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NTLDR is missing - MS Server 2003 - Virtual

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a Virtual Machine running on VMWARE. This virtual machine is an exchange 2003 server on server 2003 enterprise edition.

Suddendly one day on rebooting this machine it throws the following message at boot:
'NTLDR is Missing. Press ALT+CTRL+DEL to Restart'

This is very odd as nothing has happened to cause this. Having read other posts I have checked boot sequences. I have Removed CD Drive from the virtual Machine. This machine doesnt have a floppy drive attached. There is no CD in the drive at boot up and their is no USB stick that it could attempt to boot from.

What could possibly have cuased this? what steps should I now take to get this machine running again?
Watch Question

Jian An LimSolutions Architect
Top Expert 2016

did you try to replace Ntldr(dot)exe, boot(dot)ini, and NTDETECT(dot)COM file?


no ive not messed with anything so there is no reason why this should have happened. If you are suggesting I should replace these then please tell me how to

Solutions Architect
Top Expert 2016
Use the Recovery Console
1. Use the Windows 2003 CD-ROM to restart the computer.
2. At the Welcome to Setup screen, press R to repair the Windows 2003 installation.
3. Press C to repair the Windows 2003 installation by using the Recovery Console.
4. Type the number that corresponds to the Windows installation that you want to repair, and then press ENTER. For example, type 1, and then press ENTER.
5) Type the Administrator password, and then press ENTER.
6. Type map, and then press ENTER. Note the drive letter that is assigned to the CD-ROM drive that contains the Windows 2000 CD-ROM.
7. Type the following commands, pressing ENTER after you type each one, where drive is the drive letter that you typed in step 4 of "Method 2: Use the Recovery Console," of this article:
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.

*** (if you are not happy for overwrite, rename them before overwrite them)***

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I'd just do a repair install on the OS. It won't wipe your data - but it will replace the NTLDR. You'll obviously have to mount an ISO and boot off that.


Limjianan I have followed your instruction and ive ended up with the following:

'invalid boot.ini file'

Then this screen appears: -

'windows could not start becuase the following file is missing or corrupt
<windows root>\system32\hall.dll
please re-install a copy of the above file'
Jian An LimSolutions Architect
Top Expert 2016


if you type this

type boot.ini

also replace your hall.dll file .. it should in your CD as well.


no those commands are not working. Whats next?
the hall.dll file is a kernal file - no option but a system reinstall im afraid


if i reinstall the system over the top will i loose anything? will I have any problems?

What do you think has caused this problem?
Jian An LimSolutions Architect
Top Expert 2016

well, the last option is to repair it ..

what will you lose? the windows security patch, and maybe exchange patches ..

the data will be intact..

you shouldn't loose anything other than system files. i'd suggest taking a full backup but you should be fine running a system repair.
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