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"Could not find OS", XP on a netbook


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#1 mollycule

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 06:38 PM

I'm fixing a friend's Dell Mini netbook. It's got a 16GB SSD with Windows XP, probably Home edition. When I try to turn it on, I get a black screen that says "Operating System not found." I restarted it and looked at the BIOS settings, and the BIOS does recognize that the hard drive is there, but it says 0MB for the HDD size although it says "STEC PATA 16GB-(PM) above it as to what drive it is. I loaded Ubuntu 10.10 on a flash drive and tried to run it live, but it wouldn't run, saying that there wasn't a place for it to work from because the hard drive's not working, essentially. I've been trying to get WinXP onto a flash drive - I have a ISO for the Pro edition - but to know avail. Could somebody walk me through either doing it via USB or LAN or something? Or is it even possible to save? From what I can gather, it just randomly happened out of nowhere - he turned it off one day and turned it back on to the black screen I've been getting.
Thanks in advance!

#2 sbaeder

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 07:36 PM

I loaded Ubuntu 10.10 on a flash drive and tried to run it live, but it wouldn't run, saying that there wasn't a place for it to work from because the hard drive's not working, essentially.

Hmmm...any "live" CD should be able to boot OK - maybe it was just getting hung up on the hard disk...Did you try any other of the "live" CD images or PE's avalable?

Even things like UBCD or a dos based environment on a USB boot disk would give you an idea of what's going on.

I've been trying to get WinXP onto a flash drive - I have a ISO for the Pro edition - but to know avail. Could somebody walk me through either doing it via USB or LAN or something? Or is it even possible to save? From what I can gather, it just randomly happened out of nowhere - he turned it off one day and turned it back on to the black screen I've been getting.
Thanks in advance!

I guessing you mean to be able to boot the XP installation disk off of a flash? See this link (RMPrepUSB) specifically for a detailed procedure to get your XP disk onto a flash drive.

Good Luck

#3 mollycule

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 08:57 PM

So I guess what I just typed didn't post...fabulous.

Hmmm...any "live" CD should be able to boot OK - maybe it was just getting hung up on the hard disk...Did you try any other of the "live" CD images or PE's avalable?

Yeah I thought that was weird too, but I ran it again so I could type out the exact text, and it loaded this time! I'll poke around and see what I can find.

I'm also looking at the tutorials, thanks! I've tried several other similar methods today, we'll see if I can finally get one to work...

#4 mollycule

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 09:01 PM

OK new development. Ubuntu isn't seeing the hard drive at all. Is there still a chance of restoring the drive by installing XP from a flash drive, do you think?

#5 steve6375

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 09:50 PM

If the BIOS is reporting a size of 0, then this indicates a serious problem. Probably a bad connection to the SSD card/drive (same is if it was a card reader with no media in the slot).
I suggest taking it apart as much as possible and having a look for bad connections or cards that have come out of their slots, etc. There are some videos on YouTube for how to take various ones apart.

#6 mollycule

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 10:04 PM

Also, I did the whole tutorial thing, and when I try to boot to disk (I changed the boot order in the Setup menu, and hit the key to bring up the boot options, and selected USB device), I just get a message saying "Remove media devices, press enter to restart."

#7 mollycule

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 10:08 PM

I suggest taking it apart as much as possible and having a look for bad connections or cards that have come out of their slots, etc. There are some videos on YouTube for how to take various ones apart.

OK I'll give that a shot, thanks.

#8 mollycule

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 11:34 PM

I opened up the back, and the SSD is just on a chip right there in the back behind an easy-to-remove panel, which is genius, thanks Dell. It's in there pretty solid, though. I couldn't even unscrew one of the screws to unseat and reseat it. I disabled booting from LAN, based on recommendation from other websites, and now the whole thing it was saying about PXE-E61 media cable failure is gone, it's just the "Operating System not found" message.
Any other ideas...?

#9 sbaeder

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 12:04 AM

Any other ideas...?

Sounds like something wrong with the disk (these SSD's tend to use a SATA type connection). I'm inferring from previouis posts that you COULD boot it off of a falsh drive into a "live" CD (linux or other), but that they just can't access the disk. If that is the case, sounds like the disk is TOAST (or as stated, it's just loose, but since you can't budge it, that doesn't sound likely). You might be able to find a replacement...

Does this model (by chance) have an SD card slot? If so, might be able to use it? Or, (and this is really stretching things), *IF* you can boot of a flash drive, can you somehow use a different computer to do an installation onto the flash, and just use it as the boot drive...Or put another way, If you can get it to boot into a "live" CD mode off a flash drive, you might be able to leverage that mode into a workable system...

Good Luck!

#10 mollycule

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 12:11 AM

You might be able to find a replacement...

I'll ask the guy who owns the computer if he might do that.

Does this model (by chance) have an SD card slot?

Yes it does, he was using an SD card in there (4 GB) to hold some files. Also, my computer has an SD slot too. I don't think my friend has much technical skill though, so he probably wants his Windows XP rather than Linux.

Thanks for all the help! I'll see if he's willing to buy a new SSD.

#11 mollycule

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 12:49 AM

Well I can't get one of the screws out now...so there goes the new hard drive idea...I'll just have him take it in to someone else. Darn :dubbio:




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