Operating System not found

Dell Vostro 1000 notebook
July 27, 2009 at 23:49:34
Specs: Windows XP Home
Alright when I turn it on the screen stays black longer than normal but eventually does go to the screen that gives me the option to go to setup or bootmenu. If i just let it load through (takes ages) it goes to black screen then writes out:"
Broadcom UNDI PXE-2.1 V2.1.0
Copyright (C) 2000-2006 Broadcom Corporation
Copyright (C) 1997-2000 Intel Corporation
All rights reserved.
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM.
Operating System not found"

Alright so I went into BIOS to see if it was detecting the hard drive. Any time I attempted to go to the security tab it froze but outside of that in the main tab it says under extended memory 1964032 kb but under Fixed Disk it reads None.

I figured since it could at least see it under extended memory I attempted to run my XP CD to get to the recovery area. So when I push R it reads:"
Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer.

Make sure any hard disk drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program.

Setup cannot continue. To quit setup, press F3."

So I took the computer apart and made sure everything looked okay. The wiring seemed fine and i dusted off the Hard Drive and still no luck. What concerns me is that long pause in a black screen prior to it booting. Any help you could give me would be fantastic. My computer knowledge is fairly intermediate. And I have another laptop of the exact same make that works so I can tell you settings on the working one.

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July 28, 2009 at 09:57:14
Extended memory is your RAM, nothing to do with your harddrive, so as everything else is indicating that the harddrive is u/s I'd guess that's the problem. Try adding it as a slave drive to another machine to confirm it, otherwise swap it out for a new one.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."

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July 28, 2009 at 16:25:46
yeah not sure what "u/s" is, but i'll bet it means something like your HDD is dead, which is what i'd think. I was going to suggest trying to reseat it (pop it out and back in), but if you already took the whole thing apart and put it back together that should have accomplished the same thing. The next troubleshooting step is either to try your HDD in another laptop, or another HDD in your laptop (troubleshooting is damn near impossible with only ONE of everything...)

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July 28, 2009 at 23:30:06
Thanks the two of you! Had entirely neglected the idea that I could just swap the Hard Drives and try it out. I did so and the faulty one crashed my good computer while my good hard drive ran like a dream in the faulty computer. So I suppose the hard drive was likely corrupted by a virus. Is there any way to get the files off the drive at this point or am I hooped?

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July 29, 2009 at 00:51:48
U/S - unserviceable.

I doubt whether it's a virus that has caused this problem as it would still be recognised as a drive at boot - a virus would just mess around with the data on it.

If your drive isn't recognised on any machine then it's not an easy job to get back your data - whatever system you've attached it to needs to know it's there so it can get to your stuff. Commercial recovery companies are your next bet, depending on how important the data is - costs have come down a lot in recent years.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."

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July 29, 2009 at 09:16:31
ya it sounds more like a physical problem with the hardware on the drive: the platters aren't spinning, the arm isn't moving, etc. without commercial data recovery, the HDD is trash.

SOME people have had limited success in reviving a dead HDD by putting it in the freezer for 24 hours. there are plenty of threads on these forums with detailed suggestions, but i do know that some people with dead HDDs have been able to revive them long enough to retrieve some data, using this method.

good luck!

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