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'NTLDR missing'...can't boot

Posted on 2009-07-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
My computer won't boot. It goes to 'NTLDR missing'. Here is the full story:

I was trying to reinstall Windows on a drive that I think became infected with malware. The installation kept freezing half way through the process so I thought the drive might be going bad and bought a new one. I installed XP on the new drive (which became 'K:'). At this point, I would have 2 options when booting up, even though the install on the C drive wasn't working. After awhile of using the new boot, I noticed my drives weren't showing up in disk management, even though everything seemed to be working fine and they were displayed in My Computer. I posted on another forum for help and it was suggested that I install this program on the K drive while the C was disconnected: http://gag.sourceforge.net/

I did that but it didn't help, so then someone suggested I use Windows Recovery Console to try to fix the new boot drive (I'm assuming so that its letter would change to 'C' and be the master boot). So I did 'fixboot', 'fixmbr', as well as the GAG program linked above, checking to see if it would boot after each step. None worked, and now I can't get past 'NTLDR missing'. It seems the Recovery Console commands screwed up something on the new drive.

Any help would be much appreciated! thanks
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Question by:smellhound
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by:Krisdeep
Krisdeep earned 50 total points
ID: 24846585
Ok this is any easy one . All you have to do is copy this file NTLDR from any computer. It can be found in C: you have to Uncheck "Hide Protected system files"  and Select show Hidden Files. These options can be found by opening my computer--> Tools-->Folder Options-->View
This is a copy of my NTLDR
(http://files.getdropbox.com/u/261916/ntldr)

1)Once you got a copy of this file you need to place it in your C: you need some sort of boot device which you can use to play the NTLDR file.

2)Use even dos or anything to boot and place the file on C:

Let me know how you go :)
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by:Krisdeep
ID: 24846592
Give this a try
http://www.bootdisk.com/
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by:Jonvee
ID: 24846597
Another option, using the suggestions here >
NTLDR is missing:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_24093901.html#a23496115

As stated you could boot to the recovery console and try this>

copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\
copy e:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\

Then, if necessary, try fixboot and fixmbr again.
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by:Jonvee
ID: 24846616
This earlier thread may also help>
"XP Computer with NTLDR is Missing":
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_23955231.html
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PrinComp earned 100 total points
ID: 24846827
I would suggest you completely re-install windows again on the new drive that you bought and disconnect any other drive in the system that you might have while you re-install (old hdd, usb drive, etc).
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by:Milan_Ojh
Milan_Ojh earned 50 total points
ID: 24846856
Have a view of above mentioned link it may help you out:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318728

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314057
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by:nobus
nobus earned 50 total points
ID: 24846892
if it installs to the K: drive, you probably have a memory card reader connected.
i suggest to disconnect that, AND all other disks, so you have only the install disk connected , and do the install again -it will work.
connect everything later
running the commands from recovery console will run them on the disk you log on to - you never said to which one you logged
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by:smellhound
ID: 24851249
Milan_Ojh......that first link describes the process for Windows 2000.  Does it also apply to XP?
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by:smellhound
ID: 24851558
Krisdeep:  I'm confused on your directions.  Is the NTLDR file universal?  If that's the case, I can just use the one you linked to, correct?

I don't know how to place this on my drive with DOS.  I can burn it on a disc but I don't know what to do from there.  Also, you said to put it on the C drive.  You're sure you meant C and not K?  (C is my old XP install, K is the new drive which was booting fine before this problem).

I would really like to avoid reinstalling everything, and I was lead to believe the GAG utility will allow me to use K as the master boot (once I can actually get it to boot again).  Can anyone back this up? thanks
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Author Comment

by:smellhound
ID: 24854562
could anyone help me out with the follow up questions I posted?

all the links to the instructions on Microsoft's website are for Windows 2000, do they also apply to XP?

Jonvee:  I tried copying those files in Recovery Console (as the link you posted suggests) but received "access denied".  However I'm not even sure which drive letter I should be using to do it.  I'm assuming it should be my CD drive letter so it's copying off the XP disc?  I'm not sure what that is so I tried a bunch of letters.  All returned 'access is denied' or it just couldn't find the location at all.
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Expert Comment

by:Milan_Ojh
ID: 24855576
Sorry that does not applies to Xp but you can have a view of below mentioned link:

 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320397

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000465.htm
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by:nobus
ID: 24856712
you copy the NTLDR file in the root of your OS, - for you it is K: -  and yes it wortks like that.
i know that nobody likes to reinstall, but you'll end up with correcting lots of problems, and will do the reinstall later.
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Author Closing Comment

by:smellhound
ID: 31603150
I decided to just back up the information I needed from the new drive and start from scratch.  It seemed to be the most simple (albeit time-consuming) solution. thanks for the help
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