Suddenly NTLDR is missing error appears

Win os / Xp pro & win 7 pro 64 bit
May 19, 2013 at 21:06:13
Specs: XP Pro 32 SP3, full udated, Intel Core i5 3.3 Ghz
I have a box I have built up from scratch. Has two 2T SATA drives, one 750GB SATA drive, one 80GB IDE drive used to house XP Pro 32 bit.
Win 7 Pro 64 is installed on one of the 2T drives and has been working fine til recently.
Received NTLDR is missing press CTL+ALT+DEL to restart.
Tried this, no luck.
Entered disc repair from OEM XP disk and tried to install new NTLDR and NTDETECT from disc, now says NTLDR is Compressed press CTL+ALT+DRL to restart.
Tried to use expand etc as read online, no luck.
Got a clean drive, and installed same version of XP on this drive, using it as a slave in an XP based only box I had.
Install went perfectly as expected, moved drive to primary box, drive is recognized but it too gives NTLDR is missing error.
Removed drive from primary box and re-tried in second box, and it loads just fine.
Issue seems to be something in the 7 Pro file but not sure.
Will try to unhook 7 Pro drive from loop and see if XP will boot but have not done it yet...thoughtsÉÉ

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May 20, 2013 at 15:11:37
If you have a modern motherboard you can isolate each operating system as long as each is on a separate hard drive.

The advantage of this is that you can add or remove hard drives at will without messing up the boot files.

On the computer I am currently on the way to boot to any drive other than the default drive is to hit F11 at start up. You board should have something similar.

If you disconnect all but the drive you are installing to you will not have boot files on one drive that serve to boot another drive.

Another thing to note is that Windows 7 creates an extra partition that may be used for security of your system (see link below). If you don't need or want that feature then use a third party partitioning program instead of Windows 7.

One other point is this. When you have more than one identical hard drive installed in the same system and they are being used independently (no RAID), then when you are setting up the hard drive you can assign a label to each drive. This is imperative if you want to use the method I suggested above. For example, WinXP, Windows 7 x64bit, programs, etc.

If you don't do that, you will not know which drive to select from the menu. I have 5 hard drives and 2 optical drives installed. Each has a distinctive name.

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May 20, 2013 at 18:17:37
Isolated drives is not the issue.
I get NTLDR error when IDE drive is slaved into a Win 7box but error does not show up on a non Win 7 box.
I removed the slaved XP drive and tried it in the second box I have and while it shows in the set-up, in BIOS and in boot sequence, it still will not boot.
I tried to effect a repair of the OS but no luck.
As a slaved drive, I can get to all my file etc. but it still won't function as a standalone OS, yet it should.
Other than to save some emails, it is not a big deal but it's annoying me and I need to know why it happened when it was stable and performing flawlessly.
I suspect it has something to do with Win 7 auto-update, but I cannot isolate which one, when it installed and what update it might have been.

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May 21, 2013 at 11:38:15
The two are related. See the link below for help.

Disconnect all other drives except the WinXP drive and then try to boot from it. Be sure the boot order is correct.

Are you using a third party boot program?

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