Computer can't find operating system on 3 computers??

November 13, 2018 at 07:00:18
Specs: Windows 10
I switched to fiber optics and shortly thereafter my computer said it couldnt find the operating system. Had some PC shop put in a new hard drive for $100, did same thing. Bought reburbished computer, did same thing! How is this possible? Anyone no what is causing this and or how to fix it? I would be forever grateful. Thank you so much.

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November 13, 2018 at 08:54:31
Switched to fibre optics...

Can you elaborate a little more about that? Are you referring to fibre broadband or what?

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November 13, 2018 at 09:17:45
When a computer can't find the OS it generally means the HDD has failed. Either that or something has changed in the BIOS settings. Could it be the boot order setting was changed to boot off the network instead of the HDD? It seems odd that it would happen on 3 different computers though.

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November 13, 2018 at 09:18:41
Hi, yes, I went from cable to fiber broadband, and they suggested I get a new router, which I did as well, picked from their list of acceptable routers to 'handle their speeds'.

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November 13, 2018 at 09:19:30
I know, that's why I figured getting a whole new set-up would solve the problem. I am not that computer savvy but I am stumped.

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November 13, 2018 at 09:45:47
And I also recently got MagicJack for VOIP...wonder if that could do it?

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November 13, 2018 at 16:10:33
I have difficulty is following how changing to fibre for your internet connection has caused the problem(s) as described. I feel there is something missing here.

Also did the repair shop demonstrate that the hard drive was ok; possibly even put an operating system onto it?

Similarly the "newer" computer did that come with an operating system installed?

The suggestion that it might be trying to boot from the network might be worth pursuing. This means going into the bios/setup and checking the boot order. If you’re not comfortable going into bios/setup area post back with make/models of computer(s) involved and pholks here will try to help guide you there.

It is remotely possible that the “MagicJack for VOIP” came with a nasty, a pest etc.. and it has done something unkind. From where did you get that software? Is that software installed on all the affected computers?

If you were to download a Linux type disk and try to boot the system with that... it might (ought to) allow you to locate the hard drive and see what's on it.

There are many such free disks about. You download the ISO and burn it to a DVD; then boot with that DVD.

Several of the Linux gurus here can/will advise on the best (and easiest) to consider.

I usually suggest ubuntu (

or puppy linux

Another option, and it may even be better, is to download a Rescue disk and let it scan the system(s) to see what it can find. There are several and I often suggest the Kaspersky version. These disk are also linux based; install in RAM (memory) only, unless you tell it to install the hard drive - which don't. These disks present a windows style desktop, go online to update themselves; and then scan the system fully to eradicate any pests they can find.

Check these links for full how to download and use Kaspersky Rescue disk.

This disk, like many others similar, is free; and safe to use.

Another thought... If you take the assorted computers to another location and connect to the internet there... what happens?

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November 13, 2018 at 20:57:59
The ISP who installed your fiber optic internet should have set up your network including router when they installed the set up.
The computers not finding their operating system at the same time is not related to switching to fiber but may be related to the work that was done when they came to install the fiber, especially if they did not power the computers if working on replugging the power strips, etc. or opening the computer cases. As mentioned, not finding the operating system is directly caused by a failed hard drive or changed/damaged BIOS settings. If a shop put in a new hard drive then they needed to reinstall Windows to the new drive and should have demonstrated to you that it was working. I would go back to them and tell them it is not working and they need to complete the repairs and show you it works before you leave with it.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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November 14, 2018 at 07:06:38
When they installed the fiber I was told to get a new router, so he wasnt here for that.
The PC shop DID power up new hard drive and showed that it worked. It stopped working once home, hooked up and had to restart.
I'm sort of resigned to eating the cost of the 2nd hard drive, maybe put a computer in my room now, if I can fix the problem on that one. The new computer seems ok now, ive restarted many times now. All I did was run CCleaner! Will look at what Trvlr said about bootload. Thanks to all who have chimed in, I really appreciate the help!

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November 14, 2018 at 09:14:15
This new hard drive... at the shop was there an operating system installed on it when they tested it it there prior to you taking the computer home?

While not a common occurrence, it's not unknown for brand new hard drives to die almost as son as installed; even after an initial startup and so on appeared ok.

I'm a little konphused though.

You have two (or is three) computers; your original one with a new hard drive and then a second refurbished(?) computer - and one other? That second one (or is it the third one) is now working OK; whereas initially or at least for a while, it wasn't? If that one is now OK what did you do to get it working; just run ccleaner? To run ccleaner the operating system has to have booted up as that utility is run from within windows itself; and you appeared to say the even that second computer (and maybe the third too) wouldn't boot up either (again no operating system)?

As regards the first on with the new hard drive, have you taken the computer back to the store to get them to verify the drive is (still) OK; and also to check for you that the boot order is either cd/dvd first and then hard drive; or the other way around. Some prefer to leave the hard drive as first boot device, some the cd/dvd as first and hard drive second. Personally I prefer cd/dvd first then hard drive; but it's very personal in that regard.

The way boot up works is that the computer looks for a bootable source; be that a hard drive, a cd/dvd - and in the olde days even a floppy... It works its way through the list of installed and bootable devices as shown in the bios; and as soon as it finds something bootable - uses that. Thus if there a bootable cd/dvd in the drive housing and that cd/dvd drive is set as first option then that boots the computer. If there isn't a cd/dvd in the drive housing (even if it's set as first device), then the computer goes to the next device - the hard drive... and uses that (if there is an operating system installed). If the hard drive is first in the list then that's the first port of call to boot up. If that fails then the computer goes to the next device - typically the cd/dvd; and if that fails it may go looking for a network connection to boot from.

When all installed bootable devices have been tried - and possibly fall have ailed to boot then you get the no operating system type of message.

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