An Operating System wasn't found.

  Sirvaik 06:33 17 Jun 2017

So, here I am watching videos on YouTube, while extracting a 2GB video game update file using winRAR, then all of a sudden I go from having 13GB free to 1.2MB free on my main and only hard drive. I thought this was just an error that would be easily fixed by restarting the laptop but I was wrong. When the HP laptop booted back up, it came up with the message, "An operating system wasn't found. Try disconnecting any drives that don't contain an operating system. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart".

Which I've done many times already. I don't understand though, was there a virus in the compressed folders? If so then why didn't my antivirus software detect it sooner? I'm using Symantec Endpoint Protection with premium membership, and as far as I know the software is pretty reliable, and I don't think it was YouTube.

All I want to know is, what caused this? And how do I fix it? Has all my data been deleted now? Need an answer please and thanks in advanced. There are more errors to name, but this info should be enough unless asked.

  alanrwood 09:34 17 Jun 2017

Sounds as though you have run out of disk space. Although the compressed file may have been 2GB when decompressed it may have exceeded the 13GB previously available.

Can you boot in safe mode or from an external recovery drive and delete the game until you find lots more free space.

  Sirvaik 13:32 17 Jun 2017


Sadly no, the laptop only starts up with the words "An Operating System was not found". All I can open up is the BIOS menu or whatever you call it. After pressing esc at startup. I'm fine with all my data being deleted as long as it's fixed in the end. So... any instructions on how to completely reset the laptop without actually accessing the windows operating system?

  Sirvaik 13:33 17 Jun 2017

Wait, no sub account. My bad.

  alanrwood 14:35 17 Jun 2017

What is your operating system.

  Jollyjohn 23:19 17 Jun 2017

All I can open up is the BIOS menu or whatever you call it. After pressing esc at startup. - carefully looking through the BIOS, is your hard drive detected?

If you can open up the laptop and remove and reseat the hard drive, and try again.

If the hard drive is still not detected, it may have failed.

  Sirvaik 01:44 18 Jun 2017

To answer these questions.

  1. Operating system = Windows 8.1 64bit.
  2. Yes, I did the extensive hard drive check and the memory check and they both passed, which I take as a good sign?
  MLA2000 04:02 18 Jun 2017

You can create a Windows 8.1 installation drive from here. You will need a spare USB memory stick which will have its data deleted in the process or you can opt to use a blank DVD instead - you will also need a spare PC. Follow the instructions provided by the software.

You may be able to save your current installation. Insert the new drive into your USB port and attempt to boot the computer (you may need to open your "boot menu" by pressing 'F8' or 'ESC' and using the arrow keys to select your drive. Setup the first screen on the installer, press next and then select "Repair your computer" in the bottom left of the setup program. Alternatively, if you are willing you can continue the setup process as normal.

Ensure that as soon as this process is completed, install a new antivirus program such as Sophos Home and install all available updates.

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