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Author Topic: NTLDR missing press CTRL ALT DEL to continue  (Read 4399 times)

renluop

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NTLDR missing press CTRL ALT DEL to continue
« on: September 13, 2012, 08:19:36 AM »

The background to all this is that I was wiping the freespace on and old computer last night prior to disposal, but had to abandon due to the hour, powering off.

This morning I got the message. The screen also tells me that the Primary Master Disk capability is disabled. Following the instruction gets me nowhere, nor does pressing various suggested keys immediately at power on. Whatever I do I cannot get to the BIOS, which seems the way to get the computer to boot.

System is XP and I have the manufactures recovery disk, Windows installation and SP2 disks.

What advice would you give? (Other than a heavy hammer ;D).
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sheddyian

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Re: NTLDR missing press CTRL ALT DEL to continue
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 10:50:59 AM »

It doesn't sound like it from what you've said, but just to check - you haven't left a floppy/CD/other bootable media inserted or plugged in?

Trying to boot from a non-bootable floppy formatted under NT/XP etc is a good way to get the NTLDR is missing error.

Different computers have different ways of getting into the Bios.  Pressing DEL is the usual way on generic motherboards, but Dell and others use various function keys instead (F10?)

What I'd do at this point is take the suspect disk out of the computer, connect it to another working one as a 2nd disk (maybe via USB adaptor) and have a look at it from the working system to see what sort of condition its in - totally corrupt, few files missing etc.

If you use the recovery disk, you'll probably be starting again, and lose any data or software that was installed on the computer, other than what the manufacturer originally put on there for you.  Which might not be a bad thing if you're just trying to clean it.

If you simply want to completely erase the disk so that nothing can be read, there are various drive wiping programs that can be put onto a bootable CD.  I used one once, and it seemed good, can't remember what it was called though.  Will try to find it, if that's what you want to do.

Ian
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renluop

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Re: NTLDR missing press CTRL ALT DEL to continue
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 07:17:10 PM »

Thanks for the info and a big :doh: to nyself, I had indeed left a CD in one of the two DVD drives. That also caused a bit of bother, as I couldn't remember which was master.

Recovery and Windows now setting up. I am interested in the wipe program, but what is the chance of someone retrieving useful info once Windows is reinstalled? I am security concious but not paranoiac.
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sheddyian

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Re: NTLDR missing press CTRL ALT DEL to continue
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 07:52:28 PM »

When I've got an old hard disk I want to re-use, I use this program before installing anything.
http://hddguru.com/software/2005.10.02-MHDD/

You can put MHDD on a bootable CD or even a bootable floppy, and use it to test and erase hard disks.

There is a bit of a learning curve in using it (it's all command line) but I have found it very useful - it can make the disk run faster!  Caution is advised, especially if you have more than 1 disk in your computer, as it would be very easy to accidentally wipe the wrong disk.  I always disconnect every disk except the one I want to work on.

I tend to :

boot MHDD, and scan the disk.  I note down the number of sectors that take <5ms <10ms <50ms etc to read.
I then run the erase command.
I then scan again, note the results and usually see a reduction in the slower to access sectors, and an increase in faster ones.  If any sectors were unreadable, chances are they'll be readable now!
Finally I use the built-in fdisk program, which makes a simple single partition on the disk.

I then reboot with my OS install disk (eg Windows XP) and off you go with a clean install, and a disk that's been completely erased.

It's not a security disk eraser, someone with enough time could probably retrieve the data, but every sector has been erased, so it wouldn't be easy.  And you've got a thoroughly tested disk in the bargain!

That said, if you're already re-installing Windows, you're a bit beyond this point now, unless you want to start again  :(

Ian
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sheddyian

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Re: NTLDR missing press CTRL ALT DEL to continue
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 07:55:43 PM »

DBAN http://www.dban.org/ seems to get mentioned a lot when it comes to secure erasing.  I thought I'd used it once myself, but now remember that I prepared a CD of it for someone else to use who was paranoid about their bank details getting found if they threw their computer out.

So I can't vouch for it's effectiveness or ease of use.

Ian
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