Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cloned Hard Drive AHCI booting with cd - awesome accidental fix

Vinny Eggers emailed to let me know of an unexpected fix.

He had cloned a hard drive, and when he went to use it in another computer, all he got was a blinking cursor.

Both computers had their hard drive type set to "IDE" but were modern computers that also offered "AHCI". Just to try something different to see if he could get it working, Vinny switched the new computer to AHCI and got the BSOD 0x07B screen you would expect to see for a "Windows installed as IDE, and now BIOS attempting to boot as AHCI".

However, this let him know that the hard drive was working, and had a Windows installation going because after the BSOD it would reboot and get to the "Boot in Safe Mode?" prompt.

So Vinny goes back into the BIOS, sets the data type back to IDE, and uses the ntldr is missing bootable cd as the boot device, which bypassed whatever was going on that was just causing the flashing cursor. So Windows loads just fine.

Now the fix, which worked here; was to go ahead and load the AHCI drivers into the Windows installation, then set the data type to AHCI, and it booted and worked just fine on it's own. AHCI is supported by Windows XP from Service Pack 2 forward, so you'll need that to if you don't already have it.

I'll include some of his email so you can get how he got the AHCI drivers into Windows.


- Boot the PC with the NTLDRfix CD
- When in Windows, remove the CD and download the appropriate AHCI driver for your machine (manufacturers usually list it as a pre-install SATA driver, or AHCI F6 driver)
- Go into the Device Manager and look for IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers
- Expand the list and right-click on the storage controller (commonly ICH9 etc) and click update driver
- Choose the option at the bottom of the list and click next, keep doing this until you're met with a list of drivers
(select the manufacturer and model of your hardware device.....)
- Click Have Disk and proceed to install the driver from the location you downloaded/extracted the driver to
- Acknowledge any warnings and restart the machine once you're done (you may have more than one SATA controller to update)
- Go back into the BIOS before the computer boots and switch to AHCI

All going well, your PC should be booting all by itself and with native disk drivers!

Thanks Vinny!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Selling - info on making boot disk will still exist

I got an email thanking me for the help and saying they were sad to see I'm selling; but I reassured them that while may go away, the information about making the boot disk to work around the problem will not, it will likely just be located on another website. A few years back I purchased and requested people link to that instead of tinyempire, and right now I'm pointing it to the specific tinyempire page, but I can point it to whatever other site, probably slash missing.htm if I had to guess.

Whoever runs that ComputerHope website that has the top ranking on google for "ntldr is missing"; I should really reach out and ask them to either link to my new site: , or have them copy the boot disk info in it's entirety, and have them upload the files needed to make it as well. It's not like I own any of the files anyhow, they are all Microsoft system files.

While I'm at it, I'll answer the question "why don't you sue other people who take the files, put it into a boot disk, and sell it"; because they aren't my files. ntldr,, and a very basic boot.ini is in your Windows XP install right now; if you delete it, you can get copies from the Microsoft installation disk. All I'm doing is making it super easy, giving directions, providing answers if questioned, and adding a bunch of extra choices to the boot.ini file.

And I have to give it away for free; if nothing else because of all the free help I've gotten from all the other webpages out there that give away answers for free :-)

Just xyz before you make the boot disk

I get this email from time to time, someone makes the boot disk and they get back into Windows, they do some digging and find out what the problem was, then fix it; and then email me to let me know how simple of a fix their problem was; and maybe I should just edit my page to list that fix at the top, so other people with a similar problem don't have to go through all the steps of making the boot disk. However, everyones "xyz" is different, if 99% of the time the problem was a loose IDE cable, that's the only thing I'd ever mention, but it's more likely that's the error .1% of the time. When I next sit down to revamp the site, I do want to put in a "I'm reading this from my cell phone and I can't get to another computer to make a boot disk, what are all the things I can try until then" section.