Desktop w/EISA partition: Can't boot from CD, NTLDR missing

By vpantvaidya
Feb 10, 2010
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  1. Hi folks,

    My Lenovo Athlon 64 desktop came with Windows XP Home installed on a drive that has the EISA recovery partition. Later I installed Vista Home Premium on two other HDDs I have in the desktop. Now in order to do a clean install of 64 bit Windows 7, I need to clean boot the system from the Windows 7 installation CD, but my desktop won't boot from CD/DVD RW drive.

    I changed BIOS startup sequence to have the CD drive first follows by the primary HDD (containing XP which is on the disk that has the EISA): the CD light comes on at bootup and it starts spinning but then the light goes off and system shows the normal bootup OS selection screen (showing all the 3 OS's available to boot from and asking me select one).

    Then I also tried removed the primary XP drive from the BIOS startup sequence so that the CD is the only drive there: now upon bootup again the CD lights up and starts spinning as earlier but then I get "NTLDR is missing, press ctrl+alt+del to restart"

    I have tried the Windows 7 CD on another laptop and that booted fine and showed me the Windows 7 install screen - so the CD is definitely bootable.

    I have also verified all jumpers, cables etc. and they seem to be okay.

    Would appreciate any help with this issue. Is my CDDVD drive bad i.e. unbootable? Or is the EISA partition the culprit?
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,683   +153

    "then I get "NTLDR is missing, press ctrl+alt+del to restart"...

    This message means that the computer is still "looking" for a boot hard drive, and not an optical drive. You should see "boot from a CD/DVD, press any key" message. The boot device selection is still incorrect. Make sure the bios detects the Optical Drive(s) correctly
  3. vpantvaidya

    vpantvaidya Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Prob resolved

    Thanks tmagic. My problem has been resolved and the resolution was totally unexpected - posting it here for everybody's benefit.

    I happened to connect a different lcd display to my desktop and was able to see the msg "press any key to boot from cd/dvd" - so I thought that the cd/dvd boot issue may have to do with the "DDC/CI enable/disable" toggling msgs I see at startup (the DDC/CI prob is apparently a monitor/display card issue or some communication between the two. I believed it was a card problem - but since the other monitor worked, so I guess it was my lcd display issue)

    In short, I thought that the desktop was sensing the CD but i was not able to see the msg "press any key to boot from cd/dvd" due to the DDC/CI issue with my display. So at next boot, I just tried pressing any key when the CD/DVD light came on - and it worked i.e. the Windows installer started from the CD.

    So the cd/dvd boot issue is resolved. I still see the DDC/CI msgs at startup and I know that bcoz of those I will never see the "press any key to boot from cd/dvd" msg. I can't figure out why I see all other display output at startup (such as bios config msgs , etc) but just not this msg. I guess I need to live with that until I am ready to switch my lcd monitor.
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,683   +153

    Yeah that LDC display must be blanked out during that portion of the booting
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