Was working on company machine yesterday, a Compaq Presario 2100. Employee had brought it in to get a wireless card put it for an out of state hotel. I didn't have it plugged in, as I was moving around the office with it, trying to get this and that, and my office was a bit occupied. Anyways, the battery was to be changed out, as the employee had complained about the battery barely keeping a charge. Before I could get the power cord, it died.

So while it was off, I replaced the battery pack with the replacement I had ordered. Well when I got it back up, the laptop would go through POST but would not proceed to XP. I tried 3 times, and then got out my XP CD. It wouldn't even boot to that.

So what do you all think the problem might be? I suspect bad HD, but since it won't even boot off the CD, could be more right?

Laptops are horrible, terrible, little things when it comes to installing OS's. They have weird BIOS's and difficult ways to access them. You probably can't get the CD read because the computer wants to boot from the HD initially, not the disc first. So you'd have to do some simple tweaking: configure the BIOS to boot from a CD then HD. If it is already configured in this fashion I'd point my finger at the hard drive.