Operating System not found - dead HD ? retrive data !

By premb
Aug 15, 2006
  1. Hi
    A few days back I ran a cell-phone related applications and it installed 2-3 new drivers. I did not have to restart my system but windows created a restore point. The applications worked fine. Late that evening, I restarted my laptop and while it was shutting down, I happened to remove a USB wire that was connected to my laptop (USB wire to download pics from a digital camera). The windows could not start from that point onwards. When I power ON its gives me the screen with 'COMPAQ' printed on it for a minute or two and then a blank screen with error 'Operating system not found'. I cannot hear any noise (fan, spinning, cycle) for the HD is initiated. Also when I went into BOIS setup (PhoneixBIOS setup) I have only 3 tabs - Main, Boot and Exit. Under MAIN, I do not see any hard drive listed (primary, master, slave etc). Under BOOT, I have removable media on the top and HARD Drive on the bottom. I did a 'Load Default', verified that all drives were empty and removed all external connections (external Hard drive and external DVD writer) but still it gives me the same error on start up.
    This is a Compaq Presario 2710US Notebook.
    Processor: 1.13 GHz Intel Pentium III
    Number of Processors: 1
    RAM: 512 MB
    RAM Type: SDRAM
    Hard Drive: 20 GB
    CD-RW: 8x (write)
    DVD-ROM: 8x
    Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition
    Bundled Software: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, America Online, Microsoft Encarta Online Deluxe Encyclopedia - 1 year subscription, Microsoft Works 6.0, Microsoft Money 2001, Norton Anti-Virus, Microsoft Media Player 7, Roxon Easy CD Creator 5.01, Studio DV, Interview Winded 3.0
    Display Viewable Size: active-matrix
    Display Viewable Size: 15 inches
    Weight: 7.9 pounds

    I need to get some data restored from this HD (or the entire HD working preferably)

  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    1) The first thing you need to find out is whether the HD is gone to heaven. If you have an XP CD put it in the drive and boot from it, you will get an option to repair a damaged install, if windows is found and its repairable your done.

    2) If however windows isnt found and the HD has indeed died then dont you wish you had backed up your important data, sorry to sound hard but it should be second nature to any PC user to remember the golden rule.

    3) If you dont have an XP disk then download a boot disk from here, use this disk to see if your HD is showing, if it does then use the disk to get your files of (assuming they will fit on a floppy). If however with the floppy the HD doesnt show see point number 2.

    4) If the files are to big and the disk is recoverable then get hold of a 2.5 to 3.5 HD adaptor from any PC spares shop, slave the drive to a PC and pull the files off it, you will need to change ownership of the HD on the PC to access it, oh and it must be running XP or 2K.

  3. premb

    premb TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thx Ididmyc600
    I have an external 160GB hard drive and thank-god I had taken a back up a few weeks back. its just that few IMPORTANT files after the last back up. I do not have a XP CD as it came loaded with my laptop. I will download bootdisk from the place you recommend (but should I use a XP bootdisk - will this wipe of data on the HD, OR should I use a win98 Bootdisk.) Also These is quick XP bootdisk on the link you have mentioned. should i use that file?

    And to add more, I am in a deeper soup now..

    Scenario - system booted and then failed again

    This morning when I went into BIOS and under BOOT I changed the order to have Hard Drive first

    (previously I have removable drive, CD drive and then hard drive). The windows boot fine and

    everything seemed to be resolved.

    But then when loading some applications (default on start up like Nortan anti virus, firewall
    Etc) the system hanged-up (I was also connecting the USB cable at this point of time -
    The same USB cables for camera that I had removed while shutdown earlier when the HD failed on


    I restarted the system and back to the same error - 'Operating system not found'. I did some more

    experiments with the BIOS in changing the ORDER of boot having different
    Drives on the top and then save-exit, power-cycle and start but it keeps on having the same error

    'Operating System Not Found'

    On entering BIOS I get the following
    CPQ Presario 2700 BIOS version HJ1 Q0f0f0
    CPU = Intel (R) Pentium (R) III-M 1133Mhz
    640 K system Ram Passes
    510 M Extended Ram Passed
    System BIOS Shadowed
    Video BIOS shadowed
    UMB upper limit segment address: E631
    ATAPI CD-ROM: SR-C8102
    Mouse initialized

    Entering setup..

    any suggestions
  4. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    No use the bootdisk I gave the link for it will create a disk capable of reading the NTFS file system in XP.

    As for the rest of the post I think your HD is definately on its way out, I would consider rescueing what you can and buying a new drive.

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