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Disaster PC cannot boot due to my stupidity

shermans
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Disaster PC cannot boot due to my stupidity

I have been trying to clean off a virus which kept coming back, even though my anti virus software detected it and was supposed to have destroyed it.  I finally succeeded using Mawarbytes, and decided to clean up the registry and the hard disk as I was low on space.
Don't ask me why, but stupidly I managed to delete the config.sys file and possibly one or two other files with zero bytes.  Anyway, I now cannot re-start the laptop.  I just get "NTDLR" missing" message.  I assume it is because the config.sys file got deleted in error.
I am away from home and therefore have no Windows XP cd with me.  Nor do I even have a bootable cd of any sort.  If I could get the machine started back into Wndows, the deleted file(s) may either still be in the Recycle bin, or they may be able to be copied from a previous back-up of the system on the hard disk (can't remember whether I have one) or from Restore to Earlier Date.
I do have access to another XP computer where I am staying.
IS there any way of rescuing the dire situation ?
It is a complete disaster !
Thanks for any help.
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

shermans
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Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

Hi Old Jim
Thanks for the reply.  I could do that (I assume your reference to Linux was a typo and meant to say XP) but what is the best way way to create a bootable CD ?  The problem is with my laptop.  The other machine to which I have access is a desktop, but both computers are running XP ?
Your advice os really appreciated.
VileReynard
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Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

Why not just use Linux to copy the NTDLR program file from the "spare" XP machine?
The easiest way to run an OS from a CD (albeit rather slowly) (which is what you need to do) is to use Linux.
Linux is also free.

Community Veteran
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Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

I have edited my earlier post
Linux wasn't a typo but it is extremely difficult
Try this link instead http://tinyempire.com/notes/ntldrismissing.htm
Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: 08-09-2008

Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

First read this article called NTLDR is Missing Error Resolution on About.com
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbyerrormessage/a/ntldrmissingxp.htm
I note the quote, "The most common reason for this [NTLDR is Missing] error is when your PC is trying to boot from a hard drive or flash drive that is not properly configured to be booted from; in other words, it's trying to boot from a non-bootable source. This also would apply to media on an optical drive or floppy drive that you're trying to boot from."
Check your BIOS
Now take a look at this informative article on TechRepublic called 10 things you can do when Windows XP won't boot
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10things/10-things-you-can-do-when-windows-xp-wont-boot/348
From your description, I would try starting with the "Use Last Known Good Configuration" option first

Cool One day computers will fix themselves... and there won't be a Microsoft too
shermans
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Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

I first tried the solutions from Thunderclap but unfortunately I drew a blank.  Thanks nevertheless.
So then I tried Old Jim's method using the tinyempire link.  I managed to get the ISO file unzipped, and I installed the ISO recorder, but I could not get that part to work.  It kept telling me that no recorder was registered, no matter how often I installed and uninstalled it.
Is it just a question of burning the entire ISO file which I unzipped ?  Is there another way to burn this to a CD ?
VileReynard
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Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

You burn the ISO file (it is a CD image) to the CD; note you are not creating a data CD.
This should give you a bootable CD.

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Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

Windows XP does not require config.sys to boot.  So your problem with ntldr is not due to the reason you think.  Have you checked that ntldr really is missing (using some sort of boot CD/DVD)? 
shermans
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Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

ReedRichards
Thanks for the info. I have been trying to make a XP CD boot disk but have not been successful in creating one, as explained above.  All I want to do is to crate a boot cd which will let me in.  It was easy in the old Windows 98 days but I do not know how to do it these days with Windows XP which seems much more complex.  Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
shermans
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Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

SmileyGood news.  Laptop back up and running.
Having got back home, I removed the hard disc of the laptop and installed it into my desktop with a USB interface.  I then opened a back-up copy of my Windows set-up which I had stored on my desktop, and compared the contents of the root directory.  Dozens of files were missing, files which I had not deleted, including NTLDR.  I had only deleted one or two.  Therefore my assumption is that the virus had done more damage than I was aware of.
Anyway, I copied the files from the back-up to the laptop hard disk, re-installed the hard disc back into the laptop, booted up and hey presto, all was back working again, thank goodness.
I checked again for any trace of the virus with Malwarebytes, tidied up the registry, defragged the disk and took another back-up to store externally.
The problem of course is that the System, Windows and Programme files are far too large to store on a CD or DVD.  I have stored them on a 60Gb USB stick but it is dreadfully slow, as well as on the desktop.  Are there any better ways of storing these files externally to be recommended ?  The sizes are about 16 Gb and 8 Gb.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who tried to help.  I am most grateful.
VileReynard
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Re: Disaster PC cannot noot due to my stupidity

shermans
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Re: Disaster PC cannot boot due to my stupidity

vilefoxdemonofdoom
Thanks.  I think I will do that.  It is not expensive. It is storage, but of course it can be over-written whereas a DVD / CD could not be.