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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am new to the forum. I have a computer with Windows XP in which just recently is becoming a problem. It says that the NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart. I have searched online and read that I need a boot disk. I am not a very techy person (although I love computers and am good at solving a problem, just not this one) so I dont understand the boot disk. I have searched online vigorously to see who has a boot disk I can download but NOT ONE link has given me the option to download the boot disk. My laptop is still not working and if I cant get this fixed, im going to buy myself an apple computer and be done with WINDOWS ENTIRELY. But since I prefer windows I am looking for suggestions on sites where I can download the boot disk, and some help with getting the computer fixed... I have the recovery cd but that doesnt working since its asking for something else.

PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME FIX THIS COMPUTER...
 

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You would need the Windows XP CD that should have came with your computer.

It's possible that you may not need the XP CD. You could try downloading this file and burning it to a blank CD with ImgBurn (Link available in my signature). Then boot from this CD. This will put you in the Recovery Console. From here, try running fixboot and fixmbr.

http://www.thecomputerparamedic.com/files/rc.iso

If that doesn't work (which I'm not sure it will) you would need a Windows XP CD. You could try borrowing one from a friend. If that's not an option, you may want to try contacting the manufacturer.

OEM / Retail Recovery Discs + Recovery Instructions
 

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I have the windows recovery disk but now its saying that the computer cannot find the hard disk drive. I called Best Buys geek squad and they told me that the hard drive needs to be replaced because everytime I would go through the recovery process, it would tell me that it cannot find a hard drive but they want me to pay for installing and what not but now, if I were to buy a new hard drive for the pc, would it be hard for me to install it myself? Would there be a lot of computer verbiage that I would know in order to replace the hard drive?
 

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I believe you could definitely install a new hard drive yourself. Before buying a new one though, make sure the hard drive is firmly plugged in though.
 

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I have the windows recovery disk but now its saying that the computer cannot find the hard disk drive.

Installing XP on a SATA drive requires an additional step:

XP Help And Support: 108. How Do I Install Windows XP On A SATA Hard Drive

However, Most newer BIOS allow an Alternate method for SATA . . Go into the bios and check the "Sata Operation" setting,

change it to "Raid Autodetect/ATA if it is not already. Now try to install XP ( could be IDE Mode, Compatibility Mode or Legacy Mode - different BIOS use different terms )

some will say IDE instead of ATA)

If there are no such settings you'll need to slipstream the sata drivers on the XP CD, follow the instructions in this guide :

How To Slipstream SATA Drivers Into XP CD

or

Resolving "Setup did not find any hard disk drives" during Windows XP Installation - How-To Geek
 

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If you flip the laptop over, you'll see a few different compartment doors. Usually only a screw or two holds the door in place.

In one of those doors, you'll find the hard drive. Simply open the door and you'll see the hard drive sitting there plugged in. You can try unplugging it and plugging it back in and see if that has any help at all.

Here's a decent video regarding the hard drive in laptops.

Laptop Hard Drives : How to Replace a Laptop Hard Drive - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow... Here's an odd one!! I was cleaning the computer so that my co-worker can take it to her IT son who was going to change the hard drive for me and restore whatever missing files I needed, so I removed the battery and cleaned keyboard and screen. When I placed the battery back on the laptop, accidentally turned on the laptop and its working just fine! WTH! I was about ready to spend $260.00 on getting it fixed when all it might have needed was to pull off the battery. So far I turned it on and off twice and I ran a virus check and there is no virus on the pc and its turning on *Knock on wood* I think its fixed and I am HAPPY!

Does anyone know if maybe using a charger that doesnt belong to the pc could cause such weird behavior? My aunt didnt have a charger at the time so instead she was using a HP charger on a Dell pc.

I do appreciate everyone's help and I am happy to have my PC back.
 

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Glad to hear it!

I've seen some weirder issues with different voltages from different chargers.

It's still possible the hard drive is failing.

I recommend going Start > Run > Type in cmd > Press Enter. Once the black screen comes up, type in chkdsk /r.
 

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Does anyone know if maybe using a charger that doesnt belong to the pc could cause such weird behavior? My aunt didnt have a charger at the time so instead she was using a HP charger on a Dell pc.
Yes, using the wrong power supply can cause problems or damage your computer. On a Dell computer, using the wrong power supply will mean your battery won't charge in most cases. Get the right power supply for your computer. You can usually find used ones on ebay for less than $30
 
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