operating system not found?

By pdmusic ยท 13 replies
Jan 17, 2007
  1. I have an old Compaq Presario that I discarded due to the message 'operating system not found'.

    I recently decided to see if it had any use before discarding and replaced the hard drive with a newer one with more memory.

    I continue to get the 'operating system not found' message and have not been able to get it to restore.

    It seems to me that the hard drive is not being recognized. Is there anything I can do besides discarding????

  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415


    Why bother, it wont run XP or 2K and Win98 is so out of date now, be kind to it and retire it to a second hand shop for someone else to make use of.
  3. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    'operating system not found' probably means that the BIOS can't find an OS on the drive. This problem wont go away if you just replace the drive, you need to reinstall the OS (XP, 9x or whatever you use) on the drive before it can find it.

    If it's a very old computer, you may be able to put Linux on it (depends on how old it is) instead of Windows.
  4. pdmusic

    pdmusic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    os not found

    The only reason not to trash it is to give it away to a HS student who would like to run some basic SAT programs and maybe some word processing.

    If I can make it work, great. If not, in the trash.

    In the meantime; as it seems that the bios do not recognize the drive; is there anything I can do to correct that or is it a hardware problem that is not worth fixing?

  5. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    "operating system not found" does not necessarily mean that the bios doesn't recognize the drive.
    Try to press del or F10 while the computer is starting up then look if the drive is listed inside the bios.
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    You may be able to install a "bootable" PCI IDE controller, and conntect the drive to it.

    I just finished replaceing a Maxtor 2GB drive with an 8GB Fujitsu drive in a 1996 NEC Windows 95A mid-tower computer. The Maxtor hard drive was shot, believe it or not... The system wouldn't take Windows 98SE at all! It has an Intel chipset and 80MB of system RAM. This beast was probably a lot of cash when it was new. I charged the customer $45. The system wouldn't take a PCI NIC either
  7. pdmusic

    pdmusic TS Rookie Topic Starter


    thanks for the help. when i get into fixed disk setup after hitting DEL, I get four lines:

    * IDE Adapter 0 Master (none)
    *IDE Adapeter 0 Slave (none)
    *IDE Adapter 1 Master (none)
    *IDE Adapter 1 Slave (none)

    Does this help?? I think it shows the drive is unrecognized?
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Yes you have no hard drive or CD ROM detected by the bios. Can you look a little further and see if the IDE detect is set to "auto"?
  9. pdmusic

    pdmusic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    so far have not found an 'auto' setting but will continue to look.

  10. pdmusic

    pdmusic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    oprating system no found

    I was able to find an auto mode but to no avail. Could make changes to the sectors and cylinders but no real 'auto' correct.

    Again, not sure if it's a software or hardware problem.
  11. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,975   +9

    Make sure all of the cables are in tightly. Also, which hard drive are you using; the new one or the old one? The new one has no operating system on it, so nothing should boot.
  12. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    How is the hard drive configured? CS (cable select) or Primary Master...
  13. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    Make sure the IDE cables are completely secure.
  14. pdmusic

    pdmusic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    First thing was to replace the cable. No help. Using the new hard drive but I don't think the CD is being recognized either so unable to restore or to reinstall an earlier version of windows. I know that Compaq has propriotary software and the best thing woud probably be to restore to the original if would recognize the two drives.

    Thanks again in advance.
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