"Operating System Not Found" - Help

By HJB417
Aug 18, 2002
  1. that's what my friend's computer says so I gotta try to fix it but I don't have a lot of time and I'm probably only gonna go once. I haven't seen it myself but all I've been told is, when the computer starts it says "Operating system not found" and I don't think the computer has a floppy drive because I asked if maybe a floppy disk was in the computer.

    So...... do you guys have any suggestions on what recovery software I should bring? I'm gonna bring Norton System Works 2K2 and see if I can do a virus scan, if that doesn't work, I also have norton utlilties 2K1. I'm also gonna try to use the Norton Disk Doctor.

    Does anyone know any good partition recovery software?

    I think my final option would be to maybe, install the hard drive as a slave on another machine and try to recover the files from the not working hard drive to a working one.

    The operating system installed was win98, there was no antivirus installed but I don't know of any virsuses that do this, with the exception of CIH, but it's August, not April 27 or whatever. It could also very well be that the HDD is just dying, but it's only 3 or 4 years old.
  2. RustyZip

    RustyZip TechSpot Paladin Posts: 322

    Hi HJB417...

    Have you/him had a look in the BIOS??

    Have a look in it and see which Drive boots first.

    Make sure its the Drive with the Operating System on.

    If he has got a Virus, or maybe accidentally meddled somehow it may of changed his BIOS settings.

    When you boot-up does it recognize all the drives on the system??

    I'm no expert, but maybe i helped:p
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    You don't need a virus to do that.. Windows does it all by itself. :)

    You should be able to make the drive bootable again by using the a startup disk. But first you should check to make sure everything is there. The boot sector can be messed up, or your actual operating system files may be gone.

    Try booting from a Windows 98 emergency boot disk and type the following

    dir C:

    It will list out your files on the system drive, and hopefully some of them will look familiar. If you see all your files still there, then this is a good sign. That means your data is there, but Windows has been rendered unbootable for some reason.

    You may be able to make it bootable again by typing:

    sys a: c:
    fdisk /mbr

    The sys command will copy system files from your floppy to your system and fdisk /mbr will repair your boot sector. "Operating system not found" usually means bad boot files though, and your boot sector should still be intact. If it is a virus though, fdisk /mbr wil get rid of it in almost all cases.

    There's a few posts on this forum about Windows 98 boot problems. You may want to search around in the Operating System section of the forums.

    Also, as far as virus go, not many will totally make your system unbootable.. Some do exist though, such as the Cheyrnobl virus. Most viruses anymore are just meant to be annoying. :) FDISK /mbr will get rid of most viruses. There are the small handful that cannot be removed even when that is done though, so use your virus scanner first if you think a virus is to blame.
  4. HJB417

    HJB417 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ya, I've taken the fdisk /mbr switch into considiration but I dunno if I do that, if it will mess up the parition. I doubt it, but for now, I'm gonna search the city for a copy of powerquest's lost and found. Unfortunately, they discontinued it so maybe staples will have it for real cheap, if they have it at all =( . I won't be able to check out the computer for a while, but I was just given a heads up that the computer displayed the os not found message and I'm gonna try to fix it in a few days. So until then, I wanna bring every tool possible to get the job done.. antiviruses, partition recovery software, disk scanners, etc. I just wanna make sure I have all the bases covered.
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