Followed Vista repair steps, HDD now dead :/

First off I googled for help on bringing my Vista install back to life with regards to NTLDR missing error. I followed each of the steps as listed. And then on the next reboot my BIOS no longer detects my Hard drive! As far as i know this hard drive shouldnt have any big problems with it, unless it has just coicdeintally died. i guess that is possible.

any suggestion what to do when the BIOS will not detect? Is it possible any of the steps taken could have damaged the part of the HDD that the BIOS uses to find it?

any advice much appeciated.


I followed this article up until step3.
Last edited:
It's going to be interesting to see what the experts tell you here -- because, as far as I know, NTLDR has nothing whatsoever to do with booting Vista; NTLDR is used in XP. So, if you got that error message, that's telling me you were trying to boot XP, not Vista.

I'm not surprised that following steps to repair Vista boot did not fix the problem. I AM surprised that the BIOS can no longer see your drive. Don't really see how changing anything for Vista or XP booting would affect that.

But as I said, it will be interesting to see what you're advised to do.
Hi Astroboy, welcome to NST.
First thing to do, if the BIOS isn't detecting your HDD, is unplug all the leads (power and data) and plug them in again several times to clean up all the contacts. (With the power switched off at the wall, but the plug left connected to keep the chassis earthed).
I've had several systems that died overnight when they weren't even switched on, which were perfectly OK again after this.
Your original NTLDR error might be related. That's an XP error message which shouldn't ever happen on a native Vista system, unless you've got an old 2nd HDD on the system with an XP IPL in the MBR, and the failure of the BIOS to detect the Vista disk led it to attempt to boot (never going to be successful) from the 2nd non-system HDD.
Try the cleanup of the contacts, and make sure that the Vista disk is first in the BIOS, and try again.
Post back with whatever happens and we'll take it from there.


You're right Mark about the XP message. If my first guess for the reason is off-base, we'll have to determine where else it came from before we proceed with fixing the system.
Last edited:
Thanks Terry and Mark.

Yeah replugging the drives back in (SATA DVD and the HDD) detected it again. So I guess just a strange coincidence.

I dont believe it, I have two acronis images sitting around here, and I think i have restored the XP one instead of the vista, even though I had labelled it vista. This did not even cross my mind. How dumb of me!

I just spent about 4hrs trying to get vista to fix an XP boot image, i think its safe to say that its not possible :smile: At least not with tools from this galaxy. So XP doesnt use any files in the c:\boot\ folder? because mine was completely empty and none of the vista command tools would create one.

Thanks guys for your help in pointing out that obvious mistake. See how I go with restoring the vista image now, it is from a different motherboard system (HP laptop) so will be interesting to see if it will boot up on my new PC.
Your boot files well need to have been included in the image. If not, bcdedit /rebuildbcd or a reset of the bcd store using EasyBCD in Diagnostics Center or when it asks you to should fix it. Do you got a bootmgr file at the root of the partition with the boot folder (You need to enable viewing of hidden files/folders and operating system files) and that partition is the "system" or "active" partition according to disk management? If not, a few startup repairs from a Vista DVD may be needed instead.