invalid ntdlr - booting c:windows hangs


Active Member
My laptop seemed to hang upon shut down last week, then I went on vacation, when I tryed to restart this morning it it gave the brief message:
invalid ntdlr
booting from c:windows
then it just hangs there. I am wondering if i should delete files or rename files ??

I am using a dual boot with vista and xp via easy bcd and vista hide n seek. I have a disk with ubuntu on it so i can access the files. It seems all the necessary files are still in the root of C... bootmgr, bootmgr.hns, ntdlr,, menulst, vista.c.hns...

the xp drive has:, ntdlr, xp.h.hns...

not sure how this happened, but here I am again :frowning:
If you're not getting the HnS spash screen, but just getting that message, then either your PBR has been overwritten (it's looking for NTLDR instead of bootmgr), or you're booting from the wrong HDD if you have several.
Maybe you've got dodgy connections to the boot HDD (eject and reinsert a few times to clean up the pins), or the BIOS boot sequence has got changed.

Or does this all happen when you choose XP from the HnS menu ?
hi Terry, I don't get that far, all I get is a black screen telling me invalid ntldr etc... then it hangs... no vista hide n seek splash screen, nothing...

I did try copying a fresh ntldr to the c root. that didn't change anything.
HnS pretends to be bootmgr (that's the file bootmgr you see) and renames the real bootmgr to bootmgr.HnS.
When you boot, the Vista MBR/PBR will look for bootmgr.
On a straight Vista system it finds the real one. On an HnS system it finds the fake, which does its hiding/unhiding stuff and then calls the real (renamed) bootmgr or NTLDR, depending on which boot choice you make.
If you're getting a NTLDR error message, then you're not executing the VIsta MBR/PBR, you're executing an XP version.
Hence my first reply.
Have you checked the BIOS ?
Cleaned the HDD contacts ?
Recently reinstalled XP ?
can I just delete the hns files and revert back to vista's original boot manager? I don't know how this got all messed up, but no, I didn't reinstall xp, I really don't want to open up my laptop, and I honestly don't think the drive is the problem. Something changed my settings when I was IN the xp installation, and it hung when I shut it down, but up 'til then all was fine.
Your problem isn't bootmgr (either version).
Bootmgr isn't being called, NTLDR is.
That indicates that the problem lies with the MBR/PBR being XP's version, not Vista's.
It won't help going back to the real bootmgr, it won't be called either.
I can tell you how to fix the boot, but I'm trying to help you ascertain whether it needs fixing or whether the problem is elsewhere. You don't want to go round changing things till you're sure of exactly why this has started happening.
Do you have more than one HDD ?
If so, first check the BIOS boot sequence to make sure you're booting from the right one.
You shouldn't need to "open up" the laptop as such. Laptop HDDs generally can just be released with a simple latch and then plugged back in again. Easy as changing the CD in your CD-ROM drive.
Check your Laptop User Guide.
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nope, just one hard drive. Bios is set to cdrom then the laptop hard drive. I removed then reinserted the hard drive. I'm still getting the same msg.
In that case
Boot your Ubuntu CD
rename bootmgr to grldr
rename bootmgr.hns to bootmgr
boot your Vista DVD (or our recovery CD if you don't have one)
"repair your computer" / "startup repair" as many times as necessary till Vista boots unaided
rename bootmgr to bootmgr.hns
rename grldr to bootmgr
(these last 2 can be done with Ubuntu again if Vista won't let you)
The HnS boot should be functional again.
I renamed the files as you told me. Ran the vista repair cd (from this site) Repair told me it had to correct errors in vista, and i restarted Vista repair now startup repair is giving me the message:

Starup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically
Problem Event Name: StartupRepairV2
Problem Signature 01: ExternalMedia
Problem Signature 02: 6.0.6000.16386.6.0.6001.18000
Problem Signature 03: 0
Problem Signature 04: 65537
Problem Signature 05: unknown
Problem Signature 06: MissingBootManager
Problem Signature 07: 0
Problem Signature 08: 2
Problem Signature 09: WrpRepair
Problem Signature 10: 87
OS version: 6.0.6000.
Locale ID: 1003
There might be bad blocks in the boot sector.
Try accessing the recovery console instead of "startup repair" from the second screen, and run a chkdsk /f against your Vista partition.
It'll take a while to complete, but it should remove bad blocks from use.
Then try the startup repair again.
I don't see a recovery console option :frowning: in the windows repair cd. Can I use ubuntu to run a disk check?
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ok, i got chkdsk running ----

upon running startup repair i get the same cannot repair this computer automatically msg again..

am i toast with this?
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I'm afraid you're running out of alternatives if none of the normal remedial actions are effective.
(you did remember the /f for chkdsk ? One final roll of the dice, you could try chkdsk /r)
At least you've got Ubuntu to rescue your user files.
here's what i've found using ubuntu partition editor. My vista partition (c) is hidden and my xp partition (f) is set as boot. How does one go about changing the hidden drive to the boot drive? I see you can set 'flags', but is there something else i need to change with the hns files that are doing the hiding?
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The Vista drive is hidden because XP was the last OS you had booted. HnS should unhide it when you next boot.
If Vista is normally your boot partition, then HnS has to keep a copy of grldr (masquarading as bootmgr) in the XP partition too (because the normal version is now hidden).
That must be what's gone wrong.
That's probably why the startup repair isn't working, because HnS issues "makeactive" to the XP partition, which is how it's been left, so the repair is looking at the wrong partition.
Try the sequence in post 8 again but use Ubuntu to set the Vista partition active first, before the startup repair.
that makes sense because xp is the partition that was used when shutdown hung up. This morning I was trying to use bcdedit to recover the bootmgr but there were never any renamed files in the c root. Then I found them in the f partition... that's when i realized something was very wrong. Now, after running the repair sequence from the startup cd, I have gotten into vista -- YAY!

Now, i Have a bunch of files hanging out in the roots of c and f partitions. I'm tempted to delete them and rerun easy bcd and hns... dare I? Specifically, the bcd.log files that were created in the xp partition using bootrec, and does the xp partition need a 'boot' folder? Right now the xp partition has ntldr and in it. Should there be more in there?
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Did you do the last bit (renaming bootmgr and grldr) to put HnS back in control ?
(and make sure that the renamed grldr (bootmgr) is copied to XP as well if it's not there.)