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Operating system not found error on startup


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#1
The Architect

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I have a Compaq Presario 1200 laptop - when powered on, I get a "Operating System not Found" error.

I have tried booting with the startup disk (Windows ME) and I get a message indicating that Windows ME did not detect a valid FAT or FAT32 partition, and I'm given three options to fix the problem.

The first is: partition the drive! (DUH!) - OK, when I fdisk, a message flashes at the bottom of the screen: "Unable to access drive 1" (BTW, the other two options don't seem to apply - I'm NOT using third party partitioning software, and the laptop has NEVER been connected to the internet, so I'm relatively sure it's not a virus problem - granted, viruses don't come JUST from the net...but how would I check for a virus when I can't boot the machine??).

SO, I tried to run SETUP, and do a clean install, and I get "Setup cannot install Windows on your computer.
An error was detected while trying to read or write to your hard disk."

I've tried scanreg /restore and scandisk /all (including /surface) - with no luck - and the machine will not start in safe mode.

The helpfile suggests that the CMOS settings might be corrupted - but I can't find out how to check this (I've tried to verify everything in the BIOS...)

Can anybody help? I'll try anything!!
Thanks for your time!
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#2
shard92

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Sounds like your hard drive may have gone bad. It's also possible it's the interface... unfortunately on a laptop that generally means replace the mother borad ( lots of $$$ unless it's under warranty )

First thing I'd do is check the bios and see that the hard drive is detected... If it is you need to find out what brand hd it is. Then go to the companies website and download their hard drive utility to scan the drive...

Really does sound like a dead drive though so good luck.
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#3
The Architect

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Thanks for the quick reply!

Unfortunately, I suspected that the drive was toast...but I had to try! :tazz:
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