Need a second opinion

By Cristy_m
Apr 9, 2010
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hey I was just handed a laptop running XP (sp2 I think). I was told it had a bad hard drive. I got it to boot once but it took a few times and I have tried again but can't get it to boot. Thing is I don't see a splash screen and it doesn't look to me like it is even trying to run post which makes me think it can't be the hard drive. No beep errors or anything just sits there. I have tried a few times to get into set up to see if I can run a fresh install from a CD but I can't seem to get into set up either. I don't want to spend the money on a new drive if that isn't what is wrong. Any ideas?
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    first thing i would do is remove the hard drive altogether and turn the computer on, just to see if you get the normal POST screen and the "OS not found" message. this step is merely meant to serve as a quick test for the other hardware in the laptop. i would also make sure to set the CD-ROM drive as the first device in the boot order, from within the BIOS settings.

    now, when you say you got it to boot... is that all the way to desktop (i.e. Windows XP has fully loaded) or just beyond the start up screen? have you tried booting into safe mode? the most important thing here is being able to boot from a CD, so you'll need to get that sorted so you can run some tools or just reinstall the OS. if there is something wrong with the hard drive you will most likely run into something while setup reformats the drive.
  3. Cristy_m

    Cristy_m Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Start w/o HD is a great idea! Yes I got it to boot to a desktop I wanted to see if could create it's own system disks like mine does because I don't have them. I planned on using slipdisks instead.

    My second try booting a few days later was into setup so I could see if it was set to start to CD in the Bios and was not able to get it to start at all.

    The only thing I know about the problem before was it was acting erratic (hmmm helpful).
  4. Cristy_m

    Cristy_m Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 55

    O.K removing the HD (booting and replacing) worked I can now reboot and get into set up and reboot and start up again. Next step is to wipe the HD. (deep breath here) I don't have start disks so I plan to use a slip disk with SP2. I have reset the BIOS to see CD first. Anyone see any giant pitfalls to this?
  5. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    If you can get the setup disks to boot and run you shouldn't encounter any problems unless the hard drive is in fact faulty or something. Personally, I would slipstream SP3 using a SP2 disk with nLite... but you'd need an OEM XP disk for that. Either way you'll need a valid CD-Key corresponding to the Windows flavor you are using (Home Edition, Pro, Media Center etc..) but the process of reinstalling is pretty straightforward.

    If you're having trouble wiping the HDD for any reason, you can try KillDisk by Active software.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    An MS XP retail disk should also work. (In general i think MS retail disk are less likely to be problems... i've had problems before slipstreaming Dell XP install CD. I'd since read the OEM disks can sometimes be problematic because their customizations in the $OEM$ folder)

    In any case, is good to attempt slipstreaming with nLite :)

    /* edit */
    with the problems i refer above with Dell XP the slipstream itself kept failing. I couldn't create a slipstreamed version. Had to call and yell at Dell to get my SP3 disk!
  7. Cristy_m

    Cristy_m Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 55

Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.