The rock-bottom Magpies showed little sign of their troubles at the foot of the table as they gave Russell Slade's promotion-chasers a scare on several occasions.
After only a minute they created a great chance when Nathan Tyson burst through on goal only to be denied by Scott Cuthbert's superb tackle.
Eldin Jakupovic then had to dive full stretch to deny Gary Liddle's long-range drive from the edge of the box as Shaun Derry's men made a bright start.
Alan Sheehan saw a shot from 30 yards fly just wide before Orient's Chris Dagnall forced Notts goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski into a save.
The Magpies continued to ask greater questions of the Orient defence with Jamal Campbell-Ryce going close twice following smart approach play.
For their part, Orient struggled to create chances after the break, but Dean Cox should have done better with a shot from a corner in the 73rd minute, which flew straight at Bialkowski.