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operating system not found

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So I've got someone's computer they asked me to look at (completely computer illiterate) and it's got this lovely error on startup "operating system not found"

That's all it does...there's no options to enter setup or anything. I'm guessing HD or motherbaord. It's a strange computer. It's Dell case but the boot screen is HP, and it has two HDs. I'm not sure what the person who built it for him did, lol.

I was just curious what you guys think is more likely. If it's not enough info, I don't have much else beyond it shows the HP logo and the goes to the error.

I'm gonna pull out the two HDs and see if I can access them on my computer. Just wanted to know if you guys had any thoughts or suggestions.

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Well either its a HP board or someone flashed the bios with an HP rom.

as for operating system not found there are a number of reasons

There is no operating system (formated drive) = reinstall windows

Its trying to boot off the hard drive that doesn't have the MBR and stops there, Fix= try having one hard drive in at a time if the drives are IDE make sure the Jumper is on CS(Cable Select

Operating system is jacked up* = Fix Reinstall windows or try a repair installation http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/How-to-repa...ws-XP-t138.html

MBR is jacked up* http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_...s/wxprcons.html follw the 3,4,5 picture on the site then type FIXBOOT if its not availble than reinstall os. unless they set an admin password and you know it leave it blank

Cable is loose/bad =reseat cable/replace

IDE controller on MOBO is bad =new computer is in oreder Im guessing pentium 4 socket 478 = obsolete

Hard drive is bad.* = plug into other computer and test and run Chkdsk on it start>run>CMD> CHKDSK $: /r and yes to both $ = letter of drive

No boot order in BIOS

bad/loose ram

* = most likely

Test the hard drive first and run check disk on them bad sectors can do crazy stuff but the hard drive is allowed to have them. then try repair installation then install fresh OS

thats about all i can think of

Edited by capriceman

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Thanks capriceman. So far I've done the following:

Tried with one drive, test each one at a time.

Checked the cable connections. all good

Next I plan to test each drive in my comp, see what happens.

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simple 3, 4, 5 triangle did that kid not pay attention in class at all?

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I think Satty's ranking should be "Smartass Extordinare"

Yes, yes it should.

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Everyone has forgotten what this thread was originally about, haven't they?

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I haven't, but it has been pretty well hijacked. :P

On that note I want a witty title...but I have to come up with one. I hate coming up with titles/names.

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Actually thats my penis' new nickname. You can have his old nickname if you'd like. The Catburgler.

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