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Ntldr Is Missing Press Ctrl Alt Del To Restart


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#1 tareamer01

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 11:52 AM

Hello everyone. I have a strange issue I have never encountered before. I am hoping someone here may have some guiding light as I am totally lost in the darkness right now. I was given an old Dell computer (Dimension 4100) with no hard drive to fix up for my grandparents. We bought a new hard drive (Western Digital Caviar SE 160 GB) and installed it. At that point everything was working fine. I got an extra XP disc I had laying around that I hadn't used when I updated all the computers at my shop. I put the disk in and everything was working great. One of my brothers kids was in there "helping" me but really was just trying to get under my skin. Anyway, we started the XP installation and everything was moving smoothly. Half way through the installation he just shuts off the computer for no reason, walks out of the office, and says we can finish this on Monday right and leaves? After fuming for a bit I attempted to turn the computer back on and restart. Now everytime I try to reinstall the OS on the computer I get the message. "NTLDR is missing press ctrl alt del to restart".

I shut down the computer, put the OS disk in the tray, and boot up the computer. It goes through the cycle of reading the disk, but then that message just pops up again. I can't get into the bios or anything. I have tried two separate XP PRO disk's and one ME disc. Not one of them has worked. I really don't know what more to do. I have done some reading on the matter online and everything they say says I need to mess with the BIOS, but I can't get into the BIOS. The hard drive is completely empty. There is nothing on it unless the first failed XP install left something on there. I have no clue where to go from here.

If anyone knows what the next step may be or even knows what I'm talking about, your input is extremely appreciated.

Thanks!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 12:13 PM

Well...I don't see how any files can be on the hard drive...and if files are not on the hard drive, then I fail to understand the ntldr message.

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000465.htm

There is no ntldr unless you actually have a boot partition/Windows install...and you say that you don't have either.

I suppose that I would run a manufacturer's diagnostic on that hard drive...or possibly just do a low-level format of the drive...to ensure that it is free of any possible debris from previous installation efforts. Then I would try a clean install of XP, using the XP disk to create/format/install.

Louis

#3 tareamer01

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 12:26 PM

Well...I don't see how any files can be on the hard drive...and if files are not on the hard drive, then I fail to understand the ntldr message.

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000465.htm

There is no ntldr unless you actually have a boot partition/Windows install...and you say that you don't have either.

I suppose that I would run a manufacturer's diagnostic on that hard drive...or possibly just do a low-level format of the drive...to ensure that it is free of any possible debris from previous installation efforts. Then I would try a clean install of XP, using the XP disk to create/format/install.

Louis


It was a completely new HDD. We started an installation and got maybe halfway through before the PC was shut off. Now whenever I try to get into the bios or anything all it does is pop up with that msg. The discs won't read, nothing. It goes straight from the Dell screen to that msg screen. Nothing else comes up and when I repeatedly hit F8 nothing happens. I have tried to format again, but I can't get access to anything at all. I will try to do a manufacturers test. If all else fails I can return that HDD and get a new one and I shouldn't have that problem any more, correct?

Thanks for your help!!!

#4 hamluis

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 12:56 PM

If the drive appears to be defective per the diagnostic...you can return it. Every hard drive has RMA (return merchandise authorization) procedures for such instances, but I'm pretty sure that running the long version of the diagnostic will be a prerequisite for anyone desiring an RMA).

Barring that...no.

I've not seen any hard drive that cannot be accessed, assuming that proper boot options are employed. If you have your BIOS set up to boot from the hard drive, then you need to change those boot options in the BIOS...before trying to boot from optical drive.

Louis

#5 Code Poet

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:03 PM

I bet that if you look at your keyboard during the boot process that you don't have any lights on signaling that power is getting to your keyboard. Therefore when you try to enter the BIOS it's not getting the keycode.


If that's the case then get the manual from your motherboard and follow the instructions in it for resetting your CMOS. Don't take a shortcut for the reset do it as your MOBO manual tells you to.

#6 tareamer01

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:08 PM

Well guys, I have employed everything you said. I don't know which avenue worked, but I am now installing XP as we speak. I totally unplugged everything ran the hard drive through the manufactures test on a secondary PC and everything checked out ok. I put it back into the computer and tested and I still had the problem so I unplugged my mouse and keyboard and plugged back in. Restarted and it took a little longer for the msg to pop up so I restarted again and just kept hitting every F button on the keyboard until the BIOS popped up. So far so good. Thank you all for your input. I greatly GREATLY appreciate the help, and so will my grandma.

Thanks everyone!

#7 hamluis

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 02:36 PM

LOL...that's the wacky world of computing...glad you got it going. Happy computing :thumbsup:.

Louis




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