I just went through a nerve-wracking few hours after doing the latest Windows Update. After rebooting, well, attempting to reboot, all I got was a message that said “NTLDR Missing, Press CTRL-ALT-DEL”.
After some digging (and being thankful to have the calm Don Kiely here) it seems that because of a large pile of tmp files on my c: drive, it created a problem for the NTLDR file (NT Loader) that was exacerbated (look it up) by the update.
What I needed to do was delete the files and defrag the drive. But there was no apparent way to do this. I did (note now past tense) not have a boot drive for my new computer. If I booted up with a boot cd, it did not find my system drive. I needed my boot.ini to do this. You cannot copy files to removable media from the Repair Console, so I couldn’t attempt to create a boot drive from there. Rich’s machine had Win2000 and my laptop and tablet do not have floppies. My former laptop had a slot where I could put my cd rom or a floppy drive. For some reason I thought that it was for the current laptop and spent a lot of time looking for my floppy drive (thinking I had tucked it away someplace stupid when I moved last year).
Eventually, I found the instrux on microsoft.com/support for creating a win xp boot setup drive on a floppy disk and did this from the Win2000 machine while also recreating my boot.ini drive on that floppy. I will make a few of those now. So I booted right back into my system and will defrag tonight during dinner then deal with the missing boot file on my hard drive. But Don has headed back to Alaska and his last words out the door were “first thing I’m doing when I get home is make myself a boot disk!”
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