I have a windows 98, machine.  When i went to start it up the other day, I came up with a message "No Operating system found".
I restarted the computer, and it loaded past the Windows 98 startup screen, and went to the C: prompt!
I ran the dir command on the c drive but did not see any of my files/program files or windows files or directorys.
Have i lost all my file/folders/program files/folders?
Is there any way to repair this?
Please help, Thank you very much.
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blue_zeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:

The Windows 98 startup screen is a file usually located in C:\ called logo.sys.

It's weird it's not listed.

Anyway I still believe you have a faulty HDD that erased or in some way corrupted the data.

Perhaps you want to check your HDD with the appropriate utility:

fujitsu <>

IBM and Hitachi <>




Western Digital
<> <>


When you restarted the pc was this with a boot floppy?
ruairi_1234Author Commented:
no, i just restarted it as normal.  there are no disks in the drive.  The last time i used my computer it booted into windows 98 from the hard drive as normal!
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And now you are getting a C: prompt only?
Or do you get the No OS found error?
What happens if you Type WIN at the C: prompt?
ruairi_1234Author Commented:
sometimes it says "no operating system found"
and the majority of time it brings the c: prompt.

when i type win it says bad command or file name.
does win 98 have a repair funtion like windows xp??
Not realy other then scanreg restore.
But if you dont have a win directory I think it wont work.
Win you do a DIR command what is listed alot a little or nothing?

Did you check in BIOS to see if the HDD is there?

If it isn't, than it went bananas.

If it is there, try booting to a startup floppy disk and from the A:\ promt, type

sys c:

This will restore the IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS and COMMAND.COM files. In other words, your boot files.

Reboot WITHOUT the floppy.

If you don't have a startup floppy download one from


When the error message appears, try a warm reboot:

What happened?

ruairi_1234Author Commented:
blue zee,
Warm booting via CTRL-ALT-DEL, brings me to the same c: prompt.
I tried wot u said using a win 98 boot disk, but when i restarted i was brought to the c: prompt again.

when i type dir at the c: prompt i get the following,
BRCD            <DIR>
CDROM         <DIR>
CONFIG         SYS
CABS           <DIR>

So i'm guessing that the hard drive is ok if i am able to read from it, but i must be missing files if  i cannot see any windows directorys.  What would be the cause of this>?
And does the fact i get the WINDOWS 98 Loading up screen before i get the c: prompt mean that i still may have windows files on my hard disk??


You don't have a Windows directory do you?

From the C: prompt type this:

cd windows (press enter)

win (press enter)

Post back the results.

ruairi_1234Author Commented:
yeah i already tried that but it couldn't find the win dir, just the dir as i have listed above.  it seems like the drive is empty apart from what i have listed above, but if this is so why then does it load the windows 98 screen?
Agree looks like your hard drive has gone bad.

After testing the drive as suggested by blue zee.

You may want to see if you can recover some of your files.
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Comment from dennistt
Date: 03/23/2003 04:58PM MST

If you backed up your computer onto another drive or CD, you could restore it back onto the drive, but it's probably not going to be the complete lastest files on your HD before you formatted.

Could be a virus as well, before you go too far check for viruses and clean them out.
I had this happen once, a long time ago. I was downloading a program using 56k moden and went to watch tv. When I came back I pressed a button and had a blank screen. The HD had been wiped clean. Knowing what I know now it was some type of invasion of my HD because I did not have a firewall. Thus I would agree that it can be someone that actually got hold of your PC and cleaned your HD.

Now since I noticed that something happens within a two year period, like a new virus downloaded by my son through a *.dat file, or a HD failure.

May I suggest somethig that I now always do in case I do get a failure:
Be sure that you have Norton antivirus 1001 or later and that it is actualy updating the antivirus lists(McAffee is fine also

Next be sure if yourr Trojan horse program is working. What happens that on pirate sites one can easily download a program that will poll computers at random looking for a pc on line. The next is just a plane invasion of your PC

export your e-mail addresses on a regular basis

Burn your favorites to a cd rom. I have about 1000 sites and would be in deep trouble if I had a pc problem.

Next make a folder and sub folders to save your down loads. Thus when it is full, burn it to a cd rom

Download the latest drivers for your video card, modem

Have the drivers for the HD, cd rom.

Could it be something as simple as maybe accidentally dragging and dropping your WINDOWS folder into one of the other folders shortly before you shut down?

The puzzling thing is that you would also have had to do this accidentally with your "Program Files" folder also, because that's missing.

I don't suppose you have perhaps been using a batch file to clean up garbage files, and that batch file uses the "DELTREE" command?  That might explain something like this.

Here's something to try.  On your Windows 98 CD there is a DOS program file named "WHERE.EXE" that will search for named files on your system and report back ALL instances of the file if you use the "recurse" switch to force a search of all subdirectories.

You will be able to copy this file from your CD if you boot to your boot floppy with CD Rom Support and use the command (replacing the x with the letter of your CD Rom Drive) :

COPY  x:\tools\reskit\file\where.exe  c:\where.exe

Now, change to your C:\ Drive and use the following command.  It will find all instances of the file CALC.EXE in all subdirectories of the C:\ Drive if the file exists:


If it's there, then it will be found. Tailor the command as appropriate, using the following syntax, and choosing files that are ALWAYS there in the Windows folder:

WHERE [/r dir] [/qte] pattern ...

/r - recurse starting with directory dir
/q - quiet, use exit code
/t - times, display size and time
/e - .EXE, display .EXE type
/Q - double quote the output

WHERE notepad.exe
Find ALL notepad.exe along the path

WHERE $windir:notepad.exe
Find ALL notepad.exe along %windir%

WHERE /r \ notepad.exe
Find ALL notepad.exe on current drive

WHERE /r . notepad.exe
Find ALL notepad.exe recursing on current directory

WHERE /r c:\windows\system notepad.exe
Find ALL notepad.exe recursing on c:\windows\system

Wildcards, * ?, allowed in bar in all of above.

At the very least, your DIR command should be finding the following:

WINDOWS        <DIR>
MYDOCU~1       <DIR> (maybe not if you have user profiles)
PROGRA~1       <DIR> (I would have thought this was a certainty)

and possibly also:


have a go with the WHERE command just to see.

I assume that you are also aware that, after booting to a Windows 98 boot floppy, you can copy files into %RAMD% which is the temporary "virtual drive" created by the floppy and used to run commands without having to specify a path to them.


COPY  x:\tools\reskit\file\where.exe  %RAMD%\where.exe

I am curious why you have a folder C:\CDROM.

Have you perhaps booted to a boot floppy intended for installing windows on a laptop where the cd rom and floppy drive cannot be used simultaneously?  I am sure that one of those I have seen before creates a folder of this name.
ruairi_1234Author Commented:
ok ppl, i have decided to go with the option of formating my c: and reinstalling win 98 form scratch, but yes oh yes i have run into more problems!!
After i typer format c: the format process started it is running as i speak but it is comming up with the following message,


What does this mean? does this mean my hard drive is buggered??
please help!

>>Anyway I still believe you have a faulty HDD that erased or in some way corrupted the data.<<

BillDLConnect With a Mentor Commented:

>>> "does this mean my hard drive is buggered??". <<<

Yes, probably.  When you start getting these messages, as it clicks softly for about 5 minutes each time, it most certainly means that your hard drive is beginning to show signs of demise.  It's usually just a matter of time.  If it's finding the first error at 415, then that is right at the very start of the process.  There will be tens of thousands of allocation units for it to traverse on your hard drive.  You would probably still be seeing these messages 12 hours later and still be nowhere near complete.

I agree with blue_zee.  This is probably why so much data has "disappeared".

Did you ever run a diagnostics floppy as blue_zee suggested?

Your expression "buggered" tends to imply you're in the UK.  If so, then you'll find that you can get a "brown box" Western Digital or Seagate 40 GB for about 45 Pounds, and a 20 GB one for about 34 Pounds at PC World or other similar outlets.  Of course, if the drive's less than a year old, then check the warranty.

Before you do that, though, I suggest that you use a "low level format" utility from the manufacturer's web site.  Normally the download creates a boot floppy that allows you to do this.  blue_zee provided a list of vendors web sites where you can get the program file to create a "diagnostics" boot floppy, and you will also find the "low level format" utility there.

That sounds fine to me LeeTutor.

I would like to make an amendment to my comment that suggested running the WHERE.EXE command in FULL DOS.

Although a DOS program, the WHERE.EXE command cannot be run from full DOS, only from a DOS Box in Windows.

Just in case anybody happens upon this page and tries to do what I suggested.
Thank you Computer101
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