Ok I just succesfully recovered a Compaq 5000 series today. There was a problem with the CDROM not reading at all when both were hooked up the way they were supposed to be. There is another way!. Here is what to do. Take the CDROM drive out. switch the jumper to Cable Select. plug the CDROM into the same strip as the HDD in the slave IDE connection. Make sure the HDD is set to Master, Not single. Some HDDs have Master and Master w/ slave and slave. set it to master with slave. If it says Single/ Master/ Slave, set it to Master. plug it all back in, leaving the secondary IDE slot on the motherboard bare. restart the machine, put in what ever Operating disk CDROM you want to install, the Bios will give a quick message that there is an IDE update confirmation and it will restart itself, and the startup process will start from there. Dont expect to recover any Data on the HDD It will be wiped clean. Fresh Install. If you are trying to recover an existing Operating system, you will probably need a setup disk of the OS. If you are running XP insert the XP disk. Select it to repair XP. As far as ME on one of these machines or 98, you will probably have to use the recovery disks to do such a task. Reply to this if there is anything not too clear. My email will alert me as soon as there is a reply.