Boot - no operating system

  Hansel 16:14 17 Nov 2011

I had an old laptop, 10/12" running Windows XP Home, which I gave to my mother-in-law and she has used this purely for playing solitaire type games. All had been OK up until recently when the message given out on booting was something to the effect of a missing file is preventing start-up. The laptop does not have a CD/DVD drive nor a floppy drive but it does have one USB port but this does not show in the booting order of the BIOS. In view of this, I was unable to attempt to load the missing file but decided to remove the hard drive, attach it to my PC, format and then copy the i386 folder from a Windows XP Home disk and then replace the hard drive back into the laptop. My understanding was that, having ensured the boot sequence was correct for the hard drive to be the first in the boot order, the laptop should then boot thus enabling me to run setup on the XP Home disk from an external CD/DVD drive attached then to the laptop. However, it will not boot and I get the message "no operating system". I had previously changed the boot order so that the CD/DVD player was first boot when I attempted to boot from the external CD/DVD player but that did not work. It seems that the BIOS is not recognising either the hard drive or, previously, the CD/DVD drive. Is anyone able to suggest any other methods on how I can get the laptop to boot? My mother-in-law is going absolutely spare!!!!

  ICF 16:36 17 Nov 2011

  ICF 16:41 17 Nov 2011
  ICF 16:45 17 Nov 2011
  Hansel 17:47 17 Nov 2011

Thanks for you responses ICF. I have tried one or two of these, albeit not perhaps fully, and I will read through the threads with interest.

  Hansel 12:31 18 Nov 2011

I am pulling my hair out in desperation. Following one of the guides I have formatted (FAT32) my laptop hard drive using my desktop PC and transferred to it the i386 folder from Win XP. I have also downloaded smartdrv.exe and placed this on the hard drive. In different sessions, I have added MSDOS 7.10 Full Installation to the drive - this was in the form of a burnt ISO and the files included were Makeboot, MSDOS71B, DI and Filedisk plus other set-up files. This did not work so instead of the 7.10 Full Installation files, which I removed, I placed MSDOS 7.10 Boot Disk on the drive instead – this comprised the essential Makeboot, File disk etc files mentioned above. Still no joy. Finally, I have also placed on the drive, in addition to the 7.10 Boot Disk, files from the downloaded folder WinImage but again nothing. I have tried all the above using two different laptop hard drives but the end result is always "no operating system" when attempting to boot. I must be doing something wrong - can I seek further help please?

  ICF 12:43 18 Nov 2011

Have you done what it says on page 5 of the first guide:-

"When you turn on the laptop DOS should load, otherwise select it from the list

  • run smartdrv.exe (type C:\smartdrv.exe at command prompt)

  • run 16bit Windows XP installer (type C:\I386\winnt.exe)"

I have never done this myself so I not speaking form experience.Did you install Dos on the drive or just copy and paste it onto the drive?

  Hansel 15:28 18 Nov 2011

Did not get the opportunity to do anything with smartdrv or winnt as the only thing that comes up at boot is "no operating system" and I cannot enter anything then. As regards the MS-DOS, with the iso file I just copied the files in the burnt ISO to the laptop hard drive. Similarly, when using the MS-DOS Boot Disk, I just copied the files to the hard drive after using WinRAR. How could I install DOS on to the laptop drive from my desktop? This drive is labelled G and I don't see how I would be able to actually install it. Again, I would be grateful for your further advices, if possible. Thanks again.

  ICF 15:48 18 Nov 2011

You should be installing dos like This

  ICF 16:31 18 Nov 2011

What's the make and model number of the laptop

  ICF 16:31 18 Nov 2011

What's the make and model number of the laptop

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