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Operating System Not Found -- Windows 2000 server

Posted on 2003-11-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Our local network server running with windows 2000 server hangs and when i restarted it has given "Operating System Not Found" message.  Please help me in resolving it.
Question by:maheshiks

Accepted Solution

barcelona_blom earned 500 total points
ID: 9838243

Try this,

Knowlege base article.

"Missing Operating System" Error Message When You Restart Windows 2000 Server

When you try to start your Microsoft Windows 2000 Server-based computer, you receive the following error message:

Missing Operating System
The startup process does not continue.
The incorrect partition is marked active.
To resolve this issue, you must change your computer's active partition. Fdisk.exe is a tool with which you can modify the active partition. You can run Fdisk.exe from a bootable 3.5-inch disk that was created in Microsoft Windows 98.

To change the active partition, follow these steps:

Create a Bootable 3.5-Inch Disk That Contains Fdisk.exe
On a computer running Windows 98, insert a blank 3.5-inch disk into the disk drive.
Click Start, and then click Run.
In the Run dialog box, type command, and then click OK.
At the command prompt, type:
format a: /s

Press ENTER two times.
When you are prompted to type a volume label, press ENTER.
When your are prompted to format another, type n, and then press ENTER.
Type the following command to copy the Fdisk.exe file to the 3.5-inch disk:
copy c:\windows\command\fdisk.exe a:

Press ENTER.
After the copy is completed, close command prompt.
Change the Active Partition
Insert the 3.5-inch disk that you created into the disk drive of the Windows 2000 Server-based computer.
Start the computer.
At the A:\> prompt, type:

Press ENTER.
Press ENTER to enable large hard disk support.NOTE: You may be prompted to enable large hard disk support on NTFS; if so, press ENTER to continue.

In the Enter choice selection, type 2, and then press ENTER.
Type the number of the partition to mark as active, and then press ENTER.
Press ESC.
Remove the 3.5-inch disk, and then restart the computer.

Expert Comment

ID: 9838292
This article may help If the first one doesnt.

Knowlege base.


Starting the Windows Recovery Console
To start the Windows Recovery Console, use any of the following methods:
Start your computer with the Windows Setup floppy disks, or with the Windows CD-ROM. At the "Welcome to Setup" screen, press F10, or press R to repair, and then press C (Windows 2000 only) to start the Windows Recovery Console. Select the appropriate number for the Windows installation that you want to repair, and then type the administrator password. If the administrator password does not exist, just press ENTER.
Add the Windows Recovery Console to the Windows Startup folder by using Winnt32.exe with the /cmdcons switch. This procedure requires approximately 7 MB of hard disk space on your system partition to hold the Cmdcons folder and files.

NOTE: If you are using software mirroring, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
229077 Mirroring Prevents Pre-Installing the Recovery Console

Follow the instructions in the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
222478 Creating a Template to Run Recovery Console Using a Remote Install Server

Using the Command Console
After you start the Windows Recovery Console, you receive the following message:
Windows NT(TM) Boot Console Command Interpreter.


This is a limited function command prompt intended only as a system recovery utility for advanced users. Using this utility incorrectly can cause serious system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows to correct them.

Type 'exit' to leave the command prompt and reboot the system.


Which Windows installation would you like to logon to (enter to abort)?

After you enter the number for the appropriate Windows installation, enter the Administrator account password. Note that if you use an incorrect password three times, the Windows Recovery Console quits. Also, if the SAM database is missing or damaged, you are not able to use the Windows Recovery Console because you cannot be properly authenticated. After you enter your password and the Windows Recovery Console starts, type exit to restart your computer.

fixboot drive name:

Use this command (where drive name is the drive letter where the boot sector will be written) to write the new Windows boot sector code on the boot partition. This command fixes problems where the Windows boot sector is corrupted. The Emergency Repair process also fixes the boot sector. This command overrides the default of writing to the system boot partition.
fixmbr device name

Use this command (where device name is an optional device name that specifies the device that needs a new MBR) to repair the master boot record (MBR) of the system partition. This command is used in scenarios where a virus has damaged the MBR and Windows cannot start.

WARNING: This command has the potential to damage your partition tables if a virus is present or a hardware problem exists. This command may lead to inaccessible partitions. Microsoft suggests running antivirus software before using this command.

The name can be obtained from the output of the map command. If this is left blank, the boot device's MBR is fixed, for example:
fixmbr \device\harddisk2

If Fixmbr detects an invalid or non-standard partition table signature, it prompts you for permission before rewriting the MBR.
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

SunBow earned 500 total points
ID: 9839162
Try booting a floppy disk that has an operating system, and see if you have anything left on a: and c:

In process, you may find floppy already in the drive, so remove it and reboot HD

You may need to run

fDisk /MBR

from the command line after booting your trusted diskette

maheshiks, any progress so far? AnyThing new?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 9840494
Check the following:
1) BIOS to see if the hard drive has not been disabled - if IDE.
2) If SCSI check to see if the SCSI controller is working during boot-up.
3) Check for "A"ctive partition on the system disk using boot diskette as others suggested.

DO NOT FDISK /MBR an NTFS system.... it's for DOS/Win98.....
If you need to put back the MBR for NTFS system use fixmbr command in recovery console.

Operating system not found often indicates master boot record is missing or the "A"ctive partition is not there.  This situation can come from a power surge.


Expert Comment

ID: 9841471
Read this http://is-it-true.org/nt/nt2000/atips/atips32.shtml for Windows 2000 section.

An HP engineer used fixboot and fixmbr to fix one of my server.  It works.

Good luck
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 9843455
Oops... my bad... MBR is the same between OSes... it's the bootstrap on the active partition that's different.  It's sys C:  for DOS/Win9x vs  fixboot for NTFS.

LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 10077291

Any results?  Please let us know.  Thanks...

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