the laptop is compaq 610 and when turned on it shows an error message. i know there is a way usually an f key to reset to factory settings what is it? the laptop has windows vista and will not go any further than the error message the message is "non-system disk or disk error replace and strike ant key when ready"
Well, either the BIOS has been reset, pointing at the WRONG hard disk to boot from, or the HARD DIsk has failed. Verify the BIOS points to the correct boot partition, and then if it is, you know that the disk is bad!