Windows 2000 XP Pro

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DaveDaDude
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Windows 2000 XP Pro

Post by DaveDaDude » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:15 am

I hate to come back and hardly contribute anything to the site and then have to ask a totally un-music related computer question. :blush:

But here I am anyway, Craig, hat in hand.

It's my wife's computer. Was working perfectly until very early this morning. I haven't had time to look at it until the last few hours.

The error message at initial boot is "NTLDR" is missing" "Ctl-Alt-Del to restart" which just leads back to the same message. F2 and F12 resolve nothing. Unable to get to Windows boot to safe-mode screen. Doesn't log into Windows in any way that I can see.

I looked it up on Microsoft and have been diddling with it for some time. One "cause" could be a non-system disk in the CD drive. There was no disk at all. Another "cause" is listed as too many files in the root of the WINDOWS directory.

I tried booting to Windows in CD drive with no success. Then I saw something suggested in solutions to this problem about logging into BIOS with either "Esc", "Del" or "F11" "Esc", nada. "Del" it did take me to a a different screen offering to start Windows from CD by "hitting any key" (I always use "Enter" or space bar). Then it goes into "Windows Setup", which takes quite a while to load, "To set up Windows XP now, press ENTER" (this one always scares me), "To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R", "To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, pres F3 (why bother?)

When I enter "R" for recovery, it goes to a DOS prompt 1: C:\WINDOWS, then "Which Windows installation would you like to log onto <To cancel, press ENTER>?" I enter "1".

It goes to a standard DOS prompt of C:\WINDOWS. A directory of the directory is 149 files, of which about 2/3's appear to be junk files of the type $UnInstallKB2.....$. A directory of $*.* sorts out only those files. A "delete $*.*" won't work since "delete" no longer supports wild cards (I understand why, but it's a pain for me atm).

I deleted around a dozen of them one at a time (with a little... okay, a lot of... help from the up cursor repeating the last type string of characters. But, so far, I've apparently not removed enough files to make a difference, still get "NTLDR" is missing"

I have a (several) CD's of Windows. But the last time I tried to cobble together a computer for my sons, they all seemed to be corrupted in one way or another (Recovery Panel would work then too iirc). Because of the lack of reliable system to load, I hesitate to select install Windows option because I (she) might be left with no computer. Of course she doesn't back up, but she doesn't really save any doc's, just browse and chat. Her emails would be a disaster for her, but unavoidable.

Am I on the right track? Or is it hopeless? I saw that Windows 2000 XP Pro (and all the others, I imagine) end being supported in April, 2014, so I may (will) have to give in and buy it soon anyway. But right now I'm trying to patch things up during our move.

I'd appreciate any help you could give me, Craig.

PS: these are some of the Microsoft searches I've looked at if they help at all, although I suspect you know most, if not all, of this below:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/228004
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058/EN-US
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... 19a?auth=1
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbyerr ... singxp.htm

PPS: Oh, this computer has been running trouble free for over a year.
:blah: :blah: :blah:
Dave


1972 Martin D-18
Roland Jazz Chorus 55 (c 1986)
Epiphone Galaxie 10 (Tube) Combo;
DigiTech Genesis 3, Nano PB-1 Volume Boost Pedal, BOSS GE-7 EQ
oh... and a Shure SM57 too

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Craig
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Re: Windows 2000 XP Pro

Post by Craig » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:27 am

It's probably not an issue with too many files and deleting files can cause more trouble than it fixes. How many hard drives do you have in it? The very first step is to remove any external devices and reboot to see if that fixes it (ie. any usb thumb drives, external hard drives etc. etc.).

Is this a laptop or a desktop? For now, we will operate under the assumption that it's a desktop.

Check the drive and boot order in the BIOS:
Reboot and start pressing F2, repeatedly. You should, eventually, get the BIOS screen before the error appears. If the error comes up and you don't get the BIOS, try again with the DEL key. If that doesn't work, try the Esc key. Last one to try is the F1 key. One of those keys should get you into the BIOS.

Once in the BIOS, The main page sho0uld list the hard drives, make sure your drive is listed. Next, look for the word "Boot", on the top tabs. Move around through the menus and pages, looking for something that lists the devices and the order they boot in. When you find it, make sure your hard drive is listed first, then save and exit. Reboot and see if it's fixed, if not, let's get back into the DOS prompt you were in earlier:

When you get into the DOS prompt, type:
CD..
and hit enter. Keep doing this until you are at a C prompt (ie. "C:\" with nothing after it.) Then, type:
DIR
and hit enter. Have a look at the folders. Do they look like the folder on your computer? If so, we can assume that the drive is fine. If not, you may be reading a different drive and your main drive may be burned out or you may have a bad cable.

So, assuming the drive is reading properly, let's make sure the PC is booting the correct drive:

Reboot the computer. As it's booting up, start pressing F8 repeatedly. Depending on the age of the computer, you will either get a "Device Boot Screen" or a screen that gives you the option to choose the start up type. If you get the start up type, choose "Safe Mode" (ignore the other safe mode options and just go with plain old safe mode). If that works try it again with a "Last known good configuration". If you get the device list, make sure your hard drive is listed there. If it is, choose it and start pressing F8 right away so you can catch the Start up screen. If your hard drive is not listed, then you know there is an error with the hard drive, motherboard or cable.

If the drive is showing up, you can read the files in DOS and everything seems fine but it's still not loading Windows, you either have corrupt files or a virus.

If you have corrupt files, we can do a repair installation:

-Boot the computer from your Windows XP CD.
-When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen press Enter to start Windows Setup.
-Do not choose "Recovery Console".
-Windows will search for existing Windows installations.
-Select the XP installation from the list and press R to start the repair. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot.
-Only install if you get the "R to repair" option. DO NOT RUN THE INSTALLATION WITHOUT THE R OPTION AS IT WILL WIPE OUT THE DATA ON YOUR DRIVE.
-Do not press a key when the "to boot from CD..." message comes up.
-Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact.

I may have missed something here but I think I got it. There are several more, advanced steps, but this covers the basic stuff. Try these and let me know how you make out.
Craig Brophy
I like to plug a power strip into itself. The current loop generates infinite free electricity!
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DaveDaDude
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Re: Windows 2000 XP Pro

Post by DaveDaDude » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:55 am

Craig,

Thank you for your usual detailed and logical response. ;)

I haven't done anything yet, been setting up others to work on the house. But my wife can't do anything without her computer, nor I everything I need without mine on loan to her. Hence the crisis of this Murphy's screwball.

In order:

There is only the (1) HDD and (1) CD

The only external connections are to the ISP router, keyboard and mouse. Nothing has been added or modified (to our knowledge)

This is a desktop, Dell.

Boot sequence is CD 1st, HDD 2nd. No others installed. Because that's the way it's been for a year, I had left it like that so far, but will be my first step in just a few minutes.

I have tried F8 repeatedly without success. It goes straight to the error, but I'll confirm in a minute.

moving to the dead computer atm....
Boot sequence now HHD, then CD. Same error.
F8, no effect, goes to error.
I tried to boot to CD to repair, but could not get there. I had to reset the Boot sequence to CD, then HDD again, booted... will be back...
:blah: :blah: :blah:
Dave


1972 Martin D-18
Roland Jazz Chorus 55 (c 1986)
Epiphone Galaxie 10 (Tube) Combo;
DigiTech Genesis 3, Nano PB-1 Volume Boost Pedal, BOSS GE-7 EQ
oh... and a Shure SM57 too

PhotoBucket sux, see their new "3rd Party Hosting" policy :mad:

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DaveDaDude
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Re: Windows 2000 XP Pro

Post by DaveDaDude » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:57 am

New post to sort of start it fresh since I've tried all above (I think) and nothing works.

When I boot with the Windows CD in the CD Drive and the HDD booting first, it goes directly to NTLDR is missing error and stays there until the crack of doom.

When I boot to the Windows CD with the CD Drive booting first, it comes up "Press any key to boot from CD....." and as you said it would, it only gives the option of formatting and losing data. If I sit and wait for the "Welcome to Windows setup" message, it goes to "NTLDR is missing" with no apparent way to boot to CD.

I'm going to try to go to DOS prompt and change to D: and see if I can launch it that way.


I could not run Windows by typing D: at the DOS command prompt and then typing "setup" for the setup.exe file. Improper syntax or such. "Run setup" ng too. Do I need a comma or something, such as "Run, setup" ?

If I reboot and hit "Del" while it's rebooting I get the choices of 1) To set up Windows XP now, press ENTER. 2) To repair a Window XP installation using Recovery Console, press R. 3) To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

Same place I've been before. It will not be a Repair option. I'm going to my option number two now. Try to get a computer from the walking wounded pile running. Thanks for all the help, Craig. I'll check back in her shortly to see if you had any further ideas.
:blah: :blah: :blah:
Dave


1972 Martin D-18
Roland Jazz Chorus 55 (c 1986)
Epiphone Galaxie 10 (Tube) Combo;
DigiTech Genesis 3, Nano PB-1 Volume Boost Pedal, BOSS GE-7 EQ
oh... and a Shure SM57 too

PhotoBucket sux, see their new "3rd Party Hosting" policy :mad:

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Craig
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Re: Windows 2000 XP Pro

Post by Craig » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:59 pm

When at the DOS prompt, try accessing the C drive. That way we know if it's working or not. If the hard drive died, the computer will reassign the C: to the next drive (either the CD or a temp, ram drive). So, when you are at the C: prompt, you need to type DIR so you can see if there is a Windows folder, Program Files folder, etc. If you are looking at the CD or RAM drive, there will be different folders.

If you can't access the C drive in DOS, then there is something wrong with it. Swapping out the cable (switch with the CD cable as we know it's working), is the easiest way to check cables.

As for getting into the BIOS, you tried DEL, Esc, F2 and F1? Remember that they need to be pushed, repeatedly after power up. One of the keys should get you into the BIOS so you can check to see if the drive is showing up. If not, let me know the model of the Motherboard and I will look up the BIOS key for you (just in case it's something out of the ordinary).

Just to be sure, I'd like to get into the BIOS, not only to make sure the drive is there, but to check the system time and date to make sure the motherboard battery hasn't died on you.
Craig Brophy
I like to plug a power strip into itself. The current loop generates infinite free electricity!
I've come up with a solution that I honestly think works out best for one of both of us.
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DaveDaDude
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Re: Windows 2000 XP Pro

Post by DaveDaDude » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:57 am

I can read the boot HDD with no problem. I previously deleted some bogus $*$ files (with no application extension, i.e. *.blank) from the Windows folder on it. Can read root directory and Windows directory. Haven't checked other directories because of clumsiness of the archaic DOS, but everything I do indications it's the boot HDD. "dir" at default location in DOS prompt (WINDOWS) yields all normal files plus all those bogus files. Can go back to root and see all files there.

I am able to get into BIOS and all settings appear normal, CD and HDD are recognized and show no anomalies. My previous comment about not getting into BIOS was wrong. Date and time are correct.

I'm shelving this problem until after the move in three days, and our total unpreparedness for that disaster-in-the-making. Thanks for all the help, Craig. :wave:
:blah: :blah: :blah:
Dave


1972 Martin D-18
Roland Jazz Chorus 55 (c 1986)
Epiphone Galaxie 10 (Tube) Combo;
DigiTech Genesis 3, Nano PB-1 Volume Boost Pedal, BOSS GE-7 EQ
oh... and a Shure SM57 too

PhotoBucket sux, see their new "3rd Party Hosting" policy :mad:

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Craig
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Re: Windows 2000 XP Pro

Post by Craig » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:14 am

So the fact that the drive shows up and you can read the files means that it's okay. That leaves corrupt files or a virus. If you can get into safemode with a DOS prompt (from the start up options/F8) screen, you can put in the Windows CD and run SFC /SCANNOW. That will scan system files to see if any are corrupt.

Just in case I missed it, did you try starting up with "Last Known Good Configuration"?

Good luck with your move. Will talk to you on the other side!
Craig Brophy
I like to plug a power strip into itself. The current loop generates infinite free electricity!
I've come up with a solution that I honestly think works out best for one of both of us.
My Facebook, My Music, My Pics

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