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NTLDR missing when istall winxp on CF card

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
The installation is successful, but after that, when I reboot it, it said NTLDR missing.

Any suggestion, thanks.
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Question by:turbot_yu
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woolnoir earned 300 total points
ID: 33508732
Windows XP is a little buggy about booting from removable storage such as CF cards... a nice 'hack' that i saw is

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-any-Compact-Flash-card-or-Microdrive-b/step3/Installing-windows/


This will require either an internal CD-ROM drive or an external USB CD-ROM drive connected, and the BIOS set to boot from the CD drive before the hard drive.

With your CF adapter properly installed in your computer, install only the card that you want to use as the boot drive and verify that the computer recognizes it as master. Put the Linux live CD in and let the computer boot up. Go to a terminal and run the command, "sudo gparted" (without the quotations). Select the disk that represents your CF drive and right click the partition on it, and click delete. This should leave you with the whole drive as unpartitioned space. Right click the unpartitioned space and click New Partition. Select the maximum available space and set the format to FAT32. Click apply and once it completes, exit gparted. Shut down the live session. Put the Windows CD in the drive, and let the computer boot into the setup. Go ahead and partition the whole disk as your windows partition, and format it to the file system of your choice (I prefer FAT32). Let the installation continue as normal until it reboots. At this point, swap to a Linux live CD (I used Ubuntu 8.04) and let it boot to its startup menu. Choose install, and let it boot into its setup. Go through its installation steps until it asks for what drive to put it on. Choose to resize the drive and give the Ubuntu installation about 2.5GB of the available space. Finish the installation as normal and reboot. Swap back to the Windows CD, and let the GRUB menu pop up. Choose the Windows XP option and hit enter. This should start up the second half of the installation. Let this finish as normal and you have a working install of Windows

Why this works (or at least my educated guess) - The code that checks if windows is being run from a removable device is in the windows bootloader (ntldr). When Linux is installed, it installs its bootloader (GRUB) to the master boot record. Since the Linux bootloader detects other installations on the computer, it will give you the option of starting XP. When it starts XP, it doesnt run the Windows bootloader code and runs its own code instead. This code doesn't have the check
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by:turbot_yu
ID: 33508828
If use win7, will it be better. Thanks.
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by:woolnoir
woolnoir earned 300 total points
ID: 33508855
WIndows 7 should work fine on a CF - just make sure that when the install happens, its the only drive in the system to ensure all system files are placed on teh CF.
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by:gnegrota
gnegrota earned 200 total points
ID: 33508881
It's a CF Card ( PCMCIA or smth like ) ? Or a USB/SD Card ?
A perfect guide to how to install XP on a USB key you can find it here :
http://www.ngine.de/index.jsp?pageid=4176 

( "NTLDR is missing" error explanation : Windows doesn't recognize the external drive as HardDisk0 and/or the partition is not market as Boot&Active )
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33508895
good point gnegrota - i had assumed a CF card like in a lot of netbooks, but did the OP mean a SD card ?

If its the USB device then there are many guides for XP and windows 7, if its compact flash then less so.
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by:gnegrota
gnegrota earned 200 total points
ID: 33508929
It's SSD then ( Solid State Disk ) on a netbook  ? Anyway, the link it's ok even for SSD.

Last week I tested this ( http://liliputing.com/2008/04/install-windows-xp-on-mini-note-usb.html ) and it worked for me, after I find a compatible USB key ( 4 Gb one and USB 2.0 port , those on left side ) .
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by:turbot_yu
ID: 33508961
The CF card slot is on mother board.
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by:woolnoir
woolnoir earned 300 total points
ID: 33508976
Ok then it will be viewed as a removable disk which is where i believe the problems stem from. Try a installation of windows 7, or follow the guide i posted at the start and it should work.
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