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Missing Operating System


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#1 nics

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 01:30 AM

So, I have a toshiba satellite m55-s135 which was running a fully updated windows XP. However, after installing some virus scan software tonight I had to restart my computer. When I did this I was greeted with the following message: Missing Operating System. I have no doubt that this is due to a virus. I have tried booting from a windows XP disc but the process stops at the screen which says: Starting Windows. Windows never actually starts however. I have also tried booting from my toshiba recovery disk but am unable to do a partial recovery and rather it says I need to reformat my hard drive.

My Question is this: does anyone know of another way of reinstalling an OS other than reformatting? Or perhaps a way of regaining at least some of my data after I reformat? I know that wiping a hdd tends to still leave traces of data; is there a way to reclaim these bits?

Thanks for any help you can give.

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#2 Budapest

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 01:34 AM

Have you tried booting into Safe Mode?

Another thing you can try is to boot your computer using a boot CD such as the UBCD. You should then be able to copy stuff off the drive before you go for the format option.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#3 nics

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:06 AM

Yeah, I don't get the option of booting into safe mode. I can boot from the hdd, fdd, cd or lan. Those are my only choices. I can get to the pheonixbios setup utility though.

#4 Budapest

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:21 AM

Try tapping the F8 key while the computer is starting up to see if you get the Safe Mode option.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

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#5 nics

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:40 AM

I tried that. It just sends me back to the missing operating system message

#6 mommabear

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:12 AM

Missing Operating System


I don't remember if a message like that would come up if the Master Boot Record is messed up, but have you tried fdisk /MBR in DOS with a 98 boot disk? Or, if my notes are correct, you can do it with the XP CD. My notes say,

Boot from the XP CD. Press R during setup to get to console. Select XP from list. Enter password if you have one. Enter command prompt FIXMBR.

I don't want to mess you up worse if that's the wrong thing to do in your situation. So somebody please chime in here if you think it's worth a try or not.

#7 nics

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:24 AM

I don't think there really is a worse than this. I tried that but pushing R didn't seem to do anything. When I boot from the xp cd I don't get a choice of options, it just starts installing

#8 pascor22234

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 01:26 PM

You have a "reinstall" disc, not an "installation" disc (MS calls this a "XP CD"). Running the reinstall disc will wipe out all settings, programs and files that you have added to the system since the day you got it.

Before doing a reinstall you may want to make a backup of your important files to a USB hard drive or a USB flash drive using a self-booting CD-based utility that doesn't require Windows to be running. One such example is PCLinuxOS. It is available as a download in an .ISO file format for burning to a CD.
http://www.pclinuxos.com/ About PCLinuxOS
http://www.pclinuxos.com/index.php?option=...s&Itemid=28 Download PCLinuxOS

A burning program such as Roxio or Nero can be used to burn ISO image files to a blank CD. If you don't have these programs or something similar you can download and use CDBurnerXP Pro.
http://cdburnerxp.se/download.php CDBurnerXP Pro (free)

The downloading and burning must be done from a fully functional computer.

#9 nics

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 05:09 PM

For this pclinuxos solution it, the site documentation refers to installing in on a functional computer. I can't get my computer to boot up though. I can't even get it to recognize the c drive. Also, the disk I have is an installation disk not the recovery disk.

thanks for the advice but it doesn't seem to work for me.

#10 Budapest

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 12:19 AM

To follow on from pascor22234's advice, what you can do is create a PCLinuxOS CD on a working computer. Then, you put that CD you just created into the computer you are having problems with and use it to boot the computer. Even though your Windows installation on that computer is messed up the computer will still boot because the PCLinuxOS is a separate "operating system". Then, you should be able to use the file manager tools within PCLinuxOS to copy important information off the hard drive.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

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