Is my laptop toast? Cannot boot from cd

#1
This laptop was working perfectly, and I had just sold it today so I cleaned the drive using KillDisk which I used on an HP Desktop a few weeks ago with no problems (The desktop's discs installed it to factory condition without a hitch). Now I am attempting to reinstall Vista using the recovery cds on an HP Pavilion 6810us.

First off, I get the system recovery disc error "this pc is not supported by the sytem recovery discs error message". Perhaps I've updated the bios and this is the problem with the discs not being recognized by the bios any longer or maybe the extra stick of ram? Not sure, but I then tried to install a copy of Windows XP, thinking I could maybe at least get that OS on there, and during the installation setup reports that it cannot copy each file starting with the first file it tried to copy.

Now, after killing the install of WinXp upon trying to boot with the XP repair disc I get the "NTLDR is missing Press ctrl+Alt+Del" msg and I never make it to the "Press any key to boot from CD" option (Yes, I made sure the bios boot options start with CD/DVD drive, and even have a external CD/DVD drive as an option, but apparently its not seeing either drive has a disc in it).

This was in the shop over two years ago, it reported had its mobo replaced while under warranty. I was having problems with the optical drive then too, and then the sound card failed to be recognized. Maybe the mobo is toast again but I've hardly even used the dang thing since it was repaired.

Is this laptop a paper weight?

Any way to jar it into remembering it has a cd drive (two in fact)?
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#2
The recovery disks can't be used to install an operating system only hopefully recover one that's already installed but inaccessible. It would appear from what you said you have wiped the hard drive clean.
Not sure if that model comes with a hidden recovery partition or not but have you tried booting into safe mode or checking the BIOS mode to see if there is an option?
Also check the BIOS to make sure it's set to boot from optical media first.
 
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#3
Thank you for your reply, Ex_Brit

The recovery disks can't be used to install an operating system only hopefully recover one that's already installed but inaccessible.
I was able to recover an entire system after wiping the drive on an HP Desktop, so either your statement is not acurate or this is something new. I mean, really, what good are the discs if we can't use them to fully restore a system??

It would appear from what you said you have wiped the hard drive clean.
Yes I did.

Not sure if that model comes with a hidden recovery partition
It did, I removed it after creating the discs.

have you tried booting into safe mode or checking the BIOS mode to see if there is an option?
Cannot reach the boot from cd screen.

Also check the BIOS to make sure it's set to boot from optical media first.
Yes, it is set to boot from optical media first.
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#4
Then I'm not sure what else needs to be set, sorry. Hopefully one of the others will read this.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
Hi rouge,

I think the confusion is stemming from the fact that you don't state which recovery CDs you used. There are many possible options, including the ones that came with your system (factory restore CD), the recovery center included in Windows setup DVDs, and our own available for download. Peter's comments about inability to restore are true for the latter two.

From your description though, it could be either the factory restore CDs or our custom restore CDs w/ the MBR recovery option (in which case Peter's claim still holds: Windows was not reinstalled, only "hopefully recovered.")

Your post is a little confusing. You say you *were* able to restore from the CD, but then are unable to boot from the CD? Are we talking about two different recovery CDs here?
 
#6
The thing is I cannot recover from the factory cds. First, when trying to recover from the factory cds that were burned by using the create factory cds function, system reported I couldn't use those exact cds (although they are the correct cds). I was wondering if a hardware change had caused this as the motherboard was supposedly replaced. BUT THEN, as I thought this might be the case I tried to install windows xp (from an install cd, the complete OS) system told me it couldn't copy any of the files from cd to Hard Drive. I rebooted at this point using an XP recovery disk hoping to resume the installation but system never brought up the "press any key to boot from cd" screen. It's as if system cannot see the optical drive. The only onscreen message I see now is "Can't find ntldr" something like that.

Is it possible to pull the Hard Drive from this laptop, place it into a usb enclosure, and install windows xp onto it by using a different laptop? I tried doing it already with one of my alt laptops (windows 7) but was given a critical halt message and warned that it was stopped because of possible harm to my laptop.

If it is possible to install xp onto this external usb hard drive, are there any special considerations or steps I should know about?

Thank you.

Addendum

I went and tried the WintoFlash program mentioned in this forum. I first installed XP onto the hard drive in its external usb enclosure, removed the hard drive after the windows files were copied to it, and then put the hard drive back into the laptop.

I did have success installing XP onto the broken laptop. The optical drive still doesn't work, but it is no longer a brick. ~smile~