Ntldr is missing

By bmyzer101 · 15 replies
Oct 28, 2010
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  1. I have a laptop that I am working on for a friend. When it boots up he gets the "ntldr is missing" which is no big deal. I have fixed this problem several times on many different machines. My problem is that when I put the XP disk into the machine and try to boot from it "reset bios to boot from disk" it doesn't read the disk and goes back to the ntldr message. I've tried many different disk drives that I know work and still the same thing. After talking with him he told me that the laptop did take a fall to the floor prior to this problem. Does anybody have any idea what the problem could be? Thanks for your help.
  2. boykov

    boykov TS Booster Posts: 74

    Hi bmyzer101,

    As there are no details for the laptop... Can the laptop in question boot from USB?

  3. bmyzer101

    bmyzer101 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Haven't tried booting from USB yet. Need to get me a USB drive and then I was going to try it.

    It is a toshiba satelite. It's about 4 years old and has xp home edition on it. Thats all I know about it right now.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    I've never been able to boot my Toshiba Satellite from a USB :(
  5. akannitaoheed

    akannitaoheed TS Rookie Posts: 79

    If you have a similar system around i.e a toshiba system of that same model you can swap their hdd drives repair the o/s in that other system and bring bach the hdd to the original system after repair.

    This works for me a lot of time. Just make sure you don't install any drivers yet until you return the hdd to the original system.
  6. Edward Catflap

    Edward Catflap TS Rookie Posts: 17

    I assume you mean the CD/optical drive there :) if so, then it sounds like the port may be defective (check the bios to see if any of the optical drives are detected) or maybe the IDE controller has issues.

    If that's the case, try removing the hard drive (and other such bootable devices apart from the CD drive). Since the CD drive will then be the only bootable device, it should start XP setup with the XP disc inserted. That will ensure the system can correctly read the disc - I've had machines that are quite picky with what they will and will not take.
    If it does not boot from CD, maybe try another disc or maybe a USB optical drive? It would make sense if it "can't detect a CD" to try boot off the hard drive, so those two tests would rule that out too.

    Or is the BIOS itself completely resetting to defaults?

    And while not specifically related to the problem -
    I might be suggesting something you've already done here, but have you tested the hard drive? If not I would. Hard drives are quite prone to sharp impacts and the recurring ntldr error is awfully suss and could be due to faulty hardware.

    Hope this helps in some way...
  7. mattcool

    mattcool TS Rookie

    Hold F12 (I am not sure about the key,you have to see it yourself as the computer boots for the key to select the boot device) as your computer boots and you will be able to use the arrow keys to move between boot options.See if it has the usb boot option.If it has this option you can use any linux distro base live usb to fix the problem.Good luck
  8. bmyzer101

    bmyzer101 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    No I have no Toshiba system in the house since I will not or allow anyone in the house use or own a Toshiba system...lol. System is recognizing the new optical drive but still no go. Still waiting on my buddy to come up with his external USB cdrom for me to try.
  9. akannitaoheed

    akannitaoheed TS Rookie Posts: 79

    If you cant find a similar toshiba laptop, I dont think you would see it a s a waste of time to try using another laptop of another make. Just get any other laptop and give it a shot. Try something of thesame grade first: PM for a PM, or P4 for a P4, or dual core for a dul core. I f not available, just get anyone to try out with.Very optimistic one will work.
  10. bmyzer101

    bmyzer101 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    K so my latest update. I switched out RAM on this computer but no difference. So I took a HD from another computer (The Toshiba is a Celeron M and the other is a Pentium DuoCore.) Anyway, the Toshiba started to boot up with the new HD. The new HD had 7 on it and the Toshiba is running 768 MB of RAM. So it started to boot up but when it got ready to run the actual OS it went to blue screen. I am guessing, (and correct me if I am wrong) but it sounds to me like the HD is bad in the Toshiba. I tried a USB CD rom to run the XP disc off of but it wouldn't boot from there either. Could a bad HD be the issue???
  11. Edward Catflap

    Edward Catflap TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Nahh, the HDD shouldn't affect booting off the CD - only drive detection in Windows XP Setup. I reckon that bluescreen was caused by the difference in hardware, because if the hard drive from the other laptop has Windows installed (and hence, all the drivers for that laptop installed), the Toshiba could be loading what it THINKS is the correct drivers and catastrophically bluescreens because they're not compatible with the Toshiba's hardware.
    So, here's what I reckon;
    The Toshiba has some retarded issue with booting from XP CDs or any sort of CD drive :p there may be a way to fix it, maybe not, you might have to assault Toshiba technical support. But what you could do, is install the Toshiba's hard drive into the other laptop. If possible, wipe it and install Windows 7 onto that drive. Then, use the sysprep utility built into Windows (google that, there's a heap of info on it) to "generalise" that installation. "Generalising" wipes most (if not all) laptop-specific information from Windows. Make sure the laptop shuts itself down after it runs through generalising itself, then remove that HDD and install it in the Toshiba. I can't guarantee that it will work, but if it doesn't bluescreen, you then have a fresh copy of Windows installed on your Toshiba. If it runs for a while and THEN bluescreens, then by the sounds of things your diagnosis may be right (Hard drive is bad) or it could be something else; worst case scenario, the laptop's mainboard/motherboard is faulty. In this case, it's probably a case of throw-away-the-laptop-and-buy-a-new-one.
    I'm sure Windows XP also has a sysprep utility, but I honestly couldn't tell you how to use it and I don't know if it even does generalisation...

    Anyway, good luck, let us know how you go!
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Re: the HD

    I've been able to remove the HD from my laptop and still boot up into the Knoppix desktop without problem. If you wanted to try Knoppix, instructions for building Knoopix Live Cd in step 2 in [post=766270]How to recover your folders/files when Windows won’t boot[/post]

    /* edit */
    For that matter, might see if Knoppix can boot at all with / without the HD to see if and HD issue and/or Windows issue vs. something else on the machine preventing both Knoppix and Windows to boot
  13. bmyzer101

    bmyzer101 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    K so. I've got the latest version of Ultimate boot CD and it will not load and from what I understand it runs on RAM alone. The Toshiba doesn't have enough RAM to rum windows 7 so Edward Catflaps solution won't work for me anyway, but still, shouldn't UBCD load on RAM with or without HD???????? Again, thank you for all your help in this.
  14. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    I can speak for certain and experience about Knoppix (in fact, i happened to boot Knoppix without any HD installed on a Dell D600 latop within the last couple weeks). Knoppix started and ran just fine. While i haven't tried the same with UBCD, i'd think UBCD should also do the same as a rescue CD.

    I'll leave any further comment to the h/w guys (and gals :) ) in the forum....
  15. bmyzer101

    bmyzer101 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Now see that's what I thought. But I still can't figure out why it won't boot off of a cd or it's own HDD but it will try to boot off of mine. Man I wish I would have gotten into a easier field, like hamburger maintainence. Just throwing that out there.
  16. Edward Catflap

    Edward Catflap TS Rookie Posts: 17

    You're right about being able to boot off the CD, bmyzer101 and LookinAround - You should be able to run UBCD or a knoppix distro by CD with the HDD removed. RAM's essential though, else the laptop wouldn't even start.
    I don't know dude. You got a tricky one. Maybe it's a faulty controller AND a faulty HDD? Burger technician sounds great.
    Ps. Not that I'm trying to convince you, but 32-bit Win7 Home Premium might run quite happily on 768mb RAM :p even if it's below the recommended minimum. Win7 continues to surprise me, especially if you turn the graphics and prettyness down.

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