Windows XP – Operating System not Found or Invalid Media Type

Windows XP

When turning on or restarting the computer, one of the two following error messages may appear on the screen:

  1. Operating System Not Found
  2. Invalid Media Type

Preparing to troubleshoot

Remove all floppy disks, CD discs, and other removable media from their drives and select the appropriate section:

Error message is Operating System Not Found.

Error message is Invalid Media Type.

Operating System Not Found

  1. Determine if the hard drive is detected in the BIOS.
  2. Restart the system.
  3. When the blue screen appears, press F1 to enter the BIOS.
  4. Look at the Main menu under Primary Master. If the hard drive is detected it will be listed under Primary Master. Select the appropriate statement in the table below.

Follow the hard drive is detected procedures.

Follow the hard drive is not detected procedures.

The hard drive is detected

Step 1: Reset the BIOS to the default values

  1. Restart the system.
  2. When the blue screen appears, press F1 to enter the BIOS.
  3. Press F5, then press ENTER to set defaults. Press F10, then press ENTER to save and exit.
  4. Restart the system. If the error is still present, proceed to Step 5.
  5. Repeat Steps 1 and 2.
  6. Arrow down to Primary Master and press ENTER.
  7. Use the plus (+) or minus () key to set the value to User.
  8. Press F10, and press ENTER to save and exit.
  9. Restart the system. If the error is still present, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Set the Primary Master to User

  1. Restart the system.
  2. When the blue screen appears, press F1 to enter the BIOS.
  3. Using the arrow keys on the keyboard move the highlight to Primary Master and then press ENTER.
  4. Type will be highlighted; use the plus (+) or minus () key to set the value to User.
  5. Press F10, and press ENTER to save and exit.
  6. Restart the system. If the error is still present, set the active partition and run a full format recovery.

Invalid Media Type

  1. Determine if the hard drive is detected in the BIOS.
  2. Restart the system.
  3. When the blue screen appears, press F1 to enter the BIOS.
  4. Look at the Main menu under Primary Master. If the hard drive is detected it will be listed under Primary Master. Select the appropriate statement in the table below.

Follow the hard drive is detected procedures.
Follow the hard drive is not detected procedures.

The hard drive is detected
Step 1: Reset the BIOS defaults

  1. Restart the system.
  2. When the blue screen appears, press F1 to enter the BIOS.
  3. Press F5 then ENTER to set defaults. Press F10 and ENTER to save and exit.
  4. Restart the system.
  5. If the error is not fixed proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Set the active partition and run a full format recovery
CAUTION: All data on drive C will be lost. Inform the customer that all data on the hard drive will be lost.

  1. Insert the number one HP Pavilion Recovery CD into the CD-ROM drive, and restart the system.
  2. When the Welcome To HP Recovery screen appears, press any key to continue.
  3. Click OK to accept the Microsoft (R) End-User Licensing Agreement and to the Warning messages.
  4. Click Recover then Format and Recover. The process will take a long time and may require another recovery disc to be inserted.
  5. Remove the Recovery CD, and restart the PC when done. The system should start into Windows.

The hard drive is not detected

  1. Open the case, and disconnect the IDE cable from the hard drive.
  2. Restart the system with no IDE cable attached to the hard drive.
  3. Turn the system off, and reconnect the IDE cable.
  4. Restart the system to see if this fixed the error. If the error is not fixed, proceed to Step 2.
  5. Check the hard drive to see if the jumper is set to Cable Select (CS).
  6. Cable Select should be the default setting used on most hard disks installed in HP Pavilions; however, since the same manufacturer is not always used, it can sometimes help to change the jumper to master or slave.
  7. Restart the system to see if this fixed the error. If the error is not fixed, proceed to Step 3.
  8. Swap the CD-ROM IDE cable with the hard drive IDE cable.
  9. Restart the system to see if this fixed the error. If the error is not fixed, the system will need to be serviced.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply