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A friends pc is starting to boot but after the initial screen, recognising drives etc, it comes up with ntldr is missing press ctrl=alt=delete to restart, and so it goes on just an endless cycle. Searching in Google reveals it to be a bootloader for windows, he has 2 operating systems on (2000 and XP)anyone know how to remedy the situation short of reformatting
This error message is often difficult to resolve. More often than not, the file is not missing, but the boot process somehow cannot locate it.
If your friend installed w2k first, then installed xp on another partition, using xp's native dual boot, then in any attempt at repair in Recovery Console, he should try using the XP CD first.
Ask your friend to boot up computer with XP CD. then press R to enter Recovery Console (the way to get into Recovery Console is slightly different between w2k and xp).
Then it should say 1. D:\WINDOWS (where D is the drive letter of the partition where xp is installed - it can be another drive letter).
Then press 1 and Enter. Enter admin password.
At the D:\WINDOWS> prompt, type:
"copy x:\i386\ntldr c:\"
without the quotation marks, and where x is the drive letter of the CDROM drive, and press Enter. If asked whether to overwrite, say yes (if asked, it means the file is actually there, but overwrite it anyway). Then type:
"copy x:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\"
without the quotes, and press Enter. Say yes to overwrite.
The reason you need to use XP CD is the ntldr and ntdetect.com files on w2k CD cannot load XP, but XP CDs's version can load both.
and press Enter. This command is available only in XP and not in w2k Recovery Console. It will then detect XP installations - and probably w2k as well, but I'm not sure.
Say yes to Add All.
When asked for Load Identifier for D:\WINDOWS, type:
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
and Enter. If it's the XP Home edition he uses, type Home instead of Professional.
When asked for Load Option for D:\WINDOWS, type:
and press Enter.
If he gets asked about C:\WINNT, the load identifier should be Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, and the load option is also /fastdetect.
If asked which installation should be used as Default OS, select either, as he likes. WINNT being w2k and WINDOWS being XP.
After he's done all that, type:
and press Enter. Confirm.
Then type exit and Enter. Computer will restart. Remove XP CD, and see if he can boot up into either Windows.
Note that if during recovery console bootcfg command, he doesn't get asked about C:\WINNT, he won't get an option to boot into w2k, but that can be corrected later.
If the above steps do not solve the problem, ask him to try doing a repair installation of XP.
Boot up computer with XP CD again. Press Enter to enter XP setup. F8 to accept agreement. Then D:\WINDOWS should be listed and he will be asked whether he wants to install a fresh copy, or repair the existing installation.
Make sure that D:\WINDOWS is highlighted. Press R to repair existing installation. Follow the prompts. This is installing XP over itself. Programs and data are kept intact, but after installing it and booting into XP, he has to reapply all Windows updates subsequent to the CD version, including the Blaster patches.
Not happy here , thanx for the time you have took to respond, I built the PC I am on about, but it was took to a "mate" of his, and he installed win2k so that he had a dual boot system (2 weeks after I built it) as his wife prefered win 2k. Now it has gone wrong and he has asked me for advise which I have got from yourselves, I waited for him to bring the PC round but got a phone call saying my "mate" is gonna have a look he thinks he can recover it, if he cant, guess who is gonna have to try, well not me. I am sorry to have wasted anyones time here.
If he has installed w2k after XP (to create a "dual boot", he shouldn't be able to boot into XP, because the subsequent w2k installation would have copied the w2k boot files (same names but older versions) to C. Those boot files cannot load XP. To overcome that, boot into w2k and replace ntldr and ntdetect.com on C drive from the XP CD.
But that doesn't really explain ntldr missing.
It also happens when a Floppy is left in the drive ( it sounds like He is is the type to leave it in )as then it tries to boot from there.
as I found out on various occasions when my Kids do the " Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad the computer......"
I set about installing Win XP pro back on my computer. All was going well, I deleted the existing partitions, selected to create a new one, and setup proceded to format the hard drive and setup windows.
I got to the point where setup restarts the PC the first time.
The PC started up fine with the Compaq splash screen appearing, followed by the "Press any key to boot from CD" message.
I didn't press anything, so to let the setup continue but horror! An error message popped up:
couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
NTLDR: couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
I didn't have a clue what this meant, but as soon as I pressed anything the PC restarted, and got back to the "Press any key to boot from CD" message again - If I don't do this then the NTLDR message reappears, but if I press a key, it goes back into Windows setup.
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