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Using XP Recovery Console to repair NTLDR

By Poppa Bear
Oct 21, 2008
  1. NTLDR Repair using XP Recovery Console

    I recently tried using the information in a post made by PoGirl in 2007, to restore a missing NTLDR file by using the Recovery Console from WinXP Home SP2 CD.

    I don't know if I'm using the command parameter incorrectly or if the information is incorrect/out of date. The following is a copy of the information given by PoGirl.

    Repair Missing NTLDR

    First you must reboot the system from your xp cdrom.

    Then when prompted select the option to enter the recovery console.

    Select the installation to be repaired followed by the administrator password.

    Type Fixboot and answer yes to the prompt.

    Then type in the following commands and leave all spaces eactly as they appear here:

    CD \
    ATTRIB -H NTLDR
    ATTRIB -S NTLDR
    ATTRIB -R NTLDR
    ATTRIB -H NTDETECT.COM
    ATTRIB -S NTDETECT.COM
    ATTRIB -R NTDETECT.COM
    COPY X:\I386\NTLDR C:\ ( X IS THE LETTER OF YOUR CDROM )
    COPY X:\I386\NTDETECT.COM C:\ ( X IS THE LETTER OF YOUR CDROM )

    Afterwards reboot

    I tried every which way to get these commands to work but just kept getting invalid command or wrong parameter messages.

    Can anyone type a full command line example for ATTRIB parameter? Help!
     
  2. wii-ste

    wii-ste TS Rookie Posts: 163

    The Microsoft documentation for the ATTRIB command i here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754186.aspx

    Basically what these commands are doing is removing (H)idden, (R)ead-Only and (S)ystem attributes from NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM.

    Where are you getting the error messages? Is it just on the ATTRIB commands?
     
  3. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  4. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    NTLDR Repair

    Thanks Techspot.

    The reason for my original post was to try and work out why the Attrib command sequence I listed didn't work to restore the NTLDR when it was shown as missing on boot-up. I had acquired the Attrib command sequence from an old post by Po'Girl who said it restored the NTLDR.... along with using the fixboot and copy commands.

    Re the source of the missing NTLDR, I had been experimenting by deliberately removing the NTLDR and NTDETECT files from a WinXP installation to simulate a situation where a PC can't be booted because the NTLDR is either corrupt or missing.

    Since making the original post I have been able to make the sequence of Bootfix, Attrib & copy commands work to restore the missing NTLDR using the XP CD Recovery Console. However, the Attrib sequence as shown by Po'Girl left out a few parameters and had to be amended. The edited version of my original post shows the correct protocol for using the commands and they do work to restore the missing ntldr and reboot the PC into the OS.

    To make the commands work the prompt cursor must be set to X:\> where X is the drive letter of the CDROM drive which has the XP CD in it. Two examples of correct command sequence are:

    X:\>X: \attrib -r ntldr.... or.... X:\>copy X:\i386\ntdetect.com C:\

    Notice that the "X: \" prefix after the prompt cursor is not used in the "copy" command but is essential in the "attrib" command.

    The upshot of it all is that the sequence of fixboot, attrib and copy commands shown by Po'Girl does work to restore a missing NTLDR.

    Don't know about you, but I find it a lot easier to repair the ntldr than reload your OS, especially when you've got mega programs and updates loaded onto it.

    Another way of repairing a missing ntldr is to boot the system with an ntldr floppy, and copy the original boot files onto the C drive. To be able to do this you must have made a copy of the boot files after loading a new installation,

    I'm new at doing threads and replies so I'm not sure if I've go it right, but I've tried to attach a short program for making such a boot NTRLDR floppy.

    Cheers Poppa Bernie Bear
     
  5. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    Hi wii-ste,

    Apologies for calling you "tech spot"... Duh!

    In my reply I said I tried to attach a zip file with a program to make a floppy boot NTLDR. Didn't realise the attachment was over 200MB.

    The following is a link to a web site where a download is available to make such a floppy:

    D:\Drivers & Utilities\ISO Files\NTLDR Repair\Fix boot with floppies.mht

    Copy and paste this address into your browser address bar and the site is self explanatory.

    I don't know why this web site address I've just shown above does not appear in this message as a direct link? Perhaps you can enlighten me?

    Cheers Bernie
     
  6. wii-ste

    wii-ste TS Rookie Posts: 163

    Hi,

    I know there are programs for it, but I prefer doing things myself so I know what is being done to my machine. The link you pasted was to a help file on your computer rather than a website, so it won't show up in the forum.

    Fixing NTLDR is not too bad compared to some of the problems.

    Glad you got it working again anyway.
     
  7. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 237   +7

    Hi wii-ste

    Thanks for info. Didn't realise I had posted a link to my own PC. And don't know why that link came up as an address to my PC? I saved it as a short-cut and when I click on the short-cut it opens the TinyEmpire web page, but in the address bar it shows as an addy to my D drive?

    The correct link is: http://http://www.tinyempire.com/notes/ntldrismissing.htm

    I've used the "sunglasses" icon in copying the link, so hope it works.

    Like yourself I like to know what's going on in my PC, and that's why I wanted to know how to repair the ntldr using the Recovery Console instead of third party software.

    Anyway, all's well that ends well, and I'm wrapped I can do the repair with the commands from Po'Girl. Cheers Bernie

    ps The link I just copied and posted is incorrect because it's got the "http://" twice at the beginning.

    Anyway, I'm re-inserting the link again. I've opened the web site on another tab in IE7, and have right clicked the addy and clicked "copy". Now I'm pasting it using the sunnies icon. So here goes:

    http://www.tinyempire.com/notes/ntldrismissing.htm

    pps yep it worked this time. Cheers Bernie
     
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