Missing Operating System yesterday, fixed itself today


Jun 14, 2013
Came to work yesterday to discover our Lenovo ThinkCentre with a black screen and the message "Operating System not found" (or something to that effect). After several attempts to reboot the computer, and searching frantically for Windows 7 Pro boot/repair disks that I'm pretty sure I never had in the first place, I contacted Lenovo Support.

I knew there was a partition in the HD intended to be used to repair if the computer crashed, but there was no way to access it. Even went into BIOS, but couldn't find a way in. So the Lenovo Support agent sent me boot disks. Credit to them, got them the next day...was expecting them after the weekend, really.

When I realized the disks had arrived early, I cleared my afternoon schedule, expecting a tedious process of repairing whatever corrupted files had caused the problem. I turned on the PC, opened the DVD drive, inserted the disk, and then realized that Windows had started up...WITHOUT THE DISK!

Somehow, the HD had corrected itself. I did see a message, "Configuring Windows...", so I figured something had been reset.

My question is this: Do I NOT look a gift horse in the mouth or do I? The computer is running perfectly, just like it was 2 days ago. Is there a corrupted file that needs fixing still? Is my machine going to repeat this stunt? Or was it acting like my car...faking a problem to see if I still cared about it enough to take it to the mechanic? :)

At least now I have the disks...


Nov 13, 2013
This exact same sequela just happened to my 60 day old Lenovo ThinkCentre M82 running Windows 7 Pro. Fired up with "missing operating system" on a blank (black) screen. Two hard reboots later it booted up and reconfigured itself under Windows 7, like nothing ever happened. But "missing operating system' is a "hard drive heart attack". Support at Lenovo was, for the most part, clueless, but did indicate it is a boot sector issue. I suspect they have a run of bad ThinkCentre M82s myself. I paid extra for 3 year parts and labor, but their only offer was to send a new blank hard drive for me to install!!? I told them I would only accept a new hard drive if it came preinstalled with Windows 7, XP mode, MS Office for Home/Student and Norton I.S., just as I had purchased two months ago. For some reason, they said they could not do that.

I am fairly certain that this problem will come back; that it is a bad boot sector issue; that it may be pretty common. So far, I have initial approval from Customer Service to return the M82 for a full refund, since they cant replace the hard drive WITH the software. To me, if you pay extra for 3 years onsite parts and labor, that means "3 years Onsite parts and labor". Not my labor and not by shipping me a blank drive, that would require 2 days to replace, reinstall and reconfigure.

Please post back on the outcome of your problem: Did it come back? Did it go away and never happen again? (I'm gun shy on this and will send my unit back since it's only 60 days old, but no everyone has that option.)


Oct 26, 2013
I would probably check/replace the SATA cable that connects to the drive.

I reckon that Lenovo wanted to send you the drive so that you could void the warranty and thereby relieve them of further responsibility for the price (to them) of a hard drive.

They are aware that either they have been using cheap, inefficient parts or they realise that they may have shipped an operating system with a virus preinstalled with it.

The latter is unlikely and doesn't sufficiently explain the rarity of the problem.

Ah! The problem. Well, a change in humidity or temperature may affect the connections to some extent.

I would try the cables and accept a nice new free hard drive.

And screw their customer service.