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NTLDR is missing on XP  again

Posted on 2008-10-27
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Last Modified: 2008-11-03
I have a computer that has a 1.3 Celreon and running 768 Ram.  It was running XP home edition and then something happened where it wouldn't boot up and I get the errror message "NTLDR is misssing" .   I ran repair with the XP CD and the first time it reboots I get the same error message.  I pulled all expansion cards but that didn't help either.   Any ideas?
I just had this issue on this computer less than a month ago, ended up re-installing OS and all applications after tyring all your suggestions.  What could be causing this to keep happening?   The hard drive comes up OK via hard drive diagnostics..
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Question by:syssolut
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by:ccns
ID: 22818535
tried doing a check disk with fix errors ? i would try this..
by the age of the computer the hard drive could be going south for the winter... just ever so slowly.
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by:syssolut
ID: 22818572
I ran a chkdsk and it says that it contains one or more unrecoverable problems.
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ccns earned 500 total points
ID: 22818667
i see.. can you run it with repair option enabled and see if it can repair the issue... so chkdsk /f /r
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by:ccns
ID: 22818668
once it has you will need to run the reinstall again on the operating system.
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by:torimar
ID: 22818816
You can use the Recovery Console to try and repair this issue. Here's a visual guide on how to access it:
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm#How to access the Recovery Console:

Once you are in and have a prompt, type:
copy drive:\i386\ntldr c:\
copy drive:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\
- where "drive" needs to be replaced by the drive letter of your CDROM drive.

If the Console shouldn't work for any reason, check this MS KB article for a way to create a bootable floppy:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318728/en-us
(assuming this old computer will have a floppy drive).

In this article, Microsoft speak of an outdated BIOS as a reason for this error, but they don't elaborate on the matter. I'll check around for further causes of this recurring error, but for the time being, BIOS on such an old machine (about 7 years I'd guess) may become an issue indeed.
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by:willcomp
ID: 22818822
All you may need to do is copy NTLDR and ntdetect.com to root of boot drive (usually C:\) after running chkdsk /r.

Boot from XP CD and enter Recovery Console.

Type the following commands, pressing ENTER after you type each one, where drive is the drive letter of CD ROM drive:

copy drive:\i386\ntldr c:\

copy drive:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\

If you are prompted to overwrite the file, type y, and then press ENTER.
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by:torimar
ID: 22818825
edit:
The first link above has to be expanded up to the colon in order for it to work.
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by:willcomp
ID: 22818926
@torimar --- inadvertent duplication. Posted at about the same time.
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by:nobus
ID: 22819657
NTLDR missing means it sees the (or a) disk, without the NTLDR
i had the same thing happening, when a slave drive was connected on the ide cable; removing it let me boot normally.  This said , here what you can do to remedy :
Boot using the Windows XP installation disk, press R. Then type the following commands:

      FIXMBR
      FIXBOOT
      BOOTCFG /rebuild
      cd\
      copy E:\i386\NTLDR
      ATTRIB -arsh ntldr
      copy e:\i386\NTDETECT.COM
      ATTRIB -arsh ntdetect.com

E: should be the location of your CDRom where you have the Windows install disk located.
and check if those files are in the root :   NTLDR   boot.ini     ntdetect.com

Contents of the boot.ini file :
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

*** you can verify if NTLDR exists when booted from the CD
***you can try rebooting after each command
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by:Styphon
ID: 22821924
Another option is that the BIOS is looking at a different Hard Drive as the primary boot device. I had a case once where the BIOS jumped to looking at my external hard drive for some reason. If you have any other hard drives in or attached to the machine then check your hard drive boot order in the BIOS.
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by:syssolut
ID: 22872530
I ran the hard drive diagnostics and this time it told me to run chkdsk and it found 2 sectors that were unrepairable.  I replaced the drive.  Thanks
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