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operating system not found-help!

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my computer has been acting up...when it doesnt start or load, the monitor will black out and will display a message which says "operating system not found" i constantly will have to turn the power on & off until the computer loads. im not sure of how to fix this problem. please help, thank you!-i own a sony vaio lap top.
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Operating System not found

This issue may occur if one or more of the following conditions are true:

• 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).

Note Some third-party programs or disk corruption can damage an MBR.

• An incompatible partition is marked as Active.

• A partition that contains the MBR is no longer active.

To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods, depending on your situation.

Method 1: Verify the BIOS settings

Verify the computer's BIOS settings to make sure that BIOS lists and recognizes the hard disk. See the computer documentation or contact the hardware manufacturer for information about how to verify the BIOS settings.

After you verify that the computer's BIOS detects the hard disk, restart the computer, and then test to determine whether the issue is resolved. If the issue is not resolved, or if the computer's BIOS cannot detect the hard disk, you may have issues with your hardware. Contact the hardware manufacturer to inquire about how to resolve this issue. You may have to replace the hard disk.

Method 2: Use Recovery Console

Use the fixmbr command in the Windows XP Recovery Console to repair the MBR of the startup partition.

Method 3: Change the active partition

If the partition marked as active does not contain the Windows XP startup files, or the active partition is an incompatible or a different operating system, you must first mark the correct system partition as active before you restart the computer.

Note There can be only one active system partition at a time.
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