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Windows 10 Operating system not found. Tried everything

Posted on 2016-10-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-11-01
I went to boot my laptop and got the Operating system not found error. I tried to repair the disk with the installation disk but no joy, then I tried to repair the boot repair options but no joy. Then I loaded my  Paragon Utility disk and tried their boot repair utilities, no joy.
When I looked at the disk through the dos command, I saw some boot info on drive e, but somehow that is gone now. I can see a recovery image from a couple of weeks ago on drive f: but when I use the Windows installation disk to recover from an image, it cannot find an image to recover from. Everything on drive c seems just fine. I have read many threads online about a series of dos commands like bootrec but no joy. Can someone steer me through these commands or help me recover from the image on drive f?
Question by:pmacafee
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41866099
Can you use the tools you have, or put the drive in a carrier in another computer and recover the data and documents. Then reinstall Windows using the Media Creation link. Make an ISO and use that to rebuild Windows

LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 41866145
First of all use the disk manufacturer's diagnostic utility to find out if the disk is still good or not. If it isn't replace it. You'll find those tools on the UBCD:


A recovery image is of no use if it is on the same disk. You always need to backup to external disks.

Re-install the OS by first downloading Windows 10 from the m$ site, then burning the iso to a DVD or using WinSetupFromUSB to create a bootable USB stick from the iso file. Make sure you download the correct version of Windows 10 that corresponds to what you had installed (Home or Professional).

LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41866313

You have not yet tried everything.

Are you dual booting Win 10 with another  OS?

Do you want the data and application in your Win 10?
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Author Comment

ID: 41866323
Thanks gentlemen. Not dual booting, and I would like just to fix the boot record issue by itself, but if not possible, will try to restore from image, then restore drive c from Paragon backup from last night.

OK, just want to make sure that I am working with the correct files.
What I find on drive F: is a directory called RecoveryImage dated October 10, 2016. Inside that dir is a 11.3g file called install.wim, a file called RecreatePartition.txt, a file called ResetConfig.xml and a directory called oem.
Do I understand that I need to move that off drive F to an outboard usb drive in order to use it?
Not sure how it got on drive F.
Will the System Restore utility on the Win 10 installation disk find these files on a USB drive and do the restore at that point?

I have also used the Paragon disk utility yesterday to make a backup of the drive and that would contain more recent info as I have done a lot of work over the last three weeks.
LVL 49

Accepted Solution

Jackie Man earned 2000 total points
ID: 41866345
What I find on drive F: is a directory called RecoveryImage dated October 10, 2016. Inside that dir is a 11.3g file called install.wim, a file called RecreatePartition.txt, a file called ResetConfig.xml and a directory called oem.
Do I understand that I need to move that off drive F to an outboard usb drive in order to use it?

Is Drive F a partition only?

Is it a LENOVO notebook which has built-in one touch backup utility?

Do you want to know the proper way to run bootrec commands?

Assuming that no UEFI bios, boot from win 10 setup usb.

Boot from the USB memory stick and follow the instructions below.

First, you are asked to choose your keyboard layout. Press the layout you want to use. If you want to browse through the available options, press "See more keyboard layouts" until you find the one you want to use.

Choose an option of  Troubleshoot.

In the Troubleshoot screen, press Advanced options.

In the Advanced options screen, press Startup Settings.

You are informed that you are about to restart in order to change several Windows options, including enabling Safe Mode. Press Restart.

Your computer or device restarts again and displays nine startup settings, including Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking and Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Pess the F10 key for more option and press the key for Lauch Recovery Environment and click Restart.

On restart, you will enter Windows Recovery Environment and select Advanced Options and select Command Prompt.

In command prompt, type the lines of command below.

  bootsect /nt60 c: /force /mbr
  bootrec /fixmbr
  bootrec /fixboot
  bootrec /rebuildbcd

Press enter after typing each line to execute.

Reference: http://www.digitalcitizen.life/5-ways-boot-safe-mode-windows-8-windows-81


Restart computer and go to Windows Recovery Environment to run "Auto repair for startup".

The most important lesson learnt is that you need to launch Windows Recovery Environment again after starting the computer is Safe mode to run the bootrec command.

So, I guess that it is only possible to fix it when you boot from the OS, but if you do a normal boot, you cannot enter windows recovery environment...So, the answer is to instruct the OS to boot into advanced options via ext bootable win 10 usb.

Author Comment

ID: 41866404
drive F is just a partition
Not Lenovo
Do need help with bootrec commands, yes.
Laptop does use UEFI bios.
I have a bootable Win10 Enterprise DVD, when I boot from that and get the initial screen for Language, keyboard etc.. When I get the next screen, it asks Install now, or Repair your computer in the lower left of the screen but no trouble shooting.
I booted from the installation disk went to the repair option and then to dos command and entered the first three commands which all went successfully.
When I to bootrec /rebuildbcd I got a response:
Successfully scanned Windows installations
Total identified Windows installations: 1
[1] C:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? Yes (Y)/No(N)/All(A)

When I enter either Y or A in response I get the response "The required system device cannot be found"

You recommend a bootable USB, is this the same as the Win 10 Enterprise installation disk?
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41866407
Can you enter Safe mode?

You need to follow the exact procedure in my previous comment as my trial and error indicated that it is a no go if you try to repair the OS with a startup Win 10 setup DVD or USB drive.

You recommend a bootable USB, is this the same as the Win 10 Enterprise installation disk?

Yes. But, the Win 10 setup DVD or USB drive is only to help you to get into Safe mode.

"I booted from the installation disk went to the repair option and then to dos command and entered the first three"

If you cannot enter Safe mode and launch WinRE within Safe mode, bootrec is not going to run properly. This is a fundamental concept change when you compare Windows 7 and Windows 10.

WinRE is built-into the OS since Windows 8 and you must use the WinRE within the local disk.

What is the brand and model of this computer? Is it come with Windows 10 or you have done a upgrade of the OS?
LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 41866488
what can also help in this case, is repairing the disk drive (which i suspect went bad) with HDDregenerator, it worked on many drives for me
you have to make the bootable cd, and boot from it - or hook your drive to a working system to run it  http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41866514
My suggestion is based on the assumption that there is no physical error of the harddisk.

Author Comment

ID: 41867820
I finally gave up and tried to install Win 10 again from the DVD and it asked my which volume to install in and I selected C: where the old installation was. Then it told me that that it was an MBR volume and windows could only install in a GPT volume. How would it ever get converted?
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41867826
You need to disable UEFI mode in BIOS before you start to install Win 10 again from the DVD.

Can you enter Safe mode?

Author Comment

ID: 41867978
Got it!. Somehow the c: partition got marked as not active, I could read the drive in a dos prompt and use many dos and Paragon utilities, but could not boot, repair, upgrade, re-install, etc. Used Paragon to change from mbr to gpt and back again, got the drive letters screwed up and put back right. Finally used Paragon to make the c: volume active, ran the bootrec commands and this time they took. Everything was good afterwards.
Thanks to everyone's help.
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41867985
Glad to know you have solved the problem. Cheers!

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