NTLDR is missing; no drives detected

Good morning,

I have an ASUS K8V SE motherboard with two SATA hard drives running WinXP Pro.  Everything was fine until two days ago.  Got the dreaded "NTLDR is missing" message.  I have tried booting with a XP CD to the recovery console but no hard drives are detected so I can't try any of the solutions I have read about. I pressed F6 and loaded the RAID driver but still doesn't see the drives.  What do you think? Motherboard failure? HD failure? Operator error?

Thanks in advance.
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Fatal_ExceptionConnect With a Mentor Commented:
No, at this point lets forget about RAID arrays..  Your setup should suffice for a traditional user.

But, you should have a selection in your boot order that allows you to boot from your SATA drives.  Sometimes this is known as SCSI.  Ck for that and make sure...
possibly any or all
If the primary OS is on a IDE drive does anything show up when you enter bios?
If it's on SCSI does your controller see it at boot?

always a good thing to open it up and check that the drive is actually connected well, both to the power and to the data cable.

when you power up the machine does the drive spin?
First, we must ask the simple question Have you cked to make sure that you do not have a floppy in the floppy drive?

Since you make no mention of IDE drives, I assume that your System partition is on your SATA drive.  Do as shsu mentions and make sure they are operational and spinning up.

If they are, and the Sata connectors are in place, then I would ck your bios and make sure that your SATA drives are in the boot order.  But since you cannot see them with the RC, I am going to have to say that this could be a motherboard problem with your SATA controller.  In this case, I am afraid that you may be in for a Motherboard upgrade.

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pcchapmanAuthor Commented:
Primary OS (only OS) is XP Pro.  Hard drive is SATA. I rechecked cables, they are OK. Drive spins. When I restart the machine, there is a brief moment when the drives show up. I can <TAB> into a RAID setup utility which shows both of my SATA drives. I don't really want to setup a RAID array (do I?). I have it setup to run the operating system and my crucial apps on one drive and my data on another.
pcchapmanAuthor Commented:
The drives don't show up in BIOS boot order screen at all.
pcchapmanAuthor Commented:
OK, I see something in the boot order priority. It calls them VIA HDD 1 and 2 -- If I switch them it boots HOORAY.  Now... Why would it have changed them in the BIOS?????
*grin*  Sounds like the old computer gremlin got in there and changed it on you, eh?  

Seriously though, sometimes these types of quirks present themselves for no apparent reason.  Although I have seen this happen many times before, I still have not found a rational explanation of its occurence.  And to tell you the truth, since it is a simple fix, I never spent much time thinking about it either...  :)

But, I am glad we were able to help you here.  Come on back in whenever you have another problem.  We love these brainteasers..

And thank you...

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