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jlandwehr61
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Chkdsk hangs then, on restart, "missing operating system"

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Hello,

As a routine maintenance task, I ran chkdsk /r on my Inspiron 1545 last night and it hung at 69% in stage 5 for over 10 hours. I figured it was hung for good, so shut the machine off. When I turned it back on I got the black screen with a "missing operating system". Message. Argh!

My question is, how do I get past this. I need ideas from most conservative (i.e. save the data and programs) to desperation (factory restore.) I wouldn't think something would go this awry on a PC that was working yesterday. 

Worst case, is it as simple to get a factory restore by hitting F8 at bootup like I;ve seen posted on the web? If not, I do have the factory system recovery disks I made, but I really want to save what's on the laptop already. Any advice from conservative to nuke are appreciated.

Best.

Jim

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Dell-Rajesh R
4 Ruthenium

Re: Chkdsk hangs then, on restart, "missing operating system"

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Hi Jim, 

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  • A partition that contains the MBR is no longer active.

I recommend running diagnostics. Run diagnostics on the computer (restart the computer by holding FN and Power button simultaneously) let the diagnostics complete.

Also, try below mentioned steps:

Step 1: Below are the steps for last good configuration.

Boot to the Last Known-Good Configuration

  • Power on the system.
  • Press <F8> when the message For troubleshooting and advanced startup options for Windows, press F8 appears.
  • Choose Last Known-Good Configuration.


Step 2: Use System Restore to Revert to a Previous State.

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. Tap <F8> during startup until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears.
  3. Press <Down Arrow> until Repair Your Computer is highlighted, and then press <Enter>.
  4. In the System Recovery Options window, click to select your language, and then click Next.
  5. Log in as a user with administrative rights, and click OK.
  6. From the Choose a recovery tool menu, click System Restore.
  7. In the System Restore window, click Next.
  8. Click the Show restore points older than 5 days checkbox for a complete listing of restore points.
  9. Click to select a restore point.
  10. Click Next and then click Finish.
  11. Click Yes in the confirmation window.
  12. Click Restart after system restore successfully completes.
  13. If you encounter any error messages during the restore process, follow the on-screen instructions to correct the error.

Step 3 : Repair the Master Boot Record

The Master Boot Record (MBR) is a section of the hard drive that is used by the PC to start the Windows operating system. If the MBR is corrupt, the PC will not start. The Windows Operating System Disc (OSD) provided with your notebook PC can be used to repair the Master Boot Record (MBR). Follow the steps below carefully to repair the MBR.

  • Insert the Windows Operating System Disc into the optical (CD or DVD) drive.
  • Press and hold the Power button for 5 Seconds to turn off the PC. Then press the Power button again to turn on the PC.
  • Press the Enter key when prompted to Boot from CD .
  • From the Windows Setup Menu, press the R key to start the Recovery Console.
  • At the C:\> prompt type FIXMBR then press the Enter key to continue.
  • Press the y key then press Enter when asked if you want to write a new MBR.
  • Once the MBR is successfully written, restart the notebook PC by pressing the Power button. 


Awaiting your response!

Thanks & Regards
Rajesh R
#iworkfordell
To know  more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US ; UK; India. For Dell support videos click Here.
If a post answers your question, please click "
Yes".

5 Replies
Dell-Rajesh R
4 Ruthenium

Re: Chkdsk hangs then, on restart, "missing operating system"

Jump to solution

Hi Jim, 

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.

I recommend running diagnostics. Run diagnostics on the computer (restart the computer by holding FN and Power button simultaneously) let the diagnostics complete.

Also, try below mentioned steps:

Step 1: Below are the steps for last good configuration.

Boot to the Last Known-Good Configuration

  • Power on the system.
  • Press <F8> when the message For troubleshooting and advanced startup options for Windows, press F8 appears.
  • Choose Last Known-Good Configuration.


Step 2: Use System Restore to Revert to a Previous State.

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. Tap <F8> during startup until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears.
  3. Press <Down Arrow> until Repair Your Computer is highlighted, and then press <Enter>.
  4. In the System Recovery Options window, click to select your language, and then click Next.
  5. Log in as a user with administrative rights, and click OK.
  6. From the Choose a recovery tool menu, click System Restore.
  7. In the System Restore window, click Next.
  8. Click the Show restore points older than 5 days checkbox for a complete listing of restore points.
  9. Click to select a restore point.
  10. Click Next and then click Finish.
  11. Click Yes in the confirmation window.
  12. Click Restart after system restore successfully completes.
  13. If you encounter any error messages during the restore process, follow the on-screen instructions to correct the error.

Step 3 : Repair the Master Boot Record

The Master Boot Record (MBR) is a section of the hard drive that is used by the PC to start the Windows operating system. If the MBR is corrupt, the PC will not start. The Windows Operating System Disc (OSD) provided with your notebook PC can be used to repair the Master Boot Record (MBR). Follow the steps below carefully to repair the MBR.

  • Insert the Windows Operating System Disc into the optical (CD or DVD) drive.
  • Press and hold the Power button for 5 Seconds to turn off the PC. Then press the Power button again to turn on the PC.
  • Press the Enter key when prompted to Boot from CD .
  • From the Windows Setup Menu, press the R key to start the Recovery Console.
  • At the C:\> prompt type FIXMBR then press the Enter key to continue.
  • Press the y key then press Enter when asked if you want to write a new MBR.
  • Once the MBR is successfully written, restart the notebook PC by pressing the Power button. 


Awaiting your response!

Thanks & Regards
Rajesh R
#iworkfordell
To know  more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US ; UK; India. For Dell support videos click Here.
If a post answers your question, please click "
Yes".

jlandwehr61
1 Nickel

Re: Chkdsk hangs then, on restart, "missing operating system"

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Rajesh,

This is exactly the kind of comprehensive answer I was looking for. I will try these solutions tonight and let you know if they work. Thanks too for your recent help with the flickering monitor on my 5010 (Flea Power!). Your help is truly appreciated!

BTW, you mention using the Windows OS disk as part of step 3. I don't have one of those. I have an Emergency Repair Disk and the 2 Sytsem Recovery disks I made when I bought the laptop. (No one ever gets windows disks anymore) Which of those 3 should I use?

Thanks,

Jim

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jlandwehr61
1 Nickel

Re: Chkdsk hangs then, on restart, "missing operating system"

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Well the diagnostics gave a 2000-0146 error during the HDD diagnostics. Next I tried the F8 solution and there was no option for Last Good Config. The F8 did not allow Step 2 to happen either.

I then tried booting using the system repair disk, but no OS choice is showing up, and the only other choice is to Load Drivers (or use a system image, that it never seems to find). I next tried booting from Disk 1 of the System Recovery Disks and it just hung after it "loaded the files".  

I am at a loss for what to do next. Any advice appreciated. (Again, I have a Windows 7 recovery/repair disk and a set of 2 System Recovery Disks.

Thanks.

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jlandwehr61
1 Nickel

Re: Chkdsk hangs then, on restart, "missing operating system"

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More info: Completed diagnostics run overnight. In addtion to the message above, the message at the end read:

"Pre Boot system assessment. No Diagnostic Utility Partition Identified. Please select OK to reboot the system."

A reboot sends me back to missing operating system

Not sure what that is telling me.

Then rebooted to Windows 7 repair disk and tried to do a Dell Factory Install Restore. When I clicked the check to reformat the drive and reinstall factory settings, it got the error "Parameter is Incorrect"

Along the way, one of the diagnostic logs read "The system volume is corrupt" and it's solution was to "Run chkdsk"

So, I have a few follow up questions:

1. Is there a way to boot to C:\ prompt so I can re-run chkdsk?

2. If the hard drive is bad, is it possible to replace it and not lose my OS? As I said, I have a Windows 7 recovery/repair disk and a set of 2 System Recovery Disks. Can I use these once the hard drive is replaced to recover my OS and all of my factory settings? (If so, please include link to instructions.)

3. Are there any other things I can try? I really don't mind buying a new harddrive, but don't want to have to buy windows again.

Thanks,

Jim

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Dell-Rajesh R
4 Ruthenium

Re: Chkdsk hangs then, on restart, "missing operating system"

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Hi Jim,

Kindly let me know if the issue is fixed on the computer. I have seen on the other post that the issue is fixed on the computer after replacing the hard drive.

Should you require any help, kindly post back.

Awaiting your response!

Thanks & Regards
Rajesh R
#iworkfordell
To know  more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US ; UK; India. For Dell support videos click Here.
If a post answers your question, please click "
Yes".

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