So i'm trying to get an old computer to's a 446 mhz processor or's old and it's a gateway...i connected the wires for the keyboard, monitor, and mouse.
When i turn it on it boots up and i can see the gateway sign and everying...and it looks like everything is running normal..but then it says
"missing operating system" I don't know what this means so i tried puting in windows 98...but it wasn't the actual win 98 cd.. it was this gateway backup cd ...when i put in the cd and restart the comp. it detects it and i'm able to choose the boot device and begin installation... then there is a screen that says...."please wait while the check some configurations" but i waited for a while and nothing like just freezes or something...dont' know what the problem is....someone please respond....need help fast
i know i didn't give specific info on the computer ...but if you need it i'll try to find out and reply back...but please reply

1.) Backup CDs are lies.
2.) Your hard drive is not properly connected, or is having an issue with another hard drive to boot up.
3.) Stupid jumpers.
4.) Hard drive dead.
5.) Motherboard dead.
6.) Power dead.

how do i check on the condition of the hard how do i know if it's defective? there some kind of test disk that i can put in or do i fix this it even are you saying that even if i get a win95 cd and reboot fresh from that, that it will have the same "missing operation system"
and where is the hard drive inside the computer??....usually how much would it cost for a replacement? i even have to replace?"
what a jumpers and how to fix them??...mother board dead?...would the computer still turn on if it was dead?

To test the condition of the hard drive, you need to take out the hard drive, and insert it into a working computer as a "slave." A slave drive means the hard drive is not going to be booted from--it's purely for storage, meaning you could inspect it.
First off, I think you'll need to know where your hard drive is. Considering the age of this machine, it won't be covered with a bunch of plastic and metal like modern boxes. Somewhere near the front end in the interior, there should be a rectangular box of aluminum; basic in color and texture. It'll be screwed in somehow, so you'll have to remove the IDE (wide cord) and power (four pin color-based) from the hard drive and unscrew it.
Unfortunately, the jumper(s)--a small piece of plastic on some pins on the back of the hard drive--have different configurations for each hard drive, so I couldn't tell you how to arrange them to make the hard drive a proper slave.
Nonetheless, reattach this hard drive into another functioning computer, it will have the same cords as the prior. In terms of the IDE, make sure the plastic port is grey, not black. Power is keyed and can't really be messed up.

After this, get into Windows... My Computer... right-click the drive, select Properties from the drop-list, Tools from the tab selections, then select anything in the window regarding error-checking. Make sure you're looking to recover bad sectors and automatically fix errors. Chances are you'll need to restart Windows to perform the disk check.

The disk check may take a good amount of time, but hopefully your hard drive will get some essential fixes done to it. In the event the disk check doesn't work or help the drive (assuming you reinsert the hard drive into the first computer) there is not much to be done. For the price of $50, you could get a good 40GB device. If buying, make sure it's an 1.) IDE hard drive, 2.) it's internal, not external

Hope the info helps... again, all I see your way is having another system to do this and a good jumper configuration. Your motherboard and power, I reason, should be OK if the computer boots and displays an image of any kind.