Missing operating system - Win 7 Sp1

Hey guys, got an Missing Operating System error on boot up and I have no access to a repair CD. Any other options? Can I grab a Win7 SP1 cd from somewhere?

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Do you have a recovery partition to help you here.

You cannot GRAB a Windows 7 DVD from anywhere and you should not ask us to provide one.

If you have no recovery partition, first ask the manufacturer of the PC to send you (nominal cost) recovery media.

If they won't and you have lost the recovery partition, then you need to re-purchase Windows 7 via Digital River or Software King.

If you have a valid key (not always on the case) you can try to find a download at Digital River and make a DVD which you can then use with your key.
howardallenITAuthor Commented:
lol I actually meant a Win7 SP1 repair cd, not the actual application. I should have worded that differently. The only way to rectify this is to get my hands on a Win7 SP1 dvd eh?
ask around, your friend or IT may have windows CD that MATCH your version of windows and manufacture.  it will have to match the sticker on the PC. otherwise it won't activated.
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howardallenITAuthor Commented:
There is no key, I work in staging department for a large firm and we usually reimage everything so no DVDs are on hand for repair situations. I was seeing if there was another way.. what if I boot up with a Hiren CD could I modify a file to correct this?
howardallenITAuthor Commented:
As for a friend or IT, I would be the "IT" good sir, lol.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The Windows repair is from a Windows DVD which is the install DVD. If you do not have anything or any key you will probably need to get new media and license. If I understand your situation, a friend's DVD may possibly need their license as well.
You can download a windows 7 (.iso) from this site, burn it to a disc and re-install. Then all you would need to do is enter the license code to activate Windows.


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in most case, I found that it's faster to re-image the drive than try to fix it.  you can mount the drive to other computer to get documents off to usb drive then re-image the drive.
The error message indicates that the boot loader is not even found. So it could very well be one of the following
-hard drive dead
-boot order changed (some other non-bootable device is trying to boot)
-master boot record damaged/partition table corrupted
In none of these cases, a repair can be performed with a DVD.

Please hit the appropriate key to bring up the boot menu, select your bootable hard drive and see what comes.
Rob GMicrosoft Systems EngineerCommented:
I am going to add to McKnife here and add.. You might want to make sure you haven't put a USB Thumb drive into the machine, or plugged in an external hard disk.. If the bios has the setting turned on to boot off the external device first, which most imaged machines do, you run the risk of the PC thinking the USB jump drive is the local drive in which to boot from..
howardallenITAuthor Commented:
Nah boot order is correct, nothing inserted. I suspect drive corruption but need that dang CD. Argh!
Did you do as suggested, yet and force starting from that hard drive?
I would do the following: startup some second system with WinPE (can be any setup disk vista/7/8/8.1/server2008+) and press shift F10 before setup starts. Then, from the command line, look if the partitions are present and files are in place, both the windows partition and the boot partition.
If that is ok, you might have luck using the command bcdedit on that disk, but you need to know what you are doing.
i suggest running a diag on that drive first - a dying drive is often the cause of such messages
i use UBCD a lot for this :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD

go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick

***download the software from :  http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/cannot-find-digital-river-download-site/66a8439b-0d16-4b70-92f7-1c8486a46ebf
Rob GMicrosoft Systems EngineerCommented:
Most of the time you need the disk to create a PE disk.. But.. Here is a pre-built one i have used in the past..

howardallenITAuthor Commented:
By the way these computers all run Win7 Enterprise, which DVD can I use to repair this version? Ultimate? I know you need the same version to perform a repair but I've never actually seen an Enterprise DVD before.
You can take any win7 dvd to do the startup repair. If you like to get an enterprise dvd, download it from Microsoft. Your contract entitles you to download an ISO file.
howardallenITAuthor Commented:
Ok got a DVD, performed a repair, but I'm still getting the Missing Operating System message - now when I try to use automatic startup repair it doesn't find any problems. How can I do this manually with command prompt?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If the Repair did not work, then the next step is to back up and do a fresh install of Windows 7.
Rob GMicrosoft Systems EngineerCommented:
As i spend about 3 days on something like this.. You need to know when to just cut your losses.. Currently based on this ticket it looks like you have been on this for likely on and off for 8 days.. Just reformat it and call it a day.. You are better off in the end anyway..

I have tried to do everything listed here in the past.. sometimes if it is totally hosed it just doesn't pay, you are better off starting from scratch..

If you need data off of it, get another hard drive, install it in the machine, install windows on it, and transfer the data to the new installed OS. You can also recover software keys from the other disk the same kind of way, which is way easier.. less time consuming, and at least you know the new build is stable.

If you can't recover from a backup, or recover from the DVD itself, just call it a day..
I have tried to recover from the above, as well as created a PE disk, replaced the system32 files and manually registered all DLL files, have gone through each portion of the registry from another machine with the disk slaved, and looked at the boot loader, and created dump files from the drivers loading on start-up.. in the end i still had to reformat it, even though i got it to come up, because it was simply just not stable..
howardallenITAuthor Commented:
Ok I used bootsect to restore the mbr and rebuild the bcd, however now I'm getting a blue screen after Win7 starts to load.

howardallenITAuthor Commented:
About done with this, the error involved the boot device being inaccessible but it clearly was. Backing up data and reimaging, thanks everyone.
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