NTLDR missing message - Vista


I have been working on a friend's Acer Aspire 3680 which was running Windows Vista 32-bit. The computer came from a friend at work and it appears they formatted the recovery partition in order to gain the space back. Which was fine, but the recovery disks have disappeared since then. It originally came to me with a spyware issue and I decided to do the Windows updates while it was here. Apparently something didn't apply correctly and it began kicking out a winload.exe is not found error. Wouldn't let me press F8 to get to safe mode, last known config or anything. Just dead directly after the post.

Anyhow It looks like I further botched the system by overwriting the Vista record with XP similar to this thread suspected to have done - My Vista knowledge is not so good, never really needed to make the jump from XP.

I did this with Spotmau 2009. I am not sure if didn't recognize that it was a Vista install or what.

I have tried using the recovery disk I downloaded from here the following results.
Startup Repair - Boot manager failed to find OS loader - action repair - When I attempt to restart it doesn't actually do anything, no BIOS, or anything.
System Restore - No points found
Windows Complete PC Restore - None found
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool - good - also had checked with memtest86 overnight
Command Prompt - works fine

If it helps I have computers here running XP Home SP3, XP Pro SP3, Vista SP1, Vista SP2, and I maybe would be able borrow a full copy of Vista from a friend. Mine are only recovery discs. The recovery disks are for Dell and Sony. I also have a hard drive enclosure I could put the hard drive in if it would make repair easier.

I appreciate any help you can provide with this. Also if you could tell me what would have been the proper fix to the winload.exe that would be great.



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Did you "startup repair" 3 times ?
If you regressed the Vista boot to XP, there will be multiple things to fix, and "startup repair" only does one per boot.
Boot the recovery CD 3 times and do "startup repair" each time then see if Vista boots.
Sorry for the delay in response, I forgot to subscribe to the thread.

I did try the "startup repair" at least 5 times. It took a few restarts to get back to the disk so I think I may have lost a fix that it did in the process.