worst ntldr problem ever

Posted on 2006-05-20
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have the worst ntldr problem i've ever had.  My computer went out after installing logmein (beware everyone)...when I restarted, the computer would loop boot, just restarting without getting to windows at all.  since I backed up my drive (I even backed it up after this crisis by plugging it into my other computer), I figured I'd just reinstall.  Why not.  So, I try to reinstall, boot to the OEM windows xp home SP2 disk, and when it gets to rebooting to start the windows installation, it says the "ntldr is missing, press ctrl+alt+del to restart" error.  So, I tred everything in the following threads, including replacing ntldr,, fixboot, fixmbr, reformat and reinstall, even changing the cable and hard drive itself.  Nothing.  Then, I grab an old 100GB drive off of my shelf, plug it in, install to that, and it is working.  I know the drive is ok because it is seen by the computer.  It is a Seagate 300gb Barracuda drive.  I think I might install it onto my new drive and drive clone to the other drive.  Any other ideas?  Should I be worried about my 300gb drive going south on me?  Let me know...
Question by:smashmouthftball
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    how about bootcfg /list or bootcfg /rebuild from the Recovery Console?

    Did you try fdsk /mbr to clear the master boot record?

    Was this ever a dual boot pc?

    What brand of PC?  Do you have one of the vendor pc's that has a small utility partition as the first partition?  Or it could be your pc's ntldr, etc. were on a different partition that you have now deleted, but didn't fix up the mbr.

    Author Comment

    didnt do the first options...will try it when my windows install finishes now...but shouldn't a format/partition/new install fix this problem?

    didnt do the fdisk thing either....

    no, single boot pc...

    it was a clone pc I built myself in 2001, and it has been running amazingly until yesterday...
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    I did the following,since I have high anxiety and want to feel comfortable in case xp pro crashes:

    I would suggest that you configure the machine in the follwing manner. Now I know that you tried Acronis, but maybe not in the following manner:

    First of all I was a beta tester for Acronis True Image Server edition.

    Fearing that one day I would have a crash I did the following:

    Purchased a HD larger than the C drive
    Purchased for 30 dollars Acronis True Image.

    Downloaded a boot manager

    Installed the new HD as a slave, being careful while changing the location of the jumper and doing it over a white cloth.

    Installed the boot manager which is a shareware program without a time limit

    Made a boot disk, in case the boot manager fails. Best part if it does fail, it automatically opens the C drive at which point you can reinstall it. To me a boot disk is not needed.

    Install Acronis

    Make a HD COPY once a month to the slave drive

    Make a folder called, for example, "Database'
    Put all data folders underneath it
    After copying the database for the first time to the slave drive, which is done daily.
    Do the following:
    Erase the database folder on the slave drive.
    Copy and Paste the 'database' folder to the slave drive.

    Now if you have a failure of the C drive, upon booting choose the slave drive. It will boot. Now you have not lost anything, less the programs that you installed during the month.

    Now what I do is to use the slave drive until I have a chance to reverse the physical positions of the HDS and change the jumpers. I am sure there is a way to do a reinstall from the slave drive to the C drive, but I am comfortable with the above.

    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Mohammed Hamada
    Try to use Fdisk by windows 98 CD to set the C: drive as first boot sector then reboot and check.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    A format of the partiton should take care of it.  When you said you had an OEM version, that's what triggered my thoughts about HP or Dell that put extra partitions on their hard drives.

    You're sure that there was only one partition on it; that the Disk Management only showed one?  Anyway the fdisk /mbr shouldn't be needed, and the bootcfg /list and /rebuild should show you what is there.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    i would suggest zoroing out the disk first with one of these, then reinstall :
    it will give you also the disk status, and clean out the drive.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    sorry, above should read : zeroing out the disk
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Are you sure there's no floppy in the floppy drive? It never hurts to ask...

    Author Comment

    I ran the diagnostic test on the new HDD and it told me that one or more errors were found in the index and one or more errors were found in metadata file records...any way to fix this?
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    The meta data means the NTFS File System Corrupted

    In very rare circumstances, the NTFS Metafiles $MFT or $BITMAP may become
    corrupted and result in lost disk space. This issue can be identified and
    fixed by running a chkdsk /F against the volume in question. Toward the end
    of chkdsk, you receive the following message if the $BITMAP needs to be
    Correcting errors in the master file table's (MFT) BITMAP attribute.
    CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.
    Windows has made corrections to the file system.

    Found this in MSKBA # Q303079

    This problem occurs because when Chkdsk is run against an NTFS volume,
    Chkdsk.exe may report that security descriptors are in the database that are
    no longer referenced by any file or folder, and that it is removing them.
    However, Chkdsk.exe just reclaims the unused security descriptors as a
    housekeeping activity, and is not actually fixing any kind of problem.

    Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows. Fortunately, this
    error message is an informational message, and can be safely ignored.

    All NTFS volumes contain a security descriptor database. This database is
    populated with security identifiers that represent unique permission
    settings applied to files and folders. When files or folders have unique
    NTFS permissions applied, NTFS stores a unique security descriptor once on
    the volume, and also stores a pointer to the security descriptor on any file
    or folder that references it.

    If files or folders no longer use that unique security descriptor, NTFS does
    not remove the unique security descriptor from the database, but instead,
    keeps it cached. Like any caching strategy, you want to keep the cached
    information as long as possible because it may be used again.

    To determine if more serious problems exist before scheduling or running
    Chkdsk.exe with the /f switch, run the "chkntfs :" (without
    the quotation marks) command, where is the drive letter of the drive you
    want to run the "chkdsk /f" (without the quotation marks) command against.
    If this command reports that the "dirty bit" is set, there may be real
    damage that needs to be fixed.

    I hope the information helps. If anything is unclear, feel free to let me
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    that is why i suggested zeroing out the drive (and it's a good test too)

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