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That damn NTLDR! Laptop w/o Floppy Disk...

Last response: in Windows XP
February 29, 2008 4:16:31 PM

Please, please please PLEASE bear with me...

My Problem / My Goal:

I have a hp pavilion zt1210 notebook with Win XP Home on it. 1.2 GHz Celeron w/ only 256 MG RAM.

a) This laptop has *NO* 3.5 inch drisk drive.

b) The BIOS *does* allow CD-ROM/DVD in the boot order sequence choices.

c) The BIOS does *NOT* allow booting from USB in the available boot order sequences.

d) BIOS version MI.8. I know that most recent version on HP website is MI.10, which supports booting from "El Torito standard" Boots CDs , which I'm not sure I really need. But you need an *external floppy reader* to install it through a floppy, and I don't have access to such a reader.

The laptop has a 18 GB hard disk with 2 partitions:

1) An "Unnamed" 47 MB (FAT) (some kind of partition auto-created for "prolongated sleeping mode" - weird)
2) "C:" HPNOTEBOOK 18.58 GB (NTFS)

I want the notebook to have WinXP PRO in the main (and only) C: partition. I don't really care about the "prolongated sleep computer status data" being in a different partition than the main one.

From Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Disk Management it is not possible to simply do these steps:
1- Delete both partitions
2- Then put the WinXP Installastion CD in the CD reader (this CD is not a mere copy but an original "only with a new PC" official Microsoft disk, fully with "chromatic-laser labeling")
3- Simply turn off the computer and then reboot from CD to install WinXP.

Thas' cause WXP "locks" the resources it uses (the OS is too dumb and too big to run fully in memory).

I did reinstall WinXP PRO from inside the Win Home OS, though. However, I do not really want that, since all it does is give me a dual boot install (WinXP HOME in the standard Windowsd directory anbd another install which I put in a WINXPPRO directory to avoid file collision as much as possible). What I really I want is to simply completely reformat the C: drive and *THEN* install a fresh version of WinXP "from scratch".

The problem is that... the damn laptop won't accept simply booting from the CD!

I also tried Repair Console, to no more avail since it also "locks" the C drive, so can't format that way either.

If (through BIOS boot-sequence selection) I try to boot directly from the CD thisi s what I get:

(first screen then, on a black screen...)

Boot CD-Rom type: Non-Emulation Booting
CDBOOT: Couldn't find NTLDR

Note that there is no delay between these two lines.

and then the laptop immediately proceeds to boot windows from the Hard Disk just as it did before i.e. It goes to the black screen with all the Windows OS choices, where now I have WinXP, WinHome and Repair Console. I wanted to simplify things, not put even more software versions on the damn laptop!

Also I tried to make a CD "Boot Disk".

Here is what I did (from the inside of a working WinXP machine):

(snippet that follows was taken from this subject in tom's hardware forums:

1. Put a blank cd-r disc in the burner.

2. Create a new folder called Downlds (if you don't have one already). And another one called BCD.

3. Download:
BCD full package
BFD full package
debug.exe (W98 version - DOS7)
fdisk.exe (W98 version - DOS7)
Google the last two to locate them. Or copy them from a 98 comp to a floppy & transfer.

4. Unpack the bcd download - directing the extraction to C:\BCD

5. Copy winaspi32.dll to C:\BCD\bin

6. Unpack bfd - directing the extraction to C:\BCD

7. Unpack cdromsi - directing the extraction to C:\BCD

8. Copy debug & fdisk into C:\BCD\cds\cdromsi\files\

9. Open a command prompt window (Start - Run - cmd). Change to the BCD folder by typing cd\bcd. Now type bcd cdromsi

10. When you start the bootable cd, let it go all by itself until you get an "R" prompt. Type fdisk and delete all the partitions it finds.

I followed that to the letter, which gave me the BCD output below:

-----------------------BEGIN BCD OUPUT:
Microsoft Windows XP [version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Petre Ionescu>cd \bcd

C:\bcd>bcd cdromsi

BCD, Build CD-Rom, v1.1.1
Copyright (c) 2002 Bart Lagerweij. All rights reserved.
This program is free software. Use and/or distribute it under the terms
of the NU2 License (see nu2lic.txt or

BCD: Checking for required files:
BCD: Renaming bcd.sam into bcd.cfg
BCD: Processing (main) config file "bcd.cfg"
BCD: Application set to "BCD/MKISOFS"
BCD: System set to "Win32"
BCD: Processing (CD) config file "cds\cdromsi\bcd.cfg"
BCD: Bootfile set to "cdrom.img"
BCD: No mkisofs options, adding "-J -N"
BCD: Processing bootdisk config file "cds\cdromsi\bootdisk.cfg"
BCD: Bootimage "cdrom.img" does not exist, let's create it now!

BFD, Build Floppy Disk, v1.0.7
Copyright (c) 2002 Bart Lagerweij. All rights reserved.
This program is free software. Use and/or distribute it under the terms
of the NU2 License (see nu2lic.txt or

BFD: Checking for required files...


This program uses some files from Microsoft Windows 98 which are protected by
copyright. You must have a valid Windows 98 license before using these files.
When you do not have a valid license for Windows 98 but you do have one for
Windows 95 or msdos 6 you should replace the files in the directory os\md701\
with your own files.

If you have read and understood the information above you can press the
"c" key to continue.

Continue or Abort? [ca] (a) : c
BFD: Building "cdrom"
BFD: Operating system "md701"
BFD: Renaming bfd.sam into bfd.cfg
BFD: Target image file "cds\cdromsi\files\cdrom.img"
BFD: Parsing config file "bfd.cfg"
BFD: Create directory "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$"
BFD: Installing bootsector from "os\md701\bootsect.bin"
BFD: Copying MS-Dos boot files
BFD: Copying "os\md701\io.sys" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\"
BFD: Copying "os\md701\msdos.sys" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\"

BFD: Copying "os\md701\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$
BFD: XCopying "disk1" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\"
6 fichier(s) copié(s)
BFD: Make directory "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\level0"
BFD: Make directory "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\level1"
BFD: Make directory "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\level2"
BFD: Make directory "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\level3"
BFD: Directory "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\bin" already exists
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\bin
BFD: Copying "os\md701\config.sys" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\
BFD: Copying "os\md701\bin\himem.*" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$
BFD: Copying "os\md701\bin\emm386.exe" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$b
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\level
BFD: Copying "cabs\os\md701\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\leve
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\level
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\level2
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\level
BFD: Make directory "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\lib"
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\lib"

BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\lib"
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\lib"

BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\lib
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\li
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\li
BFD: Copying "cabs\" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\lib"
BFD: Make directory "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$\lib\aspi"
BFD: Copying "cabs\drivers\aspi\*.cab" to "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$b
BFD: Creating image "cds\cdromsi\files\cdrom.img"
BFD: Running bfi -f=cds\cdromsi\files\cdrom.img -b=os\md701\bootsect.bin -o=io.
sys -t=144 C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$
BFD: Remove directory "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\$bfd$"
BFD: Image "cds\cdromsi\files\cdrom.img" created.
BFD: Done!
BFD: Exiting with return value 0
BCD: Bootfile is "cdrom.img"
BCD: Hidding boot image in ISO9660 adding "-hide cdrom.img"
BCD: Hidding boot catalog in ISO9660 adding "-hide boot.catalog"
BCD: Hidding boot image in Joliet adding "-hide-joliet cdrom.img"
BCD: Hidding boot catalog in Joliet adding "-hide-joliet boot.catalog"
BCD: Creating ISO image file (running mkisofs.exe)
BCD: Arguments; -J -N -A BCD/MKISOFS -sysid "Win32" -b cdrom.img -hide cdrom.img
-hide boot.catalog -hide-joliet cdrom.img -hide-joliet boot.catalog -v -o C:\DO
CUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\bcd.iso cds\cdromsi\files
Warning: creating filesystem that does not conform to ISO-9660.
Warning: creating filesystem with (nonstandard) Joliet extensions
but without (standard) Rock Ridge extensions.
It is highly recommended to add Rock Ridge
mkisofs 1.15a40 (i686-pc-cygwin)
Scanning cds\cdromsi\files
Hidden from ISO9660 tree: cds\cdromsi\files/cdrom.img
Hidden from Joliet tree: cds\cdromsi\files/cdrom.img
Writing: Initial Padbock Start Block 0
Done with: Initial Padbock Block(s) 16
Writing: Primary Volume Descriptor Start Block 16
Done with: Primary Volume Descriptor Block(s) 1
Writing: Eltorito Volume Descriptor Start Block 17

Size of boot image is 2880 sectors -> Emulating a 1440 kB floppy
Done with: Eltorito Volume Descriptor Block(s) 1
Writing: Joliet Volume Descriptor Start Block 18
Done with: Joliet Volume Descriptor Block(s) 1
Writing: End Volume Descriptor Start Block 19
Done with: End Volume Descriptor Block(s) 1
Writing: Version block Start Block 20
Done with: Version block Block(s) 1
Writing: Path table Start Block 21
Done with: Path table Block(s) 4
Writing: Joliet path table Start Block 25
Done with: Joliet path table Block(s) 4
Writing: Directory tree Start Block 29
Done with: Directory tree Block(s) 1
Writing: Joliet directory tree Start Block 30
Done with: Joliet directory tree Block(s) 1
Writing: Directory tree cleanup Start Block 31
Done with: Directory tree cleanup Block(s) 0
Writing: The File(s) Start Block 31
Total translation table size: 2048
Total rockridge attributes bytes: 0
Total directory bytes: 196
Path table size(bytes): 10
Done with: The File(s) Block(s) 748
Writing: Ending pad block Start Block 779
Done with: Ending pad block Block(s) 21
Max brk space used 5000
800 extents written (1 Mb)
BCD: ISO file "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\bcd.iso" created.
BCD: Looking for devices, running "cdrecord -scanbus":
BCD: Found CD-Rom devices:
1,0,0 100) 'SAMSUNG ' 'CD-ROM SC-148A ' 'B403' Removable CD-ROM
1,1,0 101) 'SONY ' 'CD-RW CRX216E ' 'PD03' Removable CD-ROM
BCD: Looking for a CD-RW drive:
BCD: Get drive capabilities for device 1,0,0
BCD: Get drive capabilities for device 1,1,0
BCD: Found writer device at "1,1,0".
BCD: No cdrecord options, adding "-data -eject"
BCD: Checking driver specific options
BCD: Running "cdrecord.exe dev=1,1,0 -checkdrive driveropts=help"
BCD: Drive supports burnfree, adding "driveropts=burnfree"
BCD: Loading media
BCD: Checking media type
BCD: Media is CD-R, checking blank
BCD: Media is blank, so we're ready to record.
BCD: Burning CD-Rom (running cdrecord.exe)
BCD: Arguments; dev=1,1,0 -v -data -eject driveropts=burnfree C:\DOCUME~1\PETRE
Cdrecord 1.11a40 (i686-pc-cygwin) Copyright (C) 1995-2002 Jörg Schilling
TOC Type: 1 = CD-ROM
scsidev: '1,1,0'
scsibus: 1 target: 1 lun: 0
Using libscg version 'schily-0.7'
Driveropts: 'burnfree'
atapi: -1
Device type : Removable CD-ROM
Version : 0
Response Format: 2
Capabilities :
Vendor_info : 'SONY '
Identifikation : 'CD-RW CRX216E '
Revision : 'PD03'
Device seems to be: Generic mmc CD-RW.
Using generic SCSI-3/mmc CD-R driver (mmc_cdr).
Supported modes: TAO PACKET SAO SAO/R96P SAO/R96R RAW/R16 RAW/R96P RAW/R96R
Drive buf size : 1895168 = 1850 KB
FIFO size : 4194304 = 4096 KB
Track 01: data 1 MB
Total size: 1 MB (00:10.69) = 802 sectors
Lout start: 2 MB (00:12/52) = 802 sectors
Current Secsize: 2048
ATIP info from disk:
Indicated writing power: 6
Is not unrestricted
Is not erasable
Disk sub type: Medium Type C, low Beta category (C-) (6)
ATIP start of lead in: -11231 (97:32/19)
ATIP start of lead out: 359849 (79:59/74)
Disk type: Short strategy type (Phthalocyanine or similar)
Manuf. index: 27
Manufacturer: Prodisc Technology Inc.
Blocks total: 359849 Blocks current: 359849 Blocks remaining: 359047
Forcespeed is OFF.
Starting to write CD/DVD at speed 40 in real TAO mode for single session.
Last chance to quit, starting real write 0 seconds. Operation starts.
Waiting for reader process to fill input buffer ... input buffer ready.
BURN-Free is OFF.
Turning BURN-Free on
Performing OPC...
bin/cdrecord: I/O error. send opc: scsi sendcmd: retryable error
CDB: 54 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
status: 0x0 (GOOD STATUS)
cmd finished after 5.187s timeout 60s
bin/cdrecord: OPC failed.
Writing time: 15.375s
BURN-Free was never needed.
bin/cdrecord: fifo had 26 puts and 0 gets.
bin/cdrecord: fifo was 0 times empty and 0 times full, min fill was 100%.
BCD: cdrecord returned an error:
BCD: Aborting, removing ISO file "C:\DOCUME~1\PETREI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\bcd.iso"
BCD: Aborted...

Appuyez sur une touche pour continuer...
BCD: Exiting with return value 1

--------------------END BCD OUTPUT.

The blank CD is then ejected from the CD burner.

Grrargh, help me!

I never managed to get a BOOT CD correctly. Even a BartPE failed, apparently the BartPE is all a-okay up to and until trying to boot with it, and then whammo, the same NTLDR thing happens.

Since I installed WinXP PRO from inside the WInXP HOme, so that means that both the WinXP CD and the CD reader are both okay. Its that damn NTLDR that can't be found.

Note that I *still* can boot the laptop, it just does seem to want to boot from the CD.

Note that I have NERO OEM, which does *not* include NERO BURNING ROM (and I'm not willing to pay 100$ for it either, altough it would let me try to burn a Bootable CD with only a minimal DOS version with fdisk that would be "seen as a diskette" instead of "NON-EMULATION MODE" (dunno if that is part of my problem or not).

Just what kind of problem is this? I fear that even if I bought Terabyte's BootitNG or Acronis True Image, the laptop still wouldn't want to properly boot from a CD. Not willing to pay 50 bucks just to find out or not, unless I'm sure it will work. I just want to fdisk (or equivalent) the content and then do a clean install, that shouldn't be complicated!

I know a bit about what the NT Loader is, and a MBR too. Nothing too technical, for example I just don't know "where" the MBR is/should be located, or what its internal format is, just its main general purpose.

I don't know too much about what this non-emultation thing is. Is that "emulation" for reading CDs as if they were 3.5 inch disks, is that right? I don't know if this El Torito format thing has any link to my problem.

Since the BIOS offers CD-ROM/DVD as a boot sequence option, and *not* plain CD-ROM, it means the BIOS dates back to at least after DVD were commercialised, and that this part of the boot sequence goes "okay". However, DVDs appared in 1993 and El Torito in 1996, so this doesn't help much either.

I'm not even sure wether the problem is with the NON-EMULATION boot CD aspect or with the can't find NTLDR aspect. My guess is that when trying to boot from the laptop CD reader, it first must find the MBR, of which I don'T know if there is one or not on the CD, and the computer becomes confused and doesn't try to read the NTLDR from the (probably slave) CD device, but from who knows where, maybe the unnamed partition? (which is located BEFORE the C: partition in the drive).

Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks.

Anyway, I already spent 2 days on this and I *SERIOUSLY* need help!


March 1, 2008 10:37:27 AM

Try googleing GParted
It is a bootable Linux disk that should manipulate the partitions for you.
I just used it as my setup had only a c: partition with XP on it. I wanted to divide it to have XP and Vista.
Since XP isnt capeable of manipulating partitions I used GParted and then put Vista on and all is good.
You should be able to have one large or several smaller partitions and be able to erase anything on current partitons.
It works in whatever file format you want in your case NTFS and it isnt proprietary so windows wont have any trouble later on.
Im sorry Im not providing any links but I am in Vista right now and the info is in XP and I cant find it in short order. Ill check back later in case you have questions