|"I have deleted system 32. Formatted c:, left with no primary master, recovery console can not find windows and can not reinstalll windows from the CD as it gives an error."|
You can't delete the System 32 folder or format C when you're running the computer from the same hard drive installation of Windows - Windows won't allow that.
What did you use to do those things?
If there is no operating system on the drive after whatever you did, then when you boot your computer, you will get a message "operating system not found" or similar, but you DO NOT get a message "no primary master" or anything similar to that unless the computer's bios is not finding the hard drive at all, (or unless two hard drives can be installed on your model and it's in the wrong bay - not likely unless it's an old model) .
If the bios isn't finding the hard drive, the hard drive is probably dying or dead.
As jam said
"That would be a hardware issue, not a software issue. Your hard drive is the primary master."
When you boot the computer with the 2000 or XP CD.....
- if the hard drive no longer has an operating system on it, then Recovery Console will not find an existing Windows installation because it does not exist, until AFTER you have installed Windows again.
- if the hard drive is SATA, if the mboard's bios has the SATA controllers in a SATA mode, 2000's and XP's CD cannot find any SATA drives by default. If you don't proceed on to Setup after booting with the 2000 or XP CD, you press R and go into the Recovery Console before that, the Recovery Console cannot find Windows installations on the drive even if they are there, because what the CD has loaded cannot see SATA drives.
(If the hard drive is SATA, if the mboard's bios has the SATA controllers in an IDE compatibility mode of some sort, 2000 and XP's CD WILL recognize SATA drives, as IDE compatible drives.)
You should be able to boot the computer with the Windows CD fine. You should not get any errors loading the initial files from the CD, before you see the screen where you can choose to Repair Windows by pressing R, because at that point all the files have been loaded into memory, not onto your hard drive, or for that matter, you should not get any errors loading files from the CD at any time during Setup after that - if you do, you have some hardware related problem.
Whether or not it finds a hard drive to install Windows on is another matter.
The computer mboard's bios must detect the hard drive, nomatter whether it's IDE or SATA. If the bios isn't finding the hard drive, the hard drive is probably dying or dead.
If it's SATA drive, see the info above.
"I bought this laptop from someone who just gave me normal CD without any recovery key or anything else. :( "
If it's a regular Microsoft OEM XP CD (or a bootable copy of one), if the version of Windows on the computer is the same, Home or Pro, then you can legally, as far as Microsoft's OEM Windows (that come with brand name computers) license is concerned, use the Product Key that's on the official Microsoft label on the outside of the case in Setup to install Windows with - on laptops that label's usually on the bottom (underside) of the case.
OEM in this case = it has "For distribution with a new PC only" printed on the original CD.
(OEM XP MCE does not come on one CD - it's a 2 CD set.)
"Could you help me as to what specifications should be considered when buying a new one?
I'm not a laptop expert. I have only worked on a few of them, and have helped solve problems with more of them online. I can't see myself ever buying one.
But, I did help a friend choose one a while back.
- choose a brand that has decent support on their web site. E.g. Acer, emachines - not as good.
- I prefer computers with AMD processors (cpus) - you usually get "more bang for your buck" - better performance for similar money. Some laptop makers do not make any that have AMD processors (cpus) - e.g. Dell, Toshiba.
- don't buy one of the cheapest laptops - they're already outdated when you buy them.
- don't buy a netbook - they have fewer ports, and no built in CD/DVD drive and that can be a real pain in the axx if you ever need to re-load Windows or the original brand name software installation .
- the more USB ports it has built in, the better.
People often find they don't have enough of them, and hubs (that you plug into a single USB port built into the computer) DO NOT work properly with a LOT of things.
- the more other ports it has built in, the better.
- if you want to connect to the internet wirelessly with it, get one with Wireless N built in, NOT wireless G, and if you don't already have one get a wireless N router for your home. Wireless N is much more reliable and has a much better range than Wireless G, but it's backward compatible with wireless G and B.
- most people DO NOT need a 64 bit version of Windows, or more than 3 or 4 gb of ram (32 bit versions support no more than 4gb but you can't actually use all of the 4gb for Windows itself - the computer may actually perform better with 3gb rather than 4gb.)
If you have programs you have already bought that you want to install, you may not be able to use that - you may need to buy a 64 bit version if you use a 64 bit operating system.
- running memory in dual channel mode is hype - in the real world it makes no more than a few percent difference. (You have to install, or already have, memory modules in matched pairs in order for it to run in dual channel mode, each module being the same capacity and identical otherwise.)
- the number of cpu cores. Dual core is fine.
XP and below have no built in support for using more than one core (but some Server operating systems do). Vista and Windows 7 have built in support for using more than one cpu core, but most people have no software that uses more than one cpu core, other than possibly some recent or fairly recent games which can use 2.
- if being able to run the laptop on the battery alone a longer time is important to you......
- look at the specs of the model to see how long the laptop will run on the battery alone. Some cpus, e.g. Intel Atom, require a lot less power (but I prefer AMD ones).
- chose a model that there are higher capacity main batteries available for. E.g. many HP and Compaq models have such a battery available that will allow you to run the computer on the battery alone for up to twice as long - they usually come with a regular capacity one, but you can get the higher capacity battery if you find you need more run time. The trade off is the battery is not flush with the bottom of the laptop like the regular battery is - the laptop base rests on the battery at the back and the underside of the front of the laptop, at a small angle - but most people don't mind that.
If it's not clear whether there's a higher capacity battery available for a HP or a Compaq model, go here and type in it's model number or better still it's product number:
The higher capacity battery will usually be in the parts list.