Operating system not found

  TobiasSmollett 10:30 07 Mar 2008

I have a Acer travel mate 2420 laptop, which has started playing up. When turned on it gives the message "Operating system not found" I can still get into the BIOS screen.

Is this likely to be a problem with the windows XP, or a problem with the hard drive?

I can't find my Windows set up disc to try to reinstall, and don't want to buy another one if it isn't going to resolve the problem.

I'd be grateful for any advice.

  Taff™ 10:50 07 Mar 2008

It sounds like the BIOS can`t see the Hard Disk Drive and therefore "Operating system not found". This might indicate a complete failure of the drive. You say it has started to play up - If you can get it to boot - backup now!

You could see if the BIOS identifies the drive correctly. If you remove the HDD and then replace it that might make a difference by ensuring the contacts are clean. Otherwise I would suggest putting it into a USB caddy and seeing if you can see the data on another computer.

Failing that perhaps a Repair install of XP?

  ventanas 10:57 07 Mar 2008

The favourite is a failed hard drive. As Taff says, try to find a way to back up anything you need.
I would also suggest that you find your installation discs as you will need these to reinstall.

When put together the cost of a retail copy (you cannot buy OEM) of XP and a new hard drive would probably come to more than a new laptop. Perhaps worth considering. To avoid such an expense you must find your discs, which will also contain the the drivers etc for your machine.

  woodchip 11:06 07 Mar 2008

Master Boot Record is Corrupt i.e MBR you may fix this using the XP CD Running it at start the at Command Prompt Type FIX /MBR

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:17 07 Mar 2008

If you can see the drive in BIOS ten its ok.

If drive fauly then error message is unable to find hard drive.

Therefor you have corrupt files on drive either master boot record (MBR) or the boot files for the operating system.
for XP they are NTdect.com. NTLDR, Boot.ini

  TobiasSmollett 12:21 07 Mar 2008

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to my plea for help. I'll try out all of the options and keep my fingers crossed!

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