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ChrisC, Computer Enthusiast
Category: Laptop
Satisfied Customers: 2272
Experience:  15 years as a professional computer technician.
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Hi my Acer aspire laptop starts to boot but only gets to black

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Hi my Acer aspire laptop starts to boot but only gets to black screen with various copyright etc then says operating system not found?? Can you please help?? Thanks. Neil
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer!

I'll be honest with you on the front end and let you know that this is going to be a hard drive problem. Either the physical drive itself is damaged and no longer functioning or you have a corrupted partition. When your computer first boots, it runs through a process called Power On Self Test (POST) and if it doesn't find a bootable hard drive then it will render the message "operating system not found."

The first concern here is your data. If there is a physical problem with your drive, I'm afraid it's possible that your data could be lost. However, if the problem is only a corrupted partition then it may be salvagable, though depending on your technical skills this would probably require the assistance of a local technician who specializes in data retrieval.

If you're unconcerned about losing any data, you could attempt to perform a factory recovery on the system, which will return the machine to the state it was in when you first pulled it out of the box. This will only work if there is an active recovery partition on the drive, but it's worth a shot. Just bear in mind that if you do go through this process it will wipe out all existing data and will completely restore the machine to factory state.

To attempt the factory recovery, boot the machine up and AS SOON as it starts booting hold down the Alt key and repeatedly tap the F10 key on the keyboard. If there is an active recovery partition, it will send you into a menu with options to perform the recovery.

If that doesn't resolve the problem and get your machine back up to a functional state, then it's either going to be a bad hard drive (in which case the hard drive would simply have to be replaced) or it's going to be a corrupted partition, in which case the operating system would most likely have to be reinstalled from an Acer recovery disc (which you may be able to get from Acer if you don't have one) or an original Windows installation disc. To do the reinstallation, you may need to get the computer into the hands of a qualified local technician who has the proper tools and software.

I really wish I had better news for you but I'm afraid that's the situation you're looking at. If you have any other questions on this, just let me know and I'll help you out in any way that I can. You can reply back to me at any time via the "Reply to Expert" tab.

And please remember to use the rating box to rate the answer at least "OK Service" or better so that I receive credit for assisting you.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi thanks for the reply. I've tried the factory recovery but to no avail so it look like I've lost everything! Never mind not the end of the world.


I'll take it a local expert.


Thanks again



Hi Neil, thanks for the positive rating and sorry about the bad news. I really do wish I had a quick fix for you.

I'll cross my fingers and hope that it's just a corrupted partition so that at the very least the drive itself can be salvaged if not the data (though it is possible the data can be saved as well if that's what the problem is).

Good luck with it and have a good day!