Fix the Error Message "Operating System not Found"

I: Symptom:

When you are trying to start your computer, you will receive the error message like "Operating System not Found"or "Missing Operating System". And you are prevented from using any of your PC's features.

II: Causes of "Missing Operating System":

"Operating System not Found" may occur for a wide range of reasons like below:

  • The basic input/output system (BIOS) does not detect the hard disk.
  • The hard disk is damaged.
  • Sector 0 of the physical hard disk drive has an incorrect or malformed master boot record (MBR).

III: Solutions of Fixing "Operating System not Found":

Method 1: Verify the BIOS Settings

Verify the computer's BIOS settings to make sure the BIOS lists and recognizes the hard drive. After you confirm that the BIOS is able to detect the hard disk, restart the computer to determine whether the issue is resolved. If you have fixed operating system not found error, or the BIOS can't detect the hard disk, you may have issues with your hardware.

Method 2: Fix Genius to Fix "Operating System not Found"

Fix Genius enables you to fix missing operating system error and other system errors by booting up your computer to a virtual system. Here is a simple guide of how to fix this issue with Fix Genius. Please note that the method 1 is a must. Before using this software, confirm your hard drive works properly.

  • Step 1: Insert a blank CD into another computer, and launch this program. Click "Burn" to start creating a boot CD.
  • Step 2: Turn to the computer with system failure. Change the BIOS boot order to set CD as the first boot device. It will auto-reboot and access to the system burned on the CD.
  • Step 3: After the computer enter Win PE, launch this software again. Go to "Windows Resuce"and select "Crash before Loading Bar". Then try the utility under this solution one by one until you can access to the Windows properly.

Method 3: Use Recovery Console in Windows XP to Fix "Missing Operating System"

The Recovery Console is recommended to deal system not found error with only if you are an advanced user who can use basic commands. Moreover, Recovery Console is not available in Windows 7 or Windows Vista. Only when Recovery Console has been preinstalled on your system, or there is an original Windows installation CD, it can be accessed from the boot menu. Therefore, it is not an idea solution since it has so many limitations. If you insist on this solution, go on for the details.

  • Step 1: Boot up your computer from your Windows XP installation CD. Insert the XP CD into your CD-ROM drive and turn on your computer.
  • Step 2: Set your BIOS to boot from CD. Your system's BIOS settings can be opened by hitting the "F2," "F8," "F8" or "Delete" key on your keyboard as the computer boots up. The specific key differs depending on your computer's manufacturer. When you see the message "Press any key to boot from CD," tap any key on your keyboard and wait until you see the "Welcome to Setup" screen.
  • Step 3: When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console. Once the Recovery Console is open, type your Administrator password (blank by default) and input fixmbr to get MBR fixed.
  • Step 4: Type in "CHKDSK /R" and press "Enter." CHKDSK will now scan and repair your hard drive. Type "Exit" when this process is complete.
  • Step 5: Press "Enter" to restart the computer. Your computer should now boot properly, without that annoying error.

Note that the fixmbr command may damage your partition table (part of MBR) if a hardware problem exists. You may also create inaccessible partitions by this command. You are highly recommended to backup your data before you use this fixmbr command.

Warning: This command can damage your partition table if a virus is present or if a hardware problem exists. If you use this command, you may create inaccessible partitions. Therefore, using Fix Genius to fix system not found is the best choice among them.