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'Missing Operating System' error


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#1
jack99

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Hi Guys i found this website and found the information very useful especially for the blinking cursor.

I have a Compaq En (old i know) Computer
intel pentium 3
compaq processor board
128mb ram

i have added a graphics card and 2 hard drives one old and one new the old one is set to slave and the new one is set to master.

the problem is that i was able to get the xp installation to run and decided to install it on the slave drive
once it completes everything format to NTFS the computer restarts until when it says press any key to boot from cd i wait until it should boot to hard drive but a message comes
'missing operating system'.

any ideas?

just something i want to know e.g if you install xp it says formatting until in the end comes with an error:

"Setup was unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged. Make sure the drive is switched on and properly connected to your computer. If the disk is a SCSI disk, make sure your SCSI devices are properly terminated. Consult your computer or SCSI adapter documentation for more information.

You will have to select a different partition for Windows NT. Press ENTER to


did it format the drive if not then the file on it should be intact correct if not is there any way to recover the data.

thanks

Edited by jack99, 18 February 2010 - 02:29 PM.

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#2
peterm

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Hi Jack99
Welcome to G2G
You have to reinstall windows to the Master drive - Not the slave.
Once windows is installed then right click on the other drive and format.
Cheers
peterm
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#3
jack99

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First of all i don't want to install XP on the master only on the slave and secondly i tried installing it on master with all the options of formatting and get the error message i mentioned

"Setup was unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged. Make sure the drive is switched on and properly connected to your computer. If the disk is a SCSI disk, make sure your SCSI devices are properly terminated. Consult your computer or SCSI adapter documentation for more information.

You will have to select a different partition for Windows NT. Press ENTER to

i want to install it only on the slave drive
this is where the problem comes of it saying missing operating system

thanks

Edited by jack99, 20 February 2010 - 12:48 PM.

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#4
wannabe1

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Boot instructions are written to the boot sector of the Primary Master HDD by default and out of necessity for system access. This is the reason you get the "Missing Operating System" error...the machine can't locate the information it needs to complete the boot process. If the Master HDD is damaged or has failed, then you'll need to install a new drive as the Primary Master...or reconfigure your slave as the Primary Master and install to that.

While you can choose the location you wish to install Windows to during the Windows installation, you cannot choose where the boot sector is written...and it's always written to the first sector on the Primary Master.
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#5
jack99

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So you are saying that because i am trying to save an operating system to the slave drive the boot file which loads the operating system i written to the master drive HDD and therefore in order to install xp on to the slave i have to configure it to a master and the master to a slave.
Then it should work.
i will try and let you know what happens

thanks

p.s regarding my first enquiry would the data be lost in that situation i referred at the bottom of the first post.
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#6
123Runner

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It sounds as though there is some confusion.

What drive is the data on that you want to save? I assume the "old" drive.
If you formated the old drive (and it sounds like you did because you put the OS on it), then it is gone.

If you have 2 physical hard drives, then 1 will be a master (primary) and the other will be a slave (secondary).
The primary HDD will always have the OS on it. (this has already been stated).
The slave will be a back up drive for data.

Just switching the slave and master as you have it set now will not get the computer to work.
What was suggested by wannabe1 was to move the slave drive to the master position and reformat and reinstall the OS to that drive.

The best way to do what you want is to only have 1 drive in the computer as the master. Install to that and then attach the other drive as a slave.

123runner
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#7
jack99

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thanks for the help guys operating system is running we now need to recover the data from the old drive which is in slave position now.
i am first going to try using getdataback.

thanks
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#8
jack99

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Thanks for the help guys i was able to get windows xp installed and keep my data even though i had accidently formatted it.

in case people have this problem

Solution
As you guys mentioned that to install an operating system on to a hard drive the hard drive must be a master because the boot file is saved into the master and it tries to look for the operating system on the drive the boot file is in.

So i disconnected the new hard drive placed the old drive as master installed xp and then attached the new hard drive as slave configuration.

Xp ran nicely on the master drive.

Then i tried a program which is better then GetDataBack which highly recommed because with getdataback i couldn't copy the file it found.

The program i tried which i recommed is called stellar pheonix data recovery it recovers data and then lets me save it.

There you have it a clean xp operating system with no data loss.

Thanks

p.s when the computer boots up it gives me a lot of options to choose from
Windows.0 XP or something like this
Windows.1 Xp
Windows.2 XP
Windows.3 XP
operating system on C:

why is there so many i never did parallel installation.

also i am not able to format my hard drive when i recovered the file still because of the error i mentioned.

thanks again
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#9
peterm

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Hi Jack99
Click on start right click on my computer click on properties click on advanced tab click on the settings button under the startup and recovery. Click on edit. this will open Notepad. Highlight everything and copy and paste in your reply
close notepad, If notepad as to save any changes say NO. Cancel out of the properties screen do no exit with the apply or ok button.

Cheers
Peterm
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#10
123Runner

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Also, which one of the windows choices opens properly and has everything you need?
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#11
jack99

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Hey guys sorry couldn't get back to you.

the internet was down so had to fix it.

i will get the text for you peterm as for 123runner
i just chose the top one on the list and that one works.
can i get rid of the other lists i just want one.

thanks
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#12
123Runner

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We need the boot.ini list so we can tell you for sure what to get rid of.
Then you will have to delete the other OS's from your computer.
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#13
jack99

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here is the information you asked for is this the same as the boot.ini file

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.1
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.1="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS.0="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\="Previous Operating System on C:"

if this is not the boot.ini file then how can i acquire it?

thanks
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#14
peterm

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Yes that is the file.
By the look of the file you have more then 1 windows install.
If you want to make a backup of the file before changing it go back to the file and when it opens in notepad click on
File>Save as. The defult path should be C: Name the file boot.old.
Then reopen the current boot.ini and delete what is in red. This will give you the 1st option only in the list which is the one you now choose. Save the file without changing it's name.
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.1
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.1="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS.0="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\="Previous Operating System on C:"

Cheers
Peterm
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#15
jack99

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Ok so that removes it from the list but it does not remove the extra installed operating systems does it.

how can i delete the extra windows installation be left with one so i can save space.

and how about formatting the drive is not possible and i have to get another hard drive.
thanks
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