Solved NTLDR Error After Ghosting XP Home SP3

Microsoft Windows server 2003
October 5, 2012 at 06:53:30
Specs: Windows 2k3, Intel 3Ghz / 2GB
A few days ago I used Ghost for cloning an XP system and installed it on another system.
The Ghost installation went without any problems, until the reboot.
Then an error "NTLDR is missing" appears.
I then tried several suggested actions in order to fix the boot issue.
It took me a few days but no luck.
Until today, where I read this article again about the boot.ini file.
In the boot.ini file at the original system, the "Windows" folder is to be found in partition 2.
Then I booted from "Mini XP" at the new system from the Hiron's Boot CD or HBCD and viewed the boot.ini file.
In that "Boot.ini" file the partition for the "Windows" folder should be partition1.
After changing the Boot.ini file I looked for this NTLDR file.
The files were present; NTDETECT and NTLDR but both with the wrong attributes
So I changed the attributes that did the trick.
The system will now boot.
Boot problem solved.

Assumption is the mother of all f*ck-ups.


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✔ Best Answer
October 6, 2012 at 12:24:08
Thanks for taking the trouble to provide this info.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks



#1
October 5, 2012 at 08:55:03
"A few days ago I used Ghost for cloning an XP system and installed it on another system"

You usually can't transfer XP from one system to another. At the very least, you will have to do a "repair" to get XP up & running, & if it's a SATA HDD, there may be issues due to SATA drivers. Of course, then there's the whole issue of using the Windows product key more than once.


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#2
October 5, 2012 at 12:44:56
Hi,

A Ghost image should be used on identical systems only, which is done in this case.
Mainly due to the hardware issues.
But that for me was not the reason to write the article above.
Main issue beside Boot.ini problem was "NTLDR missing" message while booting.
Cause was wrong attributes on both (hidden) NTLDR and NTDETECT system files.
This I found and corrected from within mini XP session (Hiron Boot CD).
Some tools like these become quite handy after all.

Assumption is the mother of all f*ck-ups.


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#3
October 5, 2012 at 14:48:12
"A Ghost image should be used on identical systems only, which is done in this case."

You didn't state that it was used on an identical system in your opening post.

"But that for me was not the reason to write the article above"

This forum is for Q & A, not "how-to". There's a separate section for that.


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#4
October 5, 2012 at 16:22:53
Hi,

You're right, I didn't and with a reason.
This is a known fact to Ghost users.
Succesfully cloning a OS is only possible with hidden files made visible.
Without these, the OS will not boot and run.
Boot.ini, NTDETECT and NTLDR are hidden system files needed for booting Windows.
In Boot.ini is the location of the Windows file specified on a partition, like (1) or (2), etc.
If on the target computer, the fysical partition location of the Windows file changes, so does then the partition location in `boot.ini`.
In my case, after installing the XP clone, the fysical partition location number has changed.
And so the partition number will change for the Windows file inwithin Boot.ini.
That change has to be made manually.
Yet, even after Boot.ini changed, Windows still remain unable to boot with the `NTLDR missing` error.
Only by verifying system files on both systems, I discovered the changed attributes of the NTLDR and NTDETECT files on the target computer.
Without mini-XP I would remain unable to view and change any settings of Boot.ini, etc.
That "mini-XP" from HBCD part belonging to the "how-to" section you mentioned.
But due to the complexity of this problem I ran into, I thought that it's worth mentioning that I fixed both Boot.ini and NTLDR issues at the same time.
I did not yet state how I fixed both the problems in depth, that indeed is for the "how-to" section.

Assumption is the mother of all f*ck-ups.


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#5
October 6, 2012 at 12:24:08
✔ Best Answer
Thanks for taking the trouble to provide this info.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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