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Can't boot: NTLDR missing

Posted on 2003-03-13
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I've tried a lot of things.    First if I can't resolve this problem:

Will I have to re-register xp and will it remember this is my same system (no new hardware)

I have a dual boot system 98 and xp.  98 stopped booting with the "NTLDR missing" error
1.  reinstalled 98 on 1st partition (did not delete xp partition)
2.  installed partition magic and boot magic to see if it could make xp run - same error
3.  Following web advice, copied NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM to C drive (I assume c:\ is the root
*** could not fine the boot.ini also to copy to it also.  Where is the boot.ini ?
new error now, "invalid boot.ini" although I didn't put one in, and "missing hal.dll
4.  on new HD installed 98, xp, and boot/partition magic.  Tried to find boot.ini on this new drive to copy to the old drive.  nothing.  could not find boot.ini on the xp or 98 cd either.  where is it?
5.  tried various exe's in dos with no success:  fixboot, fixmbr, scandisk, etc.  

I would really like my old system back with all my old software and hardware correctly installed as my video cap card was a pain to install correctly in XP.  The new drive is not exactly the same heads& cylinders so I can't copy the whole root directory.  Is the root dir c:\?  or is are there commands in mbr ?  Thanks in advance for help
James
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Question by:jrtsan
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28 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:jrtsan
ID: 8130634
I also tired the xp recovery module where it deleted the mbr or replaced it or something.  no luck there and I did not make copies of xp backup to disk, only the emergency boot disks.  I can't see xp dos (NTFS) but boot magic finds it fine, it just won't boot.  Is is possible to copy from xp my drivers and my restore files to place on new 98/xp hard drive so i don't have to repeat all the installations I did originally?  Thanks again,  James
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Expert Comment

by:guidway
ID: 8130729
see here:

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_haldll_missing.htm

this is what the boot.ini file should look like (generally anyway):

[boot loader]
timeout=1
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

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Expert Comment

by:guidway
ID: 8130797
whoops! wrong one, here's for win98:

boot loader]
timeout=1
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
C:\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows 98"
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Expert Comment

by:guidway
ID: 8130827
in answer to your question: the boot.ini file is created by the Operating system during windows XP/2000 install. It is not available on the disk you have to manually create it (like in notepad) and save it to a floppy or burn it to a cd and put it in the root of the hard drive of the computer.
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Expert Comment

by:guidway
ID: 8130851
is win98 on your c drive? if so then your boot.ini and NTLDR and NTDETECT.com files should go in the root of your XP partition. Point the location to them in the boot.ini file. You might have to edit the boot.ini file as I don't know what partitions each of your OS's are on.
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Expert Comment

by:guidway
ID: 8130856
1st partition: win98
2nd partition: winXP

is that correct?
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8130865
Ok go back to the Recovey Console and do this

BOOTCFG /Rebuild

If that doesn't work then try this

Repair
How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315341

Visual aid to the above procedure
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm
Click on How To Run a Repair Install
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8131074
Here is what the full commands would be

FIXMBR C:
FIXBOOT C:
COPY CDDrive:\I386\NTLDR C:\
COPY CDDrive:\I386\NTDETECT.COM C:\
BOOTCFG /Rebuild
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8131093
But the problem is when you manually replace the NTLDR and the NTDETECT.COM file it can confuse the XP so usually you end up haveing to do the Repair thing I mentioned in my first comment.

The boot.ini file is a hidden file

So go to the Control Panel > Folder Options
Click the View tab
Select Show Hidden files
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Expert Comment

by:guidway
ID: 8131117
>>But the problem is when you manually replace the NTLDR and the NTDETECT.COM file it can confuse the XP<<

never had problems with is myself but then again we are talking about Microsoft. Anything is possible I guess. :0)
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Author Comment

by:jrtsan
ID: 8132320
Wow!  what a lot of answers, which to try first.  Thanks.

My 40 gig C drive has 98 on 1st partition, xp on the second.  It was fine for a year and only this week did I add bootmagic to see if I could fix it that way.  

Guidway, I can't edit the bootfile from windows because I can't boot unless you mean the new drive I made but I did not see boot.ini there when I did a search of all files including hidden.  What folder is the boot.ini on and is the root = c:\ ?

I like your ideas crazyone and will try them but which first?  thanks

james
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Expert Comment

by:guidway
ID: 8132475
jrtsan,

you have to create the boot file if it is not there. Use the boot file I gave you above as a test by copying it to the root of your hard drive. The root of the drive means in no subfolders. The root of C drive is "C:\", root of D is "D:\" etc...



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Author Comment

by:jrtsan
ID: 8132713
guidway, I re-read and see now - I have to make the boot.ini.  missed that the first read through.  How do I "point" it to xp and also how to I copy it to the root of xp if I can't access the root in dos - it fails everytime.  ??

Thanks, James
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Expert Comment

by:guidway
ID: 8132779
first try this to boot into XP:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=305595

once you create the disk and successfully boot into XP (if it lets you) you can proceed to copy the files off the floppy to the hard drive. Hope this works.

guidway

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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8132913
Remove Bootmagic. In this case I don't think you need it especaiily if I read your comments correctly the dual boot arrangement was working until recently.

Then if you do the Recovery Console thing I mentioned you should be in bussiness.
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Expert Comment

by:Algo-Ripper
ID: 8133106
I'd suggest repairing things manually as guidway wrote. You already copied NTLOADER.COM and ntldr, so the only thing that remains to do is placing the boot.ini on C:\

it's location (your new drive!) should be C:\boot.ini, unless explorer doesn't show all files. Do the following if you don't find it there:
Right Click on "My Computer", choose "Preferences" -> Tab "Advanced", then click "Settings" within "Booting and Recovering" Panel (note: exact names may differ, my XP is in german... ;-). Then click "Edit" in the topmost panel. This opens notepad with the content of your current boot.ini; Use "save as" to somehow put it on C:\ of your old drive (using floppy i.e.).

If you installed BootMagic on the old drive, this method may not work anymore, however, as bootmagic replaces the MBR with it's own code. Try the following then:

As your Win98 is actually perfectly fine, you could bring it back to life booting from a W98 Boot Disk and typing "FDISK /MBR" into the command line - this restores the MBR to boot into DOS->W98. You could then boot W98, insert your XP Disk, wait for the Autorun to pop up and do a "repair installation" from it. This shouldn't alter your old data.

Background Info:
Unlike Win98, WinXP (and 2k) does not need to reside on the first (namely C:) partition of your drive, to be able to boot. BUT the files "NTDETECT.COM" and "ntldr" as well as "boot.ini" NEED to resist on the first partition. If you reinstall W98 on a dual boot system these files will be deleted coz' they were installed there by WinXP, not Win98. The point is, that the Master Boot Record still points to C:\NTLDR as boot-loader for your system, which isn't there anymore.
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8134000
First see if you have this file which is hidden on the Root C:\

bootsect.dos

This file is needed for XP to be able to boot to Win98. It is not a file that can be copied it has to be created. XP will create this file. If that file is missing than editing the boot.ini file will only get you into XP if you are lucky. So the following is the easiest and way to accomplish getting your dual boot back.


FIXMBR C:
FIXBOOT C:
COPY CDDrive:\I386\NTLDR C:\
COPY CDDrive:\I386\NTDETECT.COM C:\
BOOTCFG /Rebuild

and if that doesn't do it then do this

Repair
How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315341

Visual aid to the above procedure
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm
Click on How To Run a Repair Install

If you are up to it you can try doing it this way.

Repairing the Windows® XP Boot Loader
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/tips/xp_repair_9x.htm 
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8134019
Doing what I outlined will rebuild the boot files including the boot.ini.

Now if you have changed the partitions with Partition Magic in any way then you may run into some problems with trying just about any of the basic approaches.
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Author Comment

by:jrtsan
ID: 8136606
Hi all,

Crazyone, I dont think I've changed any partitions with partition magic except adding bootmagic.  I tried doing your fixmbr sequence to rebuild and it almost got xp up but here is the error:

autochk not found
c0000021 a (fatal system error)
The session manager initialization processs terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0x0000034 0x0000000 0x0000000 the system has been shut down.  (I may be off on the 0's. It had 3 questions after rebuild I couldn't answer: add installation to boot list (yes) and enter load identifyer (I hit enter) and load options (enter)

Guidway, I copied the boot.ini from xp off new hard drive and copied it into c drive (after above).  It denied me copying it but had asked if I want to overwrite it so I was on the right track.  Here is what the identically configured new drive boot.ini looks like:  

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect

Was I supposed to save it as boot.ini?

If I do the in place upgrade, will I loose the software & hardware setup?  If so, no point as I did a full reinstall on new drive already.  Thanks for everyone's help in advance - you guys are the awesome.
James
0
 

Author Comment

by:jrtsan
ID: 8136735
Hi all,

Crazyone, I dont think I've changed any partitions with partition magic except adding bootmagic.  I tried doing your fixmbr sequence to rebuild and it almost got xp up but here is the error:

autochk not found
c0000021 a (fatal system error)
The session manager initialization processs terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0x0000034 0x0000000 0x0000000 the system has been shut down.  (I may be off on the 0's. It had 3 questions after rebuild I couldn't answer: add installation to boot list (yes) and enter load identifyer (I hit enter) and load options (enter)

Guidway, I copied the boot.ini from xp off new hard drive and copied it into c drive (after above).  It denied me copying it but had asked if I want to overwrite it so I was on the right track.  Here is what the identically configured new drive boot.ini looks like:  

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect

Was I supposed to save it as boot.ini?

If I do the in place upgrade, will I loose the software & hardware setup?  If so, no point as I did a full reinstall on new drive already.  Thanks for everyone's help in advance - you guys are the awesome.
James
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:guidway
ID: 8136771
"Was I supposed to save it as boot.ini?"

that's correct. If it doesn't let you save it over it then the file is hidden or protected. try attrib -r -s -h boot.ini on the root if you can't overwrite it.
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8138222
Well this probably isn't going to help you much but it liles you msy need to do the repair.

This is what MS says about that error.

Stop 0xC000021A or STATUS_SYSTEM_PROCESS_TERMINATED

This Stop message occurs when a user-mode subsystem, such as Winlogon or the Client Server Runtime Subsystem (CSRSS), is fatally compromised and security can no longer be guaranteed. The operating system switches into kernel-mode and generates this error. Because Windows 2000 cannot run without Winlogon or CSRSS, this is one of the few situations where the failure of a user-mode service can bring down the system. Running the kernel debugger is not useful in this situation because the actual error occurred in a user-mode process.

Interpreting the Message

The first three parameters listed in the message are defined in order of appearance as follows:

Status code
(zero)
(zero)
For information about all possible status codes that might be returned, see the file Ntstatus.h of the Windows 2000 Device Driver Kit (DDK).

Resolving the Problem

Device drivers, system services, and third-party applications. Because Stop 0xC000021A occurs in a user-mode process, the most common culprits are third-party applications. If the error occurred after the installation of a new or updated device driver, system service or third-party application, the new software should be removed or disabled. Contact the manufacturer of the software about a possible update.

If the error occurs during system startup, restart your computer, and press F8 at the character-mode menu that displays the operating system choices. At the resulting Windows XP Advanced Options menu, choose the Last Known Good Configuration option. This option is most effective when only one driver or service is added at a time. If this does not resolve the error, try manually removing the offending software. If the system partition is formatted with FAT, use an MS-DOS startup disk to gain access to the computer's hard disk. If the system partition is formatted with NTFS, you might be able to use safe mode to rename or delete the faulty software. If the faulty software is used as part of the system startup process in safe mode, you need to start the computer using the Recovery Console in order to access the file.

Mismatched system files. Mismatched system files can also cause this error. Running a full system restore from tape might generate this error (some restore programs might skip restoring system files they determine are in use). Check if there is an updated version of the Backup/Restore program available from the manufacturer.

Microsoft periodically releases a package of product improvements and problem resolutions for Windows XP called a Service Pack. Because many problems are resolved by installing the latest Service Pack, it is recommended that all users install them as they become available. To check which Service Pack, if any, is installed on your system, click Start, click Run, type winver, and then press ENTER. The About Windows XP dialog box displays the Windows version number and the version number of the Service Pack, if one has been installed.

Occasionally, remedies to specific problems are developed after the release of a Service Pack. These remedies are called hotfixes. Microsoft does not recommend that you install a post-Service Pack hotfix unless the specific problem it addresses has been encountered. Service Packs include all of the hotfixes released since the release of the previous Service Pack. The status of hotfix installations is not indicated in the About Windows XP dialog box.
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Author Comment

by:jrtsan
ID: 8140462
guidway, I'll use attrib, then try to copy I assume, then reboot

Crazyone, I'm lost on all that - what does it mean? sol???

James
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 8140508
Well the poing here is that since you are getting this error indicates the boot.ini file existis and is pointing is booting the XP installation. But it appears there is something wrong with this installaion.

Boot to your Recovery Console agian and then run this command

chkdsk /r
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Author Comment

by:jrtsan
ID: 8323072
Hi everyone,  Thanks for trying to help here but I gave up and trying to get it back.  I think there was one solution left to try but I can't remember which.  Thanks anyway.  What do I do to end this question since it was not solved and I decided to give up, wipe the drive, and start over?  James
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Author Comment

by:jrtsan
ID: 9044878
Crazy -one, looking back at this question I wondered if this would be the best solution:  use partition Magic to copy the xp partition to another drive 2:  wipe off the problematic HD and reinstall 98, then copy xp back on top of that.  Wouldn't that work?  I realize my 98 drive is bound to fail again and wonder if it will work for me as a backup now before it strikes again?  Anyway, I'll give you the points Crazy-one for whatever your next reply to this is.  If Crazy one does not reply within a week, I'll give them to the first person who replied.  Thanks

James
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