System related errors are not an uncommon phenomenon. Even a single small update when wrong pops up an error message on the screen. You might have encountered this message several times before, like ‘Missing Operating System’ or ‘Operating System not found.’ These messages usually pop up when the computer is turned on. This error normally happens when Windows never gets a chance to load itself completely. In its own language, it is a way of informing the owner that the system has start up problems, which need to be fixed immediately. Systems like Windows 7 and Windows Vista will not display the message but the screen remains blank. In such cases click on the ‘Startup Repair’ from the installation Windows disc.
Causes for Operating System errors
- When the BIOS system is unable to detect the disk
- A damaged hard disk
- A physical hard drive with malformed or incorrect MBR (Malformed Master Boot Record)
- Incompatible partition marked as Active
- A partition with an inactive MBR
Steps involved in Repairing Windows Operating System
- Insert your version of Windows install disk and reboot the computer. Since, the computer is unable to locate the OS on the hard drive; it skips to the immediate option, which is normally the DVD or CD-ROM. Some systems might not be configured to roll over to the next boot device. In this instance it is best advised to select the boot device when your system is powered so that you can penetrate to the optical drive instantly.
- When prompted to boot, press any key to install the disk. Now follow the instructions that appear online. You can try repairing the existing Windows OS, which can be easily done by selecting the Windows new install.
- Once the operating system is selected to be installed, the package itself will perform a check to see if the installation is complete. If the existing Windows install is located, it gives you the liberty to repair the hard drive by removing the corrupt files and replacing them with clean ones.
- If the existing Windows install has not been located, it clearly depicts that the hard drive is completely corrupted. Keep in mind that the corrupted hard drive cannot be retrieved without the help of an expensive third-party retrieval service.
- You can now replace the hard drive and install the Windows Operating system.
Verify the BIOS settings
The BIOS settings can be verified to confirm that BIOS recognizes and lists the hard disk. Once the verification is complete you can restart the computer to check if the error is resolved. If no, you might have problems with the hardware, which needs to be fixed by contacting the hardware manufacturer. If required you might need to change the hard disk.
Usage of Recovery Console
Windows comes with the ‘Recovery Console,’ which has the fixmbr command that can be used to repair the MBR. However, this command comes with a warning. This command has the capability to damage the partition table when a virus or hardware problem is detected. Before using this command you need to follow a few things like:
- · Running an anti-virus software before using the command
- · Maintain a backup of the data
When the command detects a non standard or invalid partition table it seeks your permission to rewrite the MBR. Furthermore, this command works only on x86 based computers.
Contact the hardware manufacturer
If you are a busy person who does not have sufficient time to handle the computer by yourself, you can contact your hardware manufacturer. The manufacturer will be able to detect the real problem with the operating system by performing a detailed scan checking for damaged areas in the hard drive. They will also be able to verify and fix the BIOS settings. However, if the damage is severe the only solution will be to replace the hard disk.
Now that you are aware of the real problem, you can perform the advanced troubleshooting. However, this can be possible if you are a techie. If you are not sure on what to do, you might ask for help or get the Microsoft support from the website http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/.
The corrupted hard drive can be used as a secondary drive as part of the disk can be readable at times when Windows is installed. When replacing a hard drive check to see if your computer is still under warranty. If yes, it might cover hardware related repairs.
Linux systems have a different set of rules to fix this issue. Hope all Windows users find these tips useful. If you are a little hesitant over fixing the issue by yourself, you can contact the hardware manufacturer or a third party disc retrieval service. The third parties might be a little expensive, but they make sure that no harm is done to your system.
This is a guest post by Sharon Thomas of thecornersuite.com – a site that offers savings and current information on dish network and internet, as well as dish.com services.