Monday, September 13, 2010

NTLDR is missing Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart on Windows XP Pro SP3

Saturday, decided to defragment my old laptop since I didn't remember when it was the last time that was done.  My laptop runs on Window XP professional with SP3. As I looked at the analysis graph, it was indeed heavily fragmented.  I left the laptop alone while defragmenting.  Couple hours later, I shut it down.  The next time when I booted it up, I got the following error message:

NTLDR is missing
Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart.

And the system would not boot .  I searched the web for solutions and found a bunch of posts on that topic.  Some of them are risky (could damage the hard disk partitions) while others require a floppy drive which my laptop doesn't have.  After much thinking and praying, the solution was quite simple:

  1. Load the XP Pro OS CD/DVD into the drive
  2. Reboot the laptop and press F12 (this could be different depending on your laptop manufacturer) to load boot devices option
  3. Select to boot from CD/DVD drive
  4. The OS installation will start but don't panic it's not going to overwrite anything yet
  5. When options are presented to install, repair or quit installation, choose 'R' for repair
  6. And then select the OS you want load.  By default you'll see: 1. c:\windows.  In this case, type "1" and press enter
  7. And then put the admin password
  8. After you've logged in, you'll be presented with command prompt C:\Windows
  9. Type D: plush Enter
  10. Copy file NTLDR from the OS drive to root C:

    1. copy d:\i386\ntldr c:\.

  11. Reboot the computer
  12. It should reboot correctly
Hope this will work for you as well.  Naturally, if your cause is different, this will not work for you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

About Cullen

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Christian, Father, Software Developer/Architect who enjoys technology and using it to make people's lives easier!