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Missing Ntldr


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#1 rowal5555

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 12:39 AM

Packard Bell M215 iMedia. XP Home SP2, 40GB IDE Seagate C: drive, and a 250GB multi partitioned slave, 2GB RAM

This machine was shut down normally a few days ago, never to go again. Booting to the Recovery Partition with F11 goes nowhere, as does F8 and F5. When I owned it, I successfully used the recovery disks to take it back to factory condition. Now it doesn't want to know even that.

The only thing I can think of now is to reformat the C: drive and try the disks again, but I have never done that before so could use some guidance. With no bootup, am going nowhere fast so am open to all suggestions.

The owner has just taken possession of a new rig so is not too concerned, but I am taking it as a personal affront, LOL, so it is going to be reborn one way or another.

Cheers

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#2 tg1911

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 01:15 AM

Here's a couple of things you can check out, that might be of help:
NTLDR is Missing
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#3 rowal5555

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 03:44 AM

Thanks TG

Will check them out.

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#4 usasma

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 07:23 AM

An NTLDR is missing error comes from the boot sector when it's not able to locate NTLDR to initiate the next phase of the boot process. IME it means that the MBR is likely to be OK (because it found the Boot Sector), but the Boot Sector may be corrupt, or there may be issues with the hard drive that prevent NTLDR from loading.

The easiest "fix" is to use the Recovery Console to run "fixboot" and "chkdsk /r" (without the quotes)
Due to the other issues that you report, I'd also suggest a bootable hard drive diagnostic (usually available for free from the manufacturer of the hard drive).
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 hamluis

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 09:06 AM

I've also recently received "NTLDR is missing" messages...when I inadvertently set the wrong drive as the boot drive in the BIOS :thumbsup:

I was pretty upset for a few hours until I actually stopped to look at the the drives which I have connected to this system...and then I realized that I had set a drive which formerly had been the boot drive, but now was just another drive...as the boot drive.

Once I changed my boot options...all was well and I was a lot happier with myself and the system :flowers:.

Louis

#6 rowal5555

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 06:53 AM

Thanks guys.

That's my trouble John. The Recovery Mode will not run, either from F11 or the disks. I am going to check the physical connections to the drives next time I am at the machine as we did muck around with these a few weeks ago.

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#7 usasma

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 05:47 PM

The Recovery Console is separate from the Recovery Mode in most computers. The Recovery Console is a DOS looking thing that you can get to by booting from an XP disk ( http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-install-the-windows-xp-recovery-console/ )

Can you boot to a bootable hard disk diagnostic (usually available for free from the hard drive manufacturer's website)?
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 rowal5555

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 06:07 PM

I think I have the Seagate Tool somewhere on my PC so will track it down and burn it.

Thanks John.

When I did the first Recovery, I just put the disks in and away it went. This time however, it stops and asks for the system Serial Number so something is definitely different.

Edited by rowal5555, 21 July 2008 - 06:10 PM.

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#9 usasma

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 06:18 PM

The issue here is that NTLDR isn't loading.
Most commonly that's a boot sector error, BUT....
There's a lot of other stuff that can affect this.

Next in order (IME) are a bad hard drive or a bad file system - but there's other stuff that can do this also (bad controllers on the mobo, etc).
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#10 rowal5555

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 10:01 PM

Well this has been an exercise in frustration.
The owner dropped it off last night so I thought I would try a repair by booting to Puppy Linux, but that would not even see the drive so could not mount it.
Another attempt to boot normally said that HAL.dll was missing so I figured I would do the usual replacement. Put the drive in an external USB case on my desktop and Disk Management said it was Healthy and Active, but any attempt to Open or Explore just gave the message that the drive was not formatted.
Tried FIXBOOT and FIXMBR from my Recovery Console but no response, so gave up and reformatted. Just waiting now for the Recovery Disks to arrive so hopefully we will be back to factory new shortly.
Any ideas why I couldn't get in to replace the .dll?

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#11 rowal5555

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 03:35 AM

Final Update

Recovery disks wouldn't work, ended up with a (crc) error (corrupt recovery), so threw my hands up in the air, borrowed a new XP Home SP3 disk and installed from scratch. Have just finished reinstalling the spare 250GB drive and putting in the final screws, PHEW.
What should have been a few minute repair turned into a marathon, LOL.

Cheers

Edited by rowal5555, 28 July 2008 - 06:21 PM.

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#12 hamluis

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 12:37 PM

The one thing I might have considered...especially when a system acts very strangely with a multiplicity of dffering situations...is a weak/dying CMOS battery and/or memory problem.

Both seem to make XP do very strange things :thumbsup:.

Louis

#13 rowal5555

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 02:38 AM

Thanks Louis. Will replace the battery as it is about 4 years old.

Ended up that M$ would not activate that Windows as the disk was for another machine even though the key was genuine. An offshore call to Packard Bell but they did not want to know. It has always been a bone of contention with me that preinstalled OEM software does not come with a physical disk. I figure you have paid for the lease of the OS, so you should be supplied with a physical disk to cover just this situation.

Anyway the owner has now bought a new copy of XP Home (no wonder pirating is so rife when you have to pay twice for the same article), so his daughter will end up with a 'brand new' 4 yo machine with pretty good specs.

Cheers

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