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Operating System - Microsoft
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Cannot find operating system...

Rich D
Occasional Visitor

Cannot find operating system...

OS: Windows ME
PC: HP Pavilion 7940
HD: 40GB (2 partitions, 20 GB each)

During the bootup process, I have been getting the message, "Cannot find operating system." This happens intermittently. After this, I changed out the hard drive since I found out that the Fujitsu HD that came with it was a problematic one. Well, this problem still happens. When I check the BIOS, it doesn't 'see' the HD (this happens intermittently as well). I checked the CMOS battery and it is good also. I checked the power coming out of the power supply, and I am getting the normal 5VDC and 12VDC. I changed out the ribbon cable going from the mother board to the HD and that didn't fix it either.

Any ideas? Could the BIOS need an update? How might I fix this?

Rich D

Re: Cannot find operating system...

hi rich,

try to change the secondary master ide in your hard disk. if again same problem, next thing update the system bios aslo.


Jorge Pinto Leite
Respected Contributor

Re: Cannot find operating system...

Hi Rich
You might have another unstable HDD. Also if your BIOS cannot "see" the HDD it sounds like your motherboard is damaged. Can you mount the HDD in another computer and check it?
Bruno Ganino
Honored Contributor

Re: Cannot find operating system...

Rich, if you have changed H.D. perhaps the jumps (presents on HD) aren't rights.
The hard Disk could be linked to modal Master or Slave or Auto.
Try to change settings and after verify if the BIOS see it.

Torino (Turin) +2H
Ron Kinner
Honored Contributor

Re: Cannot find operating system...

Just had the same thing happen to my home computer. I fixed it (at least for now) by going into the BIOS and telling it it had no harddrive then going back in and telling it to find the harddrive. Then saved the BIOS settings. Upgraded the BIOS right after that just in case it was a BIOS issue.

I did get one message from the BIOS when I first went into it saying the harddrive was operating out of specs and that I should save my files ASAP and replace it. The problem and the mesage have not come back but it's only been over the weekend.

Regular Advisor

Re: Cannot find operating system...

1. Make absolutely sure the cable to the hard-drive is well-seated at both ends. Better: replace it.

2. How's your battery?

3. I presume you have the most recent upgrade of the BIOS flashed in there.
vitam largo et Deus omnipotens
Regular Advisor

Re: Cannot find operating system...

Also, MAXTOR has a diagnostic program available free on their website for download to a floppy, and it tests hard-drives (not just theirs). I have found and replaced an intermittent using this program.
vitam largo et Deus omnipotens