NTLDR is missing

#1
The Vista Home Premium 32-bit machine I was working on today was experiencing the infamous "NTLDR is missing" message.

I found this site via Google and paid the $9.75 to download the "Windows Vista 32-bit Recovery Disc" from SystemDiscs.com

Nope. Nada. Zip. The recovery software could not find the Vista installation on the hard drive and suggested loading a "Driver".

I booted from Linux and could see two "invalid" partitions - the main partition with the O/S and the 2 Gig Recovery partition.

My final solution was to delete both partitions with Linux (the Windows 7 CD wouldn't let me do it) and install Windows 7.

Fortunately, before doing all this, I had connected the hard drive to my desktop computer with a USB cable and backed up the owner's documents.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
It sounds like your partitions were completely corrupted. There's not much any software will be able to do to help you out of such a situation, unfortunately.
 
#3
dual boot?

I was going to comment about a solution I had to a similar problem, but realized your problem was different.

I have obtained OS discs from Microsoft for a small handling fee. I don't know if they carry anything but the current OS. You do have to have a legitimate product/serial number - i.e. the one that is on the back of your machine.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
#5
What causes this? I've had this happen when trying to boot from a install disc.

Also, I've had this to happen when deleting a partition, and haven't done a repair yet. But booting from the CD/DVD, I don't understand that part.

Cat
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
I'm not sure what you mean? The OP posted a number of "issues," which of them in particular are you asking about, cat?