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NTLDR is missing :(

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#1 Lime_Swansea


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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:49 AM

I have had some serious issues with my pc, I scanned last night with ESET and found 11 virus files that were promptly deleted.  I then ran registry mechanic and the recovery console from the XP disk.  All this was done in safe mode - after a restart back into normal boot I used all of the 3 previously mentioned methods, registry mechanic wanted to compress the registry.


Since that point on it hasn't been bootable.  I suspect that the registry (MBR) is replicated and therefore has confused the bleeping computer(!)


I have access to another PC I can put my HDD into - what can I do to be able to resolve this?  This is doing my brain in!  I thought that the Recovery Console would solve the issue, I am absolutely kicking myself that I did anything else to the PC as at least it was working.


Is there any way in which I can put the drive in another PC and fix it like that, or is it best to fix it from it's current location??

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#2 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:51 PM



Sorry to hear that your system is unbootable now. Can you describe the exact error message you are receiving ? . Also post the full spec and model number of your PC in next reply.


Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

  • Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.
  • The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, readUnderstanding The Registry.
  • Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.
  • Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.
  • Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.
  • The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

#3 x64


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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:42 PM

Hi Lime_Swansea,

I agree wth Anshad thet Regstry cleaners are quite dangerous, but I don't think they are the cause of the NTLDR message. The visuses are much more likely to be the cause.

If all else fails, you could place the hard disk from the faulty system into the donor system to recover your files, but bear in mind that there still may be malware on that drive which you would be exposing the door system to, paricuarly if you got the boot order wrong. I think it would be best to try to repair tWindows with the disk in the faulty system.

There is a way to circumvent at least the NTLDR error message (although I suspect that your system will have deeper problems than just the NTLDR file).

You will need a floppy disk (remember them?) and access to another computer running XP, that has the same service pack level, and would have Windows Updates installed to about the same level as your broken PC. The exact Edition of Windows (Home /Professional etc.) is not important but the other computer must be the same archetecture (32 vs 64 bit). Practically all consumer XP PCs would have been 32 bit so unbless you know otherwisee, assume both systems are.

    Format the floppy disk on the donor system
    Copy the following files from the root of the donor computers C drive to the floppy disk.
Note that these files are usually hidden, so you will need to temporarily allow "show Hidden fies and folders" on the view tab of folder properties to see them.

       Write protect the floppy disk (you are about to put it in a potentially virus infected PC)
       Try to boot the faulty pc from the floppy disk.

(I have made one more assumption - that the boot.ini file from the donor system is compatible - again a fairly safe assumption for ordinary consumer PCs. Using Recovery console it may be possible to recover the boot.ini from the fauly system and use that instead. Recovery console can be run straight from the Windows CD if you need it)    

If the system boots from the floppy disk, at least you have access to attempt further scans and repairs. I'd probably try "SFC / SCANNOW" to replace corrupted files, but scanning with serveral antivirus/antimalware programs is advisable (I'd probably start wilth Malwarebytes and the Sophos Virus removal tool [ http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools.aspx ] as well as others) If these do not clear up the infections (or will not run) then it would pobably be a good idea to open an incident in the "Am I infected" forum.

Good luck!


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