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NTLDR Missing (Windows XP)

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 26, 2014 4:52:39 PM

I just got the error: "ntldr is missing."
I put my XP disc in my "D" drive and re-booted. I pressed enter and windows opened from the disc. I pressed "R" for Recovery. It asked for the version and entered "1".

I read that the next step should be where it asks for my administrative password, but it doesn't. It just goes to a C prompt. When I enter the fix (copy d:\i386\ntldr c:\), it say "access denied."

Can someone tell me what went wrong? Is it denying access because it doesn't have my password? But, it didn't ask for it and just went to a C prompt.

Please help!!!
Marty

More about : ntldr missing windows

January 26, 2014 5:00:17 PM

did you try running SFC?
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January 26, 2014 5:04:38 PM

I don't know how to do that.
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January 26, 2014 5:16:32 PM

I don't know how to solve that "access denied" issue, if no one shows up clearing you how to solve it you could copy the ntldr and ntdetect.com files from your windows XP cd to a pendrive, then boot your pc with Hiren's Boot Mini Windows XP, once inside you should be able to overwrite those files with the ones in your pendrive (make sure to have plugged the pendrive before booting with Hiren's Boot so it can detect it).
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January 26, 2014 5:32:37 PM

To mi1ez,
Can you tell me how to get into the SFC files? Right now I am in the recovery window. It will ask for what installation, which is 1. Then, there will be a c prompt. Can I get into the SFC files from there?

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January 26, 2014 5:42:57 PM

at the C:\> prompt, type in

sfc /scannow
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January 26, 2014 5:48:45 PM

just wondering did you make any changes to your bios settings or anything else before you started getting this issue?
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January 26, 2014 5:49:32 PM

I tried it, but it says not recognized. I typed sfc /scannow (with the space between sfc). I'm sorry for not knowing that much about this.
With the c prompt it looked like this:
c:\windows>sfc /scannow
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January 26, 2014 5:55:31 PM

maxwellmelon said:
just wondering did you make any changes to your bios settings or anything else before you started getting this issue?


No, I didn't do anything other than start my computer.

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January 26, 2014 6:20:46 PM

are u sure your cd drive is assigned the letter d? try typing D:\dir and see if your cd drive shows activity and list the continents of the drive. sometimes when booting into recovery your drive letter will change to E or even F
try "e:\i386\ntldr c:\" oh and xp doesn't require admin login that wasn't till vista onward.
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January 26, 2014 7:05:26 PM

maxwellmelon said:
are u sure your cd drive is assigned the letter d? try typing D:\dir and see if your cd drive shows activity and list the continents of the drive. sometimes when booting into recovery your drive letter will change to E or even F
try "e:\i386\ntldr c:\" oh and xp doesn't require admin login that wasn't till vista onward.


The prompt is: C:\WINDOWS>
I just tried typing in every letter in front of that prompt (c:\dir, d:\dir, e,f,g, etc) and they all say the command is not recognized.
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January 26, 2014 7:30:38 PM

photoguy1 said:
maxwellmelon said:
are u sure your cd drive is assigned the letter d? try typing D:\dir and see if your cd drive shows activity and list the continents of the drive. sometimes when booting into recovery your drive letter will change to E or even F
try "e:\i386\ntldr c:\" oh and xp doesn't require admin login that wasn't till vista onward.


The prompt is: C:\WINDOWS>
I just tried typing in every letter in front of that prompt (c:\dir, d:\dir, e,f,g, etc) and they all say the command is not recognized.


The command should be:

dir d:

so it would look like this:

C:\WINDOWS>dir d:
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January 26, 2014 8:29:49 PM

mi1ez said:
photoguy1 said:
maxwellmelon said:
are u sure your cd drive is assigned the letter d? try typing D:\dir and see if your cd drive shows activity and list the continents of the drive. sometimes when booting into recovery your drive letter will change to E or even F
try "e:\i386\ntldr c:\" oh and xp doesn't require admin login that wasn't till vista onward.


The prompt is: C:\WINDOWS>
I just tried typing in every letter in front of that prompt (c:\dir, d:\dir, e,f,g, etc) and they all say the command is not recognized.


The command should be:

dir d:

so it would look like this:

C:\WINDOWS>dir d:


Thanks! That worked. So, now I'm a little confused. Can you tell me again how to get into the sfc files and what I should enter to repair? The xp disc is now on "E" and not "D" as before.
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January 26, 2014 9:25:33 PM

if you type in scf /scannow it should do it automatically.

if that doesn't work, try the following instead:

sfc /SCANNOW /OFFBOOTDIR=c:\ /OFFWINDIR=c:\windows
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January 27, 2014 8:53:07 PM

mi1ez said:
if you type in scf /scannow it should do it automatically.

if that doesn't work, try the following instead:

sfc /SCANNOW /OFFBOOTDIR=c:\ /OFFWINDIR=c:\windows


Hi,
I just got home. I couldn't figure this out last night. I realize that one small error in entering the info won't work. Am I entering the above with the c prompt or the directory the disc is in? This is what I tried last night:
(the prompt starts as: C:\WINDOWS>). So, I entered as follows:
C:\WINDOWS>sfc /SCANNOW . It says not recognized. I even tried the other above and the same thing. Am I doing something wrong?
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January 27, 2014 11:52:34 PM

If you're looking at a C:\ prompt, type e: and press enter. Then you can use the sfc /scannow command.

That said, as you're lucky enough to have an XP CD (many folks didn't get one from Dell, HP etc.) it's just as qulck to replace the missing files yourself. Also, if you have another XP system running, you can take copies of the files from that and put them on a flash drive. Then ut that intot the affected system, find which drive letter it has and copy the files into the root of C:. You'll need NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, io.sy, config.sys and BOOT.INI.

I advise anyone with an XP system to have spare copies of all those files on a flash drive, ready for when this happens to them, because I firmly believe it will happen to them!
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January 28, 2014 6:56:21 PM

Saga Lout said:
If you're looking at a C:\ prompt, type e: and press enter. Then you can use the sfc /scannow command.

That said, as you're lucky enough to have an XP CD (many folks didn't get one from Dell, HP etc.) it's just as qulck to replace the missing files yourself. Also, if you have another XP system running, you can take copies of the files from that and put them on a flash drive. Then ut that intot the affected system, find which drive letter it has and copy the files into the root of C:. You'll need NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, io.sy, config.sys and BOOT.INI.

I advise anyone with an XP system to have spare copies of all those files on a flash drive, ready for when this happens to them, because I firmly believe it will happen to them!


Hi,
I typed E:. Then I typed:
E:\sfc /SCANNOW
It still says command not recognized. I tried this with C:\windows> and also with D:\>, F:\> and still the same. I really don't know what to do now.
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January 28, 2014 9:34:21 PM

You won't be able to run sfc from the Windows XP recovery environment, as sfc isn't included in the RE. To fix our issue with ntldr, we need to get known good copies of both ntldr and ntdetect.com . First, we want to make sure that both aren't on the root of our os drive. To do so, go to the root of your c drive (enter "c:" then "cd.." until it just reads c:>") and enter "dir nt*" if you see either in the output, enter "attrib ntldr -h -s -r" then "del ntldr" and the same for ntdetect.com. If they aren't there, just proceed to the next step. Next, we want to copy the files from our install media to the root of the drive. To do so, just enter "copy #:\i386\ntldr c:\" and "copy #:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\" where # is the drive letter assigned to the disk drive with your Windows XP disk in it. This should resolve your issue.
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January 28, 2014 10:15:06 PM

xcrossroadsx said:
You won't be able to run sfc from the Windows XP recovery environment, as sfc isn't included in the RE. To fix our issue with ntldr, we need to get known good copies of both ntldr and ntdetect.com . First, we want to make sure that both aren't on the root of our os drive. To do so, go to the root of your c drive (enter "c:" then "cd.." until it just reads c:>") and enter "dir nt*" if you see either in the output, enter "attrib ntldr -h -s -r" then "del ntldr" and the same for ntdetect.com. If they aren't there, just proceed to the next step. Next, we want to copy the files from our install media to the root of the drive. To do so, just enter "copy #:\i386\ntldr c:\" and "copy #:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\" where # is the drive letter assigned to the disk drive with your Windows XP disk in it. This should resolve your issue.


Right now I am in the recovery mode. It reads: C:\WINDOWS>

I can't get it to just read C:>. When I enter "C:" it just keeps going back to C:\WINDOWS>. I tried entering "cd..", but it doesn't work. (THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!).
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January 28, 2014 10:30:48 PM

Oops! I didn't realize that you said I can't access this from the cd recovery. Sorry! Now I'm more lost. When I reboot, I have two options. One is F2 or F12. With F12 Boot Device Menu, I don't know what option to pick. System setup, HD Diagnostics or Boot to Utility Partition. Can you walk me through it? How do I get to the simple C prompt?
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January 28, 2014 11:39:21 PM

How do I get to the simple C prompt?

CD won't do it - it's CD\c: then press Enter but if that fails, try CHDIR\ c:. However, while you're in c:\windows, you cold use the same command to navigate to c:\windows\service pack files\i386 then use the syntax
copy ntldr c:\ntldr and press Enter.
When you get the confirmation that's been done, use the same command but change ntldr to ntdetect.com.

I hope you're lucky and will get away with putting in new NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM but I rather fear you'll then be told the name of the next flie the system can't find.
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January 29, 2014 7:59:11 PM

Saga Lout said:
How do I get to the simple C prompt?

CD won't do it - it's CD\c: then press Enter but if that fails, try CHDIR\ c:. However, while you're in c:\windows, you cold use the same command to navigate to c:\windows\service pack files\i386 then use the syntax
copy ntldr c:\ntldr and press Enter.
When you get the confirmation that's been done, use the same command but change ntldr to ntdetect.com.

I hope you're lucky and will get away with putting in new NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM but I rather fear you'll then be told the name of the next flie the system can't find.


Hi,
Can you be more specific in the exact writing of the text. I don't understand when you say "use the syntax."

Right now, I am in the recovery mode and it shows: C:\WINDOWS>
Did you want me to type in CD\c: in front of the above prompt? I tried it, but didn't work. It says: command not recognized. I then tried: CHDIR\c: Same thing.

When you suggested the command: c:\windows\service pack.... Do you mean I type what you wrote in front of C:\WINDOWS> or are you including the C\WINDOWS prompt?

If I have the prompt already as: C:|WINDOWS> , can you type out exactly how everything should be typed?
THANKS!!!
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January 29, 2014 8:29:59 PM

cd C:\
cd(space here)C:\

don't forget the slash
so you would have
C:\windows>cd C:\


I have a question you say you have 3 options. under system setup or utility partition is there anything that says system recovery or system repair or something like that, that might be the key to fixing your system. (if you see like factory rest or restore options is not what you want as it will wipe your data. if you get anything that pops up a warning about erasing or formatting drives select ***do not continue***** manufactures are good about making this warnings just make sure you read them.)
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January 29, 2014 8:30:52 PM

The command would be:

CD C:

There is no backslash after a CD (change directory) command.

I believe the command he's trying to explain would be:

COPY c:\windows\service pack files\i386\ntldr c:\ntldr

Make sure the spaces are all in place.
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January 29, 2014 8:31:51 PM

Actually, that probably won't work, you may need to use:

COPY c:\windows\servic~1\i386\ntldr c:\ntldr
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January 29, 2014 9:44:58 PM

maxwellmelon said:
cd C:\
cd(space here)C:\

don't forget the slash
so you would have
C:\windows>cd C:\


I have a question you say you have 3 options. under system setup or utility partition is there anything that says system recovery or system repair or something like that, that might be the key to fixing your system. (if you see like factory rest or restore options is not what you want as it will wipe your data. if you get anything that pops up a warning about erasing or formatting drives select ***do not continue***** manufactures are good about making this warnings just make sure you read them.)


Thanks! I
know not to go back to factory reset or anything that will wipe out my computer
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January 29, 2014 9:55:10 PM

OK. FINALLY, I am in the C:\> prompt. I was in C:\WINDOWS> and couldn't figure it out.

Now, to be honest, I am confused (once again) as to exactly what commands I do now. I really appreciate everyone's help, but there are so many answers that I'm not sure what's next.

I tried sfc /scannow at the C:\> prompt and it says: not recognized. I then tried "sfc /SCANNOW /OFFBOOTDIR=c:\ /OFFWINDIR=c:\windows" and it didn't work.

I've noticed that the drives have changed. My "D" drive (CD drive with the XP disc) is now at G:\>

I also tried: COPY c:\windows\service pack files\i386\ntldr c:\ntldr and "COPY c:\windows\servic~1\i386\ntldr c:\ntldr" For the last one, it says: Cannot find the file specified.

Now that I'm at the C:\> prompt, what can I try now?
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January 29, 2014 11:54:22 PM

OK so we're back to this time yesterday morning when I said "use the same command to navigate to c:\windows\service pack files\i386 then use the syntax
copy ntldr c:\ntldr and press Enter.

To get to the relevant folder, use he command:-
cd c:\windows
then press Enter, then
cd c:\windows\service pack files
and press enter again. When you're at he prompt c:\windows\service pack files you need the
copy ntldr c:\ntldr
and press Enter. If that shows the error "File not found" you need a frind with a working XP system to lend you a few files.

Your XP system was up to date, wasn't it? You did actually have Service Pack 3 installed for the last six years and more?
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January 30, 2014 12:42:38 AM

Saga Lout said:
OK so we're back to this time yesterday morning when I said "use the same command to navigate to c:\windows\service pack files\i386 then use the syntax
copy ntldr c:\ntldr and press Enter.

To get to the relevant folder, use he command:-
cd c:\windows
then press Enter, then
cd c:\windows\service pack files
and press enter again. When you're at he prompt c:\windows\service pack files you need the
copy ntldr c:\ntldr
and press Enter. If that shows the error "File not found" you need a frind with a working XP system to lend you a few files.

Your XP system was up to date, wasn't it? You did actually have Service Pack 3 installed for the last six years and more?


When I type in front of the prompt (C:\WINDOWS>) cd c:\windows\service pack files, it says parameters is not valid.
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January 30, 2014 1:32:01 AM

No folder means no Service Pack, ergo, you have no internal backups of those files you need. You'll need to go down the route of using the CD but frankly, I wouldn't bother rescuing a system that's nearly seven years out of date - one crucial SP and over 140 subsequent updates. I got the impression from another post that this is XP Home and not Pro and that makes it even more vulnerable.

I recommend using a Linux LiveCD to ferret out the personal files you need and seriously consider installing that Linux OS to make good use of the machine of that age which probably wouldn't support Windows 7.
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January 30, 2014 1:52:17 AM

Does this mean I lose all the data on this hard drive?What I don't understand is that I have the XP cd. I thought I could copy from there back to the C drive.
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January 30, 2014 2:09:50 AM

You can copy NTLDR and now you're familiar with the syntax (wording - terminology or whatever) to carry out the copy process and you know the drive letter is now G: you can do it. The file is in the i386 folder of the CD. NTDETECT.COM is not, however and I strongly suspect you need that as well as a few others but see how you go with the NTLDR (NT loader) file first.

When you boot from the CD you could proceed as though installing then after being told to press F8 to accept the licence terms (EULA) there is a second Repair option. That will give you a fresh installation and all your personal data will be stored in a folder named Windows.old. I believe that, and then fully updating, is the best way for you to go.
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January 30, 2014 12:05:28 PM

Saga Lout said:
No folder means no Service Pack, ergo,


No it doesn't.

You can't put spaces in the command line in XP.

CD C:\windows\servic~1

...is the command

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January 30, 2014 12:33:10 PM

It works here - spaces notwithstanding. Using Windows 7 I can navigate to the folder Application Data within my Users folder.
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January 30, 2014 5:10:19 PM

guys windows 7 is not xp, they are different. if you don't have an xp computer don't offer advice.

try this from Microsoft web site(all credit to Microsoft for the following)
"Boot Windows and start the Recovery Console
1.Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
2.Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted.
3.When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
4.When prompted, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
5.Enter in the following commands

COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C:\

COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C:\

[where X= your CD ROM drive letter]

Take out the CD ROM and type exit"

note you said your cd drive letter change to G so type G instead of x
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January 31, 2014 1:23:35 AM

guys windows 7 is not xp, they are different. if you don't have an xp computer don't offer advice.

I have three XP systems and will retain one of them in complete safety long after the EOS inApruil. I've worked inside and out of the GUI on XP since it came out, as well as all versions before them after 3.1 and spent six months Beta testing SP3.

No genuine MS XP CDs will have NTDETECT.COM in the i386 folder - try NTDETECT instead. The OP was given this advice in a previous post and there is still every chance that those two files will not be the only ones required.
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January 31, 2014 11:54:03 AM

maxwellmelon said:
guys windows 7 is not xp, they are different. if you don't have an xp computer don't offer advice.

try this from Microsoft web site(all credit to Microsoft for the following)
"Boot Windows and start the Recovery Console
1.Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
2.Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted.
3.When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
4.When prompted, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
5.Enter in the following commands

COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C:\

COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C:\

[where X= your CD ROM drive letter]

Take out the CD ROM and type exit"

note you said your cd drive letter change to G so type G instead of x


Hi, I tried entering the Copy Command above in front of a C:\ prompt and also in front of a G:\ prompt and it says: "access denied."

As noted before, the computer is not asking for a password. What I don't understand is that I have the XP disc; Why is this such a problem? I'm entering the commands exactly as you write them above.
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January 31, 2014 2:03:34 PM

OK, here's what happened. Some good news, some bad.

I really thought I went through the drives and found the disc on the "G" drive. Well, I decided to try all the letters and I typed what you wrote above on the "D" drive. IT WORKED! It copied the two files. But now it reads:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file

Is there still hope for recovery?
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January 31, 2014 2:52:51 PM

put cd in drive, boot from it, press enter when you arrive at setup screen, accept agreement, select option to "repair the selected xp installation" very important to select this one or you will lose your data. your computer will have to redownload all updates again but your user files should be intact this is my last ditch recommendation.

******read this*****the best way before doing this would be to pull you hard drive out and put it into a good computer and get all your personal files to back them up though before doing anything else but if this is not possible this is what I would personally do next. Its YOUR choice you have to live with the results if your user files do get lost or wiped out. I have to give this disclamer because what should happen and what will happen are not allways the same thing

best of luck
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January 31, 2014 8:21:50 PM

Hi,
I read that you can repair the file by entering:
expand d:\i386\hal.dl_ c:\windows\system32''

I did it and it says the file has been expanded. But, when I re-boot, it still says the file is missing or corrupt. I also ran: chkdsk /r. It said it repaired one file. Anything else I can do before I start what you suggested?
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January 31, 2014 8:30:02 PM

This is from Microsoft. Will this erase any data? Would you recommend I try this?:

Use the Bootcfg utility in the Recovery Console to correct the Boot.ini file:

Use the Windows XP CD-ROM to start your computer.
When you receive the message to press R to repair Windows by using the Recovery Console, press the R key.
Select the Windows installation that you want, and then type the administrator password when prompted.
Type bootcfg /rebuild, and then press ENTER.
When the Windows installation is located, the following instructions are displayed:
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)
[Type Y in response to this message.]

Enter Load Identifier:
[This is the name of the operating system. Type Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home Edition.]

Enter OS Load options:
[Leave this field blank, and then press ENTER].
After you perform the preceding steps, restart the computer, and then select the first item on the boot menu. This should allow Windows XP to start normally.

After Windows XP has successfully loaded, the Boot.ini can be modified to remove the incorrect entry.

For more information about how to edit the Boot.ini file, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
289022 How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP
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February 1, 2014 6:13:31 AM

photoguy1 said:
This is from Microsoft. Will this erase any data? Would you recommend I try this?:

Use the Bootcfg utility in the Recovery Console to correct the Boot.ini file:

Use the Windows XP CD-ROM to start your computer.
When you receive the message to press R to repair Windows by using the Recovery Console, press the R key.
Select the Windows installation that you want, and then type the administrator password when prompted.
Type bootcfg /rebuild, and then press ENTER.
When the Windows installation is located, the following instructions are displayed:
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)
[Type Y in response to this message.]

Enter Load Identifier:
[This is the name of the operating system. Type Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home Edition.]

Enter OS Load options:
[Leave this field blank, and then press ENTER].
After you perform the preceding steps, restart the computer, and then select the first item on the boot menu. This should allow Windows XP to start normally.

After Windows XP has successfully loaded, the Boot.ini can be modified to remove the incorrect entry.

For more information about how to edit the Boot.ini file, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
289022 How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP


no it wont hurt your personal files.
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February 1, 2014 10:30:42 PM

To all,
I am writing this message from my very old, but "newly restored" Dell Dimension 9100 with Windows XP. It only took one week for me to figure out. I want to thank everyone for their patience and help! I must give a special thanks to maxwellmelon. At first, when I tried to enter the commands he gave me, they didn't work. But, after I used the bootcfg utility, I went back and re-entered all his perfectly written commands. My computer didn't show any errors and it started. But, it seemed to crash, so I tried starting in Safe Mode. It just froze and wouldn't start. I decided to try re-entering maxwellmelon's commands. All the files were either replaced or added and my computer started right up. THANK YOU! You have no idea what stress I was under. I had just entered three years worth of info into Quicken and Quickbooks and got lazy by not backing the files to a flash drive. I've learned my lesson. All my documents and important files are now copied to a pendrive and also to an external hard drive for added protection.

If anyone is a boxing fan, please go to my website: www.ringsidephotos.com and pick any photo you like and I will email you a full size image as my thank you! I've been shooting boxing for the past 20 years.

All the best!
Marty
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June 13, 2014 4:51:41 PM

maxwellmelon said:
guys windows 7 is not xp, they are different. if you don't have an xp computer don't offer advice.

try this from Microsoft web site(all credit to Microsoft for the following)
"Boot Windows and start the Recovery Console
1.Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
2.Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted.
3.When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
4.When prompted, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
5.Enter in the following commands

COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C:\

COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C:\

[where X= your CD ROM drive letter]

Take out the CD ROM and type exit"

note you said your cd drive letter change to G so type G instead of x


Hello I'm having the same problem as the other person my drive is in e but when I type the commands u have it keep telling me access is denied do u know another command I can use
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June 13, 2014 11:11:42 PM

Do you substitute E for C in maxwellmelon's advice? Go into e:\windows\system32 and find the flie cmd.exe. Right click it and select RunAs then in the next for, select Adminstrator and enter the password. XP might not repond if there is no Administrator password but it's worth a shot.
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!