NTLDR error upon installation of Win XP

  eric_cantona 11:36 30 Sep 2004

Apologies if this question has already been asked to death but.....

Basically my friend's Compaq Desktop Presario (not sure of the exact model etc) PC had Windows 98 installed. He wanted to put XP on it so we bought a copy of Win XP Pro from eBay (a recovery full installation).

I set about trying to install the new OS for him, and all seemed to be going well. I (think) selected the correct partition options (not 100% sure what I was doing here), and the Windows Setup proceeded to carry on formatting and setting up.

It then got to the stage where it restarts the PC. It did this fine, I got the Compaq splash screen aand then the 'Press any key to boot from CD...' option.

I didn't think I should so let it carry on, but alas! An error message popped up! To be precise:

Couldn't Open Drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
NTLDR: Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition

The screen just freezes at this point, so I press any button and the PC restarts and I am then caught it a vicious loop!

What the hell does this mean?

At the moment my mate's PC has been rendered useless! he has no Windows 98 recovery disk, just a full version disk that I myself happened to have.

I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong with the Win XP disk, just his PC i think.

I need to get an explanation in extremely plain, jargon-free Englsih please!

  vinnyo123 14:40 30 Sep 2004

If there is nothing important to recover I would just let the PC boot from CD-ROM.Then let XP format hard drive and install fresh copy.

"Short for NT loader, NTLDR is a program loaded from the hard drive boot sector that displays the Microsoft Windows NT startup menu and helps Microsoft Windows NT load."

  eric_cantona 14:51 30 Sep 2004

That doesn't work, I've tried reinstalling about 5 times.

It's just a vicious circle...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:01 30 Sep 2004

1.The boot order is not set to boot from CD first.
To install Windows XP you need to boot from the CD. Many computers default to boot from the hard drive first, but will boot from the CD if there is no partition on the hard drive. Once you use DWSE to create a partition the computer attempts to boot from this new partition and finds that the partition has no operating system installed and reports NTLDR.

To fix this version of the issue you will need to adjust the boot order of your computer in the BIOS (computer setup).

2.You left a floppy in the diskette drive.
Check and confirm you don't have any diskettes in the drive (you may have saved the readme file from DWSE to a floppy).

3.If you have more than 1 CD/ATAPI device installed on the secondary channel, be sure that you are booting from the "master" CD/ATAPI device.
You can verify which one is the master versus slave CD/ATAPI device by booting into your CMOS/BIOS setup in case those devices are currently set for "Cable-Select" or you just don't know which one is the master device.

If this has been checked then try removing the "slave" CD/ATAPI device from the channel to see if the issue resolves itself.

4.The Window XP CD prompted you to 'press any key' and you did not respond to the prompt quick enough.
When booting from the Windows XP CD it will look for partitions. If your drive is blank, it will boot directly from the CD. If the drive has a partition, it prompts you to 'press any key to continue' so that you do not have to remove the CD after the reboot that occurs during installation. You have to press the key very quickly because this message will time out in a very short period of time (a few seconds). You will see an NTLDR error on the screen.

5.Windows has not been installed.
If the operating system has not been installed on this computer then the system will report an NTLDR message until you boot from the install media and install the operating system to the hard drive.

  pc moron 16:27 30 Sep 2004

Boot up, have a look in the BIOS and see if the hard disk is aet as Primary Disk 0 and ensure that it's set as master- not cable select.

If it's set to cable select you will probably have to set the jumper on the hard drive to make it primary master.

  eric_cantona 16:40 30 Sep 2004

Thanks for the suggestions people.

However, I surely am not supposed to boot fromthe CD if I am trying to install Win XP?

I've read this click here so will try it this weekend.

Fingers crossed.

  eric_cantona 18:57 02 Oct 2004

Damn! The link above didn't work

I need help! Any other suddestions folks?

  stalion 19:06 02 Oct 2004
  eric_cantona 19:11 02 Oct 2004

Yeah, thats basically what I've tried - didn't work...

  pipedream 21:44 02 Oct 2004

You say it's a recovery CD - these are usually machine-specific and will usually only work on the intended PC, so this may be where the problem is (does it mention a brand on the CD e.g. Dell?). If this is the case, you'll need a standard XP CD.

  pc moron 22:52 02 Oct 2004

I've searched around for a solution to this problem (the error you're getting) and I've only found two cases involving Compaq Presario Desktops.

In both cases the problem was solved by putting the hard disk on the primary master, and if neccesary, setting the jumper on the drive to make it primary- not cable select.

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