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My Computer Doesn't Have An Os, What Should I Do?


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#1 littlemissclueless

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 07:35 PM

Ok, a few days ago this really nice person I know gave me an old computer that she was going to throw away. It doesn't have an operating system installed, and I'm having some trouble with that. I have tried to make boot up disks for Windows 98, but for some reason, my other computer won't let me do that. The computer came with all the stuff for Windows 95, but I can't even get them to load up on the A prompt. It has 266 Mhz, and 512 RAM, and I checked everything on the inside and it doesn't seem like the computer is bad, just old. I only planned to use it for my children's games and schoolwork, nothing spectacular. I have cds for Windows 95, 98, and XP Professional, but I couldn't get them to load, either on startup. I have not messed with the BIOS or anything like that. I'm at my wits end here! Can anyone help me? Thanks so much in advance!

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#2 littlemissclueless

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 07:47 PM

Also, the computer doesn't load to an A prompt, when the startup page comes up, it just says NO OPERATING SYSTEM FOUND. I can't FDISK or anything like that, which was suggested.

#3 TheTerrorist_75

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 08:21 PM

Sounds like a bad/loose IDE cable to the hard drive or bad hard drive.
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#4 acklan

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 02:22 AM

While you are inside the computer replace the motherboard battery. A bad battery has been known to may the computer do strange things.
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#5 littlemissclueless

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 11:44 AM

Where exactly is the battery located?

#6 acklan

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 12:20 PM

This is a general layout but it has a good picture of the battery. The battery is number 10. It is about the size of quarter. The part number is CR2032.

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#7 Guest_uhaligani_*

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:14 PM

Have you checked in the bios that a cd(or floppy, for that matter) is your initial boot option?

#8 Queen-Evie

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 05:44 PM

After you put the new one in, you'll have to go into cmos and reset the date, time,
and first boot device. The battery won't cost much, it's probably the
cheapest computer component.
I've replaced my battery several times, the latest being this afternoon.

Acklan, you mention the battery is 10. Is that a standard? I've always removed the
battery, taken it to Radio Shack, and told the salesperson THIS IS WHAT I NEED.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 25 February 2007 - 05:49 PM.


#9 acklan

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:19 AM

In recent years, yes. The older computers did have different batteries, but the CR2032 battery is pretty much the standard.
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#10 acklan

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:25 AM

Here are a few that were used over the years. There were more types, but for reference this give you the idea.

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#11 Keithuk

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:09 PM

I have tried to make boot up disks for Windows 98, but for some reason, my other computer won't let me do that.

How are you trying to make a boot disk?

There are two ways to make a boot disk with Win98.

1) Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs - Startup Disk tab. But you need the Win98 CD inserting.

2) Program Files\Plus!\System\Nocomp.exe This will make a boot disk for you but it won't provide any CD Rom support if you don't have it supported already. It reads your existing Autoexec.bat and Config.sys and adds the appropriate files to the floppy.

If you want a boot disk with CD Rom support which you do to install Win9x*Grinler then you can download them from bootdisk.com. On a boot disk you ideally need Format.com and Fdisk.exe. :thumbsup:

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#12 littlemissclueless

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:20 AM

Thank you. I've tried all the suggestions and still...nothing :thumbsup:

#13 TheTerrorist_75

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 12:27 PM

I would start with replacing the IDE cable.

If there is no detection still I would run the manufacturers hard drive utility. You will need to take the hard drive out and look at the label to see who made the hard drive.

Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities

If the hard drive fails the test there are two possibilities. One that the hard drive is bad or the motherboard's IDE controller is bad. Check by installing a new hard drive. If it still isn't reconized then I suspect the motherboard is gone.
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#14 need TOS

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 08:22 PM

What you could try is to see if the Hard Drive jumpers are set correctly. If they are go into the BIOS and see if it is recognized in it. Some have an automatic IDE detection which should detect all IDE devices including CD-ROM drives. Also check if it is in correctly. Normaly the 1st pin is on the side closests to the power supply.( I found that out by just looking at it). If not it could just be a bad IDE cable so try another one. Or try a spare Hard Drive that you might have. (BTW Windows XP Pro will run on it I have the same specs and it runs nicely on mine, of course I dual boot with linux).

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#15 pip22

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 08:54 AM

XP on a 266Mhz processor? My XP runs okay on an Athlon 1500Mhz with 512 RAM but I wouldn't want to run it on a slower processor, certainly not on a 266!

Luckily, the lady also has Win98 and I would advise she go with that on this machine.




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