Saturday, January 2, 2010

Windows XP - ntldr is missing

I have an old hard drive with Windows XP installed in the first partition. The problem was that each time I tried to boot, or reboot the system process returned a fatal message, "ntldr is missing" and stopped.

How the heck did I fix that?

  1. Reboot the computer using CTRL ALT DEL.
  2. Interrupt the start up sequence to change the BIOS settings. (Hold down the DEL key).
  3. Following the BIOS menu, change the boot sequence so the system will boot first from the CD drive.
  4. Save the settings and exit (F10 key usually)
  5. When the PC restarts, pop the original Windows XP Installation Disc in the CD drive.
  6. At the prompt to hit any key in order to get the CD boot sequence started, hit ENTER
  7. At the first blue screen prompt, type 'R' to go into the recovery console.
  8. At the next prompt, select the Operating System on the offending hard drive, (with all other hard drives disconnected, there was only the one choice on my system).
  9. When asked for the Administrator password, just hit if it has not been set, otherwise you had better have it written down or remember it because you're going no where without it.
  10. You will now be at a DOS Command screen, located at C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32
  11. The recovery disk files on the CD will be visible under D:\
  12. Copy two files from the CD using the following commands:
  13. copy D:\i386\ntldr C:\
  14. copy D:\i386\ C:\
  15. Type EXIT to shut down the recovery session.
  16. Reset the BIOS to boot from the hard drive first
  17. Reboot as normal. 

BINGO! So that's how the heck I fixed that.

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