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Windows 7: Sony Vaio Win7 "Operating System Not Found" - missing data files

02 Mar 2013   #1

Win7 Ult x64, Win7 Pro x64, OS X
Sony Vaio Win7 "Operating System Not Found" - missing data files

This is a client's pc.
  • recvd a "Operating System Not Found" error msg when starting after normal shutdown
  • rebooted w/o external devices, same error
  • F8 didn't work
  • F12 put it into a Sony repair menu Esc'd out to Win menu
  • Command Line "bootrec.exe /fixmbr" - successful
  • reboot "Operating System Not Found" error
  • ran Sony Data Rescue to save data files on external drive and got nothing but empty directories
  • pulled HD and looked at it as an external on another machine - there are no data files
  • ???
  • the Sony recovery utility will restore a factory load but delete all data
Where did the data files go? They were all there the night before.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2013   #2


Is the HD detected in BIOS setup?

Try running a few Startup Repairs from DVD or Repair CD, which automate all repair commands, tests and fixes.

To take a look at the state of the partitions use Partition Wizard bootable CD.
Post back a camera snap if possible so we can look it over. You can scan for missing partitions using Partition Wizard Partition Recovery Wizard - Video Help. I would also run
Partition Wizard Check File System and Partition Wizard Partition surface test to check HD condition.

You can rescue files as shown in Step 3 of Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 then get the superior Clean Reinstall without the factory bloatware which is the worst possible Win7 install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2013   #3

Windows 7 Pro-x64

Sounds like the MBR is corrupt. The MBR signature may be missing. Did the battery go dead in the laptop while it was running? Or did the user try to load Linux? If not, then there may be a virus on the PC. The partition table will be needed to recover any files unless a "file walker" type recovery is done. There are MBR/partition recovery programs but these can be tricky.

Active@ Partition Recovery Freeware Toolkit.Recover Deleted Partition, Volume.Undelete NTFS,FAT,exFAT,HFS+,Ext2/Ext3/Ext4,UFS
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Mar 2013   #4

Win7 Ult x64, Win7 Pro x64, OS X

Thanks for the suggestions. BTW-It's an all in one desktop. I'm going back tomorrow, Sunday, to put the HD back in it and examine it some more. Does anybody have any idea why data files wouldn't be visible when I put the HD in an external usb case and attached it to another machine? We're not as worried about re-installing the OS as recovering certain data files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

Hi Jim after running the /fixmbr did you run these commands

Then restart
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2013   #6

Win7 Ult x64, Win7 Pro x64, OS X

no I didn't.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2013   #7


I'm not sure why you installed the HD in an external USB case to access its files. Better to install it internally for more direct access to the files without USB. If HD does not show up in Explorer is it registering in BIOS setup and Disk mgmt? You may need to give it a letter in Disk Mgmt.

Next see if Partition Wizard detects it, to run Check File System and Surface Scan to see if repairs to the File System will make data visible. If not try the Partition Wizard Partition Recovery Wizard or Recuva Data Recovery.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2013   #8

Win7 Ult x64, Win7 Pro x64, OS X

I put it in the external usb because all I could get at boot was the error message then I found by pressing the F10 and Del keys multiple times it would stumble into the Sony Recovery program. I ran the Rescue Data selection there and after 2 hours got nothing but a Directory structure with no files on an external drive. I'll replace the HD and try again when I go back this afternoon. Thank You!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2013   #9

Win7 Ult x64, Win7 Pro x64, OS X

I just installed it in my Maingear as a 3rd internal and got the the same results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2013   #10


It might also have been infected by a virus that hides files. To check this unhide Hidden Files in Control Panel>Folder Options>View. If they are seen then copy them out to backup and run Unhider on them to change Properties from hidden. Unhide.exe - A introduction as to what this program does

Another way to look is from boot, using one of the rescue methods I posted earlier with the Win7 DVD or Paragon Rescue disk.

So you have about a dozen steps stacked up to try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Sony Vaio Win7 "Operating System Not Found" - missing data files

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