"Error Loading Operating System" Error Message When You Restart Your Computer During Setup


When you restart your computer after the file-copy portion of Windows XP Setup, you may receive the following error message:
Error loading operating system


This issue may occur if your computer BIOS does not correctly manage or support the capacity of the hard disk on which you are installing Windows XP.


Warning This article contains steps that may involve changing your BIOS or complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) settings or that may require you to make physical changes to your computer hardware. Incorrect changes to the BIOS of your computer may create serious problems. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems that result from changes to your BIOS can be resolved. Change your BIOS settings at your own risk. If you need help with any of these steps, contact your hardware manufacturer and note that making either hardware or BIOS changes to your computer may invalidate your warranty. If you do not want to make hardware changes to your computer, you can take your computer to a repair center.

To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods:
  • Make sure that you are using the latest BIOS revision for your computer. Contact the computer manufacturer to inquire about how to obtain and install the latest BIOS update that is available for the computer.
  • If you are using an IBM computer with an AWARD BIOS version 4.5x, visit the following IBM Web site:Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

More Information

For additional information about how to install Windows XP, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
316941 HOW TO: Install Windows XP
310064 HOW TO: Troubleshoot Windows XP Setup Problems During Installation When You Upgrade from Windows 98 or Windows Me
For more information about how to contact BIOS manufacturers, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
243909 List of BIOS Manufacturer Web Sites Part 1
243971 List of BIOS Manufacturer Web Sites Part 2

The issue that is described in this article has been known to occur if your computer uses an AWARD BIOS 4.5x, and you are installing Windows XP to an IBM hard disk that is larger than 33.8 gigabytes (GB). Computers with an AWARD BIOS 4.5x have a capacity limitation of 33.8 GB.

Article ID: 326676 - Last Review: Nov 12, 2013 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition