached File  eBay_Dell_Latitude_Plll_500Mhz_WinXP_Pro_Internet_DVD__item_6788829451_end_time_Jul_26_05_170318_PDT_.htm   119.89KB   34 downloads :tazz:
Then when I restarted it the computer said that it could not find bootable devices.  Then it said there was no hard drive. 

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Hi there

Based on these 2 error messages, I suspect one of three things has happened:

1. Either one or more of the boot files on the hard drive have been deleted/corrupted.

2. The MBR/file allocation tables of the drive have been corrupted

3. The drive itself is physically damaged & can no longer be detected by the system.

Switch the laptop on & press the F2 key a few times as soon as the screen comes up (or when the Dell logo appears). This should get you into the bios setup. From there, on the first page you should see the hard drive & the CD/DVD rom drive listed. If the hard drive entry is reported as 'not installed' or 'none', then the drive has failed & you should return the laptop.

If the drive is present, then try booting from the XP CD & use the recovery console to try & repair the windows installation. If the recovery console reports no hard drive present, then return the laptop to the guy you bought it from. The drive may well be repairable but unless you are experienced in these procedures, i wouldn't bother attempting it as it can be very complicated.
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