ntldr missing but system still boots


T

Tattoo Vampire

Dunno what I've done... a Linux install on a separate partition failed
after writing the bootloader. Rebooting, I was greeted with the fateful
"missing ntldr. press any key to restart." Pressing a key brought me to
the usual lilo bootloader, and WinXP loaded fine after being selected
here. Following a tip from an old newsgroup post, I copied ntldr from the
XP CD to C:. No dice.

Researching Google brings up plenty of posts dealing with system boot
failures because of missing ntldr, but none where the user obtained a
successful boot after pressing the "any" key. :)

I went to the recovery console and chose fixmbr but was given a warning of
an invalid or nonstandard partition table and possible data loss.
Therefore, I didn't complete the operation.

Anyone have an idea of what I've done and how it can be repaired? As I
mention, the system still boots fine but I'm obviously worried.
 
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R

Rick \Nutcase\ Rogers

Hi,

Try running fixboot from the Recovery Console.

--
Best of Luck,

Rick Rogers aka "Nutcase" MS-MVP - Win9x

Associate Expert - WinXP - Expert Zone
 
A

Alex Nichol

Tattoo said:
Dunno what I've done... a Linux install on a separate partition failed
after writing the bootloader. Rebooting, I was greeted with the fateful
"missing ntldr. press any key to restart." Pressing a key brought me to
the usual lilo bootloader, and WinXP loaded fine after being selected
here. Following a tip from an old newsgroup post, I copied ntldr from the
XP CD to C:. No dice.

Researching Google brings up plenty of posts dealing with system boot
failures because of missing ntldr, but none where the user obtained a
successful boot after pressing the "any" key. :)

I went to the recovery console and chose fixmbr but was given a warning of
an invalid or nonstandard partition table and possible data loss.
Therefore, I didn't complete the operation.

It is difficult to be sure without knowing the detail of how the Linux
setup was done, but I *think*

You have the linux initial boot loader code (rather than standard MBR)
with the *linux* partition set as the active one, but that partition
still has an XP Partition boot sector. And that partition of course has
the lilo rather than ntldr in it. So the boot code's first action is to
try that PBS code - hence hitting ntldr - and on that giving up has
another go, getting the lilo, and hey presto. So what to do depends on
how far the Linux matters. But I would start by checking that guess by
setting the XP partition as the active one, which you can do with any
old DOS FDISK from say a Win98 boot floppy, or should be able to do from
the XP recovery console, using
diskpart
then the diskpart commends
list partition
to find the number, n for the XP one - probably 1, but don't guess
select partition n
active
exit

That should result in a boot into the XP partition and find the ntldr.

Next would be to get the DOS program MBRWORK from the free tools section
at www.bootitng.com and put it on a DOS boot floppy. Boot, run it, and
first use option
1
to back up the first track so you can put things back with 2 - then the
5
to install standard MBR code.

Then sit back and think about how to resurrect access to the linux. My
own inclination would be to use the BootIT NG boot Manager (and
partition manager) from the same source as dual boot manager, and keep
lilo in with the Linux purely for booting that
 
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