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Missing Operating System

by Stevo48*** / January 5, 2005 8:55 AM PST

I tried to reformat my partition through dos on windows 98 because it would only start in dos mode. I was then prompted to reboot. Then I recieved the error "Missing Operating System". In addition, my boot disk will not work. Is there anything I can do? Please Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Evidently the format worked
by TONI H / January 5, 2005 9:14 AM PST

because that would normally be the error message when the drive has been wiped clean; however, I'm wondering if you didn't give just the command at your bootdisk to FORMAT without designating the C: drive.....if so, then you only formatted the floppy disk and erased the information for it. So when you reboot with the bootdisk, that's the message you will receive since the computer normally boots to the A: drive first, and if it sees there is a disk in the drive, it is empty and can't find an operating system on it.

If you remove the bootdisk, and reboot, does it still give you that message or do you get to the desktop?

In any event, you now need a go here to download a new one for the version windows you have. or and when you get the .exe file downloaded, put a clean formatted floppy disk in the drive, and click the .exe file. It will automatically create the bootdisk for you (takes about ten minutes) and a dos screen will appear to show you the progress of it being created.

Boot up with the bootdisk, and if the C: drive is still working and you want to format it, type
FORMAT C: /S (unless you are using ME...then leave the /S off) and press Enter.

If your C: drive is empty, then type SYS C: instead and press Enter.

When it's done, reboot again with the bootdisk, enable cdrom support if you are asked. Then change to the R: drive letter (that's the default temporary drive for a downloaded bootdisk for your cdrom) and put in your windows cd and type SETUP.......the install will start.

You will probably need your hardware install cd's or floppy disks because windows will either install the drivers it has in its database or it won't have the right drivers at all.


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Thanks Toni But It did'nt work
by Stevo48*** / January 5, 2005 9:25 AM PST

I've tried all the different types of boot disks for Windows 98 from and I still get the same message. At that screen, I'm unable to type in anything and I'm unable to get to Dos. I just don't know what I can do.

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check your bio
by TONI H / January 5, 2005 10:17 AM PST

and make sure it's set to boot to the floppy disk as the first boot device, then the C: drive, then the cdrom....

If it's set correctly and the bootdisk isn't working at all, check your floppy drive to make sure that the drive is seen in the bios and that it isn't dirty or has dust in it. If you have a can of compressed air, blow it into the floppy drive (while the computer is turned off), and if you don't have canned air, use a hairblower on high (no heat).


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Hey thanks again.
by Stevo48*** / January 5, 2005 11:41 AM PST
In reply to: check your bio

But I was able to get into the bios and change where it reads to a. then I was able to take out the hard drive and reboot the computer so it ran the a drive. Then I was able to set up a new partition. Now I'm able to get into dos and the computer runs the a drive again, Now the problem is that the format c: won't finsh/work and I can't use setup D: to run the windows 98 cd rom (it seems to freeze right here). Thanks for all the insight. You've been more than helpful!

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You should have scandisk on the floppy
by TONI H / January 5, 2005 7:06 PM PST
In reply to: Hey thanks again.

so boot up with it, and at the A: prompt, type


and when you see the screen asking if you want to do a surface scan also, do it. If you have any bad sectors on the drive, they will show up as the letter B in red.....and if any of them are near the front of the drive where Windows 98 needs to install, windows won't let you do it because a FAT32 table won't let you install windows in an area with a bad sector.

Windows 95A which was FAT16 would let you...and I've, in the past, had to install that old version completely first and then get to the desktop and use the W98 cd to install over the top of W95A, and then convert the drive at the desktop to FAT32. It was a real pain.

In any event, if you see any red B's on the drive, and any of them are at the front of the drive, it's time to get a new harddrive, and start over again. Your harddrive may or may not still be under warranty depending on when you bought it. You will have to call the manufacturer (not the vendor where you bought it usually unless it's brand new), give them the serial number on the drive (usually on a tag near the power connector), and get an RMA number to get it replaced.


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