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Rad Community Technical Discussion Boards (Computer Hardware + PC Software) >> Norton Ghost 2003,  Ghost v8.x + Ghost Solution Suite (GSS) Discussion Board >> ntldr is missing
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Message started by MikeyStrikey on Aug 9th, 2012 at 7:04pm

Title: ntldr is missing
Post by MikeyStrikey on Aug 9th, 2012 at 7:04pm
Hi all.

I a Dell inspiron 1150 Laptop and use ghost 2003 in Windows XP Home on a 30gh hdd. It was partitioned 9755mb for OS and the rest for storage and ghost images. Yesterday while the machine was booting I picked it up to reposition it on a different desk and when I looked at the monitor it said something like cannot boot because...lahtdah. I then rebooted and again got this message... ntldr is missing. I then check it out with the hirens boot disk to find that somehow the drive letters had swapped over, i.e my "C" drive (OS) was now the "D" drive and visversa. I tried many things to fix but to no avail, so I  first used Hirens to copy all my images to and ext drive and then reformatted.... installed windows .... repatitioned again... copied my images back to the storage partition... and then finallay used ghost to restore. Ghost did the job well, but unfortunately I still get the "ntldr is missing" error on reboot. I been using ghost now for 9 years with very little problem, but this has me stumped. Anyone have any clues?

Thanks... mike

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by NightOwl on Aug 10th, 2012 at 2:12am
@ MikeyStrikey


Quote:
I tried many things to fix but to no avail, so I  first used Hirens to copy all my images to and ext drive and then reformatted.... installed windows .... repatitioned again...

So, you reformatted using what utility? 

*Installed windows*--I'm assuming you were able to boot to Windows--yes?

*Repartitioned* using WinXP Disk Manager? (Again, still booting to the newly installed Windows successfully without the error?)


Quote:
and then finallay used ghost to restore. Ghost did the job well, but unfortunately I still get the "ntldr is missing" error on reboot.

And, after restoring the OS from an image file which was made at some point before the above problem began, the error is back?


Quote:
got this message... ntldr is missing

Almost always that message shows up if the OS partition has somehow been changed from the *active* partition--or *boot.ini* has somehow been corrupted to point to the wrong partition.

Do you know the *active* status of the OS partition?

Do you know the status of the *boot.ini* file?

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Tator on Aug 10th, 2012 at 3:33pm
Have you tried any of the solutions from any of the links at http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&gs_nf=1&gs_mss=Winxp%20drive%20letter%20change&pq=winxp%20drive%20letter%20changed&cp=42&gs_id=n6&xhr=t&q=Winxp%20drive%20letter%20change%20ntldr%20is%20missing&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&oq=Winxp+drive+letter+change+ntldr+is+missing&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=6695ec31362bf3f6&biw=1024&bih=605?

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by NightOwl on Aug 16th, 2012 at 11:33pm
@ MikeyStrikey

I'm hearing crickets....any luck with your problem? 

We like to hear back if our advice helped at all.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by MikeyStrikey on Aug 19th, 2012 at 6:38pm
Thanks NightOwl. Sorry for the long wait.

I formated and partitioned using the new Hirens boot disk, and was then able to install windows using the CD. I then was able to loose the ntldr error. Then I istalled ghost and created a new image of the newly installed windows Home. Then I tried to restore a recent image on my ext drive and succeded, but still the ntldr error returned. I thought it would, but hoped it wouldnt. I then gave up on restoring past images and took half a day off to install all drivers and programs, and then copied what data I needed from the old image using Ghost Explorer (Wow what a life saver that is).

I know it was the drive changes that caused it, but just dont know how that could happen. I do remember sometime before all this happened, seeing that my disks were displayed as "Disk 1 and Disk 2" instead of "Disk 0 and Disk 1" like it should have been. But now all is showing correct.

Anyway, thanks guys for the help.  guess I will just have to add that one to experience and forget trying to figure it out.

BTW... I have checked the option to be notified of replies.... but I got no notification of any reply...am I missing something?

Regardfs...mike


Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 19th, 2012 at 6:57pm
@ MikeyStrikey


MikeyStrikey wrote on Aug 19th, 2012 at 6:38pm:
I do remember sometime before all this happened, seeing that my disks were displayed as "Disk 1 and Disk 2" 


Where did you see that?

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by NightOwl on Aug 19th, 2012 at 11:46pm
@ MikeyStrikey


MikeyStrikey wrote on Aug 19th, 2012 at 6:38pm:
BTW... I have checked the option to be notified of replies.... but I got no notification of any reply...am I missing something?

I've seen others mention problems with the *notification* part of the forum software--have never figured out what exactly goes wrong.

It would have been interesting to run a couple diagnostic programs to see what the status of the active partition was and what the boot.ini file was pointing to.

Have you tested to see if you restore an image of the new setup--does it restore and boot okay?

You could possible attempt to restore your *old* image file to see if the problem re-occurs.  We could then see what those diagnostic tests reveal.

(I'm crossing my fingers that restoring the *new* image of the new setup would return you to where you are now!)

You might not want to take any chances--but if you had a spare HDD that you could put in temporarily, and keep you current *production* HDD safely set aside while testing--you could possibly trouble shoot and find out what was going wrong.  But not everyone has a spare HDD for their laptop handy.



Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by MikeyStrikey on Aug 20th, 2012 at 8:33pm

Brian wrote on Aug 19th, 2012 at 6:57pm:
@ MikeyStrikey


MikeyStrikey wrote on Aug 19th, 2012 at 6:38pm:
I do remember sometime before all this happened, seeing that my disks were displayed as "Disk 1 and Disk 2" 


Where did you see that?

Not sure Brian. It mighjt even have been during the problem....but before the new format job. I think it was when I was messin with Boot disks and trying to delete patitions or such things concerning this problem. It might have been with PartMagic (on a boot disk) that showed these partions as 1 + 2. If you google "disk number changed" you will see I am not the only one this has happened.

Sorry if I messed up this post as I dont know how to quote or reply to individual posts.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by MikeyStrikey on Aug 20th, 2012 at 9:02pm

NightOwl wrote on Aug 19th, 2012 at 11:46pm:
Have you tested to see if you restore an image of the new setup--does it restore and boot okay?

No... I am a bit scared at this point as it may get the same error, and that would mean a new windows install again. I will do a bit more research on "repairing windows" to see if that might work. When I am fairly confident of sucess...i will do a ghost retore.
NightOwl wrote on Aug 19th, 2012 at 11:46pm:
You could possible attempt to restore your *old* image file to see if the problem re-occurs.We could then see what those diagnostic tests reveal.(I'm crossing my fingers that restoring the *new* image of the new setup would return you to where you are now!)

Again...yes that would be a good test...but not confident just yet. I will bite the bullit in a week or two and ghost back to the new image, and if that works ok...then ghost back to the old image. Maybe the ntldr error is history now and because the disks are numbered correctly now, there wont be anymore problems. Maybe after a few more beers I might even try it today? :-/


NightOwl wrote on Aug 19th, 2012 at 11:46pm:
You might not want to take any chances--but if you had a spare HDD that you could put in temporarily, and keep you current *production* HDD safely set aside while testing--you could possibly trouble shoot and find out what was going wrong.But not everyone has a spare HDD for their laptop handy.

As a matter of fact, I am just now considering a new SSD for this old laptop now that prices are way down now. Can get a 64gb ssd for only $58 now. Although that would work ok, I prefer to find a way to piggyback a storage drive as well. This could be a month or so away...then I will have some more options as you say NightOwl.

Looks like I am getting the hang of this quoting now. I also might try using a different email address on my profile and see if that helps notify me of your posts. For the time being tho...I am just popping in here ewvery coupla days.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 20th, 2012 at 9:12pm
@ MikeyStrikey


MikeyStrikey wrote on Aug 20th, 2012 at 9:02pm:
I am just now considering a new SSD for this old laptop now that prices are way down now


I bought one a month ago and I'm most impressed. Boot time is halved. Computer feels snappier. Apps load faster. Restores are faster. Imaging time seems much the same which is surprising.

The prices dropped just after I bought mine.

Edit... Do you leave your external HD plugged in all the time?

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by MikeyStrikey on Aug 20th, 2012 at 10:05pm

Brian wrote on Aug 20th, 2012 at 9:12pm:
Edit... Do you leave your external HD plugged in all the time? 


Brian... no mate. I only plug in EHDD when performing tasks. I use Free File Sync to sycronise my internal storage drive to my EHDD.

BTW ... if it is not edicate to use this forum, could you please email me with your SSD details and if you are satified?

Thanks... Mike

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 20th, 2012 at 10:27pm
Mike,

I used Shopbot to compare prices but I wanted an Intel 520 Series 120 GB SSD. My second choice would have been a Samsung 830. I was told to avoid OCZ as they have a reputation for developing problems.

I expect you have the original HD and you will notice a huge speed increase with a SSD. Get a SATA III SSD as even though your motherboard is SATA II you may as well get the latest technology and you may use the SSD later in another computer. I'm advised there is negligible subjective difference in speed between SATA II and SATA III motherboards. I have a SATA II motherboard.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 20th, 2012 at 11:10pm
Mike,

Does your Dell Inspiron 1150 Laptop have MediaDirect? If it does then there are things to do if you upgrade to a drive larger than 30 GB.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by NightOwl on Aug 21st, 2012 at 1:52am
@ MikeyStrikey


MikeyStrikey wrote on Aug 20th, 2012 at 8:33pm:
Not sure Brian. It mighjt even have been during the problem....but before the new format job. I think it was when I was messin with Boot disks and trying to delete patitions or such things concerning this problem. It might have been with PartMagic (on a boot disk) that showed these partions as 1 + 2. If you google "disk number changed" you will see I am not the only one this has happened.

Well, for the record, this *disk number changed* may be a red herring!  You need to make sure it's not just the program you are using--if you used more than one program.  Some are programmed to start disk numbering at *zero* and others at *one*.  So can not compare apples to oranges.

Now, if the numbering changed, and you were using only one program and saw that change in that program--then maybe it's significant.



Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 21st, 2012 at 3:12am
And you can only have 2 "Disks" if you have two HDs.

Is it possible you had the external HD connected when you saw the "ntldr is missing" message? Is so the BIOS tried to boot the external HD and found no ntldr.

My Dells don't boot into Windows at all if a non bootable USB device is plugged in.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by MikeyStrikey on Aug 21st, 2012 at 4:55am

Brian wrote on Aug 20th, 2012 at 11:10pm:
Does your Dell Inspiron 1150 Laptop have MediaDirect? If it does then there are things to do if you upgrade to a drive larger than 30 GB. 


I have no idea aboiut MediaDirect, so I guess I dont have it, but I did ring Dell and they said I could have a maximum of 100gb HDD. I suppose that means SSD as well.


NightOwl wrote on Aug 21st, 2012 at 1:52am:
Well, for the record, this *disk number changed* may be a red herring!


Quite possible ... I agree.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 21st, 2012 at 5:16am
Mike,


MikeyStrikey wrote on Aug 21st, 2012 at 4:55am:
have no idea aboiut MediaDirect,


Is there a round button above the keys with a Home sign or MediaDirect wording? I thought all 1150 had MediaDirect. Can you look in Disk Management. Under Disk 0, Basic, how large is the HD? In GB?

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by NightOwl on Aug 21st, 2012 at 9:45am
@ Brian


Brian wrote on Aug 21st, 2012 at 3:12am:
And you can only have 2 "Disks" if you have two HDs.

Very good point!  I missed that when you asked where MikeyStrikey had seen that listing.

Maybe he has confused the *terminology*--disk 0, 1, 2 etc. may have been partition 0, 1, 2, etc.

@ MikeyStrikey

What is (or perhaps *was*--when you had the problem) the partition layout of your HDD on your laptop?  Any hidden utility or factory restore partitions present from the manufacturer?

If you did a *whole drive* Ghost image backup--they would all be listed when you open the image in Ghost Explorer.


Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 21st, 2012 at 4:06pm
Mike,


MikeyStrikey wrote on Aug 21st, 2012 at 4:55am:
but I did ring Dell and they said I could have a maximum of 100gb HDD.


Your laptop has a BIOS 137 GB HD limitation. You can use a larger HD but the BIOS will only see 137 GB so the OS partition should not be larger than 137 GB (128 GiB). Windows XP SP1 and above will see the full size of the HD.

Edit.... Is your HD IDE? SSD are SATA.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by strikey_mate on Aug 21st, 2012 at 7:31pm

Brian wrote on Aug 21st, 2012 at 3:12am:
And you can only have 2 "Disks" if you have two HDs.Is it possible you had the external HD connected when you saw the "ntldr is missing" message? Is so the BIOS tried to boot the external HD and found no ntldr.


True Brian... but shouldn't it name the first disk "0"? I have some screen shots I can upload for your advice on...hope you dont mind.

And Brian... I suppose it is possible I saw the 2 drives when I try to restore image from my EHDD. I am almost sure it was when I first had the problems, and that was when I was trying to restore from my partition. I only have one internal HDD. The missing ntldr was definately when no drive was attached.

Please review the screen shots and tell me what you think. These shots are current.


Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 21st, 2012 at 8:29pm
Mike,

Sure, go ahead and upload the screenshots.


strikey_mate wrote on Aug 21st, 2012 at 7:31pm:
but shouldn't it name the first disk "0"

Not necessarily. Ghost doesn't use the Disk 0 terminology. It starts at Drive 1.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by strikey_mate on Aug 21st, 2012 at 9:35pm
Here they are... I thought I uploaded them before, but they not show. BTW... looks like I have 2 accounts here... Strikeymate and mikeystrikey....I will try and delete one.
DellDisk0.jpg (109 KB | 224 )
GhostDisk1.jpg (57 KB | 232 )

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 21st, 2012 at 9:42pm
Mike,

That's OK. Different terminology in two different apps.

Your HD size is 27.95 GiB which is the expected size for a 30 GB HD so it is unlikely you have a Host Protected Area associated with MediaDirect.

By the way, can you see that button I mentioned. Is your HD IDE (PATA)? If it is a SSD is out.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by strikey_mate on Aug 21st, 2012 at 9:50pm

Brian wrote on Aug 21st, 2012 at 4:06pm:
Edit.... Is your HD IDE? SSD are SATA


IDE

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by strikey_mate on Aug 21st, 2012 at 9:52pm

Brian wrote on Aug 21st, 2012 at 9:42pm:
By the way, can you see that button I mentioned. Is your HD IDE (PATA)? If it is a SSD is out


Cant I use a IDE SSD?

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 21st, 2012 at 10:02pm
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=635283

Looks like you could be wasting your money. IDE is slow compared with SATA.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by strikey_mate on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 2:07am
Brian...There are the only 2 buttons on my dell. The big one is the start button, and the small one has an "i"on it and doesn't seem to do anything.


Dellshots_003.JPG (109 KB | 256 )

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 2:18am
Mike,

Thanks. You are free of the poisonous MediaDirect. This page describes the problems users face when upgrading to a larger HD...

http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/hpa-issues.shtml

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by strikey_mate on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 2:51am
Much appreciated Brian. I checked it out and am sure it will prove to be invaluable for me. I do have another laptop (Gigabyte 500hdd - 4gig ram)  that I use most of the time with much better specs than the old Dell...but that 1150 is so rock solid and never give any trouble now for 8 years. The only trouble I ever had was with my first Ghost image where it froze on the blue screen when 99% finished lol...since thens its been great (except for this lattest drama). I use ghost 2003 for the Dell and Ghost 15 for the Gig.

Thanks...Mike

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 2:57am
Mike,

We have a Dell 8600 laptop which my wife uses occasionally. It's just coming up to 8 years old and it has never missed a beat. The HD is 60 GB IDE and the computer performance is quite acceptable. We'll keep it until it dies.

Fortunately, the Dan Goodell page doesn't apply to you.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by NightOwl on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 9:27am
@ Brian


Brian wrote on Aug 21st, 2012 at 3:12am:
My Dells don't boot into Windows at all if a non bootable USB device is plugged in. 

You might be able to change that behavior.

What is the boot priority in the BIOS?  Do you have USB devices mentioned before the HDD?

You could try removing the USB device(s) from the boot order (if there), and then use whatever key combination is needed to bring up the device boot menu during initial startup to manually select a USB device when needed.

My system does a similar thing--if I'm booting from a bootable CD, which also has DOS USB drivers loading, with a non-bootable USB thumb drive attached --it hangs the system--have to remove the thumb drive and reboot.  But, there's no problem if I'm booting to Windows and have that same non-bootable thumb drive attached.


Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by Brian on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 5:34pm
@ NightOwl

Thanks for the reminder. I used to use that method but I occasionally forgot to press F12 to get the boot menu and then I'd have to wait for Windows to load and shutdown. I can't win either way. The current method is the lesser of two evils.

Title: Re: ntldr is missing
Post by NightOwl on Aug 23rd, 2012 at 1:07am
@ Brian


Quote:
I used to use that method but I occasionally forgot to press F12 to get the boot menu and then I'd have to wait for Windows to load and shutdown.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one  :D !

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