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Laptop Harddrive Problem -- "Operating System not Found"

Posted on 2006-04-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Please help me with this problem:

1.  I have a Compaq Presario Laptop Running XP Pro
2.  When I boot up the computer, I receive the "Operating System Not Found Error"

Additional notes:
1.  When I check the bios, the harddrive is not detected.
2.  When I plug the harddrive into another computer, as a slave, it is detected and loads up correctly.
3.  I am able to boot up with a XP installation disk, but when I attempt to repair or reinstall windows, I receve a "No Harddrive attached, setup will now exit" error.
4.  I have reattached and reseated all components.

Help?
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Question by:johnkirin
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16 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:tim_qui
tim_qui earned 200 total points
ID: 16462467
Boot from the Windows CD. It has three options: Recovery Console, Repair Installation, and Normal Installation.

Try the Recovery Console. It should scan your hard drive and detect Windows installations, and ask you which one you want to examine. It may ask for your administrator password. Then it should give you a C: prompt. Get a directory (dir) and if it looks okay (no garbled text) and reports the free space, things are probably okay.

If you get to this point with no trouble:

At the C prompt, say FIXMBR <enter>. I'm not sure what kind of output it gives, but it should rewrite your master boot record. Then at the next C prompt, say FIXBOOT then enter. That'll rewrite your partition boot record. The two boot records are the first steps to booting the operating system.

Now, try booting without the CD. If it boots, then the FIXMBR and FIXBOOT worked.

http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum105/252.htm

http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org/how_do_i_remedy_an_operating_sys.htm
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Accepted Solution

by:
Hassan_Chop earned 200 total points
ID: 16462573
I’m not a laptop expert but what you describing to me sounds like a bad IDE controller issue.
Since the drive is recognized by other mobos then the drive is okay.

Were this a desktop I’d tell you to go and buy an IDE controller card but that don’t work in Laptops.

One contact HP see what they say especially if you have warranty.
Two try looking in eBay for a either a same Mobo or the same laptop.  

My two cents.
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Author Comment

by:johnkirin
ID: 16462575
Sorry, that did not work
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Author Comment

by:johnkirin
ID: 16462583
Setup did not detect and hard disk drives installed on your computer
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 16462600
Note Hassan_Chops post.  He's on the right track.

If the BIOS doesn't see it then the Windows XP CD isn't going to see it either.

It's possible that the IDE cable has become disconnected at the laptop motherboard end and this is why its not being seen.

Its a repair shop job for them to dismantle and examine.

But if its under warranty use it.
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Author Comment

by:johnkirin
ID: 16462736
Ok guys, I went through and took the laptop apart.  There is no IDE cable.  Instead, I have a regulator board that connects the battery and the hard drive.  For a better idea, see http://www.laptopking.com/boards/958952.jpg

Because the battery charges the unit, I would not suspect that the entire board is damaged-- do you suspect something else?

thoughts?  suggestions?
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Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 400 total points
ID: 16462828
Just a wild thought.

PC BIOSes have options to enable IDE channels.  For example you can enable and disable either one of the two IDE channels.  Your laptop BIOS may have this as well.  Wouldn't hurt to check.

Apart from trying another laptop hard disk in the computer, no more ideas.
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Author Comment

by:johnkirin
ID: 16462973
I have tried a different laptop harddrive in the computer.  It did not work.
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Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 400 total points
ID: 16462979
So its definitely computer or the little regulator board.

Time to take it to repair shop or dealer.
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Author Comment

by:johnkirin
ID: 16463005
I wuld like to fix this myself....  if I were to order a part, the regulator is the best bet?
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:Chicko
Chicko earned 200 total points
ID: 16464355
Sound like the only place your going to get answers is Compac. They may say yes, thats the part that has failed the most... Doubt it. I think I'd start with that one and then work on up the line (the next more than likely the MB). Unless you know anyone at a Compac repair joint then I think thats a good start.
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Author Comment

by:johnkirin
ID: 16464419
humm... the problem there is getting in contac with someone at Compaq who knows anything about computers....
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Expert Comment

by:Chicko
ID: 16464529
They probly out source their service to different companies just like all the rest, order the part from their spare parts dept (if you cannot get in contact with them, there is a real issue).
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Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 16465072
First of all, you have to make sure the hard drive detected in BIOS, then you can do installation or repair. The issue you described indicated that the hard drive is not detected yet. Are you able to get in BIOS? Do you have other laptop hard drive, if so, plug in your compaq laptop see if you could see it detected?
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Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 16465084
Oop, sorry I missed reading other posts regarding using other laptop hard drives.
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Author Comment

by:johnkirin
ID: 16465914
Thanks for the great effort in solving this problem.  
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