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WINDOWS XP - Re-Format/START FROM SCRATCH!

Posted on 2009-04-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
I have a computer that I want to get working again.  When I turn it on it says, " NTLDR is missing"  I have two windows XP CD's.  One is "Driver Recovery CD" the other is, "Operating System CD".  

Using these CD's How can I start from scratch?

The only screen I can access is when the computer is starting up if I press F1 I can access a startup settings screen.

The computer is an HP.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!
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Question by:DJMgraphix
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31 Comments
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:bmatumbura
ID: 24215206
Boot the machine using the Operating System CD; you may have to configure some settings in the computer's BIOS setup so that it can boot from a CD
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Geisrud
ID: 24215212
Insert the Operating system Cd and boot from CD.

You can press F1 to enter startup settings if you need to set CD-ROM as first boot device.  Alternatively (possibly preferrably) there should be another key you can press to select one-time boot device.
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Expert Comment

by:bmatumbura
ID: 24215247
Make sure you have backed up any data you may have on the computer before you use the CD.
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24215344
yeah... I tried to do that before I asked this question...   I need NOTHING on the computer...  When I try and boot from the CD it  still says "NTLDR is missing... press CTRL ALT DEL to restart...  
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Geisrud
ID: 24215384
Then you're not yet booting from the CD, it's still trying to boot from disk.
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24215471
Here's what I did...  entered "SETUP"... Went to the "BOOT" Tab... Went to " BOOT DEVICE PRIORITY"... Selected "ATAPI CD-ROM"  put an "!" next to it by hitting "Shift+1"  and even moved it to the top of the list by hitting "Shift and the + symbol... saved and tried to set up..  It still says, "NTLDR is missing"...
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Geisrud
ID: 24215683
Is it asking to "Press any key to boot from CD"?

If so, you'll want to do that.
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24215736
I wish It was...   I tried a bunch of different startup settings... all ending with " NTLDR is missing"  
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Geisrud
ID: 24215890
Do you have another option right after POST to press [key] to select boot device?

Also, at this point I'd be looking at some hardware diagnostics - possibly your optical drive isn't working.

Check your hardware vendor's site to see if they include a built-in diagnostic utility.  For example, I believe on some Dell you can press F12 as PC is booting to get into a diag utility that can check all hardware.
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24216308
No on the select boot device... I'm continuing to try a bunch of things...  all ending with the same result... It's an HP that I KNOW was working before...  I'm fresh out of ideas...
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24216810
Is there anyone out there who can help me get this computer up and running?  
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:skywalker39
ID: 24217795
Hi DJMgraphix,

I'm just curious, but is your cd-rom that your trying to boot from SATA or IDE? Is the hard drive too SATA or IDE? If there SATA try going into the BIOS and set it to IDE Mode, see if that makes a difference.
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24217814
After a lot of time looking online for a solution to my problem, I think that I have to somehow repair the boot loader?  

There has to be a way to make this computer work..

D
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24218434
I'm not sure of the difference between SATA and IDE...  The two disks are, "Operating System CD... Microsoft Windows XP Home SP1"  and "Driver Recovery CD... Microsoft Windows XP...  The only thing that I can access on the computer is the SETUP... by pressing F1 during Start up...   I've checked every tab in the SETUP menu and I don't see  SATA or IDE  anywhere?


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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24218449
I'm still guessing I have to replace... or somehow reload... the "BOOT LOADER"

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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:skywalker39
ID: 24218461
Can you give me which model HP computer you have?
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24218503
It's from 2000 ... It's a Pavilion 7940......  Every forum or solution center is saying to just boot from CD... I've tried everything that I've seen online...  I just want the computer back to SCRATCH... nothing on it... just windows.. and I can start over.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:skywalker39
ID: 24218544
I would run some diagnostic test to make sure that your hard drive hasn't gone bad or has failed.
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24218578
how do I do that?
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:skywalker39
ID: 24218732
Get the UBCD Ultimate Boot CD, once you download the .iso image you'll have to burn it to cd. Once you have burned it to CD, restart your computer with the cd in your computer and boot from cd. There's hard drive tools that will scan, check your hard drive for problems.
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/nero6.html
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24218753
It turns out that my brother tried folllowing some crappy directions online...  he had deleted the:

Boot.ini
Ntbootdd.sys
NTLDR
Pagefile.sys
Hiberfil.sys


These directions say that after deleting these you can start again from scratch... SO NOW.. Here I AM trying to solve this!!! :)  Damn..     So now knowing that these ARE missing... any words of wisdom for me?

Thanks
D
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Geisrud
ID: 24218883
None of those matter at this point, as they will all be recreated upon a clean installation.

Your symptoms at this point lead me to believe there's a hardware failure.  Again, I'm leaning towards your CD-ROM drive, but the HDD is possible as well.
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24219160
I have the computer apart right now... There are 2 CD-ROM drives... ONLY ONE HAS BEEN WORKING.  The top one looks to be after market which has not been working... the bottom one appears as the factory that came with the computer.... The top one looked unpluged... So I plugged it in... Now the top one is opening...   Hopefully this CD Drive will work for the reboot

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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24219323
OMG... I finally GOT SOMETHING!  So after plugging in the top CD-ROM I finally got it to start with the CD...

I'm now on a page that says:

Which windows installation would you like to log onto?
<To Cancel - Press Enter>

What Do I do next?

THanks for your patience

D
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

by:
Geisrud earned 2000 total points
ID: 24219464
Should be pretty straightforward from there.

I believe you press Esc. to continue with installation.  Then select which partition you would like to install Windows on (I like to remove all the existing partitions (excepting a recovery partition, if present), then format a new NTFS partition.
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24219646
OK... CROSS YOUR FINGERS! :)
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24220999
THANKS!
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Author Closing Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 31573769
It was a CD-ROM issue... It was preventing me from booting the CD properly...

Thanks for everything

DJM
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:skywalker39
ID: 24221066
I think that points should have been split.
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Author Comment

by:DJMgraphix
ID: 24225656
Ok... Anywhay to do that now?

Thanks,
D
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:skywalker39
ID: 24226087
You are going to have to contact General Community Support.
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