Old Compaq PC Wont Boot.

August 5, 2012 at 11:17:47
Specs: Windows NT
Alright so we have an old Compaq computer that refuses to boot up. After it starts up it ends on a screen that says
"Non-System Disk or Disk Error."
Why exactly does it show this? My guess is that either the system BIOs are crapped up or the operating system is missing. (my Dad got it years ago when company he worked for was shutting down a particular office.)
Any Ideas or solutions would be appreciated.
Also when booting I went to setup menu and wrote down the following info if it helps.
System Information:
Compaq Workstation W6000 (says Compaq Evo W6000 on the actual pc cover by the way)
Processor Type: Intel(R) Xeon(R) Processor 1700MHz
Processor Speed: 1700/400 MHz
Processor 0 Stepping: F0A
Processor 1 Stepping: - - -
Cache Size (L1/L2): 8/256 KB
Memory Size: 2048 MB
Integrated Mac: 0002A562CD3A
System ROM: 686P8 V1.05

Also Id Prefer Solutions that do not involve Diskettes seeing as the metal cover of one has become stuck in the drive and id rather not mess with at the moment unless its the only way of course.
Not sure of what OS it may or may not have because it does not boot far enough to say and on the cover it says both Windows 2000 Professional and then under that it says Windows NT.

EDIT: Yah Ive confirmed the OS is the problem. How would I go about adding Linux to it and Im assuming that its legal if you suggested it?


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#1
August 5, 2012 at 11:22:35
When we gave away old company PCs we always used to wipe the OS. I'd guess this is probably what has happened here. In that case you could install Linux on it. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to burn a Linux Live CD, boot with that and see what, if anything is on the hard disk - or indeed if any hard disk shows at all.

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#2
August 6, 2012 at 23:06:29
http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php/

ARM Devices the future. Windows have accepted the fact!


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#3
August 13, 2012 at 16:42:22
There's various distros of Linux (all free) that may work on that machine. Linux Mint is one of the better ones, but it's best if you try several of them (live) before committing to an installation. The list at the following link can be daunting, but you want to narrow it down by sticking to some of the better-known distros for desktops:

http://www.livecdlist.com/

If you've never worked with it, there can be a learning curve, and most Windows applications won't work without some tweaking---however most versions of Linux support similar applications to Windows...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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Related Solutions

#4
August 14, 2012 at 06:26:27
Alright here's the update.
I tried Linux Mint MATE version which did not work, I'm guessing possibly from the fact it only has a windows installer for 64-bit computers. (to the best that I can figure out the old Compaq PC seems most likely 32-bit)
I also tried a retro version of Puppy-Linux that I downloaded/tried in the past and tried it again now that I didn't miss the obvious fact you have to burn the ISO to CD not just move it haha. anyway neither of these worked as it will read it for a moment then say the same old "Non-System Disk Or Disk Error". Finally before anyone asks I know the Disk Drive is not broken (at least the second Disk drive isn't haha) as Previously when I tried using a Dell Windows NT Install Disk my dad had it recognized it and eventually said something along the lines of "This Disk is for use with Dell Computers only" etc. So do I keep looking around for a Linux OS ISO type that will work and if so does anyone have any suggestions on which ones to try next that would be most likely to work. (<-- that is most likely to be compatible with this old PC)

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#5
August 14, 2012 at 21:42:53
Maybe the CD Drive does not support , try a floppy boot disk.......

http://www.bootdisk.com/index.html

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/Pup4dos

ARM Devices the future. Windows have accepted the fact!


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#6
August 15, 2012 at 02:00:58
"...I didn't miss the obvious fact you have to burn the ISO to CD not just move it haha. anyway neither of these worked as it will read it for a moment then say the same old "Non-System Disk Or Disk Error".

Just curious. Do you have the BIOS set up to look for the optical drive (CD/DVD) first in the boot-up sequence? Linux (or even more-recent versions of Windows) should be bootable from CD/DVD, but if the BIOS is set up to attempt to read them after the HDD, then you'd likely get that error. It's also possible that the optical drive could somehow be defective as well.

"...does anyone have any suggestions on which ones to try next that would be most likely to work."

If the machine has >768MB of RAM in it (you state 2GB), then even more "robust" versions of Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.) theoretically should work.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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