Windows Legacy OS forum


Missing NTLDR on XP Pro system

I have 4 pc's 2 have Windows XP Pro.I allow the neighbor children to use these for playing games on which helps them.

Recently had a 3rd one given to me that the operating system was reinstalled. I downloaded microsoft upgrades and it crashed. I won't boot up from the boot menu. I attempted to boot from the system cd it asked for the HP Retore Plus disc then it stops and says Missing NTLDR.
I am able to follow directions fairly well. I thought maybe there might be a way to download a fix to a data storage stick on another pc.

I am disabled and on fixed income so I am looking for the cheapest way possible. The children so enjoy their time on them. It's a WIN WIN, off the streets and exposure to pc's at the same time.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Missing NTLDR on XP Pro system
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Missing NTLDR on XP Pro system
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
The usual cause for missing NTLDR

In reply to: Missing NTLDR on XP Pro system

Is a problem with the hard drive or the file system. Look over this trouble shooting guide:
I do not see a model number for this HP computer, but most have a key indicated on the HP splash screen for entering the BIOS and for Recovery. First try looking into the BIOS to see if the hard drive is being detected and set for first boot device.

Collapse -
Try this

In reply to: Missing NTLDR on XP Pro system

It worked for me on XP Home. If you're not comfortable with this whole procedure, DON"T DO IT! Bad stuff could happen to your good PC.

You're going to copy the "ntldr" file from a working installation of XP Pro and paste it onto the non-working hard drive's OS.

I'm going to assume both computers are old enough to have IDE cables (flat and wide) and PATA, not SATA drives, and a floppy drive on the good one. I'm not sure a thumb drive will work, but it might. I'm also assuming each PC has just one hard drive.

Remove the hard drive from the unplugged bad PC. Make sure you can put it back exactly the way it was - take notes if necessary. Both connectors only fit one way, and you don't want to damage anything trying to force them on the wrong way. And they're hard to get off, so grasp them by their 2 ends and sort of rock them end-to-end while pulling. Sometimes they'll have loops to pull on, which makes it easy. Don't pull on the cable, just the connector!

1.On the working PC, format a floppy disc and leave it in the drive.
2.Go to My Computer>Tools>Folder Options>View tab
Scroll down to "Hidden Files and Folders" - check "Show hidden files and folders"
Un-check the box beside "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)"
Click "OK"
3.Open Local Disk C:
Scroll down and find the "ntldr" file; right click>copy>"Back" button
4.Open Floppy drive A:
Right click>Paste>"Back" button
5.Copy and paste the file "NTDETECT.COM" the same way you did "ntldr" - it's just good to have a floppy around with both of those files on it.
*******Go back and re-hide everything you un-hid in step 2.********
6.Right click Local Disk C: and click "Properties".
Under the General tab, type "Orig" into the box at the top and click OK. Now the name of this drive will be "Orig C:" instead of "Local Disk C:" You can change it back when you're all done. This will avoid confusing which XP Pro installation to fix as you continue.
7.Shut down and unplug the computer, then open its case. You're going to put the bad hard drive into the good computer as a second HD.
Unplug the connectors from your CD/DVD drive and plug them into the bad hard drive. You don't have to put the HD in a slot - just don't have it hanging by the cables or have the underside where metal can touch the electronics - it will run fine upside down temporarily.
8.Plug the PC back in and turn it on.

This shouldn't happen if both PCs were set up the generic way originally, but if it tries to boot to the bad HD and says it can't find NTLDR, reply to my post and I'll get an e-mail that lets me know you need more help.

9.Go to My Computer. The good hard drive is named "Orig", so open the other one, as the drive letters might have been changed.
10.Repeat the un-hide operations from Step 2.
If there is a "ntldr" file there, right click it and rename it "ntldr.old"
11.Open the floppy disk and copy the "ntldr" file.
Right click the bad hard drive and click "paste".
Open the bad hard drive and make sure "ntldr" is there.
Make sure "NTDETECT.COM" is there, too. If not, repeat Steps 10 and 11 for it.
Re-hide everything (Step 2)
12.Shut down and unplug the PC. Remove the second HD and reconnect your CD/DVD drive. Plug the PC in and turn it on - it should boot as usual. Repeat Step 6 to rename the drive "Local Disk C:".
13. Reinstall the repaired HD into its unplugged PC. It should boot normally and be ready to use!

Best of luck, and thanks for what you're doing for your community!

Collapse -
Thank you so very much.

In reply to: Try this

I haven't tried it yet but will be soon. Thank you so very much for taking the time to give me detailed instructions. I am sure I won't have a too much of a problem when I give it a shot. The kids will be so happy to have it back running.

Collapse -
It worked!!

In reply to: Try this

Thank you so very much for your help. I followed your directions without any issues. That was so kind of you. I enjoy watching the kids they get so excited when they play. I want to tell you what I do with these pc's. They came from a large law firm that upgraded their in house systems so they are old and have very limited space. Throw aways actually. Great learning tools. I set them up with mostly games from Reader Rabbit, the learning company..... Educational games. I started it with a 6 year old boy from across the street. Then his friend wanted to play so when another pc came available I set it up also. Now we have 3 working pc's. I enjoy watching them. They are learning how to use them correctly and it gives them something to look forward to. They are young kids in low income situations. I feel the exposure is a good thing for them and if it helps direct just one from the street activities I am thrilled. The first 6 year just moved to another city so far he has been here a few times to visit and play. I will be giving one of these to him for home. I am setting this one up with girls learning games for his 5 year old twin sisters. Once again I thank you from the heart.

Collapse -

In reply to: It worked!!

I'm so glad! There were lots of variables that could've come up to make it harder - happy they didn't. I'm trying to think of a way you can get ahold of me if other issues pop up, but don't want to put my e-mail here. Maybe C-Net wouldn't mind if you just save the link to this thread and come do a reply so I get notification. Carry on, debyh54! You give me hope for our world.

Collapse -
Might Work

In reply to: Yeeeeaaaaa!

I hear you loud and clear, lol. That would be wonderful. That is so very kind of you. I have a facebook account that I use only for games. Maybe we could hook up there. Webbie Hulbert.

Collapse -

In reply to: Might Work

Sorry, I don't do any social media - just don't like their sneaky ways, so won't support 'em. C'mon back here when you need help, and we'll keep your project going! Best of luck!

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Enter to win* a free holiday tech gift!

CNET's giving five lucky winners the gift of their choice valued up to $250!