no operating system upon boot

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

I may be too late but... Have sony vaio laptop with XP home. Had drive
partitioned to a c primary and d extended. Ran into issues as the c drive
was full and nothing was going to d. Went into drive management and
formatted d drive, as only data stored there was copies of program files
that also existed in c drive. Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive, but
upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not found.

I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally reformat and
start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way to
get the laptop to boot correctly to for now at least get back to where I was
before the issues?
8 answers Last reply
More about operating system boot
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Zattack wrote:
    > I may be too late but... Have sony vaio laptop with XP home. Had drive
    > partitioned to a c primary and d extended. Ran into issues as the c drive
    > was full and nothing was going to d. Went into drive management and
    > formatted d drive, as only data stored there was copies of program files
    > that also existed in c drive. Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    > drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive, but
    > upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not found.
    >
    > I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally reformat and
    > start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way to
    > get the laptop to boot correctly to for now at least get back to where I was
    > before the issues?
    >
    >
    You can't merge a partition with just disk management.My guess is that
    you formatted the entire drive. Loading the recovery disks now won't
    hurt anything. You've already lost your data. Hope you had a backup.

    gls858
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "gls858" <gls858@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:u0TUlkevEHA.1988@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > Zattack wrote:
    > > I may be too late but... Have sony vaio laptop with XP home. Had drive
    > > partitioned to a c primary and d extended. Ran into issues as the c
    drive
    > > was full and nothing was going to d. Went into drive management and
    > > formatted d drive, as only data stored there was copies of program files
    > > that also existed in c drive. Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    > > drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive, but
    > > upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not
    found.
    > >
    > > I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally reformat
    and
    > > start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way
    to
    > > get the laptop to boot correctly to for now at least get back to where I
    was
    > > before the issues?
    > >
    > >
    > You can't merge a partition with just disk management.My guess is that
    > you formatted the entire drive. Loading the recovery disks now won't
    > hurt anything. You've already lost your data. Hope you had a backup.
    >
    > gls858

    I know that I did not format the c drive as I was able to still operate and
    do things after the format of the D drive. I am thinking the boot up is
    confused on which drive to boot to to get the operating system. Granted I
    am grasping at hope at this point, but I would have assumed that during the
    format it would have cuased some sort of error in trying to delete
    everything while I was still in drive management. Is there any way to try
    and browse the c drive or get to that point?
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    You cannot format the system drive (C:) in Windows. It will stop you.
    Attempting to merge drives C: and D: in Drive Manager, however, removes all
    partition information. The message you are getting says it all.

    It is likely that the D: drive was a small partition (probably 1GB or so)
    designed for backing up your Documents and Settings folder. If so, merging
    the two might not gain you much. However you recover from this, I suggest
    you buy an external hard drive to use to back up your system regularly. If
    you decide to shop for an external drive, keep in mind that your laptop
    should have a usb port to take advantage of an external device and that you
    can buy external drives with bundled backup software. Buy a drive that is
    at least double the size of the drive in your laptop. It will also come in
    handy for storing some of the things that prompted you to try to make more
    space.

    Use the restore disks that came with your computer. Your laptop requires
    motherboard drivers, device drivers, and utility programs that are specific
    for your computer and you need the restore program to get those back onto
    your system. Good luck.

    "Zattack" <nospam@orionfirst.com> wrote in message
    news:OHZ2UYevEHA.1292@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    >I may be too late but... Have sony vaio laptop with XP home. Had drive
    > partitioned to a c primary and d extended. Ran into issues as the c drive
    > was full and nothing was going to d. Went into drive management and
    > formatted d drive, as only data stored there was copies of program files
    > that also existed in c drive. Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    > drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive, but
    > upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not
    > found.
    >
    > I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally reformat
    > and
    > start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way to
    > get the laptop to boot correctly to for now at least get back to where I
    > was
    > before the issues?
    >
    >
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Zattack wrote:
    > "gls858" <gls858@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > news:u0TUlkevEHA.1988@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    >
    >>Zattack wrote:
    >>
    >>>I may be too late but... Have sony vaio laptop with XP home. Had drive
    >>>partitioned to a c primary and d extended. Ran into issues as the c
    >
    > drive
    >
    >>>was full and nothing was going to d. Went into drive management and
    >>>formatted d drive, as only data stored there was copies of program files
    >>>that also existed in c drive. Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    >>>drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive, but
    >>>upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not
    >
    > found.
    >
    >>>I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally reformat
    >
    > and
    >
    >>>start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way
    >
    > to
    >
    >>>get the laptop to boot correctly to for now at least get back to where I
    >
    > was
    >
    >>>before the issues?
    >>>
    >>>
    >>
    >>You can't merge a partition with just disk management.My guess is that
    >>you formatted the entire drive. Loading the recovery disks now won't
    >>hurt anything. You've already lost your data. Hope you had a backup.
    >>
    >>gls858
    >
    >
    > I know that I did not format the c drive as I was able to still operate and
    > do things after the format of the D drive. I am thinking the boot up is
    > confused on which drive to boot to to get the operating system. Granted I
    > am grasping at hope at this point, but I would have assumed that during the
    > format it would have cuased some sort of error in trying to delete
    > everything while I was still in drive management. Is there any way to try
    > and browse the c drive or get to that point?
    >
    >
    Hope your right and I'm wrong Zattack. I just know you can't merge
    partitions using disk management. It takes third party software like
    Partition Magic. What do you mean you were able to "operate and do
    things after the format". It would seem logical that you would get an
    error message if you tried to format the partition with your operating
    system on it. But then it again it is an MS product :-) Maybe someone
    else will have a suggestion.

    gls858
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "gls858" <gls858@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:%23FB$4%23evEHA.1400@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
    > Zattack wrote:
    > > "gls858" <gls858@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > > news:u0TUlkevEHA.1988@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > >
    > >>Zattack wrote:
    > >>
    > >>>I may be too late but... Have sony vaio laptop with XP home. Had
    drive
    > >>>partitioned to a c primary and d extended. Ran into issues as the c
    > >
    > > drive
    > >
    > >>>was full and nothing was going to d. Went into drive management and
    > >>>formatted d drive, as only data stored there was copies of program
    files
    > >>>that also existed in c drive. Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    > >>>drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive,
    but
    > >>>upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not
    > >
    > > found.
    > >
    > >>>I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally
    reformat
    > >
    > > and
    > >
    > >>>start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way
    > >
    > > to
    > >
    > >>>get the laptop to boot correctly to for now at least get back to where
    I
    > >
    > > was
    > >
    > >>>before the issues?
    > >>>
    > >>>
    > >>
    > >>You can't merge a partition with just disk management.My guess is that
    > >>you formatted the entire drive. Loading the recovery disks now won't
    > >>hurt anything. You've already lost your data. Hope you had a backup.
    > >>
    > >>gls858
    > >
    > >
    > > I know that I did not format the c drive as I was able to still operate
    and
    > > do things after the format of the D drive. I am thinking the boot up is
    > > confused on which drive to boot to to get the operating system. Granted
    I
    > > am grasping at hope at this point, but I would have assumed that during
    the
    > > format it would have cuased some sort of error in trying to delete
    > > everything while I was still in drive management. Is there any way to
    try
    > > and browse the c drive or get to that point?
    > >
    > >
    > Hope your right and I'm wrong Zattack. I just know you can't merge
    > partitions using disk management. It takes third party software like
    > Partition Magic. What do you mean you were able to "operate and do
    > things after the format". It would seem logical that you would get an
    > error message if you tried to format the partition with your operating
    > system on it. But then it again it is an MS product :-) Maybe someone
    > else will have a suggestion.
    >
    > gls858
    >

    I appreciate the advice. What I meant was that the format was done while
    using the XP disk management utility. It lets you view the different drives
    and you can partition, name and format them from a user friendly screen.
    After formatting drive d, I closed the utility and then operated a couple
    other programs, a word file and internet explorer before shutting down the
    system. That is why I don't believe the c drive was harmed as that is where
    most of my data resided. I think I just screwed up by making drive d also a
    primary partition so now upon botting the system is confused? Not sure,
    perhaps anyone else has experienced this or has advice?
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Hi, Zattack.

    Several things here "do not compute". :>(

    First, as gls858 said, you can't use Disk Management to merge partitions.
    DM can delete a partition and create a new one, or multiple smaller ones, in
    that space. But DM can't shrink a partition or enlarge one or merge two.
    And it can't do much of anything with the System Partition (almost always
    Drive C:) or the Boot Volume (often also Drive C:).

    > Went into drive management and
    > formatted d drive,

    OK. You would have been formatting D:, the logical drive within the
    extended partition. An extended partition doesn't get a drive letter and
    can't be formatted, but you can create one or more logical drives within the
    extended partition, assign them letters and format them. So I assume that
    after this you had a primary partition (Drive C:) and an extended partition
    with one freshly-formatted logical drive (Drive D:). Drive C: was both the
    System Partition and the Boot Volume.

    > Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    > drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive,

    WHOA! HOW did you attempt to merge Drive D: back with Drive C:?

    Did you use any third-party tools, such as Partition Magic? Or only WinXP
    and its built-in utilities, such as Disk Management? Or perhaps some
    utility supplied by Sony? Disk Management won't touch Drive C:, normally.

    > upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not
    > found.

    That could be awful - or not. Maybe it can't find the operating system
    because it's looking in the wrong place - on Drive A: (the floppy), for
    example, or Drive D:, where the system hasn't been installed. If you have
    the retail WinXP CD-ROM, you might be able to boot it, then choose R to
    enter the Recovery Console. From there, run FixBoot (and maybe FixMBR and
    BootCFG) to repair your boot sector and restore your ability to boot into
    WinXP. I don't know if the Sony CD has the FixBoot utility.

    MAYBE all you need to do is point it back to Drive C:, but there's no way we
    can tell that from here. The message could well mean that the operating
    system has been erased from Drive C:. :>(

    > I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally reformat
    > and
    > start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way to

    I've never had a Sony, but "recovery disks" often take the drastic step of
    returning your computer to the state it was in when it left the factory. In
    other words, everything you've added will be gone and you will be starting
    over. If Drive C: has, in fact, been reformatted, this might be your only
    good option. I don't know whether you will have a chance to change the size
    of Drive C:.

    For future reference (probably too late to do any good now), there is a
    program on the full retail WinXP CD-ROM called DiskPart, a part of the
    Recovery Console. (This is not the same as DiskPart.exe, which can be run
    from WinXP.) Whether this is on the Sony recovery disk, I don't know.
    DiskPart has an /extend parameter that will "grow" a partition, if several
    requirements are met. Search the Help and Support file for details, but it
    probably would not have helped you in this case, anyhow.

    It's not clear to me just how you reformatted D:, or whether C: is
    untouched. If C: is intact, and if you can take out that HD and move it
    into another computer, you should be able to recover all your data into the
    other computer, then move it back into this one later.

    Only you know how much the "lost" data is worth to you. If it is valuable
    enough to you, and if Drive C: has not actually been reformatted, you might
    buy a full retail copy of WinXP (either Home or Pro). Then boot from that
    retail WinXP CD-ROM and do an in-place upgrade, as described here:
    How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q315341

    This will reinstall WinXP itself but, so long as your Registry is intact on
    Drive C:, it will preserve your existing applications and data. It will not
    give you an opportunity to increase the size of your existing partition,
    though, so you will not be better off than you were "before the issues". To
    make a larger Drive C:, you really have only two options:
    backup/repartition/reformat/restore, or use a third-party solution.

    Many of us have had the problem of too-full Drive C:, so you will find many
    threads here with tips on how to keep as much as possible in other volumes.
    If you must repartition and reformat, try to make Drive C: at least 5 GB; 10
    is better, and many people (including Microsoft) recommend having only a
    single partition using all the space on the hard disk. (I like to separate
    the few System Files into a minimal primary partition Drive C:, the
    operating system itself into logical Drive D:, and applications and data
    into one or more other logical drives, but that is a topic for another
    thread.)

    RC
    --
    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX
    rc@corridor.net
    Microsoft Windows MVP

    "Zattack" <nospam@orionfirst.com> wrote in message
    news:OHZ2UYevEHA.1292@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    >I may be too late but... Have sony vaio laptop with XP home. Had drive
    > partitioned to a c primary and d extended. Ran into issues as the c drive
    > was full and nothing was going to d. Went into drive management and
    > formatted d drive, as only data stored there was copies of program files
    > that also existed in c drive. Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    > drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive, but
    > upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not
    > found.
    >
    > I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally reformat
    > and
    > start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way to
    > get the laptop to boot correctly to for now at least get back to where I
    > was
    > before the issues?
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "R. C. White" <rc@corridor.net> wrote in message
    news:%23bbb2LfvEHA.3416@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > Hi, Zattack.
    >
    > Several things here "do not compute". :>(
    >
    > First, as gls858 said, you can't use Disk Management to merge partitions.
    > DM can delete a partition and create a new one, or multiple smaller ones,
    in
    > that space. But DM can't shrink a partition or enlarge one or merge two.
    > And it can't do much of anything with the System Partition (almost always
    > Drive C:) or the Boot Volume (often also Drive C:).
    >
    > > Went into drive management and
    > > formatted d drive,
    >
    > OK. You would have been formatting D:, the logical drive within the
    > extended partition. An extended partition doesn't get a drive letter and
    > can't be formatted, but you can create one or more logical drives within
    the
    > extended partition, assign them letters and format them. So I assume that
    > after this you had a primary partition (Drive C:) and an extended
    partition
    > with one freshly-formatted logical drive (Drive D:). Drive C: was both
    the
    > System Partition and the Boot Volume.
    >
    > > Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    > > drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive,
    >
    > WHOA! HOW did you attempt to merge Drive D: back with Drive C:?
    >
    > Did you use any third-party tools, such as Partition Magic? Or only WinXP
    > and its built-in utilities, such as Disk Management? Or perhaps some
    > utility supplied by Sony? Disk Management won't touch Drive C:, normally.
    >
    > > upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not
    > > found.
    >
    > That could be awful - or not. Maybe it can't find the operating system
    > because it's looking in the wrong place - on Drive A: (the floppy), for
    > example, or Drive D:, where the system hasn't been installed. If you have
    > the retail WinXP CD-ROM, you might be able to boot it, then choose R to
    > enter the Recovery Console. From there, run FixBoot (and maybe FixMBR and
    > BootCFG) to repair your boot sector and restore your ability to boot into
    > WinXP. I don't know if the Sony CD has the FixBoot utility.
    >
    > MAYBE all you need to do is point it back to Drive C:, but there's no way
    we
    > can tell that from here. The message could well mean that the operating
    > system has been erased from Drive C:. :>(
    >
    > > I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally reformat
    > > and
    > > start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way
    to
    >
    > I've never had a Sony, but "recovery disks" often take the drastic step of
    > returning your computer to the state it was in when it left the factory.
    In
    > other words, everything you've added will be gone and you will be starting
    > over. If Drive C: has, in fact, been reformatted, this might be your only
    > good option. I don't know whether you will have a chance to change the
    size
    > of Drive C:.
    >
    > For future reference (probably too late to do any good now), there is a
    > program on the full retail WinXP CD-ROM called DiskPart, a part of the
    > Recovery Console. (This is not the same as DiskPart.exe, which can be run
    > from WinXP.) Whether this is on the Sony recovery disk, I don't know.
    > DiskPart has an /extend parameter that will "grow" a partition, if several
    > requirements are met. Search the Help and Support file for details, but
    it
    > probably would not have helped you in this case, anyhow.
    >
    > It's not clear to me just how you reformatted D:, or whether C: is
    > untouched. If C: is intact, and if you can take out that HD and move it
    > into another computer, you should be able to recover all your data into
    the
    > other computer, then move it back into this one later.
    >
    > Only you know how much the "lost" data is worth to you. If it is valuable
    > enough to you, and if Drive C: has not actually been reformatted, you
    might
    > buy a full retail copy of WinXP (either Home or Pro). Then boot from that
    > retail WinXP CD-ROM and do an in-place upgrade, as described here:
    > How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q315341
    >
    > This will reinstall WinXP itself but, so long as your Registry is intact
    on
    > Drive C:, it will preserve your existing applications and data. It will
    not
    > give you an opportunity to increase the size of your existing partition,
    > though, so you will not be better off than you were "before the issues".
    To
    > make a larger Drive C:, you really have only two options:
    > backup/repartition/reformat/restore, or use a third-party solution.
    >
    > Many of us have had the problem of too-full Drive C:, so you will find
    many
    > threads here with tips on how to keep as much as possible in other
    volumes.
    > If you must repartition and reformat, try to make Drive C: at least 5 GB;
    10
    > is better, and many people (including Microsoft) recommend having only a
    > single partition using all the space on the hard disk. (I like to
    separate
    > the few System Files into a minimal primary partition Drive C:, the
    > operating system itself into logical Drive D:, and applications and data
    > into one or more other logical drives, but that is a topic for another
    > thread.)
    >
    > RC
    > --
    > R. C. White, CPA
    > San Marcos, TX
    > rc@corridor.net
    > Microsoft Windows MVP
    >
    > "Zattack" <nospam@orionfirst.com> wrote in message
    > news:OHZ2UYevEHA.1292@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > >I may be too late but... Have sony vaio laptop with XP home. Had drive
    > > partitioned to a c primary and d extended. Ran into issues as the c
    drive
    > > was full and nothing was going to d. Went into drive management and
    > > formatted d drive, as only data stored there was copies of program files
    > > that also existed in c drive. Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    > > drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive, but
    > > upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not
    > > found.
    > >
    > > I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally reformat
    > > and
    > > start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way
    to
    > > get the laptop to boot correctly to for now at least get back to where I
    > > was
    > > before the issues?
    >

    Thanks to everyone so far who have posted. I probably have not explained
    the situation as well as could have. Basically the laptop was setup with a
    partitioned 14 gig drive. Just over 5 allocated as the primary drive c and
    less than 9 to an extended drive d. Problem is that everything, programs,
    files, windows updates, etc were all going to drive c and it was maxed out
    on space.

    In an attempt on my part to try and find a solution so that the drive D
    could be used more appropriately I ran across the disk management utility.
    My goal was to try and clear drive d and somehow merge it back with c, which
    I now know takes at least a separate piece of software such as Partition
    Magic. I didn't have anything like that so what I naively did was
    unallocate drive d. Then I reallocated it as a primary partition and
    formatted it while still in disk management. If you are familiar with the
    disk management utility it has a little window that displays the drives with
    color codes and allows you to click on the drive you want to work with and
    such. Once drive d had formatted it was the same color as drive c, listed
    itself as a primary drive but still showed it with 9 gig of space as a
    separate drive from that of drive c (also still listed as a primary drive.

    After exiting the utility I was able to work on a word doc and jump on the
    internet. I closed down and upon reboot recieved the error message. I am
    fairly confident that the c drive is still intact since just shutting it
    down should not have erased anything and since as Colin stated windows
    shouldn't allow you to delete its active drive while you are working in
    it... So my conclusion appears to be similar to yours, RC, that somehow the
    partition format process I did screwed up the pointer for when I boot the
    system. Without the ability to even reach a dos prompt or navigate outside
    windows I don't even know how to fix the pointer problem or begin to
    research it because Sony did not sell the Windows XP software, it built it
    into the recovery disk as far I understand it. The Sony recovery disk has
    only two options upon inserting it and rebooting: Format drive C and begin
    new install or format all drives and begin install...

    Does Fixboot provide a solution to this and if so is a new copy of WinXp the
    only option? I will most likely start a new thread if I ever get the system
    to boot correctly to fix the partitioned allocations but until then I want
    to at least try to recovery the system as it was...
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    What has happened is that Disk Management made D: the active partition.

    "Zattack" <nospam@orionfirst.com> wrote in message
    news:udYZ3mfvEHA.2192@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    >
    > "R. C. White" <rc@corridor.net> wrote in message
    > news:%23bbb2LfvEHA.3416@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    >> Hi, Zattack.
    >>
    >> Several things here "do not compute". :>(
    >>
    >> First, as gls858 said, you can't use Disk Management to merge partitions.
    >> DM can delete a partition and create a new one, or multiple smaller ones,
    > in
    >> that space. But DM can't shrink a partition or enlarge one or merge two.
    >> And it can't do much of anything with the System Partition (almost always
    >> Drive C:) or the Boot Volume (often also Drive C:).
    >>
    >> > Went into drive management and
    >> > formatted d drive,
    >>
    >> OK. You would have been formatting D:, the logical drive within the
    >> extended partition. An extended partition doesn't get a drive letter and
    >> can't be formatted, but you can create one or more logical drives within
    > the
    >> extended partition, assign them letters and format them. So I assume
    >> that
    >> after this you had a primary partition (Drive C:) and an extended
    > partition
    >> with one freshly-formatted logical drive (Drive D:). Drive C: was both
    > the
    >> System Partition and the Boot Volume.
    >>
    >> > Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    >> > drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive,
    >>
    >> WHOA! HOW did you attempt to merge Drive D: back with Drive C:?
    >>
    >> Did you use any third-party tools, such as Partition Magic? Or only
    >> WinXP
    >> and its built-in utilities, such as Disk Management? Or perhaps some
    >> utility supplied by Sony? Disk Management won't touch Drive C:,
    >> normally.
    >>
    >> > upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not
    >> > found.
    >>
    >> That could be awful - or not. Maybe it can't find the operating system
    >> because it's looking in the wrong place - on Drive A: (the floppy), for
    >> example, or Drive D:, where the system hasn't been installed. If you
    >> have
    >> the retail WinXP CD-ROM, you might be able to boot it, then choose R to
    >> enter the Recovery Console. From there, run FixBoot (and maybe FixMBR
    >> and
    >> BootCFG) to repair your boot sector and restore your ability to boot into
    >> WinXP. I don't know if the Sony CD has the FixBoot utility.
    >>
    >> MAYBE all you need to do is point it back to Drive C:, but there's no way
    > we
    >> can tell that from here. The message could well mean that the operating
    >> system has been erased from Drive C:. :>(
    >>
    >> > I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally
    >> > reformat
    >> > and
    >> > start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way
    > to
    >>
    >> I've never had a Sony, but "recovery disks" often take the drastic step
    >> of
    >> returning your computer to the state it was in when it left the factory.
    > In
    >> other words, everything you've added will be gone and you will be
    >> starting
    >> over. If Drive C: has, in fact, been reformatted, this might be your
    >> only
    >> good option. I don't know whether you will have a chance to change the
    > size
    >> of Drive C:.
    >>
    >> For future reference (probably too late to do any good now), there is a
    >> program on the full retail WinXP CD-ROM called DiskPart, a part of the
    >> Recovery Console. (This is not the same as DiskPart.exe, which can be
    >> run
    >> from WinXP.) Whether this is on the Sony recovery disk, I don't know.
    >> DiskPart has an /extend parameter that will "grow" a partition, if
    >> several
    >> requirements are met. Search the Help and Support file for details, but
    > it
    >> probably would not have helped you in this case, anyhow.
    >>
    >> It's not clear to me just how you reformatted D:, or whether C: is
    >> untouched. If C: is intact, and if you can take out that HD and move it
    >> into another computer, you should be able to recover all your data into
    > the
    >> other computer, then move it back into this one later.
    >>
    >> Only you know how much the "lost" data is worth to you. If it is
    >> valuable
    >> enough to you, and if Drive C: has not actually been reformatted, you
    > might
    >> buy a full retail copy of WinXP (either Home or Pro). Then boot from
    >> that
    >> retail WinXP CD-ROM and do an in-place upgrade, as described here:
    >> How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
    >> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q315341
    >>
    >> This will reinstall WinXP itself but, so long as your Registry is intact
    > on
    >> Drive C:, it will preserve your existing applications and data. It will
    > not
    >> give you an opportunity to increase the size of your existing partition,
    >> though, so you will not be better off than you were "before the issues".
    > To
    >> make a larger Drive C:, you really have only two options:
    >> backup/repartition/reformat/restore, or use a third-party solution.
    >>
    >> Many of us have had the problem of too-full Drive C:, so you will find
    > many
    >> threads here with tips on how to keep as much as possible in other
    > volumes.
    >> If you must repartition and reformat, try to make Drive C: at least 5 GB;
    > 10
    >> is better, and many people (including Microsoft) recommend having only a
    >> single partition using all the space on the hard disk. (I like to
    > separate
    >> the few System Files into a minimal primary partition Drive C:, the
    >> operating system itself into logical Drive D:, and applications and data
    >> into one or more other logical drives, but that is a topic for another
    >> thread.)
    >>
    >> RC
    >> --
    >> R. C. White, CPA
    >> San Marcos, TX
    >> rc@corridor.net
    >> Microsoft Windows MVP
    >>
    >> "Zattack" <nospam@orionfirst.com> wrote in message
    >> news:OHZ2UYevEHA.1292@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    >> >I may be too late but... Have sony vaio laptop with XP home. Had drive
    >> > partitioned to a c primary and d extended. Ran into issues as the c
    > drive
    >> > was full and nothing was going to d. Went into drive management and
    >> > formatted d drive, as only data stored there was copies of program
    >> > files
    >> > that also existed in c drive. Upon attmpt to make it merge back with c
    >> > drive, formatted it to also be primary drive. Didn't touch c drive,
    >> > but
    >> > upon restart laptop only displays one message: operating system not
    >> > found.
    >> >
    >> > I have Sony recovery disks but they simply prompt me to totally
    >> > reformat
    >> > and
    >> > start installation of system. Have I lost my data and is there any way
    > to
    >> > get the laptop to boot correctly to for now at least get back to where
    >> > I
    >> > was
    >> > before the issues?
    >>
    >
    > Thanks to everyone so far who have posted. I probably have not explained
    > the situation as well as could have. Basically the laptop was setup with
    > a
    > partitioned 14 gig drive. Just over 5 allocated as the primary drive c
    > and
    > less than 9 to an extended drive d. Problem is that everything, programs,
    > files, windows updates, etc were all going to drive c and it was maxed out
    > on space.
    >
    > In an attempt on my part to try and find a solution so that the drive D
    > could be used more appropriately I ran across the disk management utility.
    > My goal was to try and clear drive d and somehow merge it back with c,
    > which
    > I now know takes at least a separate piece of software such as Partition
    > Magic. I didn't have anything like that so what I naively did was
    > unallocate drive d. Then I reallocated it as a primary partition and
    > formatted it while still in disk management. If you are familiar with the
    > disk management utility it has a little window that displays the drives
    > with
    > color codes and allows you to click on the drive you want to work with and
    > such. Once drive d had formatted it was the same color as drive c, listed
    > itself as a primary drive but still showed it with 9 gig of space as a
    > separate drive from that of drive c (also still listed as a primary drive.
    >
    > After exiting the utility I was able to work on a word doc and jump on the
    > internet. I closed down and upon reboot recieved the error message. I am
    > fairly confident that the c drive is still intact since just shutting it
    > down should not have erased anything and since as Colin stated windows
    > shouldn't allow you to delete its active drive while you are working in
    > it... So my conclusion appears to be similar to yours, RC, that somehow
    > the
    > partition format process I did screwed up the pointer for when I boot the
    > system. Without the ability to even reach a dos prompt or navigate
    > outside
    > windows I don't even know how to fix the pointer problem or begin to
    > research it because Sony did not sell the Windows XP software, it built it
    > into the recovery disk as far I understand it. The Sony recovery disk has
    > only two options upon inserting it and rebooting: Format drive C and
    > begin
    > new install or format all drives and begin install...
    >
    > Does Fixboot provide a solution to this and if so is a new copy of WinXp
    > the
    > only option? I will most likely start a new thread if I ever get the
    > system
    > to boot correctly to fix the partitioned allocations but until then I want
    > to at least try to recovery the system as it was...
    >
    >
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