How To Fix Operating System Not Found Error

Missing operating system or boot device not found, please install an operating system on your hard disk, error messages appear on a black screen. This means you cannot boot your PC. Here’s how to fix no operating system found an unusual problem.

missing operating system

Generally, the above error message appears on desktop or laptop. If you are looking for a solution to fix the missing operating system on your PC, here’s what you need to do.

How To Fix Boot Device Not Found Please Install An Operating System Error

You can read on and know why no Operating System found or can simply skip to the solutions to resolve this error.

Working Fixes Troubleshooting Guide
Fix 1. Check BIOS Enter BIOS by pressing and holding “F12/F10.”
Fix 2. Reboot via a bootable disk Press Power > press and hold F10.
Fix 3. Fix Boot Records  Enable default setup option.
Fix 4. Enable/Disable UEFI Insert the Windows installation CD/DVD.
Fix 5. Activate Windows Partition Run diskpart command

For any PC user, the operating system not found is the most frightening error message. But this doesn’t mean the data is lost, it is there on the system, and once the problem is fixed, you will be able to access it. Hence, today we will discuss how to fix the missing operating system error on your PC.

Why do you encounter system boot order not found?

Normally, when BIOS configuration is corrupt, the hard disk has errors or Master Boot Record (MBR), doesn’t work properly, and encounters the above-mentioned error messages. To be precise Operating System Not Found is caused due to the following reasons:

  • BIOS is unable to detect hard disk
  • Hard disk from which operating system boots is corrupt
  • Incorrect BIOS settings
  • Damaged or corrupt OS Master Boot Record (MBR)
  • An incompatible partition is set as active.

Note: When BIOS fails to detect the operating system, you receive one of the following error messages:

  • Missing Operating System
  • The operating system not found.

Workable Fixes to Resolve Operating System Not Found or Missing

Now that you know what causes it, please install an operating system on your hard disk; it’s time to fix the problem. To do so, apply the solutions explained below:

Method 1. Check if BIOS is detecting the HDD

Note: Here, you need to check two things:

  • The hard disk is recognized or not
  • Drive on which the Operating System is installed is listed as a chosen boot drive or not.

To check the above two things, follow the steps below:

Step 1: When booting the PC, while pressing the Power button, also press and hold F2/F10

Note: The method of entering BIOS varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Generally, by pressing Esc, Del, or one of the function keys, you can enter BIOS.

Step 2: When you see the BIOS window, unhold the keys you have been pressing.

Step 3: Look for IDE Primary Master, IDE Primary Slave, IDE Secondary Master options, and check what they read. If you see Not Detected, it means BIOS cannot detect the drive.

IDE Primary Slave

Hence, you will need to switch from None to Auto. This might help solve the operating system not found error.

After making these changes, check if you can see system disk information; if yes, BIOS is now able to detect the hard disk drive. Save changes, exit BIOS, and try to load Operating System; you should not face any problem.

tipsAdditional Tip

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Method 2: Reset BIOS

Several reasons are responsible for no operating system found error. The easiest way to fix this problem and to detect hard disks is to reset BIOS. This means you need to restore it to default settings.

To enter BIOS, follow the steps explained above. Once you are into the BIOS, hit the option that reads Setup Defaults or Reset BIOS present at the bottom. Press it > confirm the action and restart System.

Note: In my case, it is F9, but it can be something else on your PC, so be careful and press the correct function key.

Now check missing operating system problems should be resolved. If not, move to the next step.

Method 3: Fix Boot Records

To boot the machine, PC Operating System mainly depends on three records, namely:

  • Master Boot Record(MBR),
  • DOS Boot Record(DBR),
  • and the Boot Configuration Database(BCD)

If any of these records gets corrupted or damaged, the chances of encountering a missing operating system increase.

Luckily, repairing them is not that complicated. They can be fixed using a bootable Windows USB or an installation drive. To learn how to create a Bootable USB, click here.

Once you have the bootable device, boot the machine using it.

Note: To boot the system from a bootable device, you will need to change the BIOS menu’s boot order.

After changing the boot order, boot Operating System; you will now see the Setup screen, here choose the language, keyboard, and time format > Next. To repair, choose Repair your computer.

Next, click Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.

Here enter the following three commands. Ensure you press enter after each command:

  • exe /fixmbr
  • exe /fixboot
  • exe /rebuildbcd

This might take a few minutes, so wait for the commands to run. Once done, restart the PC. You should no longer face any operating system found errors.

Method 4: Enable Or Disable UEFI Secure Boot

All PCs come with UEFI firmware, and Secure Boot enabled. Hence, to fix the missing operating system error, we suggest enabling or disabling UEFI Secure Boot and see if it helps.

Again, you will have to open BIOS and do the opposite of what is already running. Like if it is enabled, disable it and vice versa.

Note: The option is called Secure Boot and is found under the Security tab.

Method 5: Activate Operating System Partition

There are chances that the partition on which the Operating System is installed is inactive. Hence, to fix this, we need to use a diskpart tool. To use it, follow the steps below:

Note: For this step, you need a Windows installation media USB.

Once you have it, attach the bootable media and power it on the machine so that it can boot from it. Now select language, keyboard, click Next > Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.

Here, type diskpart > Enter.

Type list disk > Enter. This will enlist all the attached disks. Note down the disk number you need.

Next, type select disk > Enter

Afterward, type list volume > Enter.

You will now see all the partitions on the disk. Make a note of the disk partition on which the Operating System is installed.

Type select volume

Type active > Enter.

Reboot the machine and see if the process was a success or not.


Using the above solution, we hope you can fix the Missing Operating System or Operating system not found error on the PC. Do let us know which method worked for you. Also, to avoid such a problem in the future, we suggest you keep your system optimized and clean. For this, you can try using Advanced System Optimizer – an all-in-one PC optimizer that helps perform all the functions like updating drives, cleaning disk errors, deleting junk files, detecting and removing malware infections, recovering hard disk space, optimizing memory, and more.

To know more about this tool, you should give it a try. So, download it today and see what Advanced System Optimizer can do.


  • comment_avtar
    Mansi Vijay
    This is probably one of the most annoying issues I’ve faced recently. Thanks for these tips, I tried 3 methods and the third one worked for me!

    4 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    I’m very thankful for this blog. It really helped me solve my error. Thanks!

    4 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    BIOS can be a reason for this problem

    3 years ago

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