I'll get the occasional email asking for help, sometimes asking to call, I've probably done it a dozen times, and once even paid international long distance rates to help out a stranger, for free.
This email exchange happened the other day, and in case you weren't sure, this isn't how to ask for help, I've hidden the persons name and phone number, because I'm sure they were having a bad day, and we all need more forgiveness.
I also had to censure some of the email since I don't want this blog to be considered "explicit".
To: mc (that's me)
From: (withheld, let's call them "jb")
Subject: Ntldr missing....PLEASE help sir
Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 10:28 PM
jb: I'm just a step away from getting thin right
10:38 PM mc: ? Where are you in the process? Have you already made the boot disk downloaded from ntldrismissing.com ? Try the YouTube videos on the page to see if they help.
10:54 PM jb: I'm stuck..... And I am utterly lost.... (505) 306#### J## B#########. Need help lol
10:54 PM jb: I have indeed made the boot disc but getting problems
10:55 PM mc: Don't see the list of 10 options?
10:56 PM jb: No sir
10:56 PM mc: USB?
10:57 PM jb: Yes....complete mayhem
10:58 PM mc: My recommendation on USB is try a different USB stick, not sure why but even I have not gotten it to work on some models, but then works fine on others
10:59 PM mc: And if you have watched YouTube video , do; I think it describes it better than the screenshots
10:59 PM mc: I meant to say "haven't"
10:59 PM jb: If we could talk I could explain
10:59 PM jb: I don't have another USB stick
11:00 PM jb: (505)306####
11:01 PM jb: XP Dell Dimension A02BIOS
11:01 PM mc: It's 11 o'clock at night here, the rest of the house is asleep. The good news is your data is likely still there, you can get to it by using a live Linux CD or attaching the hard drive to another computer. I will probably still be up for awhile but otherwise this is going to be a tomorrow thing
11:10 PM jb: Ok. Thank you. Just not sure what to do... this is my daughter's computer and she's in the fifth grade and for whatever reason this machine got screwed with and her homework assignment is locked inside the machine a friend of mine sent me a link to make the memory stick boot and it didn't work I got stuck so I thought I'd email you because your information was in there not trying to keep you awake I'm here in New Mexico an hour ahead of you so it's 12:09 a.m. right here but if you feel like getting hold of me tomorrow I would really greatly appreciate it
11:11 PM jb: Is there a sea lion to Mandeville make this work right now possibly
11:12 PM mc: What was that last part?
11:12 PM jb: C: line command
11:13 PM mc: Oh lol What is it doing right now if you boot up without the USB? Ntldr is missing ?
11:14 PM mc: And I assume you have access to another PC to make changes to the USB?
11:14 PM jb: Yes
11:15 PM mc: Oh hey, Hirens boot CD includes my ntldr fix, and they might have an easier way to make it than I do
11:15 PM mc: I'm going to Google Hirens right quick (although I'm always a little hesitant of download sites)
11:16 PM jb: Yes
11:17 PM jb: I am poor and only have this machine.....geez man
11:19 PM mc: Oh... Wait let me back up a second. Do you only have one machine at the place, and it's broken?
11:23 PM mc: If you get to the point of using Hirens, this looks like a legit download: http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/ And I believe this is the info on putting that ISO onto a USB: http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcdonusbdisk Why use Hirens? If following my instructions can't get the USB to get you to the 10 choices
11:23 PM jb: Yes. Xp on a Dell Dimension 3000....only computer in the house besides a droid
11:25 PM mc: Okay, I had started with the assumption that you had already tried to make the bootdisk but were having trouble. If you can't make the boot disk, the troubleshooting steps you could do otherwise is unplug everything USB and try booting PC
11:25 PM jb: You s##k
11:25 PM mc: Even try unplugging the USB keyboard
11:26 PM jb: No help at ALL
11:27 PM jb: All you have to f****** do is call me. And you'll understand what I'm going through Jesus Christ man
11:27 PM mc: It's possible this error can come up if a USB drive is plugged into the PC that isn't set to boot, and the PC is rebooted; that's why I'm telling you to unplug everything USB and try rebooting
11:29 PM jb: Already f****** did that did and its not working if you were to call me it would take like two minutes to figure it out cuz I could explain it to you why would you even put your name and email address out there if you don't really want to help it is beyond me dude this could be taken care of like 20 minutes ago
11:30 PM jb: It's not like I would call you again once the problem is fixed is this machine is never hooked up to the internet or anything this thing would go for another 40 f****** years without a problem
11:31 PM jb: I've unplugged everything dude seriously
11:32 PM mc: There's nothing else you can do tonight then. Not without another computer
11:33 PM mc: You can probably search Craigslist for a local person who fixes PC's for cheap, or if you can go to another place and make the USB stick there and bring it back
11:34 PM jb: I have a laptop
11:34 PM mc: I would recommend stopping right now, getting some sleep, and take the machine somewhere in the morning where you can get help for it.
11:39 PM mc: If you have access to another machine and want to keep working on this, try the Hirens links I sent you earlier. But I recommend you stop, and look at it tomorrow. Good luck! No need to contact me further, you have the information and someone who can see the machine would be a better option for fixing it than me.
11:41 PM jb: How about you go F##K yourself
I was never sure if he did or didn't have access to a second PC.