Learn the ways to fix "Operating System not found" or "Missing Operating System" error on your Windows 10 or earlier OS, in this article.

As the title suggests, operating system not found error occurs when your system couldn’t locate the hard drive on which Windows is installed or if it’s not able to boot properly. This problem can be experience on any operating system of Windows series – from Windows XP to Windows 10. In this case, you get a single line mentioning Operating System not found on the screen without any other info which could hint us to solve this dilemma.

FIX Operating System Not Found Error For Windows 10

However, this issue is quite rare in occurrence and happens only if you’ve made critical hardware or software changes to your machine. Sometimes, faulty hard drives or system drivers could be the main culprits, dominating to this issue. So the older systems have more chances of having this consequence. Well, if you’re facing this issue on your machine, don’t get too much worry. You still have some ways in your hand which will help you to overcome this. Here are those ways:

FIX : Operating System Not Found Error For Windows 10/8.1/8/7

FIX 1 – Verify the boot order in BIOS or UEFI settings

1. Start your machine and the very first screen you’ll receive will have device manufacturer logo. On this screen, there will be a function key mentioned, like press F10 for enter ROM based setup, or press F10 to enter BIOS/UEFI setting etc. So press the key and enter BIOS/UEFI settings.

FIX Operating System Not Found Error For Windows 10

2. Next, you need to locate the Boot options. They may vary from device to device, but you’ll find them somewhere for sure. So if you’ve got them, enter inside.

FIX Operating System Not Found Error For Windows 10

3. Now you need to verify the boot order and make sure you’ve given first preference to Optical Disk Drive, that is your system hard disk on which Windows is installed.

FIX Operating System Not Found Error For Windows 10

Once you ensure the order, you can save changes and restart the machine. After reboot, you’ll be able to boot to your operating system.

FIX Operating System Not Found Error For Windows 10

FIX 2 – Repair the Master Boot Record (MBR)

If the Master Boot Record (MBR) is broken or missing or corrupted, you may face this problem. So it’s a good idea here to re-create the MBR to suppress any bad sectors available on the existing one.

FIX - Windows 10 Master Boot Record Is Corrupted

You can try steps mentioned here to re-generate MBR:

Steps to fix corrupted Master Boot Record in Windows 10

FIX 3 – Reinstall Windows 10 without affecting your personal files and apps

There is another good way to solve this problem by reinstalling Windows 10. This won’t affect your stuff and pretty easy to follow. Here are the steps:

Steps to Reinstall Windows 10 without affecting your personal files and apps

How To Reinstall Windows 10 Without Affecting Personal Files

Hope something should help you! If the issue still persists, you can make a clean install of Windows 10.


  • My PC won’t work any more it’s telling me there no operating system and it won’t let me restart can u help?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ You should be able to start it physically and check BIOS/UEFI configuration to follow the steps mentioned in article.

  • Can you help me?
    At device manufacturing logo, i don’t see any key such as f2 or f8. I know f2 for entering bios (acer). But, it doesn’t work. F2 or other key don’t work too. Until now, i can’t enter bios or do clean install. Do you have a solution for me? Especially, about bios. It really hurt me until now.

  • I have Dell Latitude 3450. When I turn on my pc, Dell SupportAssist says no bootable devices found. When I run diagnosis at boot, it says Hard disk is not installed. And When I trying adding a boot manually in boot-sequence menu under UEFI, it warns “File system not found”. Could you please help fix this one. I have a lot of data, I wish I don’t miss out on.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Please check if the hard disk is working properly, by plugging it to another machine. Have you tried repairing MBR?

  • I’m running Windows 10 Pro for about a week now on an i7 965 extreme, dual SLI and 12gb ram. Windows 8.1 Pro had been running just fine since day one. I went to start my pc this morning and it came up “no operating system found”. My problem is I’m running RAID 1+0 on 4 WD Black 1tb drives. It seems the “Array” is gone and nothing loads being have an option to load an “array” and selecting any of the 4 drives doesn’t help. I tried booting off a USB and a trouble shoot ran and said windows will now restart and I end up at the black screen showing “no operating system found”. Pretty lame, I can’t get into safe mode to roll back, all I can do is f2 bios and f12 boot option.

  • Lovely…the first measure itself worked for me, but everytime i start my laptop i have to follow the same steps, which is the only drawback!Thanks anyways…

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Give a try to FIX 2, see if it solves the issue permanently 😊

  • My computer wont even turn on….it just says “operating system not found.try removing any drives without an operating system”…..when i go to boot order i don’t know what to put first….USB Device….Hard Drive(interegated SATA)…..ATAPI CD-ROM Drive….or Broadband Ethernet Controller…please help i really dont know how to fix it and i need my pc for school…

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ You should put “Hard Drive(interegated SATA)” at first place. Alternatively you can press F9 or the boot selection key when you computer starts and select Hard Drive to boot.

  • I have a dell Inspiron laptop. when I boot it says “no operating system found”.. I’m currently on Windows 10 operating system,. I have a usb media creation tool already.. I inserted & tried every advanced troubleshoot tool.. But none seems to work. .. It says “operating system not supported” .. What am I not doing right????

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Make sure you unplug the USBs attached to your system before it starts. If issue persists, you can plug installation media and perform Startup repair with these steps:


  • I have sony svf15318sn f series laptop. Recently on my lap powerbank got dropped at OS region. From then my laptop showing operation system not found issue i have tried several things like BIOS settings, boot settings and even removed hard drive and reinserted it. Even i downloaded OS 10 and inserted in USB tried to test nothing works. I TRIED EVERY THING NOTHING WORKS So please can you solve my problem?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ I believe this could be a hardware issue. Since you’ve already tried possible options and nothing worked, give a chance to visit your nearest computer repair shop and confirm that hardware side is working properly.

  • My computer wont even turn on….it just says “operating system not found.try removing any drives without an operating system”…..i try everything and e tell me the same thing please help i really dont know how to fix it and i need my pc for school…

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ The way to fix is mentioned in article and also refer previous comments here, see if something helps you.

  • Thank you so much for showing me how to fix the mbr! You saved me hours of work!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad we could help 😎

  • I am not confident in your expertise. In step 3 you sugges “make sure you’ve given first preference to Optical Disk Drive, that is your system hard disk on which Windows is installed”. This is incorrect. An Optical drive is a CD or Blu-ray drive. You have a Notebook Hard Drive which is set as preference 5. If you want to eliminate any possible problems of another drive causing trouble set the notebook hard drive as the first preference.

  • I am experiencing this problem on one of our desktops at work. What I don’t have at this time is a Windows 10 repair disk. Will a new installation disk of Windows 10 work or do I need something else?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Yes, you can use new Windows 10 installation disk in this case, which should be of same architecture.

  • My laptop is Acer Aspire 5920. And i’m using Window 7. When I check it the C:\ is no longer exist.

  • hi Kapil
    Just wanted to say thanks for the information. very helpful.
    I get this message every few months or so, on my dell xps, with win 10 pro. Then reboots second time.
    So probably not much to worry about.
    Regards Pete

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad it helped you!

  • Hi Kapil
    I’m experiencing this “Operating system not found” with black screen and when I press any keyboard button it keeps displaying this same error message. I’m using Sony Vaio model: SVE1412CCXP. I can’t don’t anything, let alone to reinstall a new OS or try to repair the start up

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Hey, boot from recovery/installation media and repair the MBR.

  • When selecting latest windows 10 upgrades my lop top Sony vaio . Battery discharge loptop switches off. Pc gotten error, when switching on..on screen writing pc can’t find operation systems. I started trouble shooting whites repair CD 64-10 windows10.& USB flash memory cards, and bios options. Cannot be replacement.lop top systems. Please note this message , connect me for helps for repairs my loptop, and for best results and information I will give bonus.and some gift. Thanks for the attention.

  • Thank you sir. It worked. I changed the boot preference and the windows started to boot.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ That’s awesome, Vigneshwaran 😎

  • I had this problem, but in my case it was of my own doing and the solution was simple.
    I had set my BIOS to boot firstly from a USB drive before the hard disk, because I had been using CloneZilla to back up my machine. CloneZilla is a bootable USB image.
    However I had later put another USB drive in, without CloneZilla on it, and the machine tried to boot that.
    Removed the USB drive and problem fixed (for me).

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks for sharing this 😊 Hope it helps others!

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