How to resolve


I have a Compaq Presario 7400 series computer. Until yesterday it was working fine. I had no trouble booting up and running the computer yesterday morning but when it started acting sluggish, I attempted a reboot.

That's when the trouble began. Now all I get is a error message stating "Operating System not found on any devices, press any key to try again".

I tried using a boot up disc and it still would not boot up so I then tried to do a "Quick Recovery" which would replace everything on my hard drive. That did not work either.

I called a friend of mine and he came over and brought over a disc with Windows XP on it. We formatted the hard drives and then installed the XP. It worked fine until I shut down the computer. Now I'm getting the same error message again. I tried booting up with the XP disc but when I did, it started completely installing the XP again.

Any help would be appreciated.



This question was answered on March 25, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

It sounds like the cmos battery has died or the cmos has been reset for some other reason enter the bios setup and have it autodetect the hard drive settings, or enter the settings manually (the cylinders, heads and sectors are probably written on a sticker on the face of the hard drive) most likely the problem isn't that the drive is no longer bootable, but that the computer can't load the operating system files because the drive parameters are incorrect (kinda like trying to find someone's house with incorrect directions) if the cmos is constantly being cleared ("162 - system options not set") you may need to replace the cmos battery

It would be very easy just to replace the battery, and it's only a few dollars It

looks like a large watch battery, the size of quarter

Abbreviation of complementary metal oxide semiconductor Pronounced see-moss, CMOS is a widely used type of semiconductor CMOS semiconductors use both NMOS (negative polarity) and PMOS (positive polarity) circuits Since only one of the circuit types is on at any given time, CMOS chips require less power than chips using just one type of transistor This makes them particularly attractive for use in battery-powered devices, such as portable computers Personal computers also contain a small amount of battery-powered CMOS memory to hold the date, time, and system setup parameters

How To Replace The CMOS Battery In Your PC

1 Boot your PC and enter its setup mode.

2 Write down all of the settings from the various BIOS menus.

3 Power off your PC.

4 Open the case of your computer.

5 Locate the battery on the motherboard.

The layouts of the components differ on different motherboards, so you'll have to consult your motherboard user manual for specifications about the battery and its location.

The most common type of batteries used in modern PCs is coin-shaped lithium/manganese-dioxide battery that looks like a large watch battery

6 Obtain a replacement battery from a local or online computer parts dealer.

7 Remove the old battery.

8 Replace it with the new one, as shown on the picture below.

9 Document the date of replacement for future reference.

10 Replace the case and power on the PC.

11 Enter the setup mode of your PC.

12 Reenter the settings you have written down from the various setup menus.


1 Don't forget to observe proper anti-static precautions when working inside the case of your PC.

2 If you can't see your battery right away, try removing expansion cards or unplugging cables The majority of newer motherboards use lithium batteries that look like large watch batteries.

If the battery is already dead and you receive messages saying "CMOS checksum error", skip Step 1 and Step 2.

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Posted by Enyenihi of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 25, 2003