Cannot install OS just get error message "NTLDR is missing....press Ctrl-Alt-Del to R

By probe47
Apr 12, 2010
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  1. I built a new box with the bare essentials. MB with onboard video, CPU, RAM Single IDE harddrive, SATA DVDRW drive. Put in my Win7 install DVD and started installation. Win7 could not find the hard drive. I then tried an old WinXP installation CD. That got me a BSOD. Then I tried "MaxBlast" since it was a Maxtor drive. The program said the Hard Drive was failing. So I switched to another Hard drive(partitioned and formatted on another PC). Now all I get when I boot is "NTLDR is missing....press Ctrl-Alt-Del to Restart" I never get to my CDROM drive and the installation disk. Checked bios and priority is set to CDROM first, second & third. If I disconnect the Hard Drive, the CD installation starts but no hard drive to install to. Tried a 3rd drive that was cleaned and formatted with the same results. How do I get around this error and install an OS? There is nothing on the drive so I should not need NTLDR yet. I am at a lost on how to solve this error.
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,280   +181

    On the single IDE hard drive make sure the jumper is set to master or cable select. In the BIOS set the SATA controllers to IDE rather than SATA or AHCI unless you install SATA/AHCI/RAID drivers via floppy or USB flash drive when prompted to do so during Setup. Even Windows 7 doesn't always have all the SATA drivers built-in.

    How are you trying to boot to the DVD? Try using the Boot Menu (often F12) and look at your choices. There will be the CD ROM drive BUT the actual SATA DVD drive you installed might be listed toward the bottom of the list. If so, select that instead of the generic CD ROM. This might vary depending on the motherboard or BIOS maker.
  3. probe47

    probe47 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for all the assistance. Mailpup was on the right path. I needed to modify the BIOS to set the SATA DVD drive as IDE. After I did that the PC booted from the Installation disk and no message about NTLDR. Thanks again everyone for the help
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