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.