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[SOLVED] Computer not starting up!

1218 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  mroach
I have had my computer off for quite a while b/c I have been busy at work. I went to turn it on and the numbers started running like usual at the top but then they stopped and the non-system disk message popped up. All my drives are empty so I struck a key to continue and the message will not go away and the computer won't do anything. Someone told me that sometimes when computers have been off a while they tend not to recognize the hard drive when they first start back up but I don't know what to do. I need my computer! Any suggestions. Thanks!
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Hi mroach, welcome to TSG...

Do you know how to access your bios setup to see if the drives are recognized there?

On startup, try pressing the DEL key, F 10 if you have a Compaq, other machines try F 1 or F 2......take a look around for hard drive information.......
if you have a boot up disk insert it and see if u can get to c:
then if not take cover off see if conections are tight, try diff conection to see if hard drive spin
Thanks for the help! I will try both suggestions. It is a Compaq so the F10 may work if not I will try taking a look inside. Thanks again. I do not want to pay someone to do what I can do myself! :)
you should copy the io.sys and msdos.sys to the hard drive again they should be on your boot disk if you have one
If the computer you are on is running the same version of Windows as the problem one, you can create a startup disk by going to Add/Remove programs (in the Control Panel)

Alternately, you can create one by downloading the appropriate file from

For further troubleshooting review the suggestions here:

To use the fdisk command to verify the hard drive I would suggest using the command from the a:\> prompt:

fdisk /status

you want to see whether your hard disk space and partition info is properly seen.
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Sorry I took so long mroach but this is a crazy time with finals and I also have a 12 page research paper to work on... looks like you are in good hands though. Have you gone into your bios yet? If your hard drive is there then try this: (BTW... what are your spces... what devices, ect.) if you have more than one hard drive temperarily take them them except for the master. Try booting with nothing but the cpu, ram, hard drive and video. Either take out the floppy or you can disable it in your bios by clicking on the "1.44 mb drive A" and setting it to disabled. This disables it so the compter wouldn't look for it at all. Doing this will help you narrow down the problem if it is an error with a drive. Could be the floppy so in that case disabling the floppy should let the computer boot. If it boots then piece the computer back together piece by piece and then you will know what is causing the problem. I have sometimes gotten that same problem before and one time the floppy was damaged (accidentally pushed pin8 in all the way--don't ask how) and the other time the hard drive was damaged. (completely failed not too long after) On compaqs I get that message a lot for no reason. Do you have an older one? (as in older than 2 years) I think on those it has to do with compaqs diagnostic utilities and the fact that compaq doesn't deal with the boot sector with conventional means. If something is wrong with the OS or if something is wrong with the HD or it isn't connected properly then it sometimes gives you this error. Usually if the hard drive isn't connected properly or not recognized you get "no OS found" but with a compaq you never know what will happen. :rolleyes:
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And please don't copy Msdos.sys to your hardrive from the boot diskette as suggested earlier. You'll have bigger problems after that since the Msdos.sys file on the boot diskette is essentially empty. It could be corrected if you've already done it but you really don't want to do the copy.
Thanks. I have tried a lot since I checked this. I tried to run a boot disk but couldn't find my CD so it wouldn't let me go any further. Then the next day I went in and is said that there were no fixed disks. It is not detecting my hard drive so now I can't even run my boot disk.
Check in your bios and see if your HD is detected there. (F10 for compaqs right after the memory check)
Thanks everybody... As it turns out it is not worth what it will cost me to fix it... I tried everything and then it starting saying no fixed disks.... So I brought it to my tech person at work and they took a look at it and said that I would have to replace the hard drive which would cost me about $300 to do considering my Compaq is at least 10 years old and I would have to order the parts. . . So, I am not going to worry about it. My tech person has a Pentium with more memory and that is newer for less than it will cost to fix mine so I am going to do that. Thanks so much for the advice.
:eek: $300 to replace a hard drive :confused: I hate to make your tech dude look like a thief trying to sell you some junk he wants to get rid of...but a hard drive for your machine (even a Compaq) will not cost you more then $50 !!!

Go to Computer Geeks and take a look! I highly recommend these people!
He said that the hard drive is not the only thing wrong... It is so screwed up that it would be like rebuilding it. I wanted a newer one anyway... It's a pentium with 226 so it has more memory than my old one and a newer version of Windows and office... Do you think that $225 is a rip off for that?
I slipped... I meant to say that it is a Compaq 266... what do you think?
Second hand is no warranty. Not being a tech you may be buying a lot of hardware problems you don't need. Parts wear out. If it were my decision I would buy a new computer from Dell. No Compaq's or Hp's. You need to know what you are getting for your money. Look into the prices. You may find that you are pleasantly surprised.
Thanks for the advice!
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