File location of Windows 7 operating system files?

Hi,
I need help finding the Win7 operating system files so I can finally fix my Startup/MBR. I'm using the Windows 7 Recovery disk and I need to load the operating system file before doing anything, which is what got me in this mess in the first place.
Thanks in advance.
 

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Last updated May 23, 2020 Views 75,845 Applies to:

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Hi JRoh,

a. Did you have two operating systems (Linux and windows) in your computer?
b. Are you able to boot in to windows now?
c. Did you try any troubleshooting steps?
 
You will not be able to find system files in recovery disk. You can find system files in windows installation disk.
 
You may try the below methods one by one and check.

Method 1: Perform startup repair on your computer.
 
1. Insert the Windows installation disc into the disc drive, and then start the computer. 
2. Press a key when the message indicating "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD …" appears.
3. Select a language, a time and currency, and a keyboard or input method, and then click Next. 
4. Click Repair your computer. 
5. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, choose the drive of your Windows installation and click Next. 
6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Startup Repair.

For more information visit the below links:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925810

Method 2: Run the Bootrec.exe tool.

1. Put the Windows 7 installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
2. Press a key when you are prompted.
3. Select a language, a time, a currency, a keyboard or an input method, and then click Next.
4. Click Repair your computer.
5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
7. Type Bootrec.exe, and then press ENTER.

For more information visit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392
 
Hope this information is helpful.
Let me know if this worked.
 
Thanks and Regards:
Umesh P - Microsoft Support

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Hello, thanks for your response.

Unfortunately, I downloaded Win7 and went for an upgrade, so I don't have the installation disk.
But to elaborate on my problem, upon boot, it yields the error message "Missing Operating System." Perhaps I was asking the wrong question.

This started when I wanted to delete a Linux partition and tried to test out the Bootrec tool before actually going through with the delete.

I burned an ISO of the recovery disk and did the following:
1. Put the Windows 7 installation disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.
2. Press a key when you are prompted.
3. Select a language, a time, a currency, a keyboard or an input method, and then click Next.

Instead of going to your #4, a window with two options appeared:



o Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting Windows.
   Select an operating system to repair.

   If your operating system isn't listed, click Load Drivers and then install drivers for your hard disks.

____________________________________________________________________
|   Operating System                  |  Partition Size        |  Location                         |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|                                                                                                                     |
|                                                                                                                     |
|                                                                                                                     |
|                                                                                                                     |
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- |
|                                                                                                                     |
|                                                                                                                     |
|                                                                                                                     |
|                                                                                                                     |
|                                                                 ______________     _________       |
|                                                                 |  Load Drivers  |    |  Next >  |       |
|                                                                 ______________     _________       |
|___________________________________________________________________|

o Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier.     




...I believe the cause of the "Missing Operating System" error message was due to me selecting the first option above (with no OS listed) and just clicking Next. Then I ran the Command Prompt option and typed in


X:\windows\system32> bootrec.exe/fixBoot
The volume does not contain a recognized file system.
Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.

X:\windows\system32> bootrec.exe/fixMBR
The operation completed successfully.

After reboot, this is when the error message started appearing and is how my problem started.

-Thanks

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Anybody?? It's been this way for weeks and I need help so I can be done with this problem.

Looking in your direction, Microsoft Support! :D

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Well..?

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I had similar problems before when using dual/triple boot systems.....
The way i found..(after many goofs.).....Is to use a Live Cd...and installVista Boot pro...(free download)....(  hXXp://en.kioskea.net/telecharger/download-126-vista-boot-pro )
When you install it on the hdd  it will allow you to fix/change/boot order..and perhaps the grubb loader from your Linux..messed it up...who knows...
But it worked miracles for me in recoverning my MBR..Ive used it aboout 4 times last year with no problems.
Also it allows you to use Different types of MBR..settings...
Hope this helps

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Hello - Just spent 3 hours pouring over forums including this one before I found a solution that worked for me. I was attempting to remove vista from my dual boot system. I had a clean (non dual boot) install of win 7 on 2nd partition of my hardrive. The remnants of the vista install were on the 1st partition.  For some reason my boot record was still on partition 1 and and when I formated it I was getting all the boot error described above.

 

I tried everything that was posted in the above posts including bootrec, diskpart, gparted, but my windows 7 install would  still not show up in windows recovery. Finally, with a final prayer I swapped my esata cables around, and rebooted from my win 7 disk; this time it found my win 7 install and I was able to repair.

So, before spending hours messing around in CMD prompts try just switching your stupid cables... for some reason it re-set something.

Best of luck!

 

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Reformat your system - you  messed up :((

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Hello - Just spent 3 hours pouring over forums including this one before I found a solution that worked for me. I was attempting to remove vista from my dual boot system. I had a clean (non dual boot) install of win 7 on 2nd partition of my hardrive. The remnants of the vista install were on the 1st partition.  For some reason my boot record was still on partition 1 and and when I formated it I was getting all the boot error described above.

 

I tried everything that was posted in the above posts including bootrec, diskpart, gparted, but my windows 7 install would  still not show up in windows recovery. Finally, with a final prayer I swapped my esata cables around, and rebooted from my win 7 disk; this time it found my win 7 install and I was able to repair.

So, before spending hours messing around in CMD prompts try just switching your stupid cables... for some reason it re-set something.

Best of luck!

 

 I'm having a similar trouble and I guess why your solution worked is because something changed my master drive to secondary drive. My windows installation appears on D drive when it was always on C drive so I guess your solution might work, except it doesn't for me since my PC cannot be opened so I need another type of solution. I believe it might be as simple as reversing that change by reassining the letter/primary drive or making the apporpiate redirection on the MBR except I don't know how to.

 

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I turned off my laptop (windows 7) today and when it booted up, the welcome screen said, "preparing your deskop." Then a weird desktop came up with windows XP fonts and taskbar and a solid black desktop background. I fixed the windows and the taskbar but there's still the old XP font. A ton of my data is gone and when I try to access any of it, an error message comes up that says, "C:/windows/system32/config/systemprofile/desktop/ refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer, or on a network. Check to make sure that the disk is properly inserted, or that you are connected to the Internet or your network, and try again. If it still cannot be located, the information might have been moved to a different location."

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WOW! I spent over 2 hrs with the same problem. It wouldnt respond to any Windows disk or Repair. I unplugged up eSata cable, blew the dust off it & plugged it back in. Walaaaaah, booted up straight away. Thanks berd0029

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