Avatar of tcexperts77
tcexperts77 asked on

Error loading Operating System

One of my Dell Optiplex 380 systems has been working fine for over 3 years now.
Today I turned it on and it had a black screen with a flashing cursor.
After a few minutes, I received the message "Error loading Operating System".
Using a different hard drive from an exact same system (I have 5) - same message.
I tried to run a repair from a Windows XP Pro install CD and I got the same message.
The Dell diagnostics (pre-boot) showed no problems with the hard drive or memory.
Please help!
JavaScriptMicrosoft Legacy OSPCDell

Avatar of undefined
Last Comment
nobus

8/22/2022 - Mon
kadafitcd

Make sure you're removed any CDs/DVDs/USB Flash Drives/External Hard Drives and try rebooting.  It may be trying to boot from one of those sources rather than from the Hard Drive.  I've seen this many times and mostly it's from a USB Flash Drive being connected and the BIOS automatically defaulting to try to boot from it.

Good Luck HTH.
ASKER
tcexperts77

The hard drives (note - more than one drive) are the size that came with the system.
Besides, it doesn't even boot from a CD.
This computer has nothing external plugged in except the keyboard & mouse.
Thanks for your efforts.
Gary

See if you can get into Safe Mode.
When booting keep pressing F8 after the initial bios check.

Have you installed any new software/drivers?
All of life is about relationships, and EE has made a viirtual community a real community. It lifts everyone's boat
William Peck
ASKER
tcexperts77

It doesn't go into safe mode - F8 doesn't do anything.
Nothing new was installed - nothing extra is connected.
ASKER
tcexperts77

Update:
I am able to boot using a XP Boot CD only if the hard drive is disabled in BIOS.
If the hard drive is enabled, I will get the "Error loading operating system" message
nobus

does that happing with another disk drive also?
i would start by resetting the bios  - does not seem very normal
but it can be another problem (motherboard) also
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
ASKER
tcexperts77

I have tried other hard drives with no success.
How would I reset the BIOS?
Could it be the hard drive controller?
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
nobus

Log in or sign up to see answer
Become an EE member today7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Members can start a 7-Day Free trial then enjoy unlimited access to the platform
Sign up - Free for 7 days
or
Learn why we charge membership fees
We get it - no one likes a content blocker. Take one extra minute and find out why we block content.
See how we're fighting big data
Not exactly the question you had in mind?
Sign up for an EE membership and get your own personalized solution. With an EE membership, you can ask unlimited troubleshooting, research, or opinion questions.
ask a question
Gary

In BIOS you will need to change the boot order to be able to get a CD to boot first otherwise it will keep looking at the hard drive first.
Or during the initial BIOS check press DEL of F2 then you should get options for what to boot from.
ASKER
tcexperts77

The cable was good, but Ididn't try another SATA port.
After switching with the CDROM drive, the PC booted OK!
Thank you!
Experts Exchange has (a) saved my job multiple times, (b) saved me hours, days, and even weeks of work, and often (c) makes me look like a superhero! This place is MAGIC!
Walt Forbes
ASKER
tcexperts77

I made a mistake!
The solution was actually written by Nobus - NOT GaryC123.
How do I fix this?
nobus

i asked a mod   - with request attention - to lokk into it
ASKER
tcexperts77

The following comment by nobus was what fixed my problem:

it can be anything on the mobo at this stage; you can test  also by using another sata and power cable - and on another sata port

Thank you!
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
nobus

thanks for the feedback, and points
ASKER
tcexperts77

You deserved it.
ASKER
tcexperts77

To nobus:
I have another one if you are interested...

See:
Cannot open some shortcuts on Windows XP desktop
This is the best money I have ever spent. I cannot not tell you how many times these folks have saved my bacon. I learn so much from the contributors.
rwheeler23
nobus

post the link please
ASKER
tcexperts77

Actually, to my surprise, it was fixed.
There may be other issues with that PC.
I will post a new question & let you know if that happens.
nobus

fair enough
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.