no operating system found

June 28, 2009 at 07:02:42
Specs: Windows XP

I recently recieved a free pc when i turn it on it says no operating system found. It is an older Dell, if that matters. No disks came with it. Is the operating system hiding? If not is there anywhere that I can get free disks to reload the operating system?

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June 28, 2009 at 07:27:05

Once someone gave me a free pc and it said the same thing, turns out they took out the hard drive >.> you might want to check if thats the case first.

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June 28, 2009 at 07:30:44

i know this sounds stupid but how do i know if the hard drive is missing?

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June 28, 2009 at 07:35:44

Take a look into the system BIOS.
Available harddisk are listed there.
You might also enable the diagnostic boot screen, that gives more information on what hardware found during system initialization.

Please send a reply, if you solved the problem !!!

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Related Solutions

June 28, 2009 at 07:38:31

Likely the machine's HDD was wiped clean before you obtained it. You should be able to enter the BIOS setup and see if there's truly a drive still there. Should you need any help (from

Dell - XPS, Dimension, Inspiron, Latitude. OptiPlex, Precision, Vostro

* Press F2 when the Dell logo appears. Press every few seconds until the message Entering Setup appears.
* Older Dell desktops and laptops may instead use Ctrl+Alt+Enter or Del to enter BIOS.
* Older Dell laptops may use Fn+Esc or Fn+F1.

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June 28, 2009 at 07:51:41

it appears to have a hard drive. how do i get an operating system??

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June 28, 2009 at 07:54:47

You have to buy one.


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June 28, 2009 at 09:07:50

You can try a free Linux distribution. There are a lot on the web, Google for one you like.

There is FreeDOS too, but to set up a working box with e-mail and internet access you must be quite skilled about PC architecture.

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June 28, 2009 at 11:44:38

Depending on the age of the machine (you didn't specify the system specs), Linux may (or may not) be suitable for it. Live Linux CD's all the way from low-spec 486 machines (DamnSmallLinux) to much more modern equipment (Ubuntu, Fedora) can be found here:

The advantage of live-distro's are that you don't have to commit to one until you see how well it works on your equipment. The disadvantage is that the machine needs to be able to boot from CD (though many have floppy-boot workarounds) and running from CD can be quite slow. Also, the "heavier" distros require more memory (usually >256MB) to run adequately.

If you require Windows, then (as Jennifer mentioned) you'll have to (legally) ante-up...

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