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NTLDR Missing on XP

Created: 27 Sep 2012 | 17 comments

Before posting, I did search the forums and other places.  I found one thread with the same problem, but there was no answer.

I am still really new to Altiris 7.1 so I am learning.  On pushing images to Win 7, no problems. However, with my XP images (I have tried two different computers so far), I get an NTLDR missing on reboot.  The process goes like this:

push image, reboot to production, sysprep runs, machine reboots, NTLDR missing error.

I can repair the computer by running fixboot and fixmbr from the recovery console.  This thread is not really about how to fix the laptop after the fact, but to hopefully figure out what I am doing wrong or what is going wrong.

The two computers I have tried are both Dells.  They both have the Dell Diagnostic partition and the Windows patition.  The images are pushed to identical computers (hardware and the hard drive is partitioned the same).

My next experiment will be to wipe out the Dell Diagnostic partition to see if that is where the problem is.

After restarting and getting the NTLDR error, I look at the boot.ini and it looks good to me.  I have copied from a good, working computer the boot.ini, ntdetect.com and ntldr to the problem comptuer.  Still get the error. Then I noticed the file permssions did not carry over.  So I booted to the recover console and used attrib.exe to chage the attributes of those files to exactly match a good compuer.  Still no dice.

One experiment was to push the image using both PXE and automation folder (what I mean was I started the job with the boot to pxe task once and boot to automation once then push image) NTLDR error still.

Any help is appreciated.

Symantec Management Console version 7.1.8280

Comments 17 CommentsJump to latest comment

joegman's picture

Just to clairify, I have pulled and pushed using two completely different XP computers.  But both are Dells with Diagnostic partitions.

andykn101's picture

I'm guessing that your problem lies in the Master Boot Record. I don't bother with manufacturer partitions and, following problems with reimaging machines whaer the MBR may have been corrupted I always use the diskpart utility in WinPE to wipe the disk and create one new partition:

diskpart /S anwerfile.txt

where answerfile.txt is:

sel disk 0

Clean

Create Partition Primary size=8000

Assign letter=C:

Active

format FS=NTFS QUICK

If you look deep into the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) you'll see a similar script.

 

Authorised Symantec Consultant (ASC) with Endpoint Management Limited, an Authorised Symantec Delivery Provider based in the UK.

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joegman's picture

Thanks for the fast response, Andy.

Are you saying somethig like this:

You boot to PXE (I assume PXE because if you booted to automation, wiping the disk would either not work or wipe the automation folder), then you run the commands via a script from Altiris?

Like your deploy image job would be like:

Reboot to PXE
Run Script - diskpart, etc.
Deploy Image
Reboot to production

andykn101's picture

Yes, I should have said it won't work with an automation partition, although you could maybe modify the answer file, but otherwise, yes.

Authorised Symantec Consultant (ASC) with Endpoint Management Limited, an Authorised Symantec Delivery Provider based in the UK.

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joegman's picture

I have only tested it once, but I do not get the missing NTLDR error when pushing an image made from a comptuer with no Dell Diagnostic partition.  My next test will be trying Andy's advice because I hope to leave the diagnostic partition in my images.

andykn101's picture

I really wouldn't bother with the diagnostic partition, it's added complication with little benefit. Tomorrow your management could turn round and say you're moving to Toshiba for laptops, or the execs want shiny Intel ultrabooks or...

Authorised Symantec Consultant (ASC) with Endpoint Management Limited, an Authorised Symantec Delivery Provider based in the UK.

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BBC's picture

If you try to keep the diag partition alive, have you tried to activate and assign a drive letter to the second partition? Very much like Andy stated earlier, just slightly changed so that you create the 2nd partition on the remaining space of the HD, activate it, format and assign letter c: to it.

-BBC

PS: Also much agreeing with Andy the diag partition - we usually simply leave our WinPE on the machine so we can change the MBR to boot off that in case.

Marilou's picture

we are experiencing same problem. we have image the machine with diagnostic partition and encounter the NTLDR error. how could it be possible to restore the image with diagnostic partition? we can only do this on WinPE. what task/commands should be added before deploying the image?

Thanks in advance

joegman's picture

I have not put forth the time on this problem like I probably should.  My last experiment did not work. I was using the following diskpart script as a task in my deployment job (but again, it did not work).  I hope to get back on this soon.

 

REM Cleaning Harddrive
DISKPART
SELECT DISK 0
CLEAN
 
REM Create System Reserved Partition (my Dell utiity partition is about 77MB)
CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY SIZE=78
SELECT PARTITION 1
ACTIVE
FORMAT FS=FAT QUICK
 
REM Create Windows Partition (Rest of harddrive)
CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
SELECT PARTITION 2
FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK
ASSIGN LETTER=C
 
REM Exit Diskpart script
EXIT

 

andykn101's picture

I'm not sure you can run Diskpart from the command line like that, try using those commands in a text file like mine above.

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Marilou's picture

how could we run the text file using script? sorry if we don't know :P

andykn101's picture

See my earlier post.

Authorised Symantec Consultant (ASC) with Endpoint Management Limited, an Authorised Symantec Delivery Provider based in the UK.

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joegman's picture

Marilou, I did not understand how to exect a text file link Andy said. I used a task within a job.  The task runs, diskpart runs, but still NTLDR error after the image deploys.

joegman's picture

Wow, I wish I would have proofed the previous post before submitting.  I mean to say:

I did not understand how to execute a text file like Andy said.

Marilou's picture

thanks joegman for your response.

it would be highly appreciated if Andyman can provide a tutorial on how to execute text file on task Ü

kishorilal1986's picture

Hi Joe,

please follow the below steps and refer the attached pdf for this.

http://tinyempire.com/notes/ntldrismissing.htm

 

 

 

Many times this error is caused when the computer is attempting to boot from a non-bootable floppy disk or CD-ROM. First verify that no floppy diskette or CD is in the computer, unless you are attempting to boot from a diskette.
 
Note: This error has also been known to occur when a memory stick is in a card reader and the computer is attempting to boot from it. If you have any card reader or flash reader make sure that no memory stick is inside the computer. Additionally disconnect all USB drives, cameras, ipods, iphones, etc. from the computer.
 
If you are attempting to boot from a floppy diskette and are receiving this error message it is likely that the diskette does not have all the necessary files or is corrupt.
 
If you are attempting to install Windows XP or Windows 2000 and are receiving this error message as the computer is booting verify that your computer BIOS has the proper boot settings. For example, if you are attempting to run the install from the CD-ROM make sure the CD-ROM is the first boot device, and not the hard drive.
 
Second, when the computer is booting you should receive the below prompt.
 
Press any key to boot from the CD
 
Important: When you see this message press any key such as the Enter key immediately, otherwise it will try booting from the hard drive and likely get the NTLDR error again.
 
Note: If you are not receiving the above message and your BIOS boot options are set properly it's also possible that your CD-ROM drive may not be booting from the CD-ROM properly. Verify the jumpers are set properly on the CD-ROM drive.
AttachmentSize
Recovery from NTLDR Missing Error.pdf 102.3 KB
Tim.Jing's picture

Have you tried to build Windows XP in Vmware, patch it and then capture it and see if that works on your machines?