NTLDR is missing - a new twist?

By Cheeser
Apr 25, 2008
  1. I know there are some threads on this site covering 'NTLDR is missing' errors however, I'd like to outline my setup and get some step-by-step advice as this is slightly more complicated that those i've seen.

    I built my current PC using components from my old one (which had two hard drives. I'll call them C: and D:). My old PC used win XP Pro.

    After building the new PC, I managed to format the C: and installed Win XP Pro on it. all well and good. But when I set Drive D: as slave and rebooted, I got the 'NTLDR is missing' error.

    Now, I have a good installation on Drive C:, and don't want to f*ck it up by booting up into windows on D: and finding myself in the reverse situation, where D: is the main drive and C: is one with the NTLDR is missing error (I hope you get my drift). All I want is to get the other D: formatted (I have 20-30 movies on it, but can try to extract them with disaster recovery software).

    Can someone outline in detail, how to either reformat D:, or (better still) gain access to D: and copy the files across to C: and then format D: and return it to use as the slave/secondary drive.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Are you sure you have a good install entirely on your C: drive ? I would confirm this by disconnecting the D: drive. If Windows boots completely normally, then fine, your only problem is that both drives probably have a partition set 'active'. You can boot into recovery mode or use any other technique you like to run FDISK. Then make sure only the one partition on the one drive is 'active' and you should then be able to access both drives as you expected, copy from d: to c:, reformat D: etc etc.
  3. rf6647

    rf6647 TS Maniac Posts: 829

    Re-check the master/slave jumpers on each drive. If using 'cs' jumper, observe the proper cable end for the master. I believe the end of the dual ide cable is typically black and is for the master.

    Based on your description, the bios found a boot device, but the system files are missing, which sounds like the wrong HDD is being selected. This is the theory for my suggestions.

    My other theory: MicroSoft hobbled your OS if both drives contained OS's with the same system ID. Both HDD's retain applications & data, so don't despair. I cannot prove the 'hobble', but I have experienced this if the second copy of XP is loaded without the other copy of XP being present. The hobble does not occur immediately. There is no warning. You need to re-install XP again. ( I never tried the repair option).

    I use a USB-HDD enclosure for the second drive to avoid stepping into this mess. Suffer the slower transfer rate or remove Windows XP from the second drive before returning it to the ide.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...