Thursday, March 12, 2009

NTLDR is Missing

Recently a friend of mine sent me an email complaining his computer would not boot. He said "it just displays NTLDR is missing - Press any key to restart". He was running Windows XP Media Centre Edition on a white box clone; I gave him some suggestions, sent him some web site links and screenshots.

A few days later I received an email full of hate flaming Microsoft and their Windows empire. In the end he decided to become a switcher as Steve Jobs would say and join the Apple Evangelist camp. He purchased a Unibody 15" MacBook Pro.

He asked me to come by and help make the transition smooth. Along with his nice shiny new MacBook Pro he purchased a Time Capsule to share his USB printer, replace his aging Linksys and Backup his data. A very sweet setup, Time Capsule is an interesting concept.

This was my first time with Apple's Time Capsule but I must admit it was super easy. Initially I was stumped as I was used to Linksys type web interface. No such thing in the Time Capsule. Apple provides the Airport Utility. Essentially a step by step wizard.

After migrating everything to OS X I turned my attention to his Windows machine, which continued to display "NTLDR is missing" I won't go into great detail but I spent an hour trying different troubleshooting techniques to rebuild his MBR, restore NT Loader from Windows CD, XP Recovery Console and many other things. I was ready to give up, when something caught my attention. When his machine restarted soon after BIOS post his machine made a noise I have not heard in a long time. Those of you that have been around computers before USB will know this sound very well. I heard a faint click when floppy drive engages floppy disk. You see his computer case has one of those front cover doors covering everything except his primary CD/DVD Drive. Sure enough I swung the cover door open and there it was a floppy disk engaged within floppy drive. After ejecting floppy disk I gave the old three finger salute and Windows booted just fine. I thought to myself WTF! who has floppy drives these days? My friend told me he's never used it and completely forgot about having a floppy drive.

There you have it! If your computer displays "NTLDR is missing" even if you've never used it check for a floppy drive. Its too bad my friend had to learn it the hard way. It was a very expensive floppy I figure at least $2000 including cost of Time Capsule. But in any case he's happy with his Apple transition. Steve Jobs would be happy! Perhaps this could be Apple's next PC/Mac commercial material.

No comments:

Post a Comment