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XP 'operating system not detected'

(7 Posts)
retiredgoth2 Sun 07-Jun-09 11:48:27

....I am now greatly regretting buying a second hand Windows thing for a child's birthday.

Macs I understand. This thing however....

....has now simply started displaying a black screen on startup with the text 'operating system not detected'.

Does this mean it is totally fucked irredeemably broken?

Or is there a potential remedy?

onagar Sun 07-Jun-09 13:50:20

Can you get into the BIOS?.

Typically this means repeatedly tapping the DEL key while it starts up. Some use F keys but it should display the choice at startup even without windows working.

Getting into the bios would at least tell you that parts of it are working and it should say if it can detect a hard drive which might be the first step.

Is this a desktop PC, laptop or something else?

onagar Sun 07-Jun-09 13:52:16

You don't have a CD/floppy left in it do you? There are situations where you might get a msg like that if it thinks you intended to boot from the floppy/CD and it can't.

retiredgoth2 Sun 07-Jun-09 14:30:32

Ah... I think there is a disc in it.

I will give it a try, thank you!

(it's an aging Fujitsu laptop)

retiredgoth2 Sun 07-Jun-09 14:42:53

Have tried as suggested.

Get same screen with text 'media test failure, check cable'

and 'operating system not found'

onagar Sun 07-Jun-09 15:10:23

The trouble is the error msgs are often misleading.

Does it say something about 'PXE' on the same line before the 'media test failure, check cable'?

If so that could mean it couldn't boot from the drive and is now trying to boot from LAN (that's failing too as it would since you won't be set up for that)

Which takes you back to the hard drive not working I'm afraid. If you can get into the BIOS/SETUP and if it says it's detecting the hard drive then it could mean that Windows is corrupted, but that the hard drive is connecting ok.

If it's not detecting the drive in the bios at all then I'd check the cables to the drive, but I'm not sure how that will work on a laptop. Might be hard to get to and unlike desktop PCs they are generally done so they can't simply slip out. I think some are reachable from a panel underneath.

If windows is corrupted there are things you could normally do, but they mostly assume you have the install CD (which has repair options) and perhaps a driver CD.

retiredgoth2 Sun 07-Jun-09 16:17:09

It does say PXE, yes... it seems that it is likely to be either a failure of the drive itself or a connecting cable.

I'll take it to our local PC repair place tomorrow...

Thanks for your aid!

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