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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Operating System Not Found

    Is anyone one familiar with what might cause the message "Operating System not found" when attempting to boot Win98? It just happened a moment ago but then booted normally on next try. First occurrence of message: a few weeks back while running a Palm OS emulator of Blue Sky medical software (in a separate window, I think Handango.com) and then clicking on "sign me up" at FusionOne.com -- experienced an irrecoverable system crash with "Operating system not found" as first message -- had to reformat hard disk and reinstall windows.

    As mentioned on early post (to which noone responded) during efforts to recover from the problem received messages that file "VMM32.VXD was corrupt or missing--you may need to reinstall windows" and a week ago received message that "VMM32.VXD is missing and required to run windows" Able to recover with GoBack after second try.

    Dell tech support said "probably a virus"; GoBack said "probably an application bug"; just now rebooted without any form of recovery and System Suite Deep Scan said "No viruses found" (with virus definitions updated since original problem occurred).

    Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? This is a bit spooky.

    Thanks,
    Sat Kartar

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Operating System Not Found

    Hi Sat:

    Perhaps one of these articles may help, especially the first one:
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q194/6/79.asp>Error Message: VMM32.VXD Is Required to Run Windows...</A>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q191/8/74.ASP>Error Message: VMM32.VXD: Missing/Unable to Load</A>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q126/5/74.asp>Damaged .VXD or .386 File Causes Incorrect Error Message</A>

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Re: Operating System Not Found

    Thanks for the info; however, the problem is not resolved-- the articles you cited, although interesting and relevant, unfortunately do not explain much about/get to the heart of why the problem is occurring.

    It happened again last night several times and once again I almost lost everything--The message "Operating system not found" occurred a number of times--it seems during BIOS initialization--and then I limped into action after several attempts to reboot. The GoBack Utility stated something like "Corruption has been detected that may threaten the integrity of disk data-GoBack will now attempt to repair itself" fortunately this was successful because ScanDisk was not effective in repairing the problems with the disk/software.
    As was the case the previous times this problem occurred, ScanDisk acted strangely, going foward, then back, e.g., 85%, 88%, 90%, 85% done etc. Two messages have recurred during ScanDisk, one was something like, "file has been found with extension with too many characters, cannot repair, you will need to run Windows ScanDisk" and "Crosslinked files detected--attempting to correct" (messages are paraprhased, sorry, I don't remember the exact wording). After a few lame attempts to open (e.g., frozen desktop with only four icons, such as Briefcase, Recycle Bin) Windows gave an error message like "unable to load Windows--you may need to delete some files [to create room in the partition containing windows]" even though there are several free Gigabytes on the disk.

    I set GoBack to an hour early and got back and running, but now I'm afraid to open Internet Explorer, it seems the problem usually occurs on Fridays and Saturdays (time-linked macro?) which is when I tend to go on the web (using my wife's computer at the moment)--this last occurrence suggested that whatever the problem is, even GoBack may not be able to maintain its inegrity, which appears to be my ONLY ace in the hole (GoBack). I deleted Download Accelerator Plus (which is a new program for me, a beta but supposedly a program used by about a billion people or something). Other than that all I can think of are Palm app upgrades (datebk4.0d, wordsmith 1.11), but can't think of why they would cause such catastrophic effects. I updated virus definitions again last night after first incident and no viruses were detected.

    The latest episodes have not been associated with the "VMM32.VXD is required to run windows" message, not too sure from the articles you suggested Phil why this file would become corrupted/go missing except the second article suggest some third party software might create problems (I haven't installed either of the ones mentioned in the article); however, some sort of catastrophic process appears to be occurring that includes but is not limited to the VMM32.VXD corruption/missinng issue.

    I do need to install the critical updates/patches etc. since installing Win98 SE haven't run through the update page (tried but got disconnected); somehow I doubt these will lead to the denouement of all this, but I guess one can always hope.

    Anyway I'm discouraged and skeptical--do I need to wait for Windows XP? Stop connecting to the internet? Is it hardware? Software? 3rd party? Internet Explorer? Do I need to contact Dell? Some other tech support? I'm past the point in life when I could afford to let technology go and wait for the programmers to come up with something better in next years batch of programs/versions, although I admit I am beginning to become worn down.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,
    Sat Kartar

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    Re: Operating System Not Found

    Hi Sat:

    From your description, there's something very serious going on. If your system is new enough, you should definitely call the Manufacturer's tech support. It sounds like a hard drive about to fail, or one damaged to the point where you need to reformat it.

    At this point, since you have a decent backup (GoBack) for your data, you could try the following:

    0. First run an up to data antivirus program. See if that turns up anything.

    1. There's a newsletter a www.langa.com. If you sign up, he has a lot of advice on computer health & reformatting. He also has a batch file called clean9x.bat, which you can download & run. This will do things like clean out temp files, temporary internet files, etc. It will also do a scandisk.

    2. You might consider one of the more powerful utilites, like Norton Utilities & try the Disk Doctor.

    3. Run a defrag next.

    4. If all that doesn't work, you'll have to bite the bullet. You'll need to get all your CDs & install disks & reformat your hard drive & reinstall Windows. Then you need to reinstall all your updates & apps. Yea, it's a bear!! Then I'd restore my data.

    Since you've already tried GoBack, there seems to be something wrong that GoBack can't fix, especially if it keeps recurring. Perhaps someone else might have a more optomistic solution.

  5. #5
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    Re: Operating System Not Found

    Thanks Phil for the helpful suggestions, definitely worth trying--the reason I have also suspected a possible hard disk problem is that I DID reformat/reinstall everything a couple of weeks ago and even THAT didn't solve the problem. On the other hand if it's mainly associated with Internet Explorer that might suggest a link to software, especially given the articles about the VMM32.VXD issue do point to software bugs as possibly behind at least that part of the problem.

    Well off to try to some fixes--I'll let you know if I find out anything interesting--or get stuck again!!!

    Sat Kartar

  6. #6
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    Re: Operating System Not Found

    Phil, I ran Disk Doctor and the system seemed to freeze (BSOD: system is busy or unstable) as did Norton Antivirus, both with a strange clicking sound from the hard disk, sort of like a rotary pulse telephone sound (Disk Doctor "froze" at 30% of surface scan complete, Antivirus at 17%), so I tried ScanDisk surface scan with fix automatically checked and it identified a problem it was able to fix, i.e., 4096 bytes in 1 bad sector, apparently at cluster 358,865 based on the same, protracted clicking sound as Disk Doctor, although with ScanDisk it eventually worked its way through (maybe it would have with Disk Doctor too if I'd clicked any key to return to Windows and wait; that cluster is about 30% of the way through the total # of clusters, 1,186,000 or so).

    Disk Doctor and Antivirus say there are no problems now (besides the bad sector, which I guess has been mapped around), so I guess it was the (physical) hard disk after all! (I guess cluster 358,865 just happened to be associated with online activity).

    Thanks for all your help, hopefully I'm in the clear (for now [img]/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img]

    Sat Kartar

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Operating System Not Found

    Glad to have helped, BUT considering what you've gone through,that you may have a problem with your hard drive, & that the price of hard drives is relatively cheap now (especially considering your time), perhaps you ought to replace the hard drive. For a few hundred dollars, you can save an awful lot of time & money. Just my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>

  8. #8
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    Re: Operating System Not Found

    I think you may be right, in fact I think that drive may have always been a dog, its activity has been erratic at times. I tried to defrag with SpeedDisk last night and it encountered an error trying to write to cluster 158,593 (the bad sector identified by ScanDisk); I tried to install WordPerfect today and encountered a slew of "Disk Write Error: Unable to write to disk C, Data and files may be lost" error messages, able to recover only with GoBack.

    My question is whether the problem is the disk or the hardware on which it is seated--I did reseat the hard disk at one point and things got better--today I experienced ghosting like I used to--put my hands on the palm rests and voila--two task bars, one in the middle of the page fading in and out--so I'm still unclear if the problem definitely stems from the disk or from some flimsy notebook hardware, if that's the right word, on which the disk is seated? Time to call tech support; of course, they suggested all was well last night, how out of character . . .

    Thanks again for your thoughts . . .
    Sat Kartar

  9. #9
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    Re: Operating System Not Found

    Called Dell, ran DellDiags disk, they're sending a new hard drive . . . Gotta love that 3 year warranty when the notebook's 12 months, 3 weeks old . . . hmmmm, now why was it I DID settle for a 1 year warranty on my wife's new notebook . . .
    [img]/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img]
    SK

  10. #10
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    Re: Operating System Not Found

    >now why was it I DID settle for a 1 year warranty on my wife's new notebook . . . <

    Just count your lucky stars! It's like winning the first night you gamble--eventually you'll lose--that's how they build those big hotels in Las Vegas. How often do hard drives fail in 1 yr.--even 3 yrs. Gotta be less than 1 in 10 easily; otherwise, you'd hear such moaning that the company would go under. Now, what do you pay for a 3 yr. warranty; at least $200. A 1 in 10 shot would cost you $2000 before you got a new hard drive. They're a lot cheaper than that. I'd say you got the best of both deals. Glad it worked out.

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