Help - My Computer Won't Boot

  User-3C44E300-39B5-4E35-B0CB9662CF0938B8 12:11 21 Feb 2004

Please help me. My computer has had a new hard drive installed with Windows XP then installed on that. However the old Hard Drive had Windows ME on it. All this was done by the computer technician at my mums work (my mums a teacher). Including the installation of XP(done because she uses the PC alot to do her school-work. So he says to retreive anything we want off the old hard drive and then format it. So my dad went through the old Hard Drive and got everything we wanted. He then deleted everything else (some things didn't delete). He then tryed formatting it and it wouldn't let him. So then he restarts and it says in the black and white part that looks like DOS that NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart. So i phoned up this computer shop nearby who told me i had to reinstall windows to put this NTLDR back in. However the technician has the Windows XP disc and it is now half term and won't see him for over a week. I've tryed the XP boot Disks that i downloaded from Microsoft and did 'fixboot' and that didn't do anything. Is there anything that can be done? Thanks in advance for any help.
P.S. If u need them the specs for my PC are as follows; 1ghz AMD Athlon CPU, 512 mb Ram, 120gb(new) and 30gb(old) harddrives, DVD & CDRW drives.

  Paranoid Android 12:39 21 Feb 2004

This sort of thing can happen if you have two hard disks with OS's on them. You need to be careful here because you could inadvertantly take action which could leave you with a U/S boot drive.

My first thought is your best chance of success is using the recovery console, for which you will need the Windows XP CD. (In my opinion you should ALWAYS have an operating system CD because there is so much you can't do without it.)

Few things you could check :

1) Is the 'new' drive set as primary master with the 'old' drive on one of the other channels ? If yes, try disconnecting the 'old' drive completely and just boot with the new one.

2) Check the boot sequence in BIOS. Sometimes this works.

3) Make sure there are no floppy disks in the drive.

4) Is your primary HDD formatted as FAT32 or NTFS ?

However I come back to my first point, I suggest you do nothing significant until you have the CD.


I've got the recovery console with the disks i downloaded from microsoft (6 of them) and i have tried to 'fixboot' and that hasn't worked and i have got the list of what each command does and they all sound to complicated or there are too many warnings about loss of data etc. that i chose not to do them. If i've got the recovery console what do you suggest trying? By the way
i don't know whether it's important but i've got XP professional.

i don't know whether this is where the main problem is but the new hard drive is formatted as NTFS and the old one is Fat32 (or it could be FAT?) So my reckoning was that the hard drive that is in NTFS was in effect useless as a boot device so therefore it put the boot records etc. on the old hard drive when XP was installed. Which is why when the files got deleted from the old hard drive the PC wouldn't boot up. Also the ME files where still on the old hard drive when the XP installation was done so might it of used the same boot files? By the way this is only a Novice talking so i don't know whether this is a load of rubbish. :)

  Paranoid Android 15:02 21 Feb 2004

Windows XP will boot from either NTFS or FAT32 partitions - but you cannot see the NTFS partition from Windows ME or from a standard boot disk.

Firstly, make sure that the 'old' drive is disconnected completely.

Then, once you have the CD, proceed as follows :
(Courtesy of

Insert the Windows XP bootable CD into the computer.
When prompted to press any key to boot from the CD, press any key.
Once in the Windows XP setup menu press the "R" key to repair Windows.
Log into your Windows installation by pressing the "1" key and pressing enter.
You will then be prompted for your administrator password, enter that password.
Copy the below two files to the root directory of the primary hard disk. In the below example we are copying these files from the CD-ROM drive letter "E". This letter may be different on your computer.

copy e:\i386\ntldr c:
copy c:

Once both of these files have been successfully copied, remove the CD from the computer and reboot.

Assuming this works, my suggestion would be to remove the 'new' drive (for safety) and re-fit the 'old' drive as primary master, then boot using a boot diskette and re-format in DOS.

Once the 'old' drive has been reformatted you can re-fit the 'new' one and use the 'old' one (re-jumpered as required) as additional storage.


  Paranoid Android 15:04 21 Feb 2004

Should read

copy e:\i386\ntldr c:

copy c:


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