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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Dell machine running Windows XP Home. It was working fine all day yesterday, but this morning when trying to start up, I receive the error message "Operating System not Found." What's going on here?
 

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hmmm.... it can be one of two things your hard drive has failed ( meaning bad sector or such) or someone fdisked your computer.... to see if your files are there do a DIR under the c prompt .... or u can see if your files are still there if u took that hard drive and slaved it on another computer to view.... worth a shot
 

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If it is NTFS it is a little more difficult to tell what has happened. Unless you have a special boot disk, I'm not sure how you are going to look at the C: drive.

First I would open the case, and double check that both cables to the hard drive are firmly connect to both the drive and motherboard. They can work their way loose, especially the data ribbon cable. Sometimes they even look good and you need to remove them and put them on again (one at a time).

If that doesn't work then likely you will need to do a repair install of XP.
 

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Try doing a Fixboot C:

It writes a new partition boot sector to the system partition. It is only available when you are using the Recovery Console from the XP CD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's a laptop computer so I'm not sure exactly how to go about about opening the case. Also not sure about some of the terms used in the previous posts:
"fdisked"
"NTFS"
 

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cmcnally,
fdisk is a utility program used to format (erase) a harddrive. NTFS is a 'file system' that is used by Windows XP and 2000 to store data on a harddrive. You may have NTFS on your computer or you could possibly have another file system called Fat32. Either is acceptable, NTFS is newer and offers more security options. That aside, it sounds like a 'possible' harddrive failure. Do you have a WindowsXP disc and will your computer boot from it? If so then you can try the repair options mentioned. HTH

B :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright, hard drive failure it is. I talked to Dell tech support for about 40 minutes and we tried removing it and putting it back in, recovery, and reseting by removing the battery...with no success. Even trying to reinstall XP it just says Windows setup cannot continue because the system cannot detect the hard drive. Dell is sending a new one immediately. Not sure if anyone has any suggestions for how to recover the My Documents folder, or any reason why this may have happened, or even something Dell didn't think of, but seems to me the horse is dead for all intents and purposes.
 
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