NTLDR is missing error message at boot-up

May 3, 2011 at 14:09:39
Specs: Windows XP
Installed new Motherboard. Went into BIOS, everything looked good, HD was AUTO detected etc. Saved and exited setup. At save/exit the PC reboots. When it came up it stopped and gave the error message NTLDR is Missing.

The Maxtor Hard Drive was a slave drive previously, it has Windows XP OS on the drive. The drive jumper is on the pins for "CS" (which in Maxtor lingo is "Cable Select" The HD cable is at first connector (meaning at master drive position) What is wrong, do I need to have the Windows XP disc in the CD drive at boot-up and do a RESTORE of XP here or what?

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May 3, 2011 at 15:29:20
Even though it has XP it does not have the boot files which were in the original drive 'C'.

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May 3, 2011 at 15:29:55
"Installed new Motherboard."

You have to fix hal.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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May 3, 2011 at 19:26:09
You may have deleted or misplaced the NTDLR file in the process of a new motherboard. Use my how-to below to see how to fix this.


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May 4, 2011 at 05:21:51
To RMT2... Yes I have this error message below.

NTDLR is missing
Press Ctrl-Alt-Del To Restart

I inserted the XP Home Edition CD in the CD Drive but it did not go to any other screen ( I end up with the same error message="NTDLR is missing
Press Ctrl-Alt-Del To Restart").

And yes the BIOS is set to search for a boot drive in the order of A (3.5 floppy) then CD drives, then hard-drives.

Why does it not "see" the Windows Disc and read from it? Is there no "boot" file or "RECOVERY" file on the Windows Home XP installation disc?


What you need to do is insert the Windows OS startup CD. Use the one-time boot menu to boot off of the CD Drive. When the options menu appears (Blue Screen), choose "Repair Windows Using The Windows Recovery Console." A black screen with white text should appear. You now need to enter in the following code(s) that apply to the errors you have above:

For NTDLR is missing:

Copy D:\i386\ntdlr C:\

Note that you need to replace D: with the letter of your CD drive and C:\ with the letter of your OS hard drive.

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May 4, 2011 at 16:30:52
Does your computer have a floppy disk drive? If so:

1. On another computer, copy NTDLR to a MS-DOS startup disk.
2. Boot off of the floppy disk on the broken computer.
3. Copy the files over using the same code.
4. Reboot the computer.

If not:

1. Plug in another hard drive as the master (put the old one as the slave).
2. Boot off of the Windows CD as mentioned in the How-To.
3. Follow the steps and turn off the computer when finished.
4. Unplug the extra hard drive.
5. Reboot your computer.

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May 5, 2011 at 05:10:18
OK, Here is what I am doing... I took an 80 GB harddrive and connected as a "slave drive" to a working PC with XP Home Edition on it. I then used the disk manager in XP Home to "F-disk" and run a full "disk format" on this (slave) 80GB HD.

Now I am going to take the 80 GB hard drive and set it up so the jumper is on "MASTER" and connect it to the PC that I installed the new motherboard into.

I will connect 1 CD drive. I will unhook the "Floppy" (for now). I will go into the BIOS at startup and make sure the BOOT sequence is set up as CD then HD.

I will then reboot (restart) with the XP CD in the CD drive and see what happens. Is this the correct proceedure ??

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May 5, 2011 at 06:23:08
Me again... Well THAT did not work! With the 80GB HD connected, and the floppy disconnected, and 1 CD drive only, the PC would not boot-up. I reconnected the Floppy, then it would boot.

I went into the BIOS settings and made changes to read that the CD drive be read first, the floppy second and the HD third. Did the f-10 save and exit. Did a re-boot.

The computer came up (I had put the XP Home CD in the CD drive).... Guess what?.... it did not boot-up off of the CD!

If I have a Windows 95 start-up disk in the loppy Drive it will boot to that though??
But if I insert a Windows 98 Boot-up Disk (3.5 floppy) it will give the error message "BOOT DISK FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER".

If I hit the enter key (and the XP disk is still in the CD drive), and I ejected the floppy (the Win 98 3.5) from the floppy drive expecting the PC to look at the CD drive and "BOOT" from the XP CD in the drive, I get the SAME ERROR MESSAGE again "BOO FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER"


Remember here... I have a newly partitioned and formatted HD (blank-NO files yet).
My thought is that the HD drive needs something fo it to be recognized.

With the Win 95 disk in the floppy, I get a A:/ prompt, a B:/ prompt but no "C" drive prompt (if I type C: at the A:\> I get this message "Invalid drive specification"

If I type B: I get a B:\> prompt??? And if I type DIR at the B prompt I have the same 16 files listed that are on the A drive (Win 95 diskette) Why??

WHERE IS "C" DRIVE? WHERE IS the CD Drive.... Neither are found when they are typed in after the A:\> prompt.... WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?

In the "old days" I recall that the files OAKCDROM SYS, AND MSCDEX EXE HAD TO BE INSTALLED FIRST IN ORDER FOR THE CD DRIVE TO WORK? Am I right? (I can these files are part of the 16 files listed on the Win 95 Floppy here).

So how do I get the darned system to recognize the CD drive and the Hard Drive ?


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May 5, 2011 at 06:31:57
Looks like it can't boot of of the CD. You say new motherboard. Is the CD IDE or SATA?

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May 5, 2011 at 07:46:37
The CD Drive is: IDE

"Memorex 8x DVD/R/RW, RW(DVD+Re-writable), and compact disc re-rewritable ultra speed)".... And the jumper on the back of it is set on "cable select".

Does the CD need drivers?

REMEMBER.... The HD is "blank" Partitioned and Fully Formatted =no files on C drive that I know of.

I cannot even do a DIR on C:\> as it comes up as Invlaid drive specification at the A prompt.

Please ask me more questions to get this done OK ???

I really need to resolve this so my BRAIN can get some much needed rest here! LOL

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May 5, 2011 at 07:49:45
I am sorry but I am new here. I took on installing a new MB and CPU on an older desktop. The technology of the MB and CPU are about 10 years old (could not afford higher priced components). The MB and CPU were "new old stocK" and seem to be fine.

I have the 80GB Maxtor ATA Hard Drive which I formatted using another PC with XP Home on it and I did the partitioning and formatting of this drive using XP Disk Manager on the working PC.

With the Hard Drive installed on the so-called "NEW" PC, I cannot load any Operating System on to the Hard Drive.

AND the CD drive does not run a bootable CD at start-up. The only thing I have been able to "read" is a Win 95 Start-up Disk in the A drive (3.5 floppy) "Yes I said, Old Technology system"!

In the OLD DAYS, I seem to recall that in order for a CD drive to be "usable" you had to load some drivers for it ??

The Win 95 floppy has 16 DOS files on it and in the list I see that the MSCDEX.exe is there as is the OAKCDROM.SYS file. If my memory serves me right, those were the files that DOS (Windows) needed to "make the CD ROM Drive work" Is that right?

With an "A" prompt on my monitor (A:\>) I can list the files from the floppy. But if I type a C: is gives the error message "Invalid drive specification" (This is true for any letter (with colon) that I try. EXCEPT for B: which if I do the DIR command, B:\> has the same 16 DOS files listed as the ones on A:\>DIR .... An exact copy on "B" what is that?

But again, no C: drive no D: etc.

They are set up and showing in the BIOS setup menu..... So why not on the system (because I have "NO SYSTEM" === right?)

How do I proceed? I am stuck and I cannot find an answer on the web!
Anybody understand what I am saying (I know it is OLD Technology- and I want to get the OS to be XP Home Edition.

BY THE WAY... I have a Windows 98 Start-up Diskette (3.5 floppy) as well but the PC will not boot up on it....???

WHO IS BRAVE ENOUGH to Try and Help Me?

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May 5, 2011 at 09:07:45
If the mb is yoo old it would not support booting from CD. Win 95 CD needs boot floppy. Hoe is the CD connected? I would have the HD as master on channel 1 and the CD as master on channek 2.

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May 5, 2011 at 10:51:30
Yes the MB is older from 2004-06. The Bios is set up with the Hard Drive as "IDE Channel ) MASTER (it has this listed: MAXTOR 6Y080L0.

There is nothing in any of the other IDE Channels on the first page of the BIOS menu "Standard CMOS Features".

Are you saying I should have the CD drive in here for the IDE Channel 2 Master selection? Because when I hit the enter key at that spot (at "[NONE]" it takes me to another BIOS menu screen where the choices are ["Press Enter"]. When I Press Enter, a red windows pops up "DETECTING HARD DRIVE" Then the red window closes, I hit esc. to go back and nothing is there in that IDE Channel 2 Master spot?

Do I need to do something with the ribbon cable of the CD? Like put it as SLAVE ot he Hard Drive in order to do this? Or What?

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May 5, 2011 at 12:32:29
I connected the CD drive as a "SLAVE" to the Hard Drive. Then it worked and I am in the process of loading Win XP Home on this PC. Wish me luck I think I am on the way now?

NOT! See post below.... XP did not continue to install itself!

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May 5, 2011 at 13:11:04
Master, Slave and Cable Select must first be set by the jumpers on the drive. There can be only one Master and one Slave per cable. With Cable Select the position on the cable determines which is master or slave. With the blue connector plugged into the motherboard Master is the black connector at the end and Slave is the middle grey connector. Some cables have a cut conductor between master and slave. Old timers manually set master and slave on the drive. The BIOS is suppose to identify the drive characteristics.

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May 6, 2011 at 06:29:12
Found my error. The new MB has only one (P) IDE port and has (2) (S) IDE ports. All of the drives on this older PC are IDE drives (PIDE=Parallel IDE).

When I had the CD drive connected to SIDE1 it did not work? So I had to connect it as a slave on the HD cable.

I set the jumpers on the HD to Master and the jumper on the CD drive to slave.

That got me going.... Then I began installing XP Home from the OEM CD. BUT then the install program halted after loading the Windows Set-up/system files!

As it went to re-boot itself, Windows Set-up did not continue as it seemed not to be able to read from the Hard Drive? What caused this?

I got the error message to press CTRL ALT DEL at the re-boot. Why did it not continue to complete the XP install (acts like the Hard Drive is still missing??)

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May 6, 2011 at 06:29:44
BTW>>>> Jefro..... what the Hell is "hal." ?????????????????

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May 6, 2011 at 13:00:56
My solution..... I am going to buy a new hard drive and CD Drive in SATA. The new MB only has one PIDE socket on board and it has (4) SATA connectors on board. The MB kit came with the SATA cables so I will buy new drives and go from there.

A week of fighting with this PC is enough to drive me crazy!

MY CONTENTION IS THIS>>>>> Computers were created to drive sane people CRAZY!

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May 11, 2011 at 14:08:45
What you have to realize is that when you reformatted the Hard Drive on the other computer, the NTDLR and NTDETECT are STILL missing. You need to copy those files over again.

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May 11, 2011 at 16:46:15
RMT2 - For a fresh install no files are needed. The question is why the CD boot fails.

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May 13, 2011 at 04:25:30
Thanks for all your help. I just got the new SATA Hard drive and SATA CD Burner yesterday and will be attempting to get them installed today. I hope I do not have any issues. But if I need help I know where to get it from... Thanks to all here on this forum.

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