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So I moved my computer wiped the outside with cloth and tried to start it again, but it said disk error, tried again and it says Missing Operating system, try a couple of more time, including repluging in the hard drive, still nothing. Remembering what my IT said ages ago, about how he hit the computer on the side and it started working I hit it on the side and retry, and surprisingly it works (though it took a very long time to get past the starting windows, with the glowing logo screen)

How is this possible?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

To me, this sounds like the wiping was just bad timing and your hard drive is dying.

By hitting it, you probably jogged some mechanical part that was failing.

You got VERY lucky

I would backup all your data ASAP, just incase.

If this is not the case, it could be that water from the cloth (don't know what you were using) got to the hard drive or another component and caused problems, and again, it is just timing that the hit coincidently happened as the liquid dried and it now works...

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that would be very annoying if the hard drive is failing, my last hard drive failed about this time a year ago. All my vital data is synced with my dropbox, and I've just reinstalled Windows 7 2 days ago so everything is pretty much backed up, since that happened I have restarted my PC twice with nothing going wrong. Thanks for your answer. – Jonathan. Dec 27 '09 at 22:18
Back in the AT (286 powered) days, it was common for drives that had been running for a long time and then were shutdown to have this problem. Head would build up trace material, then stick to the parking zone (which also was designed to wipe the heads, but fails if too much material present). Solution was to whack the computer on the side during startup to help the heads break the "stiction" (as it was called). It was also wise to shutdown workstations each night rather than leaving them on 24/7. Servers, well, you were out of luck and just tried to never power them down! – Brian Knoblauch Dec 29 '09 at 14:05

could be a few things, loose cables but my guess is that the memory is not inserted firm enough into the slots. Open case and push the memory firmly in place.

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