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NTLDR is missing; Please restart (Win XP)

By kw_ng ·
HI. I have obtained an old PC (HP Brio 8 series machine) which is originally pre-nstalled with red hat Linux from a friend. I formatted the HD and hooked up the HD to a PC then installed Win XP SP2 on it. When hooked the HD back to the machine and start it up, the message "ntldr is missing, please restart came up". I have googled and found alot advices on this including the fixntldr program from tinyempire.com/notes/ntldrismissing.htm but the problem still persist (edit boot.ini, copy ntldr and ntdetect.com, etc.). I would appreciate very much if anyone has any other ideas.

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Are there 2 boxes involved here?

by seanferd In reply to NTLDR is missing; Please ...

You say:
"I formatted the HD and hooked up the HD to a PC then installed Win XP SP2 on it. When hooked the HD back to the machine..."

Did you install XP on one computer and then move the disk to a different computer? This doesn't work well, if at all, unless the computers are identical, and probably a license violation as well.

The easiest way to fix that is by using the booting from the XP CD in recovery mode. You'll be given the option to fix these things. Or just re-install.

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Try these methods, starting from number one. :)

Method 1.

Repair Install
If XP is corrupted to the point where none of the previous solutions get it to boot,
you can do a Repair Install that might work as well as keep the current settings.
Make sure you have your valid WindowsXP key.
The whole process takes about half an hour depending on your computer
If you are being prompted for the administrator's password, you need to choose the 2nd repair option, not the first.
1.Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD
2.At the second R=Repair option, press the R key
3.This will start the repair
4.Press F8 for I Agree at the Licensing Agreement
5.Press R when the directory where WindowsXP is installed is shown. Typically this is C:\WINDOWS
6.It will then check the C: drive and start copying files
7.It will automatically reboot when needed. Keep the CD in the drive.
8.You will then see the graphic part of the repair that is like during a normal install of XP (Collecting Information, Dynamic Update, Preparing Installation, Installing Windows, Finalizing Installation)
9.When prompted, click on the Next button
10.When prompted, enter your XP key
11.Normally you will want to keep the same Workgroup or Domain name
12.The computer will reboot
13.Then you will have the same screens as a normal XP Install
14.Activate if you want (usually a good idea)
15.Register if you want (but not necessary)
16.Finish
17.At this point you should be able to log in with any existing accounts.
...........................................
Method 2.

NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM Not Found
If you get an error that NTLDR is not found during bootup,
If you have FAT32 partitions, it is much simpler than with NTFS.
Just boot with a Win98 floppy and copy the NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM files
from the i386 directory to the root of the C drive.
For NTFS:
1.Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.
2.At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
3.Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
Typically this will be #1
4.Enter in the administrator password when requested
5.Enter in the following commands (X: is replaced by the actual drive letter that is assigned to the CD ROM drive.
COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C\:
COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C
6.Take out the CD ROM and type exit
............................................
Method 3.

Corrupted or Missing \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG
If you get the error:
Windows could not start because the following files is missing or corrupt
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM or \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE
1.Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.
2.At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
3.Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
Typically this will be #1
4.Enter in the administrator password when requested
5.cd \windows\system32\config
6.Depending on which section was corrupted:
ren software software.bad or ren system system.bad
7.Depending on which section was corrupted
copy \windows\repair\system
copy \windows\repair\software
8.Take out the CD ROM and type exit

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
If this information is useful, please mark as helpful. Thanks.

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