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Boot Error : Missing Operating System

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#1
Long story short, we've been given a Dell machine with Vista, as it was previously owned, I performed a fresh install using the provided "Operating System" disc, which gave a nice clean Vista Home Basic install. Lovely.

Now yesterday, my girlfriend was using the machine, and was notified of updates needing to be installed, she allowed them to do so and then allowed the machine to reboot, unfortunately now after the initial Dell boot screen all that shows is a message stating "Missing Operating System".

Putting in the install disc to attempt a repair also can not find the installed O/S. Having run the on-board HDD check, there seems to be no problems there either.

Not having much experience with Vista, I'm a little stumped as to what to try next, so... any ideas? :)
 

GoNz0

NTFS Stoner
#2
has the bios reset?

doesnt sound that vista related, more a coincidence and a bios issue if the cd cant find it either?

could be as daft as the boot orders reset.
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#3
Doesn't appear to have done. I had a quick rummage through the bios settings before trying the install disc.
 

Dark Atheist

Moderator
Staff member
Political User
#4
if you have an xp disc see if it will find the files on the drive under recovery mode - i would think it should if so they can be recovered, poss the most likely reason is an update aborted silently while updating system files, does it say what files are missing ?

(one more reason for me not to get vista)
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#5
if you have an xp disc see if it will find the files on the drive under recovery mode - i would think it should if so they can be recovered, poss the most likely reason is an update aborted silently while updating system files, does it say what files are missing ?

(one more reason for me not to get vista)
I have an XP disc, may give that a whirl.

As for the error, it's quite literally says "Missing operating system", and nothing more.
 

muzikool

Act your wage.
Political User
#6
Serves you right you traitor. :p

Seriously though, if you can run the recovery console then you can get better information than "missing operating system."
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#7
It's not my machine :p

I have popped in the XP disc and hopped into the receovery console, it lists the Windows install, and asks for the Administrator password, only caveat with this being that no Administrator password was set during set-up, and it's my understanding that Vista disables the default admin account (I may be wrong).

Either way, unless there's a password I am unaware of, I'm unable to gain access via the recovery console.

Edit: Fortunately, as the machine wasn't actually running for that long anyhow, it's really not a problem to perform another clean install, and apparently the problem can be prevented via installing "Nvidia® nForce™ 430/410 Serial ATA Contoller Update".

So if it comes to it, a wipe/re-install may be on the cards :)
 

Dark Atheist

Moderator
Staff member
Political User
#8
you could always pop the drive out stick it in another machine and get any important info from it first burn it to disc, and stick it back on the drive after a wipe, i always have more than one hdd in any pc (apart from laptop) and only ever run os on one disc and save all info to another - want save the info if that drive dies but if i have to wipe and re-install i only lose os :)
 

ming

OSNN Advanced
#9
Edit: Fortunately, as the machine wasn't actually running for that long anyhow, it's really not a problem to perform another clean install, and apparently the problem can be prevented via installing "Nvidia® nForce™ 430/410 Serial ATA Contoller Update".

So if it comes to it, a wipe/re-install may be on the cards :)

wah?? :suprised: I've let windows install the SATA driver back in July, not seen any problems as yet... Then again, it may not be the same drivers you've got.

I kinda dislike the way MS gives descriptions for their updates that are way too brief. All I can see is "NVIDIA Corp driver update for Nvidia NF4 SATA controoler".... "This driver was provided by Nvidia Corp for support of Nvidia nf4 SATA."
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#10
I managed to do a boot repair with the vista disc in the end, all updates are now installed and I performed a fair few reboots to check it wouldn't happen on the next start-up.

As for that SATA update, it was already installed, so it may not be the problem all the other Dimension C521 owners were experiencing. Should it happen again, I'm installing Windows 2000 on the damned thing :p
 

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