After fixing my niece's laptop for the third time because of malware I tried dumping XP for Ubuntu. Unfortunately the Compaq Presario V5206 OA laptop has a Broadcom wireless chipset, so I will install Windows XP for now.
Anyway, I messed up and for some reason the laptop will not recognize the hard drive. Not sure when the problem started but it was AFTER I tried restoring with the Windows recover partition on the hard drive. (BTW, I got pissed so that partition is now gone.)
On startup the laptop won't recognize the hard drive so it tries to do a network boot. I reinstalled both Ubuntu and XP several times as both single and dual boot. Tried repairing the MBR with the XP Recovery mode. I then installed a brand new hard drive on which I subsequently installed XP. The laptop still would not recognize the hard drive. I then installed a drive with a working Xubuntu setup. Still no go. Through out all of these attempts I reset the BIOS settings to default. Also, boot to hard drive is listed before network boot.
In the BIOS under boot setup, the partition under harddisk has an exclamation point next to it. Not sure what that mean but I doubt it's good.
I'm a Mac guy who knows very little about Windows other than deleting it. I am fairly comfortable with Ubuntu though. Please help.