I am looking at this one for a friend. It is a Dell Inspiron 2500 running WinXP Pro. POST is OK, but it gives an "Operating System not found" error after POST on some occasions, boots normally on others. The OS also gets unstable at times. I was told that it would sometimes randomly open old text files without being told to, and then lock up. With the error message, I am thinking maybe the HD is going, but I don't have another to test it with. What do y'all think?

Well it could be a virii issue, also a boot sector virus. Other then it would have to be a faulty Harddrive, or maybe a currupt file in XP, i would recommend a better OS. lol. Hardcore 98!. Justplaying.

If you have the Dell Startup Disc I would start with a format and reinstall.
I would suspect a corrupt OS/Virus from your description.

Virus was my first thought. I have scanned with a recently updated copy of AVG, both under Windows and via the AVG bootable "rescue disk". Both report back clean. Looking more and more like a bad harddrive, but I don't have another to test with, and hate to tell him to buy another one and that not fix it.:o

Then try to reinstall Windows, and see what's happening...

After some further investigation, I have found that it is definately the HD. I forgot that I do have another laptop HD to test it with. I used the HD out of my employer's laptop! When I put the HD from my company machine, the faulty laptop boots normally. Put the HD from the faulty laptop in my company laptop, and it gives the same "Operating System not found" error. Neither computer will even recognize the drive in BIOS. I guess it's time to look for a new HD....:-|

You know what to do, how long have you had it? And is the warrenty still valid? If so have them replace it.

How does it "sometimes boot" to the OS if it is not seen by the bios?

Put the HD from the faulty laptop in my company laptop, and it gives the same "Operating System not found" error.

If the OS on your HDD is missing or corrupted, you can put that HDD on every laptop you find, and none will boot...that's for sure...no matter if the HDD is bad or not...

>>How does it "sometimes boot" to the OS if it is not seen by the bios?
Good question...I'm really curious about that...

I would have though maybe a loose cable. I guess not maybe theres some briken/missing/currupted pins in the conector's on the HD, but other then that I have absolutly no clue.Sorry )=

It would "sometimes boot" because it was an intermittant problem with the HD itself. The problem has appearantly finally went from intermittant to permanent. Also, I really don't think it is a problem simply with what is on the drive. Fdisk will not even acknoledge the presence of the drive. It says "No fixed disk present". I also don't hear the drive physicaly "spin up" anymore, or the read/write arm moving, although with the drive out of the system, the read/write arm can be heard flopping aroung with the slightest movement. No, it wasn't subjected to shock. As far as the warrenty, it has long expired. I checked with Tigerdirect, and found prices ranging from app. $60 for a 20GB, to app. $160 for an 80GB drive. Anybody know of a better place to look?

Hard drives can cause intermittent fails as well as Any electronic component. They have a circuit board responsible for operation. Ive froze them before and pulled data prior to them totally failing. Just a note..

ALso.. Replacements on E-bay seem to be the way to go money wise.. Look for a steal and bid at the last second!

Yeah, I thought about E-Bay, but I don't know that I want to take the chance on something like a harddrive. Oh, well, we'll see.

Hey Icanfixit...

I thought I was the only one that packed drives in blue ice to keep them working long enough to recover the data...

It may seem dumb but it sure does work with a drive that fails after it warms up...

Your hard drive is definently fried. I had the exact same thing happen to my IBM T22. I got it for xmas. A few months later, the drive blew. I was lucky to get my data before I couldn't boot it at all. I called IBM and they sent me a new one. It might be the same with dell.

good luck calling IBM now, lol. They long gone.

This is true! The freeze trick has been around a long time.. You must be an old timer? (joke)..

lol yea I didn't know about that trick when mine went in the T22. I learned about it long after the fact. IBM shouldn't of sold their PC line. I'll never buy another one from them again! Time to look at Dell or some other company (preferably one in the US)

Yeah, i had a hard drive that acted screwy like that too & it was all because i had the computer too close to a heat register.

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