Can't find operating system

  donmar 09:32 20 Jun 2003

Until recently all was well.Now,quite regularly the system crashes,Go back reports massive disruption and advises letting scan disk run,and then reinstall itself.I reboot and get the message 'cannot find operating system'Starting with Me rescue disk and typing in various commands always results in bad command messages.
Have formatted and reinstalled all only to have the system crash again with all the same messages.There are no viruses etc on the system and 14 of the 20gb hard drive is free.I have restored from a ghost image made some time ago but the system has crashed again since and I have used the image again.Sys resore is disabled in favour of Go Back because restore is never of any help if windows won't even start.
Please can you help? I have Win ME. Don.

  HighTower 09:48 20 Jun 2003

I had exactly the same issue and it turned out to be a faulty hard drive. At first I could boot, say, 7 out of ten times, then it got less and eventually the "operating system not found" message appears all the time as the hard drive breathed it's last. It all happened within the space of a week. Scandisk didn't report any errors, even after a full surface scan.

Take an up to date image as quickly as you can before the disk fails so you are covered - in case this is the same problem you are experiencing.

  TECHNODIMWIT 09:48 20 Jun 2003

could be your ghost image is corrupt as well and all your doing is repeting the problem.
have you tried a totally fresh instal of WinME and started from scratch again.


  donmar 10:40 20 Jun 2003

Technodimwit and HighTower Yes I have done a clean restore and it all happened again.Scan disc reports no probs.and S.M.A.R.T.reports disc health good with no untoward attributes.

  woodchip 10:54 20 Jun 2003

Your ghost image may have a fault it the image, Try a complete format and reinstall

  keith-236785 11:03 20 Jun 2003

if as HighTower says it is your hard drive then firstly get all your data saved to cd or floppy, then see if you can "borrow" a spare hard drive, swop yours out and reinstall windows (or the ghost image) and see if you still have the problem.

good luck

  donmar 11:08 20 Jun 2003

Thanks everyone.Have done that already woodchip.Twice now.Don

  woodchip 11:14 20 Jun 2003

It could be a Corrupt MBR Get a start disc from click here and start with the disc TYPE at a:\>FDISK/MBR press enter

  HighTower 13:08 20 Jun 2003

When it happened to the pc I was working on Norton Utilities Disk Doctor reported no problems at all after a full thorough scan! A few hours later the disk was dead. Your hard drive may still fail regardless of what your disk utilities tell you as it may be being temperamental, i.e. when it does work it works fine, when it doesn't it doesn't work at all!

Luckily I had a disk image to restore, so as long as you have that then you can breathe a little easier while you try to solve the problem. Disk utilities are great for sorting out file system problems but in my experience not all that accurate for warning of early signs of physical disk damage.

  donmar 13:22 20 Jun 2003

Thanks everyone.Will try that woodchip.?Won't taking a ghost image now just have the same faults

  HighTower 14:49 21 Jun 2003

The disk image shouldn't record any physical defects of the disk but purely the data on it. You should be OK. If the imaging software you use reports that the procedure has completed successfuly then I would be fairly confident that the image is OK.

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