NTLDR: couldn't open drive,multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)  error on Windows XP Pro Compaq Presario

Posted on 2004-07-30
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I have a Compaq Presario...about 3 years old.  Win98Se was loaded, upgraded to XP Pro.  All ran fine for a year.  I think the HD died.  

Installed new HD-Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 80gb.  Ran the xp setup from disk.  All seemed to load properly.  Rebooted machine, Compaq screen came up, then the following message:

NTLDR: couldn't open drive,multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)  

When running set up, I did not run any special SCSI driver during set up.  Ran XP Repair console and found Boot list, and can see files in DOS mode.

How do proceed?  Bios issue, SCSI driver issue, IDE cable issue, Pin configuration on HD, ?  I am lost....
Question by:rwbarton
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LVL 20

Accepted Solution

Gns earned 25 total points
ID: 11677008
This TA is actually wrong for your question... We deal with the X window system here (GUI system mainly found on unix/linux). Might need be moved to a windows TA perhaps?

Anyway, trying to address the issue:
This message means that ntloader (the windows bootloader) has problems reading windows (kernel32 perhaps... or is it ntoskrnl? Well, no matter) from the specified drive.
This could be for any number of reasons, like having changed the "bios"order of HDDs, the install being damaged etc.
First thing to do is to boot the recovery console (again:-) and run fixboot and possibly also fixmbr. fixboot will try to recreate a valid boot.ini file, and fixmbr will overwrite the MBR (master boot record) with a valid windoze bootrecord.
If neither of these things help.... Well, we'll try that then:-).

Do you still have the "failing drive" in the system? If so, it might play a little havoc with the bios view of which disk is "the first disk". Remedy would then be to remove it (or strap it to be slave / secondary...) and then do the recovery console thing (again:).

-- Glenn

Expert Comment

by:Mike R.
ID: 11683160
I am guessing the master boot record is being seen, as the system appears to be getting to the boot sector, and finding ntloader.  I would aslo guess it is finding the boot.ini file, as it is referencing a partition psth (although the path specified is the default path as well.)

If you have two drives in the system...that could cause the issue...especially if one of them is the original drive.  Compaq used to put a teeny partition on the drive in advance of the primar OS partition for use by the BIOS.  If this is there, it could be causing some confusion.

LVL 62

Assisted Solution

gheist earned 25 total points
ID: 11686797
First reset BIOS to factory defaults, install, boot,
Then update BIOS -"-
Then complain to manufacturer about incompatible system...
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Expert Comment

ID: 11722911
You are not in the right place. Yet, you can try some of the below steps:
1-When starting up, hit F8 repeatedly til getting the Boot menu and select the last goo known configuration | Follow the instruction to get the system to start as the last successful startup
2-Hopefully your system drive is fat32, if it is so you can boot it up with win98 startup disk
       -Once in A:\ (Floppy drive), try the below commands to make sure the boot.ini file has correct setting
attrib -r -a -h -s c:\boot.ini (This is to make boot.ini file not read only and not hidden)
edit c:\boot.ini (To open boot.ini for editing)
Your boot.ini has to be as below providing you have one hard drive, not ssci, and system file is on primary partition
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
Once you have it edited, remember to change file attribute with below command
attrib +r +a +s +h c:\boot.ini

Hope it help

Just a moose

LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 11724187
No u2moose, that is not the case. What you show is a default install with Windows on the "bios first drive" and windoze boot partition as the first partition.
fixboot would automagically recreate a boot.ini that would point to the correct places.
This problem is likely because the failing drive is still in the system, and is "sometimes there"/"sometimes not".
It *could* also be because of discrepancies between the two drives in regard to partitioning, which is why I've not said anything about rightmirems advice, although ... One cannot be entirely sure _which drives_ MBR and/or boot.ini gets invoked, nor the state of them.
Gheist is right in that fiddling with the BIOS might help clear the situation a bit (since the bios is always an integral part of the booting process).

Now, without more info from rwbarton all we can do is theorize... and not particularily well at that.

-- Glenn
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 11931932
Without more feedback from rwbarton, this should be a split between me, gheist and possibly rightmirem... Although a three-way split of 50 seems a bit silly:-).

-- Glenn

Expert Comment

ID: 13058466
I had the same problem. I tried everything mentioned here. The solution turned out to be the jumper settings on the drives. Make sure everything is Master/Slave rather than CSEL and that disk 1 (ide0/master) and its first partition is where XP is installed. Worked for me.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 13061487
Agtreed phuqwit, cabel select is "Evil":-).
Mostly beacause of the huge amount af cables that don't "select", and the astonishing amount of badly done cable select cables... If the lead isn't snipped correctly, you'll end up with a cable that could potentially stop "selecting" depending on how it's bent (I've actually experienced this).

In this particular case, the cabling could be it, but since rwbarton mentions a drive going bad... I'll continue to lean that way:-).

-- Glenn

Expert Comment

ID: 13731288
Hi All.  Need some help here.  I'm having a problem similar to that of rwbarton.  

Error:  multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
NTLDR: couldn't open drive,multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)  

I tried GNS's solution but I'm still having the same problem.  In the recovery Console I can run fixboot okay but there seems to be no indication that fixmbr will execute as I keep getting kicked back to the C prompt.  Unlike rwbarton, I have had no drive issues.  As this error has been a thorn in my side for over a month now, I've pretty much tried every hardware change and configuration.  My computer is a Compaq 5050 with a 333mhz processor and 256mb of memory.  I get the same error if I attempt to install Win2k as well.  I actually installed Win2k in the past and it ran fine.  I do recall having this issue back then too but it was over 3 years ago and darned if I can remember what I did to fix it.

When I run fixboot and exit out of repair console and eject disk, I get the usual Compaq logo startup screen but then I get a blank screen with the cursor flashing in the upper left hand side but it will accept no keystrokes or commands.  It just sets there..... mocking me as it blinks out morse code L-O-S-E-R over and over again, damn it!  But I digress.  I've tried using a bootdisk and running fdisk, format and Sys C before installing XP and still nothing.  I'd fear for my sanity if I had any to begin with.  I've built computers from scratch, setup RAID and SCSI systems, built servers, Networks and installed OS's for a hundred systems in the past 4 years since I began hobbying around with computers but this lowly little Compaq is handin' me my butt on a stick.  Any help any of you true Pro's could offer will be greatly appreciated.  Until then, I'll try reformating my drive as a Fat32 (the only thing I haven't tried)  Thank you. ----DWP
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 13743209
(Oh so true modulo:).

Well, the thing is ... That's a fairly old presario (right?)  you've got there, with a patently screwy bios IIRC (Had one similar some years ago:). One shouldn't be to fast in ruling out bad HW perhaps...
I'd imagine the only answer you'll get from Compaq-now-hp is "that OS is not supported on that machine"... Sigh.
Have you tried getting the latest ROMpaq from them and update the BIOS?

... Or you could do the right thing and install something nice, like a recent Linux distro, on it;-).
If this also errors out, we're likely looking at bad HW.

-- Glenn

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