Can't re-install XP and format from CD-ROM

  HarryTheDudd 03:34 21 Sep 06


I'm booting up from XP CD-ROM, but it doesn't let me chose how to install XP, just goes ahead and starts copying the files. Then it tries to start Windows and I get a blue screen. It recommends pressing F8 and starting in safe mode. F8 doesn't have any effect on my laptop. I change back to boot from hard drive to see if that works. Same again, but this time the message someone mentioned earlier comes up "NTLDR is missing".

I looked up NTLDR on wikipedia and it seemed to point towards a solution, but I don't have a floppy drive to load it from there. Can it be done with CD-ROM?

Before I had this problem I was using BitDefender 9 Prof trial. I got up in the morning and it was going crazy sending error messages to the publisher. The computer went really slow. I tried to uninstall BitDefender and it kept freezing. I think it's a virus messin' me about.

Any ideas for how to solve this would be cool. :)

  xania 09:08 21 Sep 06

Seems to me that your WIndows install is really damaged. May be repairable, but doubt it. Try pressing F8 after POST to load up your Windows load options and select to load the last successful. If that fails, try again but select Safe Mode.

If still not successful, I think you may need to scrap it all and start again (hope your back-ups are up-to-date). You should get rid of your install problem if you first reformat your hard disk partition so that the current Windows installation is completely eradicated.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:56 21 Sep 06

NTLDR Missing
If you have FAT32 partitions, it is much simpler than with NTFS. Just boot with a Win98 floppy and copy the NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM files from the i386 directory to the root of the C:\ drive.

Insert and boot from your Windows XP CD. At the first R=Repair option, press the R key Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair. Typically this will be #1 Enter in the administrator password when requested Enter in the following commands (X: is replaced by the actual drive letter that is assigned to the CD ROM drive) COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C\: COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C:\ Take out the CD ROM and type exit

  HarryTheDudd 09:31 23 Sep 06

Fruit Bat /\0/\ - sorry I wasn't clear, but I said I'd tried to use XP CD and it just starts to install XP [never gives the option for r=repair]. It has worked on previous re-installations, but this time it won't do it. Grr!

xania - I've tried getting into safe mode but F8 gives no response on my laptop.

I've done a bit of searching and found a CD image download called PC Beginner Utilities Suite 2006. I'll give that a try and let you know how I get on.

Thanks ;-)

  DieSse 10:28 23 Sep 06

Off the top of my head - but a faulty keyboard, or stuck-down key might give all the symptoms you have experienced.

  HarryTheDudd 18:56 24 Sep 06

...I've managed to find a few of CD bootable utility disks (too many to mention) downloaded as iso's that run from DOS. I've managed to erase my disk, re-partition it and format it. Still can't install XP. While running various DOS utility CDs , before carry out tasks I get a message "Boot sector virus, continue?". The utilities do their job but the virus is still there. I've tried using McAfee virus scanner (+others) to find and delete the virus, but it can't find it. I'm connected to net through LAN cable to router, so it has the latest virus definitions active. I'm trying another DOS boot CD to try to delete and restore the boot sector to try and totally clean the hard drive.

DieSse - On the DOS utilities I've used my F8 key and it works. I just think my laptop is a bit crap!! (EiSystem 4411) Thank God I've got a decent desktop!

I think I've seen external floppy drives to plug into USB port. I might get one 'coz it's a right pain trying to find stuff that boots from CD - there's loads of stuff for floppy.

It might all be a waste of time, but I'm learning tons as I go. I might be more prepared if it happens again.

Cheers, HarryTheDudd

  DieSse 19:59 24 Sep 06

To totally clean a drive, including the boot sector, use Killdisk click here

Or a drive manufacturers utility "write to zeroes" - depends on the drive manufacturer, but for instance with Seagate drives it's in the Seatools package.

  HarryTheDudd 07:30 03 Oct 06

All the best, HarryTheDudd.

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