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Cannot find NTLDR...this one is different

First you should know that I know how to fix "cannot find ntldr". This proplem is more unusual. There is allot of detail here... I really do need help.

Here is the computer info so far. I have a Dell PC running Windows XP home with two hard drives. WinXP is setup on the primary drive, the secondary drive is an SATA drive setup up the SATA primary channel. The secondary drive is for data storage only.

So on Monday the primary hard drive had a platter failure and died.

I purchased a replacement IDE drive and also an additional SATA drive.

I removed the existing Hard drives from the PC. I installed the IDE drive as the Master on the Primary Controler (C:) and installed windows on it. The DVD drive is set up as the master on the secondary IDE controler (D:). After installing all the software drivers I shut down the PC and installed the new SATA Hard drive on the primary SATA controler (E:).

When I booted the PC windows detected and installed the new hard drive. I formatted the drive and was able to access it with no problem.

I shut down the PC and installed my existing SATA hard drive on the Secondary SATA controller (F:) . Please note that these SATA drives are Cable Select, they cannot be jumpered as master or slave. When I booted the PC, windows istalled the Hard drive and let me access the data.

My intention at this point was to mirror the two SATA drives. So I used the DISK MANAGEMENT application to convert the SATA drives to Dynamic Disks. I followed the steps listed on Microsofts website:

1. Log on as Administrator or as a member of the Administrators group.
2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
3. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.
4. In the left pane, click Disk Management.
5. In the lower-right pane, right-click the basic disk that you want to convert, and then click Convert to Dynamic Disk.

NOTE:You must right-click the gray area that contains the disk title on the left side of the Details pane. For example, right-click Disk 0.

Unfortunatly the option was not available. I clicked through a variety of screens looking for the option but could not find it. While searching I beleive I set the F: drive to ACTIVE. After some searching I gave up and installed NERO 6.3 software. When I rebooted the PC, I received NTLDR is missing.

NTLDR is installed correcty. My issue is this; If I unplug the SATA drive with the existing data from the PC (F:), it boots normaly. If I plug it in to either the Primary or Secondary SATA Controler, I receive NTLDR is missing. If I boot the PC with the new Blank Hard Drive (E:) installed, it boots correctly.

There is no choice in BIOS that lets me specify the boot order of the hard drives. Only the sequence in which devices are accessed; 1-CD-ROM, 2-IDE HARD DRIVE, 3-FLOPPY etc...


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Just one issue...

In reply to: Cannot find NTLDR...this one is different

XP Pro has the mirror feature. I have yet to see XP Home do such.

Stick with basic disks and look for other software such as ACRONIS to duplicate the drive. Remember XP's penchant for marking other drives unbootable so don't count on it being bootable.


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In reply to: Just one issue...

Unfortunalty at this point I need to be able to access the secondary drive. It has 100 gigs of DATA on it that I must have.
So, any help on the problem I'm having?

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Format the 100G hard disk and restore from backup.

In reply to: thanks

That's why we all backup.

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In reply to: Format the 100G hard disk and restore from backup.

Im not sure you read my post. Your answer is not on subject. But thanks for taking the time to type.

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This was in response to ..

In reply to: ????

" Unfortunalty at this point I need to be able to access the secondary drive. It has 100 gigs of DATA on it that I must have.
So, any help on the problem I'm having?"

Given this much to work with, you only need to format the drive and restore its contents from backup.

Best of luck,


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I'm confused...............

In reply to: Cannot find NTLDR...this one is different

Why was it that you didn't choose to run the disks in a mirrored raid using the software controller that undoubtedly was supplied with the board? ie. Promise Raid controllers?

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