Hewlett Packard NC4010 recovery

  nicklettin 12:52 21 Jul 2008

I suspect I'm about to ask the impossible here so I'm probably on a hiding to nothing before I start.

Some weeks ago, I was given an HP NC4010 laptop by my brother in law who knows nothing about computers. strange as this might appear, he bought it at a silly price (cheap) from some fete or other. On examining it subsequently, I discovered that to all intents and purposes, the drive has been completely wiped and for all I know, reformatted. The problem with this discovery is that it seems that not only has the data been erased, but the OS and the bios as well as there is no display whatsoever, not even a DOS prompt. The other rather strange anomaly with this particular laptop seems to be the absence of a CD-Rom drive. I took it to my brother over the weekend who works in IT to ask him if he knew a way of restoring it to working condition but he was of the opinion that since there was no bios and thus effectively no way of the machine functioning in any way, it was probably a lost cause. He thought the machine had been used on a network and it would appear that at some stage Windows XP Pro has been installed since the product key is still located on the base. Given this my guess is the computer is probably no older than 5 years old. Details of available RAM and so forth are not available at this time.

So the question is simply this: Is it completely dead, or is there some way of getting some sort of bios and thus enabling an OS to be installed? There are 2 USB ports, an ethernet port and phone port available.

I have a working knowledge of the Windows OS but not very extensive, so if there's any kind individual who has dealt with this kind of thing before, their help would be greatly appreciated since while the laptop isn't functioning at present, it seems to be pretty unscathed apart from this and for that reason alone, I'd like to keep it if it's possible to rejuvenate it. If as I suspect you're going to consign it to the bin, then it's no disaster I guess as it didn't cost me anything to start with.

Thank you for any advice you might be able to give.

  Pamy 13:53 21 Jul 2008

Mabe it only neads a new BIOS battery to get that going, worth a try for the price of a battery

  nicklettin 14:07 21 Jul 2008

Thank you Pamy, I hadn't even considered that possibility although something tells me it wouldn't be as simple as that, but yes, for the price of a battery that might be worth a crack.

Thank you for your time and trouble to respond.

  nicklettin 14:27 21 Jul 2008

I have just thought that maybe in my initial post I should have pointed out that when powering up the NC4010, there is absolutely no hard drive activity whatsoever. In the case of Pamy's suggestion, would there not be drive activity of SOME SORT? Even if the strength in the BIOS battery was not sufficient to power it up? I'm just throwing things out there really as on this particular issue I have no idea. Even if the BIOS was totally without power, and said battery was completely dead, if there was an OS present, wouldn't it at least attempt to run, even if the initial settings were lost?

So I suppose a well worn phrase could be applied here in that the lights are on but no-one's at home. :)

  Pamy 14:31 21 Jul 2008

BIOS, Basic input out put starts first and ussually gives a beep to say "All is well" the HDD should be spinning however, you may not hear it but you should feel it

  nicklettin 14:41 21 Jul 2008

Well I know the "beep" that you refer to Pamy and there certainly isn't one of those going on. When I refer to no hard drive activity, I probably mean that the drive indicator light isn't responding to any read/write requests as I might have expected. This is what prompted me to state there was no HDD activity but I take your point that the drive should be spinning regardless of this. I will have to fire it up again and see if I can feel it.

Thank you again Pamy for your quick response.

  PO79 15:28 21 Jul 2008

Have you physically checked to see if there is a hard drive in the laptop?

  nicklettin 15:47 21 Jul 2008

An interesting thought PO79. I hadn't considered this possibility since when powering on, there are various whizzing noises going on, one of which I automatically assumed was the drive. If Pamy's suggestion of renewing the BIOS battery doesn't amount to anything, then it would be sensible to look at the rest of the mechanics while the case is open.

Thank you for your angle on it PO79.

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