"ntldr is missing" thread


I’ve been having a bunch of issues with this problem over the last couple months. I just wanted to give a heads up to anyone who is having this problem. Most of the time, I find this problem is very general with a very specific problem (like most PC errors) so I thought I’d share my ‘insight’ to the world regarding this issue.

While scouring the net trying to find a solution to this problem, I came across many general ways to fix the problem, which usually ends up being copying “ntldr” and “ntdetect.com” from the WinXP cd to your OS drive.

Some even suggest extreme measure by doing a “fixmbr” and “fixboot” in recovery console. I found that these solutions only fucked up my situation even worse.

Seems that my problem was, my OS hard drive failed to initialize (Old HDD) on a boot which prompted my BIOS to choose the 2nd drive in the “disk drive boot priority” (These are separate physical drives) and then select that drive as the main boot drive by default.
What ended up happening was every time I booted, my BIOS would look on my 2nd hard drive first, which contained no windows installation, and show the message that the “ntldr” was missing when in fact it never existed (On that drive).
I had noticed my physical OS drive not initializing and replaced the sata cable and it started to register in POST, but still had this error, “ntldr is missing”.
Anyway, me not noticing the recovery console pointing my windows installation to D: (I build about 2 rigs a week and often have to do so while keeping a particular drive format which requires me to install windows to other drive letters - yes it’s against what I normally do but customer is right… right?) I persisted on thinking I had my OS installation on D: therefore resorted to the “fixmbr” and “fixboot” methods, to which no avail (obviously).

This ended up screwing up my boot sequence on the OS drive I later learned.

I then reconfigured my hard disk priority boot sequence out of desperation to point towards my OS drive first and ultimately ended up with the “Windows has failed to boot because the following file is corrupt or missing

After some long and hard problem solving effort on my part (This being the first major mystery error I’ve dealt with) I realized what had happened:

my OS HDD failed to initialize, causing the HDD priority to select my 2nd physical drive, which caused the “ntldr is missing” error which had no real merit, which caused me to take drastic boot fixing measures, which corrupted my boot drive after the drive initialized, and forced a reinstallation of Windows and by proxy, all 500gb of games.

Just a word to the wise is all. Some might think this is elementary, but I sure didn’t find it on google.
I just wanted to post somewhere so maybe if someone had this problem one day, they will google and find this thread which could help them.



Now we’ve just got to find the n!

It’s on the Microsoft Windows XP CDROM (any version). 2nd word, 3rd letter.

You might want to copy that to your second drive.

I ran into a computer with a recurring NTLDR problem. I’d refresh the drive from a disc image, the computer would run for a day, and then the NTLDR problem would pop up. I’d refresh the drive again, and it’d boot up fine, then you’d reboot ONCE and the NTLDR problem occurred. I thought the image was corrupted, but it was an image I’d used on 4 identical PCs built for the same client, so I was able to refresh the drive of one of the other machines and it ran stable for a dozen reboots over a week.

Finally, I thought to check the SMART diagnostics on the drive. It only had a few bad sectors, but they must’ve been in all the wrong places, so as soon as a clean image got put on it, it quickly fucked things up.

Replaced the drive, re-imaged it, computer hasn’t had a problem since. Seagate will be hearing from me as soon as I get around to it.

Funny you should mention that, because Seagate was the HDD that was giving me the problems as well, similar to what your issues were. I don’t know if they’re just shit HDDs or if it’s a mobo conflict of some sort but it sure scares the hell out of me when it randomly fails, as I have tons of work on here that I don’t regularly back up.

I found disconnecting and reconnecting the sata and power cables fixes it for me for the time being.

Argh, don’t say Seagate! My precious gaming OS is on one of those :(
(I’ve only got Stardock and Steam games, plus POOPed Oblivion, but still…)

The last drive I had fail was a Seagate, too… But then again, by this point I’ve had pretty much every major brand fail on me at least once.

I’ve actually seen slightly less dead Seagates than any other brand out there, FWIW. I’ve seen the most dead Maxtors, followed closely by Hitachi, then Western Digital. WD and Seagate are the only two brands I trust.

I’ve not really used Seagate since the SCSI days, but when I saw how slim the SATA drives were, I had to get one.
WD and Seagate are the two I also trust, and since I’ve had Maxtors burst into flame…never again.

Maxtors are failure magnets. I say this about pre-Seagate Maxtors, since newer Maxtors have integrated a lot of Seagte tech since the acquisition, but frankly, I don’t know why Seagate bought them, let alone kept the name.