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As the hard disk appears to be showing up when you boot up using the install disc, I would suspect that the system is somewhat corrupted. You could reinstall the system again and if you are happy starting from scratch and wiping the hard drive select this option failing that and there is some data on the imac you could install using the preserve user data. A fresh install should sort out any problems. Hope this helps.
This is how I did it, you may or may not have the ability. A basic knowledge of Dos is necessary
1) I used another laptop but you could use an adapter to use the hard drive in a regular computer.
2)boot with a windows 98 boot disk, fdisk it to a fat32 partition, make the hard drive a system boot disk (format /s c:)
3) copy the i386 folder and all its contents from a full or full oem (not branded) disk to the laptop drive, also copy smartdrv and highmem.sys from the floppy (speeds thing up dramatically) and create a config.sys file with device=highmem.sys
4)physically install the hard drive back into the C400, boot to dos run smartdrv.exe, then go to the i386 folder and type winnt.exe (enter) wooo should work.
MusslaChooda Pakichooda Nathuram Godse
First try to Boot to Last Known Good Configuration.. do this by pressing F8 upon bootup...look at the prompt screen for the option mentioned OR
Attempt to boot up in Safe Mode....
Do This by pressing F8 Upon bootup, it will take you to a black Safe Mode Options screen... once there choose the first option.. boot into Safe Mode Only.. If you are able to boot into windows that way,, you can then check for problems... Like checking the device manager for errors, Check the Status of your hard drive.. etc.
I have seen this problem before, after booting to the external monitor go into the display settings and try setting the resolution to 1024 X 768 and the color settng to 16 bit or preferably 32 bit. If you can do this, then shut down the laptop remove the external monitor and try booting on the LCD display. BPCS
This sounds like a dead hard drive. Still, you may want to try:
1. Enter your CMOS/BIOS and verify that your laptop can detect the hard drive. Further check if it is configured to boot first from the HD;
2. Slip in your XP or Recovery CD and boot from that. It may be that the boot section/files of your HD got messed up. When prompted, instruct the CD to repair;
3. Remove your laptop's HD and connect it to a 2nd PC as an external/removable drive using a 2.5 enclusore with USB attachment. Thereafter proceed to diagnose, check and hopefully recover your important files;
4. If confirmed of a defective HD, replace and reinstall your OS.
Hope this be of some help/idea. Post back how things turned up or should you need further information.
Good luck and kind regards.