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X3500 (7977) "operating system not found"... Part-2 (Win2008 Server)

X3500 (7977) "operating system not found"... Part-2 (Win2008 Server)

X3500 (7977) "operating system not found"... Part-2 (Win2008 Server)

This is a follow-up to my previous post regarding some issues with booting my X3500 - principally that I suddenly cannot boot Windows 2008.  Some (concurrent) hardware/firmware issues were solved in my previous post and I am beginning to think this may in fact be a software/Windows issue.

Of course, I could be wrong.

In a nutshell - when I try to boot my X3500, POST is successful but I get a i9990305 "an operating system was not found" error message and indeed Windows doesn't get booted.  I tried a lot of hardware things per the previous thread to no avail.  The system has been stable for >2 years and I didn't change anything (except for routine Microsoft software maintenence).  I'm running Windows 2008 Server R2.

The latest I've tried:  I inserted my Win 2008 Server install DVD and tried a system repair.  When I got to the screen/panel that asked "select operating system to repair" none were listed.  There was a screen prompting me to load drivers (I haven't a clue where to get/import the correct drivers if they aren't already there) but I was able to get to the command prompt and low-and-behold all of my logical drives (e.g. C: D: ...) were there.  I could change drives, list files, see dates as being current, ... all appears okay (thereby leading me to think that this isn't a hardware problem).  Note that the name/order of the drives have changed (e.g. my system disk - that which should be bootable is now considered the D: disk and a "somewhere down the line" disk is listed as C: in the command prompt world - it's equally non-bootable as it should be).  

This isn't a multi-boot system - just one Win2008 system.

The big question (finally):  Is there some way to let Win2008 (and my X3500) know that indeed there is a (valid <- it appears to be as such) system to boot and point it in the right direction?  I ask in that I'm not that experienced in Win 2008 Server boot logic including how/why to futz with boot records but know enough that it could cause problems if done incorrectly.

Also (version 2 of above question - less ideal but possibly an option):  I do have (two copies) of a 'system restore image' (as of Jan 1, 2012 - not current but better than a complete reinstall and reconfiguration of a services).  Is there some way to let the Win2008 install know of/find my (good?) installation/location?

Again, thank you very much(!) for your help.

RE: X3500 (7977) "operating system not found"... Part-2 (Win2008 Server)

Okay - I have solved the problem(s) - with the help of "you" - indeed I am grateful.

Hopefully this will be of use to others who may have a "operating system not found" error with Win 2008 Server (and possibly/probably Vista, Windows 7, ...)

The software/boot problem was due to the system partition somehow being marked as inactive.  To fix:

- Boot from the (in my case) Windows 2008 install DVD and after the language question select the "recover" option.
- My system did not "find" an existing install (but indeed it was there)
- Get to the command prompt menu (e.g. the C:> prompt) via the "next" button
- At this point I could access my disks/data via the command prompt ("DOS commands")
- I did a "bootrec /scanos" and my operating system was found, it just wasn't bootable
- I tried a "bootrec /rebuildbcd" - again my system was found but the when I tried to select ("Add") it, I got an "element not found" message (e.g. more aggravation)
- I did a "diskpart" (yet another DOS command) - it puts you into a sort of "disk partition shell of sub-commands"
- LIST DISK <- gives you a list of the active disks
- SELECT DISK n <- where n is the number of the disk that has your operating system on it
- LIST PARTITION <- gives you a list of partitions on the disk you've selected
- SELECT PARTITION q <- where q is the number of the partition (on disk n) in which your operating system is installed
- ACTIVE <- ah, the magic command to reactivate the partition (partition q on disk n)
- EXIT <- to get you out of "diskpart mode" and back to the command prompt
- reboot (sans install DVD) and the actual Windows 2008 system magically booted as it should!

Whereas I was lucky enough (I can't believe I'm writing that) to have everything boot normally, I would suspect that at this point one could boot from the install DVD and find/recover a saved system image if necessary.

As to why I suddenly had the firmware option ROM problem (I guess I have circumvented the effects of that problem although the cause of it is probably still lurking under the covers) or a disk partition that was rendered inactive, I'll probably never know.

I'm busy making another set of backups of the system as I write this.

My thanks to those who pointed me in the right direction.  I hope my experience(s) prove useful to somebody else.



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