This error is very unpredictable. The message “error loading operating system” just appears on your screen with a totally black background and nothing else. You will wonder most of the time because it may just appear even if you have not done anything drastic to your computer, like installing new software or running updates.
These are different ways to go about this error:
- When you see the black background with the Dell symbol in the center, proceed to the upper left side of the screen and press either F2 (to take you to Boot Options) or F12 (to take you to Setup). Then take a look at BIOS and check if your hard drive is detected. If you do not succeed with pressing just once, keep pressing either of the buttons until you are taken to the BIOS. When you’re already in, see if the hard drive is detected.
- If your Hard Drive shows up in either of the two (F2 and/ or F12) menus but is enabled, choose “Diagnostics” after pressing F12. Then run memory and hard drive tests.
- If the files on your hard drive are very crucial (unless your computer is very new), repair your XP via “Repair Install” and secure your files before your hard drive shuts down entirely. The hard drive, when encountering one mistake, is likely to commit other mistakes. So, buy an XP/ Dell OS disc that can perform a system repair and run it. If you do it properly, your files will be safe.
- Simply reboot. If you’re lucky, your hard drive will continue where it has previously stopped.
- There is another easy-fix although a temporary one. Boot using your Windows installation disc (the original one) and run it by pressing R. You will see a blank text box with a blinking cursor. Type “FIXBOOT” and confirm it by typing Y (for “Yes”). This method is safe because it will write over the old boot files and will not touch the personal data you have in your disk. After boot-fixing, it will confirm that it has successfully completed and then you type “Exit”. The console will quit by itself and your computer will be okay.
- If you are not confident doing the fine-tuning yourself, just hire a certified technician to solve it. Do not gamble on your files or your unit.