Damn You, Operating System Not Found Error and Subsequent Sony Vaio Laptop Death! Thank God for Best Buy Geek Squad.

Operating System Not Found error on my Sony VAIO laptopSo a month and a half ago I had proudly blogged about my anticipated return to blogging after the end of my last blog hiatus. And then 3 weeks later, I made a promise to devote an entire weekend of blogging to all things typographical… or “Font Weekend,” as I had dubbed it.

So you might be wondering: What happened? Why have I disappeared into thin air again?

Well I owe my loyal blog readers an explanation, that being…

I’ve been in digital mourning.

That’s right. There’s been a death in my tech-centric world.

OK, so not like a real death where a person died. But considering how technology-focused my life is? (Heck, I work for an Internet marketing company! I feel lost just by having no battery juice on my smartphone, fercryingoutloud!) The impact of what happened to me a few weeks ago was equivalent to experiencing a full-blown death.

My Sony VAIO laptop computer died a death and I lost all of my files. Everything.

To repeat: My primary home computer where I store every digital computer file decided to up and die one day. Poof! Just decided to commit suicide without warning.

And with the decease of my possessed Sony VAIO laptop?

What came along with it was The. Deletion. of:

  • Every photograph and video
  • Every custom edited Adobe PhotoShop computer graphic image for this Knitting and Purling blog, my official Knitting and Purling store and my husband’s Cold Dead Hands band website
  • Every Word document or Excel file
  • …and God knows what else

(Note: In case you can’t detect my heavy sarcasm, this digital mourning period that I went through was NOT a smashing good time. It was hell.)

So this is what happened…

Basically my computer decided to one day start formatting itself for no good reason. I turned to my husband and asked, “Should I be alarmed that my computer is in the middle of formatting itself?” He replied with, “Formatting is never good. Take out the battery and stop it from continuing.” Now, I have no idea why I decided to go along with this scheme, but I did. And then learned my lesson immediately when I was greeted to a black screen with the message:

Operating System not found

And each time I pressed down on a keyboard key, it would cause the message to repeat over and over and over again…

Operating System not found
Operating System not found
Operating System not found
Operating System not found
Operating System not found


I wasn’t able to open Windows in Safe Mode… nothing worked. Same result every time.

Thank God for Best Buy Geek Squad!

Luckily, I bought the laptop through Best Buy, and had the sense to buy into their Geek Squad warranty protection program!


Best Buy Geek Squad

Store Information

  • URL: Best Buy Geek Squad logo
  • Description: Taking care of your technology needs… so you don’t have to! Find expert tech support, repair, and installation services for computers, home theater, digital cameras and other electronic products purchased at Best Buy.

Store Category

Computer Services and Repairs Offered by Best Buy Geek Squad

Current Online Coupon Offers

Last Updated on June 23, 2013

#1 Freebie offer Free Online PC Health Check: Available 24/7/365 with 30-Day Money Back Guarantee!
Expiry Date: None (Ongoing)
#2 Limited time offer $199.99 1-Year Geek Squad Tech Support Membership for PC, Mac or Tablet via Phone, Email or Store Visit!
Expiry Date: Limited Time Offer
I’ve only had my Sony VAIO laptop for a little over a year and a half, and my warranty plan was good for 3 years…. so I was in luck.

(Note: If you can call it that! I guess that could be considered the only silver lining to this whole fiasco of mine.)

But yeah. Can you believe it died so quickly?

I certainly wouldn’t have predicted that!

In fact, my previous Dell Inspiron laptop computer may be slow as molasses… but at least it’s still operational to this day, and I’ve had that thing since end of 2007!

According to the Geek Squad service technician, hard drives nowadays die all the time… he even quoted me a time period of “4 months.”

Now, I have no idea if that date is even close to being accurate. But still, the message is clear:

Everyone with a relatively new laptop computer should be constantly prepared for hard drive deaths.

That means constant backups! And let me just say this: I learned the lesson the hard way.

Although Best Buy Geek Squad can work wonders when it comes to computer servicing and repairs (see full list of services offered, above)… nevertheless, even the “dream team” couldn’t help me when it came down to recovering my lost computer files.

They basically told me my hard drive was fried.

The best they could do was install a new hard drive and reset everything back to its original state (i.e. the state in which I received my computer when I first purchased it).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m extremely grateful that they were able to at least do that much. I mean, hey… I now have a brand new hard drive that’s apparently higher in quality than the original.

(Note: Another tidbit of information that I learned from GeekSquad? Apparently laptops produced and sold in recent years at prices under saaaaay… $1400? They all contained crappy Toshiba or Samsung branded hard drives. And according to Geek Squad, the new replacement hard drive that they had installed in my laptop was from Western Digital, and should be much more reliable. Let’s hope that’s the case!)

Nevertheless, I can’t even begin to describe the pain I felt when I first found out my computer files were all basically completely wiped clean. Kaput. Erased. Nonexistent. Poof. Gone.

Side note regarding this “Operating System not found” error that caused my Sony Vaio laptop death

One of the questions I had asked the Geek Squad technician was whether my hard drive death was computer model-specific, brand-specific… or perhaps I had just bought a lemon. He claimed it wasn’t.

I wasn’t entirely convinced. So when I got my laptop back from Geek Squad, I decided to search Google to find out more about this “Operating System not found” error that caused my Sony VAIO notebook computer to commit digital suicide.

Now, you know it’s not good when you type in “operating system not found” as a search query and Google Instant spits out “sony vaio” as one of the top three most relevant search results.

Gee… not brand-specific, eh? Riiiiight.

Operating System not found Sony VAIO Google Instant search results screenshot image

You know it’s not good when your laptop’s computer brand pops up as 1 of the 3 most popular search queries related to a specific type of hard drive error!

And so, going back to the beginning of this blog post…

I’ve been in digital mourning for the last few weeks over the death of my primary computer.

You’ll have to excuse my lack of blogging, as I’m still trying desperately to recover any computer file that I could find… whether:

  • Uploaded online
  • Attached to Email messages
  • Stored on my smartphone
  • Backed up half a year ago to my external hard drive (Yes, I own an external hard drive and I had backed up my files at one point in the past! However, my laziness got the better of me and the backups I made were nowhere near up-to-date. Let that be a lesson to all of you readers out there! Always. Back. Up. Your. Files. Regularly!)
  • … Or saved on random rewritable CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, USB drives and digital camera memory cards that I’ve been hunting down around the house
It’s looking a bit more promising than what I had initially thought was the original situation.

(Note: It’s true that traces of you stick around forever in the digital world!)

But still, just like with any other death you need to have time to grieve. So please excuse my blogging hiatus once again as I go through this grieving process. I promise all will be back to normal sooner rather than later.

Until then?

I’ve been having a blast going back through my vault of smartphone photos!

I’ve got tons of archived photos that were taken on my Android phone, and I’ve been going through them and posting the pictures onto my Knitting and Purling blog Instagram profile.

That’s pretty much it from me today!

As always, thanks for reading,

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Director of Search Marketing by day, die hard knitter by night. Arts and crafts lover. One of a kind jewelry designer. Supporter of buying handmade. Stylishly domestic homemaker. Frugal shopaholic. Shutterbug. Globetrotter. Geek girl who ❤s computer nerds. Blogger for the Knitting and Purling blog.
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Operating System not found error message image courtesy of PC-PC.biz. Computer graphics edited by the Knitting and Purling blog.

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