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The infernal NTLDR file + boot drive problem

Pookhal
Advisor

The infernal NTLDR file + boot drive problem

Well, I've been doing some research on the little bugger of a file mainly because my CD/DVD-ROM drive on my HP Pavilion zt1130 can no longer be used as a boot drive.

Indeed, the error message about NTLDR is not found and at first, I thought this was due to the fact that I recently installed Service Pack 1 for WinXP so I replaced that NTLDR *as well as* NTDETECT with the original files from the i386 directory on the drive.

However, that didn't solve the problem at all.

I've also been thinking that possible problems could be the BIOS upgrade or the fact that the installed Win2K Advanced Server for a short while before using the HP Recovery Disks to blow it away (by accident -- don't ask). I'm not sure the latter would have an effect considering that everything is restored to factory settings.

Anyway, my plan was to nuke WinXP Home Edition off the drive and then put Win2K AS or Professional on.

Problem is, it's kind of hard when you can't format the drive, boot from the Win 2K AS or Pro disc, or have no floppy drives to use boot disks from. =P

But I begin to wonder if I can even boot off a floppy if I'm getting the NTLDR error for one alternate boot drive.

Anyway, any suggestions and advice on how to (possibly) fix this problem would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
8 REPLIES
Pookhal
Advisor

Re: The infernal NTLDR file + boot drive problem

Okei, so now I made the mistake of repairing the boot record. Apparently, it was some Windows 2000 thing since now it constantly wants to boot into Windows 2000 even when I choose Windows XP (since that's the only OS I have on the notebook) but the problem is, it's not there.

Is there any way around this or will I really need to get that floppy drive and boot from a boot disk (assuming it'll read the floppy and not give me another NTLDR error)?

However, I'm also wondering if I format the drive and then boot from the CD, will that work as well?
Jon Finley
Honored Contributor

Re: The infernal NTLDR file + boot drive problem

Check the BIOS settings for possible boot drives. Make sure that the CD is listed first.

You can nuke the drive with DOS 6.22 fdisk, or find DELAPART.EXE (Delete Partition).

You SHOULD be able o boot from the CD then, and load the OS.

As a test, before you nuke the drive, change the boot order in CMOS and test the CD.


Jon
"Do or do not. There is no try!" - Yoda
Pookhal
Advisor

Re: The infernal NTLDR file + boot drive problem

I've been changing the settings in the CMOS and BIOS to boot off the DVD/CD-ROM first but it doesn't work at all.

And now that I made the error of running that fixbmr thing from the Windows XP Recovery Console, the system constantly tries to boot into the non-existent Windows 2000 no matter what menu choice I pick.

What I'm wondering is if the HP recovery disks did any thorough formatting when I used to them to restore XP after I deleted Win2K Advanced Server. Otherwise, I can't think of any other reason the master boot record would be thinking it has to use Windows 2000.

And I'm STILL wondering if the BIOS update had anything to do with the inability to boot off the DVD/CD-ROM as well.

At this point in time, I'm thinking that I should just take it in to get serviced but in all likelihood, they'll just replace the hard drive or the entire laptop. =P
Pookhal
Advisor

Re: The infernal NTLDR file + boot drive problem

I should also state that I don't even have the option to format the disk at the moment. I also take it it's not possible to boot off a USB Zip or floppy if I can't see the option under the CMOS boot drive options?

And DHCP isn't set up on my network so booting from the network is out of the question too.

Well, I'm bringing the laptop to my Win2K class on Monday to see if a classmate can help me figure out this zany NTLDR/no CD boot up allowed problem.
Jon Finley
Honored Contributor

Re: The infernal NTLDR file + boot drive problem

Yep... sounds like the BIOS upgrade didn't go well.

Can you flash it back to a previous version?


Jon
"Do or do not. There is no try!" - Yoda
Pookhal
Advisor

Re: The infernal NTLDR file + boot drive problem

Really? Even with the message that everything went smoothly?

And I'm not sure I can restore the BIOS.
Ian Penney
Occasional Advisor

Re: The infernal NTLDR file + boot drive problem

I had this problem, here's how I solved it:

- Downloaded the IBM 1.10 BIOS from HP's Site.
- Created a BIOS Upgrade floppy on a desktop PC.
- Used Ahead Nero to create a bootable CD (with Floppy Emulation, default settings) from the BIOS Floppy.
- Booted the CD on my Pavillion zt1170 and upgraded.

After the upgrade, Windows XP Pro booted just fine.

BIOS Firmware Pre 1.10 contains a bug which does not allow El Torito standard CDs to boot properly. (see the 1.10 changelog).
Roger Faucher
Honored Contributor

Re: The infernal NTLDR file + boot drive problem

After a BIOS upgrade, it's a very good idea to go into Setup and "Restore Defaults", then change anything that needs to be other than default.

FWIW!

Roger
Make a great day!

Roger