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"Missing Operating System"


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#1
DonnaB

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Hello,

Last night while typing away on my laptop that I use for my training here at GeekU it suddenly started beeping viciously and went straight to a blue screen explaining that windows shut down to prevent further damage. When I rebooted it went straight to the black screen with the words "Missing Operating System" in the upper left. I inserted my Vista recovery disk that I created some time ago from an ISO on line to get access to the recovery options. I chose Command prompt and typed in chkdsk /r which after completion gave me access to the Advanced Boot Options menu and proceeded to chose "Repair my computer". The results were that nothing was wrong and I did achieve the ability to at least boot to the logon screen so I could type my password and boot to Windows. It will not boot to Windows. It just proceeds to a black screen with moveable cursor. I just want to retrieve my homework which is the only thing that wasn't backed up.

At this time I am trying to retrieve my research folders for my training here at GeekU with a USB external enclosure from my laptop. I've never done this before and would be very grateful if some would guide me. I do have the HD removed from the laptop and secured into the external enclosure. The external came with a little disk that has Driver Version 1.0 written on it.

Ok, here is where I am lost. I have to insert that teeny tiny disk that says Driver Version 1.0 into my CD Drive to install a driver for the external enclosure to work don't I?

Could someone please explain to me how to proceed?

Thank you,

Donna :(

Edited by DonnaB, 19 April 2012 - 05:37 PM.

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#2
DonnaB

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Update:

Just realized the enclosure is IDE/SATA compatible. Figured out that I was using the wrong cable. Ooops. :blush:

I can now access the external via Start > Computer > Windows (G:) but when I click to view files it says Location is not available - G:\ is not available - Access is denied

Does anyone know how to correct this so I can access the external to retrieve the files I need?

Thanks!:)

Edited by DonnaB, 19 April 2012 - 07:37 PM.

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#3
zep516

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Until a more knowledgeable person answers, you might want to see this thread, I have a feeling you may have seen it already.

http://www.techsuppo...ied-387070.html

Joe
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#4
DonnaB

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Thanks zep516 for the link. I'll have a look tomorrow when I have more time. May change my mind about trying to retrieve with the external enclosure and have a closer look at Puppy Linux. Seems like the easier option.

I'll keep you informed.

Donna :)
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#5
Spirit Wolfe

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Donna:

Unless you are utilizing another operating system other than that of Windows 7 (Vista; pretty much the same thing) I would not worry about any driver CDs (mini CDs or otherwise) that came with your external driver "kit" because 9-out-of-10 times Win7 has the "generic" drivers to access pretty much any of the current external drive enclosures in use today (whether the drive is a hard drive or a Blue Ray / DVD / CD-ROM (burner or not) drive that is enclosed within the enclosure. Just for FYI future reference. That being said... on to your notebook issue.


QUESTION: ARE YOU RUNNING WINDOWS 7 ON BOTH THE COMPUTER THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO ACCESS THE EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE AND THE NOTEBOOK (the notebook hard drive, yes) ??? :headscratch:

IF your notebook OS is Windows 7 and your other computer is NOT Windows 7, then good chances are that the computer you are trying to access the notebook's hard drive CANNOT read the NTFS file system.

IF the other computer HAS WINDOWS 7 ON IT and you CANNOT still access the hard drive you can try going the Computer Management...

(Short cut: open a "RUN" window and type, no quotes, "compmgmt.msc" OR go to Start >> ALL PROGRAMS >> ADMINISTRATION TOOLS >> COMPUTER MANAGEMENT )

Even if you cannot access the drive, if Windows gives you a Drive Letter you have a good chance that you can possibly access the dive and retrieve some or all of the data.

Under the Computer Management you should see the Word STORAGE as a heading somewhere on the left side of the split window.

Next, click on the little "Right Pointed carrot" to access the STORAGE sub-menus...once there click on the "Disk Management" and in a second or two you will (or should see) the drive information of all your drives connected to that computer...

If the hard drives all have the same File System (usually NTFS) then you are half way there to recovering what you need on your hared drive... :yes:

Clicking on a volume name will also highlight the graphical display of that same drive below, in this case your external hard drive.

You should also take note that since you are dealing with "another" "Drive C:" your current computer's hard drive and the external had drive should be identical as far as the partitioning is concerned.

You can force Windows to do a re-read of the hard drive and see if Windows can access the drive by Right Clicking on the physical (located in bold) hardware drive number (this is the number [Disk 0, Disk 1, Disk 3, CD-ROM 0, CD-ROM 1, CD-ROM 2] of where the physical drive is connected to your computer via the BIOS). The drive letters are known as Virtual Hard drives where as the physical hard drives or CD-ROM drives are known as DRIVE 0 (usually Drive C:) and DRIVE 1 (usually virtual drives E: ~ Z:) and your physical CD/Blue Ray/DVD (burner or not) is CD-ROM 0 (this is usually an internal drive unless you bought a computer without one).

You can take any hard drive off line and then return it to an online status by Right Clicking on the physical drive number and choosing OFFLINE (you MUST have Administrative Rights for anything you do in this section). Also IF you do take the drive (or any drive) off line you might need to either enter Device Manager which you can access under Computer Management, then Rescan for hardware changes or reboot the computer.

Since you are most likely going to have to reinstall windows anyway once you figure out what is truly wrong with your notebook, might I suggest trying to see if you can get Windows to re-recognise the hard drive.

DO NOT change the "conversion flavor" of the hard drive, however, you might make it unreadable even more (there are two types or flavors hard drive conversions, Windows chooses the best one [usually Dynamic Disk] for your Windows 7 and computer hardware to coincide best together).


FINAL THOUGHTS... :D

If the CHKDSK command did not find anything wrong when you had ran it on your notebook's hard drive I have a feeling that it is the way your other computer is accessing the external drive.

Second, I doubt it but you might (very slim though) need a driver for that particular hard drive (BTW, what is the notebook's hard drive's manufacturer?)

Third, try a friend's or other family member's computer and see if it is the BIOS has issues trying to access the hard drive, itself, keeping in mind that when you attach an external drive to a computer there are two key factors (for possible driver issues) the external enclosure, itself, and the hard drive. Now remember, since you can get windows to prompt you a virtual drive letter (Drive G:) Windows is at least telling you that it found something, right? :P

Fourth, have you ever done a through driver inspection for any of your computers? I use a website and a program called Driver Detective and it does a better job finding missing and exploited drivers than you or I or even Windows can ever do because it uses several key factors when finding the right drivers for your hardware.

I hope this helps...

CHEERS!
:cheers:

Spirit Wolfe


PS - This is the best way to try to access that drive without spending bucket loads of money on data retrieval software that may or may not work. :unsure:

Edited by Spirit Wolfe, 19 April 2012 - 11:17 PM.

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#6
DonnaB

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Hi Spirit Wolfe,

I can't thank you enough for coming to my aid! This is going to take a moment for me to absorb all that you explained above.

In the meantime:

My apologies for being so vague. The laptop that displayed "Missing Operating System" on reboot is Vista Home Premium. The laptop that I am using as a host to insert the USB external enclosure into is Vista Home Basic. They are both NTFS.

The malfunctioning notebook (VHP) HD is a Western Digital Scorpio.

I do have a 2nd Vista Home Premium laptop that I tried to access the HD from without success.

I have included an image of Computer Management that displays from the Vista Home Basic "host". I see that everything on Disk 1 is intact yet inaccessible at this time.

I'll read your post above more thoroughly now.

Thank you very much for helping me.

Donna :)

Attached Thumbnails

  • Computer Management.JPG

Edited by DonnaB, 20 April 2012 - 05:45 PM.

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#7
happyrock

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if you just wanted to save your data...puppy linux was the way to go when the drive was still in its original place...
another thing to keep in mind is you should run chkdsk /r until it does not have to fix anything...if if it takes 3 tries..let it run
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#8
DonnaB

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Hi happyrock,

Yes! I am one step ahead. I found the how to Use Puppy Linux Live CD to Recover Your Data thread. While I was downloading the .iso file for puppy linux last night the thought of using Recuva came to mind to at least see if I could get to my homework folder so I can set up my backup laptop to continue with my training in a timely fashion. At this time I have had great success retrieving that folder with Recuva though I may have some other files that were not backed up prior to the catastrophe. :thumbsup:

I wasn't sure the HD secured within the external enclosure would be found with Recuva. Now I know. Do and learn! ;)

Now that I have my folder though, I'll proceed with puppy linux to make sure I have all the files I neglected to backup to the external then place the HD back into it's original place and run chkdsk /r a few more times like you have suggested.

I'll let you know how that goes.

Thanks for jumping in.

Donna

Edited by DonnaB, 21 April 2012 - 04:19 PM.

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#9
happyrock

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your welcome... :thumbsup:
and remember this...
data that you don't have at least 2 copies of is data you really don't care about
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#10
DonnaB

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happyrock? You still there?

I have replaced the HD into the unbootable laptop. For some unknown reason to me I cannot perform a chkdsk /r now.

Here's what happens:

I boot to the Advanced Boot Options menu and choose Repair Your Computer feature, select a language, select a User name: and type password, select Command Prompt, I type chkdsk /r and the following is the results:

X:\windows\system32>chkdsk /r
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Cannot lock current drive.
Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected.

Same result with the recovery disk and when I access the Advanced Boot Options menu and choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

The other day I read from a link that "Missing Operating System" could be the result of the MBR being corrupt or the HD is toast.

Any ideas?
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#11
happyrock

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I have replaced the HD into the unbootable laptop

is this a new drive...has it been initialized and formatted
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#12
DonnaB

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No Sir,

This is the original (old) HD that I took out of the unbootable laptop and placed in the external enclosure to retrieve my homework files from. I had hoped to run chkdsk /r on it a few more times as you suggested above so I put it back into the unbootable laptop to do so without success.
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#13
happyrock

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try this...boot from your recovery dvd and select startup repair
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#14
DonnaB

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Startup Repair checked for System for problems.

Startup Repair could not detect a problem.

Clicked Finish which took me back to the main screen System Recovery Options
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#15
happyrock

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this is by ... noahdfear


I made a bootable DOS image with some mbr tools - MBRWork and TestDisk.
This will write a new mbr.

http://noahdfear.net...ble/NTBR_CD.exe

Save then double click to extract to folder.
Open the folder and run BurnItCD.cmd
When BurnCDCC opens, click Start - the cd tray will open.
Insert blank cd and click OK.
The tray will close, burn the image then eject the disc.

Boot with the cd and hit Enter when prompted.
After a warning screen there is a keyboard language options screen - press Enter to leave it at EN-US.
You should now be at the Tool options screen.
Type 1 and press Enter to start MBRWORK

This screen will show the hard drive configuration.
http://ScrnSht.com/pzyoau

Type 5 to Install standard MBR code then hit Enter
Type 1 to select Standard then hit Enter
Type Y then hit Enter to confirm
Type E then hit Enter to exit

Back at the menu, type 6 to Quit.
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart the machine.
Eject the cd upon restart and boot normally.
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