Operating System not found (windows 7)

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by eldest123, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. eldest123

    eldest123 New Member

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    I'm been working on this problem for over a day now and now I'm stumped.
    I've read dozens of threads and blogs all over the internet concerning this "operating system not found" problem but none of their problems seem to be the problem that I have.
    My computer just got extremely laggy and froze into a BSOD (blue screen of death) before turning off and showing me the "operating system not found" message during every boot.

    Usually when this problem showed up, it turned out to be a hard drive failure, but when I checked my bios, it listed my hard drive as 320gb. (So I'm guessing this has nothing or little to do with my hard drive.)

    Here are the things I have tried:
    • Safe modes
    • The "Launch Startup Repair" (ends up with at start up background and doesn't progress any further)
    • The "Windows Memory Diagnostic"
    • "Last Known Good configuration"
    • I've transfered the windows 7 .iso to a bootable usb and started up the laptop it got to the Install Now window and when I press that, the window closes and it shows "setup starting" and just stays like that.
    The only part that seems to be working like it's supposed to is the quick start/splashtop browser option that doesn't startup anything. (It only opens a browser for internet use and no other programs).

    I'm guessing the next step should be to open up my laptop and see if any of the cables are loose.
    But after that I don't know what else I could do.


    Edit- I have just checked and now the operating system not found message doesn't show up. when I start up with regular settings, it just gets to a blue screen and restarts.
     
    #1 eldest123, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  2. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    eldest123;
    Hello and welcome to the forums
    If you are certain that your hard drive is in fact healthy then you might want to reconstruct the boot files.
    See this article for instructions as to how to use bootrec.exe
    I recommend the
    /fixmbr
    /fixboot
    /rebuildbcd
    You might want to follow the example for exporting also. And as always have a good solid backup of your critical files somewhere safe.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  3. eldest123

    eldest123 New Member

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    I've just tried this option and I can only go as far as step 4.


    1. Put the Windows Vista or Windows 7 installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
    2. Press a key when you are prompted.
    3. Select a language, a time, a currency, a keyboard or an input method, and then click Next.
    4. Click Repair your computer.
    5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
    6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
    7. Type Bootrec.exe, and then press ENTER.
    After I press repair my computer, it shows the background and no other windows pop up.
     
  4. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    I assume you are giving it a reasonable amount of time to resolve and bring up the next screen?
    If you cannot boot into any of the Recovery Environment options either by pressing F8 as your computer is booting or by booting using the Install Media DVD, if you cannot even get to a command prompt, I'm afraid your options are limited.
    Time to consider a wipe and clean install, but first you might want to consider using one of the many Linux Distro Live CDs to boot your computer and transfer your files off to an external storage resource (USB Drive, eSATA, NAS, etc.,)
    Here's a link just make sure to get the right one for your architecture 32 or 64bit, if you don't know for sure just get the 32bit one. Download | Ubuntu
     
  5. eldest123

    eldest123 New Member

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    I gave about 15+ minutes per trial and I'm guessing that was good enough.
    I'm not quite sure what Linux Distro Live CDs are, they must be Ubuntu?
    And what it does it directly access my hard drive to extract its contents?

    Thanks for yet another reply, I'll try it now.


    Edit- What I'm trying to do now is extract my files into an external hard drive. How do I clean wipe my computer afterwards?
    And starting ubuntu from a bootable usb wouldn't make much difference to a CD right?
     
    #5 eldest123, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  6. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Probably enough
    Yes it is, at least the link I provided is.
    yes it will let you open up two computer windows so you can drag and drop you Docs, Pictures, Music, etc.

    Thanks for yet another reply, I'll try it now.


    Insert the install DVD and when you get to the where you're going to install it window click the options button and delete the partion(s) that it's currently installed in and then select the unallocated space to install the OS. Be careful not to choose the wrong drive if you have multiple and be careful not to choose the wrong partition if you have a separate data partion(s).
    No I believe you can do it either way as long as your BIOS supports booting from USB, I just usually burn the ISO to a CD, which leaves my handy USB ports open to attach external media.
    Hope this helps
    Regards
    Randy
     
    #6 Trouble, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  7. eldest123

    eldest123 New Member

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    Ah cool, lucky I have 3 usb slots. Considering my previous issues, I feel like I won't be able to reach the part where I get to manage my partitions.
    What happens if that happens? Would tech guys from best buy/etc be able to take care of it?
     
  8. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    They probably could (on a good day) but they may charge you a small fortune, especially if you want them to recover your data, after which they'll just do pretty much what I told you to do put the install media in and wipe it clean and reinstall the OS.
    Which you can probably do, so I would only take it there as a last resort. If you can get your data off, then you should be pretty much in the clear after that. Don't forget your email, if you keep in locally.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  9. eldest123

    eldest123 New Member

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    Hm so are you saying that it's possible to wipe clean the laptop even if it's impossible to reach the partition options page?
    Like if there was a reset button under laptop...
     
  10. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Pretty much, still assuming that the hard drive is not at issue and once you've made sure all critical data is safe, you choose to install, rather than repair after which you progress through the screens and you should see your drive come up and if you click the options button you should then see the available partitions, ideally two one system reserved and one for the actual OS, select and delete them both and you'll have one large unallocated area and you click next.
    Now since this is a laptop you may very well have an area (partition) where the vendor has installed the system recovery files that support returning the Laptop to the day it was born. I have no way of actually being certain as some do and some don't but if you have the original vendor OS Disks then those will like put everything back as well, although they may just function as a medium to call that partition so you'll want to be mindful of that as well. The way you were talking I may have assumed too much, I thought you had a normal Retail or OEM Windows 7 install DVD.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  11. eldest123

    eldest123 New Member

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    Okay, so I'm guessing this is my only way to get it working.

    And uh, I found a trial version of windows 7 os 32-bit online so I got an .iso copy of that. I had it placed into my usb via some program to format it into a bootable usb. I never received a CD with my laptop when I purhased it. So I'm planning on installing trial and entering my product key.

    And hm, instead of assuming is there a way to really make sure if my hard drive is okay? All my bios says is
    System Memory: 4096mb
    Hard Drive Space: 320gb or something of that sort.
     
  12. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Number one, I would suggesting contacting your computer vendor and see if they can provide you with the necessary install media, usually they have this available either for free or a small shipping and handling fee.
    Second a trial or evaluation version is not likely to provide a long term solution as these are time bombed to expire after a certain number of days from the date of an install and is not likely to accept your Product ID Key, because last I checked the only Eval available through legitimate resources was Enterprise version I think.
    Third as far as using software products to assess the present condition of your hard drive most of the free versions of such products require running them from within Windows which of course is not an option for you at this time unless you are able to remove the drive and test it on another computer. Most of the tier one hard drive manufacturers offer diagnostic utilities for free specific for their drives but you will need to know the manufacturer of your drive (Western Digital, Seagate, etc.,) in order to obtain the proper software for your product. I personally use a product called SpinRite which unfortunately is not free but supports booting from a CD or Floppy Drive for testing.
    Regards
    Randy
     
  13. eldest123

    eldest123 New Member

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    When I tried loading the ubuntu .iso in my usb, the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool told me the .iso was invalid. So I got poweriso and checked UDF on the .iso and it loaded up into my usb. And then when I booted up my computer it said Bootmgr is missing. So I just took my hard drive out and placed it into another laptop and disappointingly the same thing happened...
    Gosh, sorry for getting us started in the wrong track, the hard drive is wrong right?

    So unless there's a solution to get the ubuntu working properly I guess I'll have to either buy another hard drive or find a good recovery program.
     
  14. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Not sure why you are so determined to use the USB option when you could download ImgBurn from here and burn the ISO to a CD in a matter of minutes.
    Alternately you (depending on where you are at physically and what stores or shops you have available to you) could acquire something like this to attach the drive to another computer and offload your files that way as I was suggesting in an earlier post.
    Here if you need further help
    Regards
    Randy
     

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