deleted c:/ drive, Operating System not found

Hewlett-packard / HP PAVILION DV6000
July 12, 2009 at 17:53:19
Specs: Windows XP ???, Intel (R) Core(TM) 2 CPU T5600
I asked a friend to help me reformat my laptop. He told me he deleted my original c:/ drive, created a new partition (a 'new' c:/ drive) and installed windows xp pro in it. But now, booting the laptop will give me the error 'Operating System not found'.
I've googled about this and found out i have to do something with the BIOS. I managed to access BIOS (or i think it was) but i couldn't find where's the place they show the harddrive. i read that i have to make the drive active. do correct me if i'm wrong. i'm not with my laptop now so i don't have much information. i will update as soon as i have anything new to add on. thanks in advance.

See More: deleted c:/ drive, Operating System not found

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July 12, 2009 at 18:54:49
didn't your friend actually show you everything is working, before returning it to you? With friends like this who needs enemies.


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July 12, 2009 at 19:34:55
You only need to acces the Bios If you Created the HP RestoreCD/DVD's before your friend wiped C:

Some friend.

Check this link for possible solutions. If you are lucky the HP Recovery Partition will still be intact and you can Restore the Laptop from there.

Use this link if XP is installed

Use this link if Vista is installed

My best advice would be; take the Laptop to a Competent Repair shop They can determine what you have to work with and how to proceed.

I'm not sure any of the info on the HP page will apply with C:\ wiped.

One exception, there is a link on that page to a source of the Restore CD's that probably did not get made. YOu can use them to restore in the future.

To avoid confusion, this is the Link to acquire Recovery CDs'

Try this first, (copied from HP support)

""The HP Recovery Manager, installed on your PC, allows you to recover the original operating system, or create a set of recovery discs from the special recovery partition on the hard drive.

You do not need to purchase a replacement recovery disc to return your computer to proper operating condition unless the drive is corrupted.

To determine if the HP Recovery Manager is operational, press the power switch to turn on the computer, and then repeatedly press F11 during the startup. The computer will display a prompt to either recover the operating system or create a set of recovery discs if the Recovery Manager is operational, and you do not need to purchase a replacement recovery disc. ""

Have fun and lots of Luck.

There is nothing to learn from someone who already agrees with you.

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July 12, 2009 at 20:01:57
What was/were your problem(s) before he re-formatted the laptop??

Only one partition on a hard drive can be active at any one time. XP's Setup would have done that for the C partition automatically.

There are only a few common reasons you would get that 'Operating System not found' message - the boot order settings in the bios are wrong, or some device in the boot order is not bootable, or the hard drive is failing.

I know from experience that you can run XP's Setup successfully even if the bios's boot order settings are wrong, but that's not likely when you have only one hard drive with only one Windows installation on it. The boot order settings should be floppy drive first, if you have one, CD drive second (or first if you have no floppy drive), hard drive third (or second if you have no floppy drive. The hard drive must be in the boot order settings in order for you to be able to boot from it.

You may need to unplug your removable drives when you boot.

Note that some boot order settings can be set to boot from removable drives first, or the bios does that automatically (e.g. USB flash drives, or USB or firewire connected external drives). If you have a non-bootable removable drive plugged in when you boot, some bioses will not try the next device in the boot order list to see if it is bootable if the first device is not bootable, and you get the 'Operating System not found' or similar message.

If you have a floppy drive connected, either conventional or USB connected, if it has a floppy disk in it that is not bootable, you will probably get the 'Operating System not found' or similar message.

If that's correct.....

If your hard drive is failing you probably had all sorts of problems before your friend re-formatted the C partition on the hard drive. Laptop hard drives are warrantied for no more than 3 years, and they tend to fail sooner than desktop hard drives.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities

If you don't know which brand of hard drive you have, you can often see the brand when you remove the cover to where the hard drive is, or Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of drive.

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

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July 12, 2009 at 20:24:14
thanks for all the help guys! yup, some 'friend' he was. anyway, i'll update on any progress (or none at all).
thanks again!

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July 13, 2009 at 07:19:03
i did further reading on google and i found out that hp has a recovery partition. is it still possible that i can use the recovery partition to solve my problem?
thanks in advance.

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July 13, 2009 at 08:15:06
i hope this is of help...

plus, XP seemed to have been installed in the D drive

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July 13, 2009 at 08:27:52
You have to figure out what is causing the 'Operating System not found' message before you do anything else - see the info in Response 3 - that may be easy to fix, or your hard drive may be failing in which case you have to get yourself another hard drive before you do anything else.
If you don't understand the stuff in response 3, then get someone you know who is more knowlegable about computers to help you, or take your computer to some place that can analyze what your problem is.

"...i found out that hp has a recovery partition..."

It is true that older brand name system computers have a second partition on the original hard drive that has all the data on it needed to re-load the original data contents of C, but in your case that's probably NOT your situation.
I have worked on two laptops fairly recently - a HP model about the same age as yours, and a Compaq model slightly older than that, which of course was also sold by HP. Both of them DO NOT have all the data on the second partition needed to re-load the original data contents of C - that second partition has data on it for something else.
They both came with a slightly modified XP CD, e.g. for the Compaq it's titled "Operating System CD" and is a slightly modified XP Home CD, another disk with all the drivers necessary for the mboard and the laptop's components and some HP supplied programs, e.g. for the Compaq titled "Application and Driver Recovery DVD", and, at least for the Compaq, a third CD to load the data on the second partition for a feature that has nothing to do with the data contents of C.

If you have the original "Operating System CD" or similar, and the original "Application and Driver Recovery DVD" or similar, then you can use those to re-load the hard drive's C partition with it's original data, by booting the computer using the first disk, then installing the stuff on the second disk, BUT, of course, the hard drive MUST be working properly, and MUST be recognized by the mboard and it's bios properly.

If you don't have those disks, or have lost track of where they are (which is quite common for people to do) , you can probably order them from the HP site. E.g. I ordered them for the Compaq model - the set was the first 2 of the 3 disks I mention - it cost me $41.93 Canadian dollars including shipping. (Later on I found her original 3 disks).

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July 13, 2009 at 08:32:07
thank you for the detailed explanation. i think i shall send my laptop to an expert. thanks again for all the help.

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July 13, 2009 at 08:57:13
If you got this laptop new, you should have the original "Operating System CD" or similar, and the original "Application and Driver Recovery DVD" or similar somewhere. You should make an attempt to find those, and possibly a third CD, and if you do find them, provide those with the laptop to whoever you get to analyze what is wrong, because, otherwise, if the hard drive is faulty and a new drive needs to be loaded, or if isn't but needs to be re-loaded, they will probably load only the operating system and the necessary drivers - you WILL NOT end up with all of what was originally installed when you got the computer - the extra HP supplied programs will not be there.

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July 13, 2009 at 09:09:42
This laptop is pretty old, bought it in 2005. Original OS is Windows XP Media Center Edition SP2. My mistake is that I didn't make recovery disks. According to the manual, when booting my laptop, I have to "press F11 when prompted" to repair or restore from the hard drive but F11 wasn't prompted. Though I doubt that isn't of any help now. When I bought the laptop, it didn't even come with any CDs (I've took out everything in the box).
Is there any other information I can provide that can be of any help?

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July 13, 2009 at 09:12:34
I would buy the recovery discs but HP don't send those to Asia do they? Do correct me if I'm wrong.

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July 13, 2009 at 15:39:13
You could have them analyze the laptop and then contact you before they do anything else - it may be just some minor thing that is wrong if the hard drive is okay.

You have the legal right, as far as Microsoft is concerned, to load Windows from regular OEM Windows CDs, or bootable copies (you must copy the entire CD using Disk at Once or simlar - it won't be bootable if you just copy what files and folders you can see) of someone else's OEM Windows CDs, when you have a brand name computer - you use the Product Key on the official Microsoft label on the outside of the case - (the CDs must be OEM - Retail or Retail Upgrade CDs can't be used with the Product Key on the case) , but in this case you must use the OEM XP MCE 2005 set (two CDs) - you can get that on the internet, you can use the Product key that comes with that as well if you bought it, but it's unlikely anyone you know would have that.

Since most people who post here are in the US, or Canada, I assumed you were in one of those countries.

I don't know if you can get the Recovery disks, but you could try this.
Go to - at the top right change the country to where you bought the laptop, or to where it was originally bought if that's different from where you bought it. Search for the Software for DV6000 - if you get too many model "hits" you may need to provide the specific model number DV6xxxyy, xxx being numbers, yy being letters for the code for the country which may or may not be present , found on the label on the outside of the case; it's probably on the bottom of it.
If the Recovery disks are available, there will be a listing regarding that in the list of software - whether it says so or not, you probably get a set of disks, not just one. You MUST supply the specific model number DV6xxxyy found on the label on the outside of the case in order to get the right set.
E.g. for my friend's Compaq that's DV5020CA, CA being Canada.

The laptops I worked on had XP Home and XP Pro. XP MCE is a special case because it won't fit on one CD - it requires two CDs. In theory the data contents of MCE could be put on a DVD, but I've never heard of that being done.
The OEM XP MCE is on two CDs - I've never seen or heard of it being available on a DVD - I have installed that several times on the same friend's desktop comuter that has the Compaq laptop, and my brother has installed it on his system.

"My mistake is that I didn't make recovery disks."

Are you SURE there was a program with which you could do that?

On both those laptops I worked on, there was no HP supplied program with which you could make a single Recovery CD (which you use along with the data contents of a Recovery partition - you boot with it - the data contents of the Recovery partition must be undamaged and unaltered ) or a Recovery CD or CD/DVD set (which you use to re-load the entire hard drive - you boot with the first CD). On older brand name systems there often is such a program. If you're sure you have such a program, then you probably do have an actual Recovery partition, but I doubt you do.
If you DO have an actual Recovery partition, pressing F11 would have been of no use if you haven't made the single Recovery CD it must be used with. The HP site has only the Recovery disk sets.
If you DON''T have an actual Recovery partition, then when you had pressed F11 you would have needed to provide the CDs/DVD that originally came with the computer, or the Recovery disks you order from the HP site.
In any case, the built into the hard drive Recovery often doesn't work properly if there is a problem with the data on the hard drive on the C partition - the Recovery procedure can be run by booting from the Recovery CD, or the first CD in a set, as well.

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July 14, 2009 at 08:28:59
Thanks for helping me so much, Tubesandwires. I have searched and unfortunately I can't place orders for recovery disks in Asia.

Product: HP Pavilion dv6121tx Notebook PC

Will be sending my laptop to an expert soon.

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July 14, 2009 at 13:38:52
When you search on the web for Recovery or Restore CDs or disks, most "hits" are for CDs or DVDs you use to attempt to get your system working properly again - they don't have an operating system to install on your computer, and they are not the same as the specific ones for your model.

There are a small number of web sites where you can buy Recovery or Restore disk sets for your specific brand name model - this is especially useful for models that never had them, or had them but you can no longer order them from the brand name web site. Many of them were made by people who had the model and DID make the set when the computer was working fine, then sold those or copies of those to the web site; some are copies of the original CDs that came with the computer when new that people may not have because they bought the computer used.

This site has them for DV6121tx with MCE 2005 - I have no idea what language - $43.25 US - they ship anywhere.
If you don't care if it may be in English it will probably do you fine.
If in doubt ask them what the language is in an email to them.

These sites don't list DV6121 anything, BUT if you contact them, they MAY be able to get them - e.g. the same disks may be used for several or many models made by the same brand name.

All these sites probably have the disk set, not just the single disk you usealong with the data contents of a Recovery partition. If in doubt, search the site for more info about that, or email them, before you buy.

In theory, you could order a set for DV6121tx with Vista instead, but the Product Key on the case for MCE 2005 will definately not work with it. However, the HP and Compaq systems actually have two Product Keys, at least they do if they have XP on them - one on the label on the case, the other is automatically used when you do the full recovery procedure with the proper disk set, and can be found in Windows after it has been installed by using a program such as the freeware Keyfinder (the one made by JellyBean something) , but it can do that only for the Windows installation you booted, and of course Windows must be working. Keyfinder also finds other Microsoft Product Keys - e.g. for Office, Excel, Word, Works, etc.

If you like XP MCE, particularly if you like the TV application in Media Center, this is a very cheap way to go.

The OEM MCE 2005 2 CD set sells for about $135 last time I checked. It's priced at more than OEM XP Home, less than OEM XP Pro 32 bit.

If you don't care whether you have MCE 2005, an OEM XP Home CD sells for well under $100, and OEM Vista Basic or Premium isn't much more, although Windows 7 is easier to use and will be coming out later this year. You probably can't use the OEM MCE Product Key on the case with a copy of someone else's OEM XP Home or OEM XP Pro CD. You or the repair guys could try that, but XP's Setup probably won't accept it as valid, and if so Setup can't be completed. .
You certainly can't use the OEM MCE Product Key, or any XP Product Key, with a copy of a Vista DVD.

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