Saturday, March 8, 2008

Create the bootable CD on someone elses computer

*I got the email from someone whose computer could not burn the CD on their computer, but the floppy and usb solution wouldn't work for them, so my solution was to just find someone else's computer.
*I want to draw attention to this since this come up in technical support circles sometimes. If a certain "thing" works on someone else's computer, but not your computer, there are 3 basic possiblities:
1. Your software configuration is different: Backup, format, reinstall -or- backup, format, install like they have.
2. Your hardware configuration -or- hardware failure: Replace the hardware.
3. A special mix of how your hardware differs from their hardware, extending from network cards to where your computer is in relation to interference, to where you live in the country, to certain hardware not supporting certain specifications.
*The answer to #3? Voodoo. Or at least that's what it will seem like the first 100 things you try randomly that seem to have no effect, and then 101 magically fixes everything. If you run into this situation, your best bet is to try a 3rd party, see if it works for them, then try and eliminate as many variables as possible.
*Anyway, I'm digressing, I got this email on February 20th:
PLEASE help me…I’ve tried the downloads, I’ve looked inside to make sure everything is connected, I don’t have a disc to boot up with and I am utterly desperate…. I just need to get this thing up long enough to back up some files.

Basically – I think I was able burn the ISO image on to a disk but I’m not sure….are there any other options besides that image? I’m working from my work laptop and so therefore cannot download the ISO recorder. But everytime I load the cd into my laptop and look at the properties of the file it does list it as an MS ISO Image.

My computer is ancient so I think that it doesn’t recognize the USB when I put it in or I can’t figure out what the name of it is to change the booting up sequence.

Finally – If I have the Windows XP CD – its none of the ones I put into the CD-ROM because that did not have any effect.

Please…..I’m desperate….do you have any solutions that aren’t going to cost me $300????

*I responded with this later that day:
You best and cheapest bet is to find a computer that can burn the ISO
image onto the disc uncompressed. (IE: find a computer that you can
install iso recorder to). Its possible you can ask your company IT to
do it for you in exchange for a soda (at least that's what I do).

After burning the ISO image onto a cd, it should actually display as
several files, and the properties should not say ISO.

I sympathise with this being difficult, unfortunately it must be an
ISO so that it can make the CD bootable.

You don't have to respond: but what lead up to this?

*I got this reply later that day:
Thank you sooo much for getting back to me. I actually thought of seeing if the IT folks will help.

I didn't really do anything new. The last real update was when I had it updated to Windows XP but that was over 4 months ago so I don't know.

Thanks again....I'll let you know if it gets fixed.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Using USB device but still getting NTLDR is missing

*I've decided from now on that I'm going to have the emails I get be in "Emphasis" or "Italics" and my responses will be normal.
*I got this email 9 hours ago from a person that the USB boot device wasn't working for them:
Hi Miles,

I recently got directed to your site from LockerGnomes site in relation to NTLDR is Missing error that I get on boot up of my Acer Aspire laptop(thhis is due to me being an idiot and installing a registry cleaner and using it, altough I haven't deleted the files entirely, they are still in the recycle bin!)
I have tried using your advice to creat a copy from the link onto a usb disc(AS MY CD DRIVE IS NOT WORKING!), however I don't get to see a Windows 98 logo as suggested and it still reverts to the NTLDR is Missing message.
Do you have any other advice for me, it seems that my LAN connection is active when I plug it into my main computers wireless-g broadband router, if this may offer an option??

Many thanks

*I just sent this response:
Tell the gnome I said hi.

First check the section about "what if i don't see this screen":'t_see_this_screen?

While you are in the BIOS boot order menu, look for anything like "removable device" or "usb floppy" and put that before the hard drive in the boot order. If you don't see any reference to usb, it's possible your BIOS may not support usb booting. If we can't boot off usb, we'll either have to repair the cd-rom drive, or pull the hard drive out of the computer, and copy the files it needs to it, and put it back into the computer. (while it's out, do a backup).

It's also possible the USB boot device isn't working propertly. Try booting a different computer (for sake of simplicity, try to find a Windows XP computer with a single hard drive).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

No OS and getting error

*From a jaxtr text message:
hey yo, i just fiinshed trying your ntldr missing solutions, no luck. but the thing is that i dont have any os installed what im trying to do is install an os on my HD(2partisions)

*I responded 13 hours ago with:
Yeah I get people saying that occasionally. I almost think it's a
hardware failure of like the hard drive.

I'd suggest backing up the data, and using Windows XP's setup to
delete all the partitions and then recreate them from there.

*And then again just now with:
That or a misconfiguration in your BIOS. I wonder if you couldn't try
and double check the settings for what is boot priority and which hard
drives it's set to boot from.

Cannot get cd-rom/usb to boot, what next?

*Got an email 2 days ago, went back and forth with the person, but never able to get it booting, so I eventually had to recommend "major surgery", removing the drive to backup the data since we couldn't get into the computer, even with other boot discs:

Hello Miles,

I have found your information very useful if I can only get to that stage.
I'm hoping your expertise can help me if you would be so kind.

This is the senerio:

error message, "NTLDR is missing"
press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

go to set up utiliy, boot utility then:

(pick one)

hard drive
removable devices - this is the one I want!
cd-rom drive
realtek boot agent

I pick removable devices, cd-rom drive or realtek boot agent and the machine DEFAULTS to the hard drive each and everytime no matter what I do!

Note: yes I went to set-up scrolled down to removable devices, cd-rom drive, realtek boot agent then F10 to save and it defaults back to hard drive - it is NOT reading for the above locations

Now I have my sons laptop so I took his recovery disk and tried it again (I know it will not work as a recovery source) just to see if the recovery disk I have on order will work.....well guess DEFAULTS back to hard drive - again, each and everytime no matter what I do.

How can this be overcome?

Thanks Miles,

*I then responded:
In your BIOS, I think you will want to have that "removable devices" appear above the hard disk. This is not always obvious how to do so you'll have to check around the screen that surrounds the hard drive/removable device/cd-rom.

Look for "Press U/D to move up/down" or "Press +/- to change the order" or something similar.

*They wrote back:
Hey Miles,

Thanks a million for getting back to me!
I did what you instructed and placed removable devices on TOP.
However, it make no difference in the boot.
Still boots hard drive but removable devices are highlighted.
What the heck could it be?

Thanks again,

*I responded:
I'd say try moving the cd-rom to top, and making that and booting.

*He responded:
Even with CD-ROM on top still booting from the hard drive.
It continues to default to hard drive no matter what I do.
Any other suggestions?


*I then had him chase down this rabbit hole of "was the disc made correctly" since that so often is the problem:
Well the next thing to look at usually is to make sure that the boot
"disk" is created successfully.

With the CD in the drive of a working computer, when you open it under
"My Computer" do you see files like 'ntldr', 'boot.ini',

If you just see the one file named "fixntldr.iso" then we need to have
the CD remade.

The easiest way to remake that CD is to download the "ISO recorder"
program I mention. Once done you can just right click the ISO file
and choose an option like "Write contents to CD".

ISO Recorder:

My ntldr website:

*He responded:

Sorry to keep bothering you but both my (your diskette and CD-ROM) are correct.
Both are working but NOT booting. Neither is the Toshiba Recovery/Driver CD which should.
Not sure what the problem is.

*So I had to now recommend major surgery:
Is it possible to just "turn off" booting from the hard drive? And
thus "force" it to boot from the cd-rom/removalbe drive?

If you have a CD that's a "known good" bootable CD, and it's not booting either.
And if the BIOS is correctly set to boot from the CD first.
There must be something wrong with the CD-Rom drive. It's possible
it's just failed and not reading the CD's anymore.

Of course I guess we'd have to then say the same thing about the
removable drive. But it's not nearly as bulletproof as the floppy and
cd-rom are.

If we can't use something from outside the computer to boot it, and it
won't boot by itself, the next step will likely be to remove the hard
drive, and backup the data. You could then either just get a
replacement drive and keep the old one for backup/storage, or backup
the data, then reformat /reinstall.

Installing Windows and partition no longer marked as active

*Got an email from a guy who donated 2 days ago:
Thanks, man. You saved me a ton of f###ing around with Windows... Good,
direct solution to the problem, among all the other stuff I was doing to
get around this.

Seems like it worked in conjunction with other stuff I was trying
(Partition magic, etc etc)

*I replied with:
Thanks for the donation :)
Feel free to fill me in on the details of what else you were doing.

*They wrote back:
I believe now that the "active partition" flag wasn't getting set on my
partition - even though the tools seemed to insist it was.

I used Partition Magic to toggle it between partitions a couple of
times, and that seemed to get it working. I would never have thought of
it without your tool proving that the XP partition itself was fine,
though. What a relief, I really detest installing Windows.

Problems burning the CD

*I sympathize with how hard this is to make the boot devices. I wish I knew of an easier way as well :( Unfortunately the way PC's are made, only certain things can make Windows XP bootable. That's why I give you an .exe file to make the floppy, and then point you to the ISO recorder to make the CD-ROM and that the USB device forces you to boot to DOS, press a button, and then reboot the machine again.
*If any of you do know of an easier solution I'm all ears. But until then...
*I got this email as a form message sent from my website 4 days ago:
My family computer runs on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, and I am getting a message reading "NTLDR is missing Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart" when I try to boot my computer,

now my personal computer runs on windows vista I tryed basically all your burning methods and they did no work with the cd,

my dads computer runs the same operating system Windows XP Media Center edtition 2005, is there a possible way I could copy the files (if possible what files) from his computer onto a disc and then put it in my computer and be sure it works,

please help me!! My family is in debt and we can't afford the Warranty for Compaq to get 14 days for 50 dollars!!!

*I responded today with this:
The program ISO recorder should just allow you to just right click the iso file to burn it to a disc:

Specifically if you are using Windows Vista, you want to use this version:
And probably the 32 bit version.

What you are asking about copying the files from the other Windows XP Media PC are correct, and that's exactly what I've done with the cd-rom solution I have on my website.

You could try having someone else on someone elses computer burn the cd for you, or maybe make the floppy.

Once you get into the 10 choices, run through those, and as long as nothing else is wrong with your computer, you should be able to boot back up.

Got back in, ran bat file, but now in reboot cycle

*Sometimes I wonder if someone else has a ntldr is missing webpage out there and they have a different set of instructions but my email address.
*I got this email 6 days ago:
Hi Miles,

I did the floppy fixntldr you presented and it worked great! I had the NTLDR MISSING message.

However, when I went to double click on the fix item (#1 did it for me) the entire disk loaded into the start up sequence without offering a yes or no option. Now it is there as a permanent installation of the entire menu. This is fine except than now there is another startup problem due to a supposid "improper shutdown" Now, when the fix step is initiated it asks if I want to startup notmally, etc.

No matter which selection I make, the pcreboots and cycles back to the beginning - just a complete, unending cycle.

How can I remove the menu from the hard drive without booting? I tried a xp repair by booting with the xp installation cd but it still won't get past the cycle.

Any suggestions? If you can help I will certainly donate to the cause.

Thanks in advance,

*I apparently missed this one and didn't respond until today:
My apologies for such a delayed response. I'm a little uncertain if we are on the "same page". Did you follow the directions off that forwards to
? I'm asking because I'm not sure of the context of "double click on the first item the entire disk loaded into the start up sequence without offering a yes or no option".

At any rate. If your computer is stuck in a reboot loop. Try pressing F8 as it is starting up, going into safe mode, and see if there's anything you can do there.
IE: Kill startup programs; uninstall new hardware drivers, set video settings to the lowest level, backup your data (most important), run chkdsk, etc.

If this doesn't get you back in, try options 2, 3, etc.

If you still can't get back into Windows, remove the drive, put it into an external storage enclosure, backup the data, reformat and reinstall.

No OS installed and NTLDR error during setup

*If you don't have an OS and are getting the NTLDR error during an install of Windows XP. I'd recommend just wiping the whole hard drive and starting over. If it keeps happening, I suppose you should suspect the CD install disk or the Hard Drive as failing.
*I got this text message 6 days ago:
hey yo, i just fiinshed trying your ntldr missing solutions, no luck. but the thing is that i dont have any os installed what im trying to do is install an os on my HD(2partisions)
*Today I replied with this message (and I'm angered that it took me so long and that I used the word "like":
Yeah I get people saying that occasionally. I almost think it's a
hardware failure of like the hard drive.

I'd suggest backing up the data, and using Windows XP's setup to
delete all the partitions and then recreate them from there.

IDE drive keeps "fake RAID" drive from being booted with my disk

*Apparently if you have mixed technologies on multiple drives, it makes the "array" # to high for my boot disk. This person was able to get around it by removing the IDE drive.
*Got this email 7 days ago:
I’d like to start by thanking you for allowing me to recover my XP installation – after a Vista install.

I followed the usb ntdlr replacement method…and it failed many times.

So, you might want to add, that anybody attempting to repair a boot for their ‘fake RAID’ drive, who already has an old IDE hard drive installed, might do well to consider removing the connections to the ide drive – as they usb ntdlr loader seemed to think the ide drive was the C: (which it was not). It was merely a backup drive, with a H: or whatever label.

So, when you remove the connections to it, the bios is not able to put this driver first and so the usb utility works just fine.

We learn everyday.
Keep up the good work.

*I responded later that day:
I'm curious, you mentioned "it failed many times". Does this mean that
one of the option later on down the list did the trick?

The "Try this 1st", etc options are designed to try the 1st hard drive
on 1 and 2; then the 2nd hard drive on 3 and 4; then the 3rd hard
drive on 5 and 6; then the 4th hard drive on 7 and 8.

On what # did you finally get it to boot?

*And then I got this response back later that day:
I had other errors too. After trying the 1st step, I got 'file missing'
(not ntdlr), and a suggestion that I should replace it.

I'm sure I made it to four or five, before remembering that I had that old
drive still connected.

On removing that drive, the 2nd attempt worked perfectely.

I have no end of trouble using an on-board raid solution sometimes. Eg my
Ericsson phone sw won't install because it cannot 'see' a C: (my last
on-board raid was a e: under windows). But that’s another storey.

Thanks again,

Getting 10 choices on a PC that doesn't have the problem2

*Got this email 9 days ago:
Hiya, i made a ntldr fix disk and ran it on my broken computer succesfully thankyou, but on the computer i made it on, everytime i boot up, it goes to the select one of these 10 options, how do i stop it and load up normally?

*I replied back the next day:
check the "C:" drive for a file named "boot.ini", rename it to
"boot.old", then find a file named "boot.ini.bak" and rename it to

cmd reboot NTVDM "the cpu has encountered an error"

*I got this email 10 days ago. Unfortunately, I've never come across this error before, and a google search came back with no results:
Good Day!

I already fixed my broken computer using your files that I have downloaded from your site.
I just want to personally thank you for that. But, I have another problem, I cannot open the cmd, whenever I want to open it, it restarts. And some other applications are the same, the message was about the NTVDM, "the cpu has encounter an error". Please help me regarding this matter.

Thank you. & more powers,

*I emailed this response the next day:
I have to say that sounds rather odd. Do you have a "special"
configuration of maybe the system files or program files in a location
other than the default? Multiple hard drives perhaps?

If you haven't already, I'd suggest a backup.
*No responce yet

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Getting 10 choices on a PC that doesn't have the problem

*I have had people tell me that on their working machine they've gotten my "10 choices" to pop up. From what I can tell this is caused by making the floppy, and then opening the floppy and double clicking fixntldr.bat file in a computer that doesn't have the problem. You'll only want to run this in the computer that is having a problem booting.
*Oddly I also had someone make the floppy, then test it on a machine that wasn't having the problem, and then after they removed it, got the "NTLDR is missing" error message. Apparently when they booted up a good computer, it booted from a previous dual install, which somehow set the IDE drive they had to active and would no longer try to boot from the SATA drive. This user solved it by removing the IDE drive. So just FYI, only use the floppy to boot systems with the error message.
*I got this email 1 day ago, but I'm still not sure what is going on:
After recently experiencing a corrupted MBR, I tried Microsoft's buitlin "fixes" unsuccessfully.

Searching for a resolution to this error, I came across your article, and fixntldr.exe.

Fortunately, I was running dual hard disks, both with w2k installed, so I just swapped cabling, reinstalled programs, and I was up again. But I still need files off the damaged hard drive.

Recovery Console "fixmbr" wound up not fixing it, and "fixboot" wound up creating a fat16 boot sector on a fat32 drive!

After downloading your fixntldr.exe and creating the floppy from it, I've now found that the execution of it to create the floppy also destroyed my replacement hard drive!!!Now it won't boot, instead going into your routine!!!!

I didn't expect anything to install on my hard drive, just the floppy. Right now I am running a Windows Repair in the hopes I can get my good drive back.

What went wrong, and how do I fix it? I don't want resident "fixes" on my good hard drive.

*I replied back a few hours later:
Can you call me? *I included my number*

I can call you instead if you like (I have free long distance).

I'm not 100% sure where the ntldr fix went wrong so I'll ask you a couple of questions.

Did you have a floppy drive in the machine at all?

On the screen you get with the 10 choices, can you choose one and it boot?

Did you download the executable for win xp or the floppy for win 2k?

*I got this response 15 hours ago, just so everyone know's, I'm in Phoenix AZ right now, I just have a phone # from Texas. All that being said, I send the previous email around 5pm Eastern Time:
As you are in Texas and I am on the east coast, I'll reply here for now.

I'm not sure what, if anything, remains resident on my new hard drive fromyour program, but I was able to get w2k to boot, after noticing my "Windows2000" as the first option, followed by your "try this" list. I then editedthe boot.ini file to remove your list, and re-booted, but since I had usedthe "Repair" method, my Windows reverted back to the original installversion, so now I am trying to get it all updated again.

In answer to your question, yes, I did have a floppy inserted, and yes, yourprogram created your "boot" floppy (which I obviously haven't tried yet),but it also created the new "boot.ini" file on my hard drive, which I wasn'texpecting. I don't know if any other files were affected.

My goal right now is to get back to where I was before downloading yourfile, not easy since I've already encountered a Windows Update error.

I still have my original problem of a (now slave) fat32 drive with a fat16boot sector.

*I replied back 12 hours ago:
Between the complexities of the system and the difficulties we've had thus far, I would recommend:
1. Do an off-site backup of your most important information. (Email yourself tax records, put wedding pictures on a thumb drive, etc)
2. Buy an external hard drive (or use one you may already have) and backup the content of both hard drives.
3. If the operating system/programs of the computers are so unique that they would be difficult to recreate, you might invest in some drive imaging software and make a "snapshot" or "image" of both hard drives. And back them up to the external hard drive.
4. Gather your windows install cd's and product keys.
5. Full format and reinstall.

*And then this email immediately a few minutes afterward:
I can try and provide any assistance after 7pm Pacific Time. Phone #: *I include my phone #*

*I got a "read receipt" 1 hour later

Why is this error in Vista?

*I'm still not sure how this happens, but some people are reporting getting the error message while using Windows Vista. The odd thing is that Windows Vista uses a new boot loader, and not NTLDR.
*Email I got 1 day ago:
Saw your online comments about 'NTLD is missing'. Have you had time/opportunity toinvestigate Vista? If so:
System: Dell Vistro 200 (small case, core2duo, no floppy, one 320GigHD, Vista Basic, no discs).
Problem: Will not boot. Shows Dell splash screen then 'Intel bootagent GE v1.2.50 PXE-MOF'Then: Exiting Intel boot agent'.Then: PXE-E53: no boot filename received.Then: NTLDR is missing. Press Crl+Alt+Del to restart.When I do this it just goes back to the same screen.I have tried 3 boot discs (+ your own, I burnt it on my Mac (withwhich I have more experience),I am emailing from there. I have tried a flash stick but it just says'None system disc, press any keyto continue'. When I press any key it just repeats the message untilthe screen is full of ' any any key... I have tried changing theboot in BIOS but it won't let me,always reverting to default, even when I have selected CD & pressedF4 to save & continue.
I have no Vista discs (it was pre-installed). I tried an XP installdisc that worked on my old PC butthe Vistro just said that I had a newer OS installed & would not letme access it.
I think Dell has done something to 'protect' Visa (it's trying toforce everyone to 'upgrade' to Vista).This situation happened when I tried to uninstall Vista. I have triedit & don't like it (too 'nannying').
All I want to do is get rid of Vista, reformat the HD & install XPbut it won't let me. Any help wouldbe appreciated.

*I replied with:
Unfortunately no news on Vista yet :(Try it anyway, you might bring up an old windows xp you can use to fix the vista install with

*And then later replied with:
If you really do want to go ahead and roll back to XP. You need tobackup your data, then do a format and install.

*I'll have to try and get some more info under my belt and see what's going on. Sorry :(

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Can't get back into Windows without bootdisk

*Just in case anyone was wondering, I'm male. I realize the page is written very non-gender, but most webpages are.
*Got this email 14 hours ago:

I followed the directions in your website very carefully regarding how to troubleshoot my pc with NTLDR is missing. I used my usb flash to troubleshoot it and i downloaded the I inserted it at my broken pc and it really works. After that I restart my ps, then the message NTLDR is missing appears again. Whenever I want to open my pc, i use my usb flash in order for it to function correctly. please help me with my problem madam. Do I need to install again the windows xp or not?

Thanks & More powers,

*I replied with this:
I'll try to reply back more in depth later. But you likely do not need to install winxp again.Hop on back to the page and look for the section "I can't get back into winxp without the bootdisk"

*And then followed up with this:
Here you go:,_but_I_can't_get_into_Windows_without_it?

Error message on Server - Then setup doesn't detect hardware

*In you first inquiry for assistance, please let me know if you've tried the floppy and if it worked
*Got this email 2 days ago:
i have a hardware problem i have server 2003 installed in my Dell Poweredge server i worked in properly when i restart the server sudently its NTLDR is missin gand i cant reboot my server then i wanted to install the server again but in setup messaged me that your hard Drive is not installed or connected.....would u help me thanks

*I responded with this:
First: Did you try my solution from ? Did it work?
It's possible you have a hardware failure of that hard drive, most Dell's have a "Hard Drive Test" in the BIOS. You might give that a try.
Otherwise it sounds like you need to do that "Press F6 to install 3rd party or SCSI drivers" thing when setting up server. That might be why it doesn't see the hard drive.

*User responded with this:
ohhh no
u know what was the problem...?
the computer couldnt find the drives then i change the drives places,then i reinstall the server again...
and thanks from ur help if i face with more problem then i will email u thank once again

Boot disk worked but now need to get into Linux install

*Got this email 5 days ago:
First, I want to thank you for your ntldr is missing solution. You really saved my bacon with it. I'd donate if I could, but tuition is due, and I'm a starving college student. I do have a follow up question though. I have two hard drives, one of which is my Windows XP drive, and the other is an Ubuntu drive. With your solution, Windows loads first, as it is the primary drive, but the option does not appear to load linux in the boot options. I was wondering if you had any insight into that issue. Thank you for your time and your excellent solution.

*My response:
I found this online:
Recovering a Lost LILOIf you reinstall DOS or Windows after installing LILO, you may findthat the LILO: boot prompt no longer appears. This might also occur ifcertain disk utilities or anti-virus utilities attempt to "repair"your master boot record. (Some anti-virus programs will see LILO as avirus!)
To fix this, you just need to reinstall LILO. That means you have toboot into Linux some other way, either using Loadlin or a Linux bootfloppy. (See Choosing a Boot Loader). At the Linux command prompt justtype /sbin/lilo as described under Applying Changes. When you reboot,LILO will be back where it belongs!
And they link to these boot loaders:

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sing your praises here

Feel free to comment on this post if the site helped you out :)