Pentium 4 2.8Ghz
Abit IS7 mobo
Lite On CD-RW
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9000 Pro
Antec Tru Power
Hitachi Deskstar HDD, 80GB SATA
1 GB RAM
This problem originated after I defragged my main hard drive, or after I added a new Maxtor One Touch External HDD, 250 GB at around the same day. When next time I re-booted the computer, I received the "ntldr missing, press control+alt+delete to restart".
After researching the problem and trying all the fixes I could find on the internet without success, I decided I would reformat and reinstall Windows XP since I had my important docs and files on CD-RW.
I ensured that I could boot up with CD-ROM in BIOS. In fact, I checked to make sure all my BIOS settings were accurate.
When I try to reinstall Windows XP using the Windows XP Home Edition Setup exactly as described in Windows Reinstall.com, I get to the page that lists the existing partitions and unpartitioned space on the computer. C: (NTFS)is there with 78529 MB listed as free space, plus 8 MB unpartitioned space. It also says "Unknown disk", and "this drive does not contain a disk." Huh??? When I press enter to continue with the install, it says: "To install Windows XP on the partition you selected, Setup must write some startup files to the following disk...Unknown Disk. However, this disc does not contain an XP compatible partition." It then asks me to return to the partition selection screen and create a windows compatible partition on the unknown disk. I have deleted and created umpteen new partitions, and have tried everything I can think of to get past this hurdle, with no luck. Why does it state "unknown disk"? Is this where the root of the problem is, and if so, how do I fix it. Thanks for any help.
"_Can't you just delete the partitions and recreate them? The 8MB is normal, don't worry about that._"
Recreating the partitions is not the problem. It will let me recreate all the partitions I want, but after recreating them and pressing enter, it goes to the next screen where it says (verbatim):
"To install Windows XP on the partition you selected, Setup must write some startup files to the following disk:
However, this disk does not contain a Windows XP-compatible partition.
To continue installing Windows XP, return to the partition selection screen and create a Windows XP-compatible partition on the disk above. If there is no free space on the disk, delete an existing partition, and then create a new one.
To return to the partition selection screen, press enter."
When I do what it asks, it just repeats all over again. I have tried F6 to reinstall SATA drivers (which I never had to do before and everything worked fine), and have tried manually reformatting the hard drive from the recovery console first, which I should not have had to do either.
Thanks, Codesmith, and to the others that lent their advice. I went to Hitachi and downloaded their diagnostic utility and ran it. Sure enough, when it tried to test the mechanical function of the hdd, it failed. Five month old hard drive was shot. Fortunately, I had an older Maxtor hdd laying around, although not an SATA, so I put it in and then had no problems. Thanks again.