Error Missing Operating System: causes and remedies of malfunctioning Windows

Computer devices, portable or stationary, confidently entered into the standard, everyday operation of ordinary people. Many consider themselves to be confident PC users, they know thoroughly the operational and consumer capabilities of devices, they independently cope with functional options, and not only, however, even people experienced in computer affairs sometimes face problems whose solution is a difficult task for them. One of these unrelated, however, sometimes encountered problems is the appearance of the message Missing Operating System on the laptop monitor when it is loaded or reinstalled the operating system. In this article, we will examine the causes of the resulting error, analyze what its appearance signals, and also look at how to fix the problem.

Method of eliminating the error "Missing Operating System".

What does the notification mean?

Before proceeding to the study of the methodology for solving the problem, when the computer displays an error Missing Operating System when loading it, you need to figure out what the problem is, which leads to the causes and options for eliminating the problem. Such a notice is a rather rare precedent, because the appearance of a notice on the screen often becomes a real problem even for confident PC users, making it impossible to continue using the computer device for its intended purpose, with the need to find ways to activate the system.

The Missing Operating System message occurs on computer devices running Windows software, and can occur on any version of the OS. The literal translation of the phrase Missing Operating System sounds like "The operating system is missing." In order to understand what the Missing Operating System notification means, it is not enough to know the translation of the phrase, information about the specifics of the computer boot is important: the process consists in accessing the system installed on the hard disk of the PC to boot records and partitions authorizing the launch of the OS. This means that, most likely, the system for some reason does not find the software elements necessary to start, indicating the presence of software or technical faults on the device that prohibit the correct loading of Windows, the appearance of a conditional notification. Tell you about the most likely causes of this type of failure.

Causes of PC boot failure

The problem, when the computer issued the message Missing Operating System, often occurs when the computer is booted, and this may also appear as a result of user intervention in the OS operating system, for example, against the background of reinstalling Windows, and it appears unexpectedly after a recent correct shutdown. If in the first case, the reason is to look for incorrect installation of Windows, for example, a malfunction of a flash drive or an installation disk with the operating system, then the second scenario is often incomprehensible to the user, which causes the need to search for the cause of the phenomenon, the variation of which directly fixes the fault . The factors that provoked the appearance on the display of the Missing Operating System notice when the computer device is loaded can be:

  1. Problems in the OS system installed on the PC due to its damage.
  2. Incorrect BIOS operation.
  3. Damage to the boot elements of the system, in particular, the Master Boot Record, or the presence of violations of the sequence of their work.
  4. Malfunctions due to mechanical defectiveness of the hard disk.
  5. Failures that occurred on the background of the separation of contacts between the hard drive and other hardware elements of the PC.
  6. Hitchbacks that occurred when starting the OS from a USB flash drive, when installing Windows, when the user forgot to remove the drive from the connector.
  7. Technical wear of PC component parts.
  8. Infection of the OS viruses.

Regardless of the reason why the malfunction, expressed by the message Missing Operating System, occurred, such a failure requires prompt solution of the problem, since the error causes the PC to boot and, accordingly, further operation of the device, which is considered to be critical for each user. In turn, the exact determination of the cause of the error will allow it to correctly and efficiently cope with its elimination, which we will discuss further, starting from factors that can cause a failure.

Ways to eliminate the failure

Before you begin to figure out how to correct the error associated with the appearance of the notice Missing Operating System on the screen when the computer boots, what to do in such a situation, it is necessary to exclude the "accidental" PC malfunction. To do this, you must try to restart the computer device, having previously inspected all the connecting elements, cords that provide power to the laptop, removing the removable drives from its connectors, which have a negative effect on the correctness of Windows boot. If such a procedure fails, the computer will not boot further, it writes a Missing Operating System error, you will have to go to cardinal ways to fix the problem.

To begin with, when it comes to stationary devices, when asked what to do with the failure of the Missing Operating System, professionals recommend checking the contacting connections of the PC's structural parts that are directly responsible for the performance of the computer, namely, connecting the hard drive to the motherboard. Conditioned loops are characterized by a more limited useful life than other parts of the PC, wear and tear during operation - this leads to the release of contacts, and, accordingly, the problem associated with the inability to find the boot files by the system, which leads to a failure with visual manifestation Missing Operating System on display. It is possible to eliminate the problem in a similar situation by fitting contacts, sometimes, if the cable has obvious mechanical stretching, it will be necessary to replace it with a new part.

Rare cases, however, that require verification are precedents when the problem is hidden in the hard drive itself, and in some situations it can be determined visually, by the presence of chips and mechanical damage, which necessitates the replacement of the part, and in certain cases the error is incorrect functionality hard drive at system level. In a conditioned situation, the question of what to do to resolve the Missing Operating System error implies the need to interfere with the Windows settings as the answer. To eliminate a software malfunction, the contractor will need to stock up on a bootable drive corresponding to the operating system running on a personal or portable device. When booting the system from the drive, you will need to call up the command line, which is often induced by the simultaneous pressing of the Shift and F10 keys, however, in some cases there may be differences, depending on the criterion, used as the Windows 10 operating system, or earlier OS variations. Further work is identical both for Windows 7 and for subsequent versions of the system, according to the following regulations:

  1. In the command line, you must enter the CHKDSK C: / X / F / R directive, which is designed to start a scan, with a parallel correction of software errors on the hard drive.
  2. Restart the laptop or PC, after removing the installation drive.

If the Missing Operating System error has not been eliminated after the procedure has been completed, it will be necessary again, as in the previous procedure, to call up the command line, sequentially enter the following tasks:

  1. Directive BOOTREC.EXE, with the addition / FIXMBR separated by a space. This command will allow you to upgrade the boot information through the installation drive.
  2. A similar command, with the addition / FIXBOOT, designed to create a new, system sector boot information.
  3. Register the EXIT instruction, which will terminate the BOOTREC application, and confirm the selection of the command by pressing the Enter button.

Then the computer device is rebooted: if the problems were hidden under the boot data fault, they will be eliminated, the PC will start up in the standard mode.

The resulting error can also be a consequence of corrupting the OS program files, which requires system scanning and troubleshooting using the command line, as in the previous case. To restore the operation, the “sfc / SCSNNOW / OFFWINDIR = C: / Windows /” directive is applied in the command field, confirming that the user starts the OS scan, with parallel restoration of the damaged data. The process will take some time, after which it is enough to reboot the device and log in to the system in the standard way for the user. A similar impact is attributed by professionals to the bootrec.exe / RebuildBcd team, the use of which almost always solves the problem with the resulting PC boot failure.

Sometimes the problem is explained by an elementary violation of the BIOS settings, for example, in a situation with changed priorities of downloads entered accidentally during the previous PC operation failure. The procedure for setting priorities may differ depending on the OS version, but the procedure for performing the task is the same: the user needs to go to the settings, select the Boot section from the menu located on the top panel of the window that opens. This can be done by prompts located on the bottom line of the window. Next you need to move to the first position priority system documents, or the device from which you are downloading, save the changes and restart the PC.

The problem with booting the OS can also be triggered by malware. To eliminate this cause of the problem, you will need to try to start the device using the drive as the starting boot element, with a powerful, licensed antiviral software written to it. To such programs, professionals include many well-known software Kaspersky, with a focus on the version Rescue Disk or analog application from Dr. Web.

And one more method of cardinal struggle with an error is reinstallation of Windows. If the problem is not related to the technical obsolescence of computer parts or their mechanical damage, then due to this method the caused error and other system problems will be corrected. The question of what to do if the Missing Operating System error has not been resolved through the described simple, and even cardinal, problem solving methods often involves replacing an outdated or unusable hard drive, however, such a scenario is extremely rare.


The problem of booting the computer, which is expressed by the message “missing operating system”, is one of the critical problems that turn a PC from a multifunctional device into a useless thing, which requires an immediate search for solutions to solve the problem. The way how the problem is solved, in each specific case, directly depends on the reason that provoked a system failure. When solving a problem, specialists and professionals recommend starting with checking the simplest versions that can cause a crash, and only eliminating the elementary, not requiring capital investments and interference with the Windows software settings, go to system operations. The article proposed a set of tips and recommendations, applying that the user at a particular stage of work, identifying the cause of the precedent, will be able to cope with the failure and restore the PC to work.