i am having MAJOR issues and any and everyone's help would be SUPER appreciated!! i thought i knew about computers until i had these problems!! i purchased a used Dell Latitude LS from ebay almost a year ago. it was slow and all that, so i asked a friend, an ex-computer something or other, what i should do. he suggested reformatting. he did that and i dont know if u know about the Latitude, but the drives are external. after many attempts at installing windows again via CD-ROM, he contacted Dell and they sent him 12 or so floppy disks...supposedly they are start up disks. nothing works!! he re-somethinged the partitions and now it starts up, DELL flashes across the screen, and then "Missing operating system_" (_= flashing cursor) comes up....thats it...where do i go from here? i've read the manuals and guides and i need this computer up and running ASAP as my job requires it!!! thank you so so so SO much and i hope someone can/will help me!!!

You simply need to reinstall an OS on the system. All the partitions aren't being recognized by the system, if there even are any. Try to boot from a CD, and install some kind of operating system on there. Heck, even download a KNOPPIX CD, and try to boot to that CD. Who knows? You might take that, decide you like Linux, and install that, thus solving your Missing Operating System problem... ;)