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Having a lot of trouble installing XP

Last response: in Windows XP
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April 29, 2011 4:09:15 AM

Ok, I might have screwed this one up big time. I really hope someone can help me. I know most of what I'm doing but I'm not too technical so please try to explain things in simpler terms.

I have an Acer Aspire 3000 laptop that originally came with Windows XP.

I took out the hard drive, plugged it into another computer using a ide-usb cable and formatted the hard drive completely.

Then I tried to install Windows 98. However, since the laptop has wifi and 98 doesn't support that, it failed to complete the install.

So I took the hard drive out again, plugged it into my computer with the cable and formatted it again. For some reason, this time, it formatted my 80Gb hard drive into a 2Gb hard drive. I don't know how to recover it. I formatted it again and it still says 2Gb (actually, it says 1.99Gb)

I put the hard drive back into the laptop and tried to re-install XP. It just will not work. It keeps saying "ntldr is missing" which doesn't make sense since the hard drive is formatted.

I went to the bios and selected to boot the dvd drive before the hard drive. It still says "ntldr is missing"

I tried this 20 times. One of the times, it actually started to install but halfway through, it stopped and again said "ntldr is missing"

Please help!

Thanks a lot!

More about : lot trouble installing

April 29, 2011 5:41:03 AM

Quote:
I tried this 20 times. One of the times, it actually started to install but halfway through, it stopped and again said "ntldr is missing"

Please help!

Thanks a lot!



Well, since you did say "thanks" I suppose someone ought to help you out and I now step up to the plate.

Download a CD image file I have stored at 4shared.com and burn it to CD.
Boot computer with this CD, with the hard drive in the computer you want to format the drive in, or, install the program in another computer that will have the hard drive needing formatting plugged into it.

This CD is bootable, or, it has a program that can be installed in a running Windows computer to do it's work.

The Bootable CD or the program will delete and re-establish partitions and make partitions as you see fit and format those partitions. The formatting takes only a few seconds to complete. Choose advanced options and custom partitions when running the program (you'll see the checkboxes). If you don't like the partitions you made, do it over, it won't mind.

File at 4shared.com is named Hitachi and is 19,298KB.

Get it by clicking
HERE


April 29, 2011 6:54:10 AM

Thank you so much! My hard drive is now fixed and is now at the correct size.

However, I am still getting the "ntldr is missing" message.

I selected Windows XP SP1 or greater option in your program. The bios is set to read the dvd drive first and my XP disk is bootable.

How can I get pass this stupid error message?

Thanks again!



Edit: I found a program called Fixntldr. I burned the image to a cd and followed all the steps. I still get the error message. I then followed the instructions on how to do it to a usb stick. I am still getting the error message!
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April 29, 2011 4:14:08 PM

Tig,

Thanks for the reply. I understand you have to get all the 'stupid' questions out of the way :) 

Yes, I am trying to install from the CD. I am trying to install the SP3 corporate student edition. My problem is that my disk refuses to start the install.

When I restart the computer, I see an Acer picture for two seconds and then it automatically goes to the ntldr error. I have already set the bios to load the cd-rom before the hard drive.

The hard drive has been formatted using your Hitachi tool. The entire drive is empty.

Thanks again!
April 29, 2011 4:21:36 PM

skeptikaltruth said:

However, I am still getting the "ntldr is missing" message.

How can I get pass this stupid error message?



That's a cool disk to have in your inventory, don't lose it. Glad it worked, you were right to select XP SP1.

Are you getting the error from the CD while trying to install,
or from the hard drive after XP is installed?
One more... are you getting the error after XP Setup copies the setup files into the hard drive and re-boots to start the installation? I guess the real question is how far do you get before the error shows up?
April 29, 2011 4:25:55 PM

skeptikaltruth said:
Tig,

Thanks for the reply. I understand you have to get all the 'stupid' questions out of the way :) 

Yes, I am trying to install from the CD. I am trying to install the SP3 corporate student edition. My problem is that my disk refuses to start the install.

When I restart the computer, I see an Acer picture for two seconds and then it automatically goes to the ntldr error. I have already set the bios to load the cd-rom before the hard drive.

The hard drive has been formatted using your Hitachi tool. The entire drive is empty.

Thanks again!


You answered my reply while I was editing it and we are now flipped... oh well, you answer well.
Does the XP install CD give a brief message to press any key to start setup while it boots?
If not, it is being bypassed and going straight to the HDD and that's where you get the error msg.
April 29, 2011 4:27:35 PM

I'm getting the error before the disk can start the install. Nothing from XP comes up on the screen.

XP has not been able to start the install, set up, or anything. I turn the laptop on, I hear the disk spin, and then the error comes up.

It's almost as if the hard drive is selected to load first even though I changed the bios to load the cd rom first.
April 29, 2011 4:29:28 PM

Looks like our posts have crossed again haha

Sorry about that.

No, the XP cd is not giving any messages.

I do think it is being bypassed. How can I fix that?



Edit: Or, if it's possible, can I connect the hard drive from my laptop into my desktop computer with a usb-ide cable and install XP that way?
April 29, 2011 4:36:16 PM

Yup, the CD is not booting. Something is wrong. Look in the BIOS again. That machine has a very limited selection of what you can change, but something is amiss. I don't know all that you can see in the BIOS, just that it isn't much. Maybe there is a setting for choosing the IDE mode and if so it should be set to auto if such a thing exist.

The Ntldr missing is the boot sector of the hard drive looking for an NT file system loader and of course it is not there until XP gets installed, so the CD must be made to boot or you'll never get anywhere... except... if the HDD is formatted FAT32 and made bootable with CD support, then you could start setup manually but that is a hassle.


April 29, 2011 4:37:04 PM

skeptikaltruth said:


Edit: Or, if it's possible, can I connect the hard drive from my laptop into my desktop computer with a usb-ide cable and install XP that way?



No.


Umm.... welll... sometimes this can be done. If you go to install using another computer, that should be the only hard drive. Setup will copy in all the setup files and re-boot to initiate installation. When it goes for the reboot, turn off the computer and put the now loaded drive back in your Acer to continue.

This will not work in another computer using an USB adapter, the mainboard must have direct control over the HDD.
April 29, 2011 4:49:54 PM

If I cannot use a USB adapter, then I can't switch the hard drives. The desktop is 3.5 sata while my laptop is 2.5 ide. I might be able to gain access to another laptop with the same type of hard drive though so I'll have to look.

I can't believe I didn't even think of that!

Otherwise, formatting with FAT32 with bootable cd support might be my best bet.
April 29, 2011 4:53:29 PM

I am not seeing anything in the bios. Of the selectable items, this is what I see:


Under Main,
quiet boot is enabled
power on display is auto
network boot is enabled
f12 boot menu is enabled
d2d recovery is enabled

under boot, the order is as follows:

cd-rom/ DVD drive
floppy devices
boot to lan
+hard drive

Now that I realize it, the computer bypasses the cd-rom and floppy devices, but it doesn't bypass the boot to lan. Why would it only skip the first two?

Edit: I just tried selecting F12 and it brought me to the boot menu. I selected cd-rom and it is not giving me the error message. However, it is just a black screen with a flashing cursor.
April 29, 2011 4:55:50 PM

skeptikaltruth said:
If I cannot use a USB adapter, then I can't switch the hard drives. The desktop is 3.5 sata while my laptop is 2.5 ide. I might be able to gain access to another laptop with the same type of hard drive though so I'll have to look.

I can't believe I didn't even think of that!

Otherwise, formatting with FAT32 with bootable cd support might be my best bet.



Best to figure out what's up with the Acer not booting from the CD. Try to boot the CD in another computer to prove it is still bootable.


April 29, 2011 5:31:29 PM

So far, no luck. I found my other laptop but it is a connection I don't recognize and I do not have an adapter for.

I tested the cd in that laptop and it booted up without any problems. MY cd is still bootable.

How do I figure out what the problem with the Acer is?
April 29, 2011 5:59:21 PM




That's a good question. The computer is in front of you so not a lot can be done from my end.
If you can re-format the drive as FAT32 and get the System files on it so it will boot you can copy the i386 folder from the CD onto it and boot, run /i386/winnt.exe and it will install. Have the CD in the drive as it will probably want to get a few more files from it on the fly or make a folder on the drive and copy the entire CD under a master folder, preserving the folder hierarchy of the CD under the master folder and run Winnt.exe from that folder. This is not a bad thing as in the future running SFC /scannow will not insist on having the CD present to run. You can install XP and go back later and run Convert on the drive to make it NTFS.

If you have a bootable DOS diskette, format the drive FAT32 using the CD you made from my downloaded file (because it is so fast and can revert a drive back to FAT32 easily) and then put the drive in a machine with floppy support with DOS, run "SYS D:" or whatever the drive letter is, copy command.com to the drive, and that will make it bootable. The above method can then be executed to install XP.


April 29, 2011 9:15:04 PM

Well.... this is the strangest thing!

I'm about to start following your steps when I removed the Hitachi disk from my laptop. Then I realized.... Wait a minute, why does the Hitachi disk boot up but not my XP disk? (Keep in mind, my XP disk booted up in my desktop)

I immediately get my external burner and plug it in and I inserted the Hitachi disk. Did not load.

Just to give it a shot, I tested the XP disk anyway. It worked!

So the Hitachi will work in the laptop but not in the external burner.

The XP disk will work in the external burner but the laptop drawer has to be open....!

This is the strangest thing I've ever seen.... but it works and now I can finally use XP on my laptop.... So as much as I want to, I'm not gonna ask any questions!

Tig, you have been an amazing help and if there's ever any advice I can give you, please let me know. When it comes to video electronics and hardware, conversions, etc, I'm your man. Or for finding things for cheap haha

Your help is extremely appreciated.

Thanks again!

Best solution

April 29, 2011 11:46:34 PM
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skeptikaltruth said:
it works and now I can finally use XP on my laptop.... So as much as I want to, I'm not gonna ask any questions!




It brings back the thought, "Where there's a will, There's a way"

I think the "d2d recovery is enabled " got you.

Happy to help, good luck. :D 
May 7, 2011 12:18:00 AM

Best answer selected by skeptikaltruth.
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