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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I'm hoping someone can help with this problem I'm having with my system. Its an "NTLDR is missing" problem with a few other details. Sorry for the long winded explanation, just wanted to get all the info in. I will be forever indebted to anyone that can help as I'm at my wits end.

This problem started when I opened my DVD Drive (yep that's all) my system became peculiarly slow and unresponsive so I re-booted only to be greeted with, not the XP splash screen, but a black screen with "DISK BOOT ERROR" in white writing. I have had this message before but have fixed it by unplugging things inside the machine and putting them back in.This time however my usual tactic didn't work. It also became apparent that the system didn't recognise my HD (when its booting it said one wasn't attached, just a DVD drive).

As I became more frustrated I thought I'd try my hand in the 'setup' screen accessed by pressing DEL while the system boots. I had a nosey round in there, saw nothing that looked like it might help (unsurprising, being as I don't know what this is really for) before casting my gaze on an option to restore factory defaults. I figured this may help (as far as I knew a ghost in the machine may have changed something) so restore those factory defaults I did. However it would appear the 'factory defaults' differ from the defaults when I received my machine (from MESH btw) as now when I boot I got a fancy MSI logo rather than the usual mundane black screen with details of my DVD drive etc.

I tried using FIXBOOT and FIXMBR from the console you can get to through the XP disk but to no avail. However, as the boot process continued (still didn't recognise any attached HD) rather than go to "DISK BOOT ERROR" it now booted to "NTLDR IS MISSING" , when I pressed enter it brought up the usual "DISK BOOT ERROR" message.

So I read a few things and copied NTLDR + NTLDRCOM (or something similar) to C:\. Re-booted and exactly the same process ensued. Tried copying NTLDR over again and this time it asked if I wanted to overwrite the existing NTLDR, so it did recognise that the file was there.

Tried installing XP again but it said the HD was only 400mb big (no other available space or partitions or anything recognised) so wasn't big enough to install.

So, I figured it was a HD problem and I'd buy a new one (I needed one any way) and recover the data from my old drive. Got my new 1TB drive yesterday, booted from XP disk, formatted the drive at which point I was prompted to press enter to re-boot as part of the setup process. When it re-booted it recognised I had a 1TB drive in (some margin of success I suppose) but still went to "NTLDR IS MISSING" when I pressed enter the XP installation process continued as normal until completion at which point the system appeared to be working.

After a reboot though the same problem happened - NTLDR is missing - and when I press enter it goes to "DISK BOOT ERROR"

So that's where I'm up to at the moment. I'm not sure if I have made things worse by restoring the factory defaults from setup, and I'm not sure what else I can try.

Any support is very welcome, I'm completely clueless from this point on. If you need details of my system etc please ask and I'll post them.

Thanks in advance

Richard
 

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Welcome to TSF....

There is a 'simple' and straight forward way around this NTLDR problem.

(I have used this fairly straightforward and simple resolution many times for your issue.)

What you need to do is ask a friend or colleague that has Windows® XP Home™ on their computer, if you can copy theses files...

ntldr: NTDETECT.COM: and boot.ini

These are the three files that are needed to boot Windows®...

Now to gain access to these particular files, you will need to change the viewing attributes of the files so that the system files and folders are 'visible'...to do this...

Double click the My Computer desktop icon > Tools > Folder Options > View.

Once in here scroll to Files and Folders; then, tick Display contents of system folders...Scroll down to the next section Hidden Files and Folders > tick Show Hidden files and Folders; now Untick Hide extensions for known file types and Hide Protected Operating System Files. Close out of the My Computer window and reopen it.

Right click on the C: Drive > Explore...the three mentioned files will now be visible for you to copy to the floppy.

To make it even easier to 'see' the files, do this...

Go View > Details > Arrange icons by > Modified > Show in Groups. (You will need to go into "View" for each one of these steps.)

Copy them to a floppy disc; then, insert the floppy into your computer...this will allow the computer to boot up.

Once up and running, simply copy the three files from the floppy to the C: Drive.

Having done that, telephone your nearest Microsoft® Support Centre and ask them to email you a copy of their Bcupdate2.exe utility and follow the instructions that they give you.

One very important fact to take into consideration...The computer that you use to copy the files must have the same "flavour" of Windows® XP installed on it.
Unfortunately, you cannot use a computer with Windows® XP Professional, (as the file make-up is different) if your computer happens to have Windows® XP Home™ installed...they must be the same version!

Of course, you will need to reverse the viewing attributes after you have copied the files. (Recommended, but not entirely essential.)

Give it a go and report back with the result and if there are any other queries/concerns.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ok will do. Before I begin my 5 mile round trip to my friends house (in the rain!)- being as its a fresh hard drive with fresh install of windows, shouldnt these files be there on C: already? could I just skip to the BCUPDATE2.EXE step? Thanks
 

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I dont know how, I dont know why, but my PC is now working fine. Thanks v. much for your help Thor. 6 weeks of frustration solved in a single post.

If you get a minute, could you explain why this has solved the problem? I could understand it for my first HD but am a bit bemused as to why the problem carried over onto my second drive while the one that the problem originated on was sat on my shelf not connected to my PC!

Thanks again
Richard
 

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There are several reasons why but for the most part if any one of these files might get corrupted or lose the permissions that locate where they are will give this error message.

I am happy that this solved the problem I know what it is like with the rain thing, keep safe and dry

cheers!
 

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I read this post as i have the same problem now but my questions is are these files missing/corrupted from/on the XP disk or somehwere else and if so from where are they missing?

can they be copied onto a pen and inserted or must it be a flopppy? if a floppy i am stuck so is there another solution. I can only copy from a laptop which has no floppy.
 

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The files have to be copied from what ever media that you have them on and that media has to be either bootable or accessible thru safe mode or what everway you use to get the files to copy to the root of drive C:\

You can use a pen drive (Thumb Drive) and also use a linux live disk to boot into the computer then copy the files from the pen drive to drive C:\

To use a linux live disk method you would first need access with another computer that has a CD Burner and can burn a bootable ISO file to a CD-R disk.

You can download the Linux disk actually Ubuntu from this site:

ftp://ftp.gtlib.cc.gatech.edu/nv/ao2/lxmirror/releases.ubuntu.com/8.04.1/

Download the file = ubuntu-8.04.1-desktop-i386.iso

Then use a program like Nero or Roxio or one that will burn ISO bootable files

Use the Ubuntu Live disk to boot into computer then just copy the files needed to the root of drive C:\\ where they belong and exit and reboot the computer and you should be all set.
 
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