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NTLDR is missing press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

By Mindy ยท 46 replies
Jan 18, 2006
  1. Please, Please, Please help...

    My computer was working fine, then upon a restart I receieved the error message NTLDR is missing. I tried to put in the Windows XP cd to reinstall (from past experience I've found loss of files is much better than fighting my way through to rescue them). Once I put in the CD I rebooted and got the same message. So I rebooted again and pressed ESC to get to BIOS to bood from CD first. Once that was changed I rebooted again. The cd turned and the light blinked so I assumed it was accessing the disk, and it was going to work, but once again the same message. I got on our other computer and looked up a few options so I tried to make a disk with the three files on it (ntldr, boot.ini.backup, and NTDETECT) and it didn't accept that. So I burned them to a cd and tried that, didn't work either. The next thing I did was hooked the hard drive up to our working computer and formatted the drive. Put it back in the broken computer and yet again the same error. I just don't know what else to try... Can someone help please?!?!?!?! I'm going on my 6th hour of trying to fix this!
    Thank you SO SO much to anyone that can help me fix this
  2. kaymastah

    kaymastah TS Rookie Posts: 43

    I think I "cleaned" my system of the ntldr file once long time ago ;P Just copy it from a different machine with same system to root directory of your own OS and you should be fine :)
  3. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    copy that ntlrd file it's asking for from our working computer to the broken one? how do I copy anything to it? It doesn't boot up...
  4. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I must sound so stupid, but I don't know what any of that meant. I formatted the Hard Drive and put it back into our broken computer. Do I need to take it back out, put it in our working computer then drag that file to it?
  5. computer help

    computer help TS Rookie Posts: 68

    thh only right answer !!!

    you need to reinstall windows

    if you are using 2 x segate drives

    you need to use seagate drive installer

    for downl;oad from there website!!!

    you cannot replace the missing file that advice was given without knowledge

    only fix reinstall windows good luck :slurp:
  6. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    If there is anyone that can give me a step by step process that would help a great deal. All I know is my computer is sitting with a black screen that says NTLDR is missing press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart. I don't understand how to get files or drivers on it when it wont do anything at all???
  7. kaymastah

    kaymastah TS Rookie Posts: 43

    You don't sound stupid; I wasn't sure of your computer knowledge, so it's no fault of yours. What I was trying to suggest is to either boot it up from floppy or cd with the ntldr file on the removable media from whiich you are booting, and then copying it to the hard drive that's missing the file. The other option could be removing the hard drive from the "broken" box and putting it to the "healthy" and then copying it.

    One last thing... You're probably using NTFS so I'm not sure if there won't be any issues with file access permissions. Anyway, good luck!
  8. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I got somewhere, just not sure where =o)...

    I pulled the broken harddrive and put it in my working computer. I Copied boot.ini, ntldr, and ntdetect to the formatted hard drive. I put that drive back into the broken computer and restarted it. I got an error "windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <windows root>\system32\hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file.

    I figured I got this because the hard drive is formatted so I put in the windows xp cd to try and reinstall but it just goes back to the <windows root>\system32\hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file. error... what do I do now? Did I make it worse?
  9. kaymastah

    kaymastah TS Rookie Posts: 43

    hold your horses... did you say, you formatted the drive? well in that case you can repeat it, put it back into the case, and install XP from the bootable cd. You also need to make sure that in BIOS your boot order is set up so that CD is checked for OS prior to HDD.
  10. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I put the windows XP cd into my broken computers cd-rom and restarted. Pressed ESC to make sure the cd-rom was set to load first and restarted. But it still just goes to the black windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <windows root>\system32\hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file screen. I dont know why it wont read the cd rom. The cd-rom spins and the light comes on like its working, but nothing happens.
  11. kaymastah

    kaymastah TS Rookie Posts: 43

    Then it is not booting off of the cd-rom. Go to your BIOS and configure the boot order. Other than that, wipe the hard drive, fdisk suggested, but standard formatting should be enough. Anyway, make sure you really are booting from the cd.

    k folks... time for me to get some sleep... c ya later!
  12. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    BIOS lists cdrom as its first choice, then removable disk is next, then the hard drive. I don't know why it wont install XP. Is there a way to put the broken hard drive into my good computer and install it on there then put it back into the other case?
  13. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Another day, another 6 hours before I give up again I'm sure...

    Does anyone know how to fix the <windows root>\system32\hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file error when it is occuring on a formatted hard drive? Bios is set up to read the cdrom drive first and the windows xp disk is in the drive...
  14. kaymastah

    kaymastah TS Rookie Posts: 43

    Mindy, have you tried booting from a floppy? I would suggest researching more on fdisk or gdisk if you can manage to get a copy of one of them and put it on a floppy, you should be able to clean up a hard drive thoroughly, including master boot record.

    Just google fdisk and/or gdisk
    I hope this helps. Good luck!

    Oh, and to answer a previous question. No, you can't install XP on that harddrive in the working box and then put it back to the other case. It won't work like that. Sorry.
  15. Vaulden

    Vaulden TS Rookie

    Mindy, I'm assuming you have access to another computer since you formatted the hard drive after pulling it out.

    Have you inspected the XP CD to make sure it is free of smudges and/or scratches? It almost sounds like the drive is not reading the CD properly. This could be the CD or the drive itself. Try putting the CD in another computer. If it does not boot up (checking the same options as above), then the CD is most likely damaged. If it does boot up on the CD, it might be a problem with your CD drive.
  16. loupegarou

    loupegarou TS Rookie Posts: 39

    Try this

    Ok so im guessing your not really fluent in pcs.
    Here is what i would do.
    One how big is your hard drive that wont boot?
    If it is under 40 gigs put it in your working machine and format it with fat 32.
    Make a directory on it called winXP.
    Copy the contents of your I386 folder from your windows xp cd to it.
    put it in your non funtional machine.
    Make sure it is set to cable select or master (if slave present)
    boot that machine with a 98 boot disk. You can download one and make it with the exe from www.bootdisk.com
    after you are at the a: prompt.
    type this
    this will bring you to your hard drive.
    type this
    cd winxp
    this changes your directory to the xp folder you created.
    if you copied the files from your i386 dir (and not copied the folder itself)
    then type winnt
    this will start the xp setup.
    If you did copy the i386 folder into the winXP folder
    you will have to type
    cd i386
    to get to the point where you can type

    Hope this helps.

    If your hard drive is larger than 40 gigs you can partition it to 30 gigs for your first partition and use the rest of the space for the second partition.

    Good luck :)
  17. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    what does format with FAT 32 Mean? I hooked up the drive right clicked on it and selected format. The dialog box reads: Capacity: 37.2GB, File System: NTFS, Allocation Unit Size: 4096 bytes Volume Label is blank. I clicked quick format and it is now clear... Is that the correct type of format?
  18. Vaulden

    Vaulden TS Rookie

    FAT 32 is a type of file system. So under "File System" where it reads NTFS you should be able to drop down the box and see FAT 32.

    Did you check the CD? His steps will not work if you cannot read the CD on the other machine (as you need to copy files from it to your formatted hard drive). Though they will work great if your CD drive is the problem.
  19. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I clicked the drop down box and there are no other options, just NTFS.

    CD? I thought he said to make an A: drive bootable disk, it should be a cd?
  20. computer help

    computer help TS Rookie Posts: 68

    am i wasting my time

    ok you have reformated the drive in ntfs fine

    install xp from your xp cd and your problems are over

    stop messing around

    What you will require to do this walkthrough is

    A Windows XP Professional CD

    A Computer with CD-ROM access

    To start this Windows install. First check that the first boot device in your system BIOS is set to the CD-ROM Drive.

    ( To find out how to access the BIOS please refer to your motherboard manual or the manufacturer of your Laptop. (The system bios can usually be entered on boot, usually by pressing the F1, F2, F8, F10 or DEL key. Make sure you save the settings before exiting))

    If you are unsure or don't want to enter the BIOS then just test the computer by putting the CD-ROM in the drive and reboot your laptop. This is the recommended way to install windows.

    To begin insert your Windows XP Professional CD and reboot you computer. A message "Press any key to boot from CD....." will appear, press the space bar to continue.

    Setup will now inspect your computer hardware and configuration.

    Setup now prepares your computer for install.
    From this menu press "ENTER" to begin the install.

    Your previous install will be located, press "ESC" to continue the parallel install.

    Now use the up and down arrow keys to select the partition you want to install into. Press "ENTER" once selected to continue. You can use the same partition as the previous operating system.

    Windows will now ask you to confirm the install. If you are satisfied with your decision then press "C". You can return to the previous menu by pressing "ESC".

    Now you will be asked if you wish to format the drive, select "quick format

    Setup will begin to copy files.

    Windows is now booting :slurp:
  21. Vaulden

    Vaulden TS Rookie

    That's true, it could be that you aren't pressing a button when required. Some motherboards require you to press a key to boot off the CD. After the bios screen, but before the Windows XP loading screen you may see a "Press any key to boot from CD". If you see this do so.
  22. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    any ways, thank you so so much to all that tried to help me, I truly do appreciate your help! I've some how managed to get right back to where I started with the missing ntldr and ctrl alt del restart error, lol... beats me but after about 21+ hours of messing with it, I think I've got to give up
  23. erwin1978

    erwin1978 TS Maniac Posts: 290

    What did you do to cause all this?

    Turn off udma in bios for the cdrom drive. I've had experience when it's enabled I get corrupted files when installing from cd.

  24. Mindy

    Mindy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Loupegarou, your post got me the furthest... It works except every so many files it skips some, then continues, then skips more, then continues. Is there any way to get it to copy them all?
  25. fury

    fury TS Rookie

    What do you mean it skips? If it's not prompting you with anything then it should be copying them all just fine; you will however notice that some files will take a long time (such as drivers.cab) and most others, which are small ones, will fly by before you can even read the file name.

    However, if it is telling you that it could not copy a file, and it fails to copy no matter how many times you tell it to retry, then there is something wrong with your CD. Try cleaning it before you try retrying again. (if at first you don't succeed, try, try again?)
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