Image won't boot: NTLDR Not Found

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by rhfritz, Dec 22, 2006.

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  1. rhfritz

    rhfritz Registered Member

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    I've backed up a 10 GB C Partition from an 80GB hard drive using ATI v7.0, 8.0, and a trial of 10.0. Whenever I restore this Verified image to the 10GB C Partition of a 250GB drive, the resulting drive will not boot. The message given is 'NTLDR Not Found.' The OS is XP SP2. The images were created both using the Windows App as well as the Bootable Recovery Disk. The image was stored on the D Partition of the same drive and fits easily on a single DVD which was used to carry it over to the other hard drive. The image I created of the 10 GB C Partition of the 250GB drive prior to this operation restores fine allowing that drive to boot. The same machine was used to create and restore the image.

    Searching elsewhere in this forum I saw the recommendation to use XP Recovery console and run fixmbr. It had no effect.

    I have not tried a disk clone because I'd prefer to preserve the remaining data on the D partition of the target drive.

    Any recommendations appreciated.
     
  2. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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  3. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    If you still have the image made by 10 restore again and when asked if there is anything else ask it to restore the MBR.

    Only guessing but it might help
     
  4. rhfritz

    rhfritz Registered Member

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    I now have additional information that appears to explain why some others (in the archive) who have had this same problem have images without NTLDR, boot.ini, or NTDETECT.com in the root directory of their hard drive.

    In my case, my target system is a 250gb drive with a 10GB C partition which is XP Pro only and the remainder is the D drive which has a lot of stuff I prefer to keep. To create my source image, I prepared a new 10GB XP Pro image using a spare 80GB drive which also has a 10GB C partition. My intent was simply to restore the source C partition to my target drive. And in all of my attempts with the various versions of ATI, I get the NTLDR Not Found message.

    Booting into recovery console and running bootcfg and fixboot did not solve my problem. So I went back and looked at my source drive again with system files unhidden. The NTLDR, boot.ini, and NTDETECT.com files are NOT in the root directory of the boot drive (C). For reasons I don't understand, the "missing" files are located in the root of the D drive -- the drive I'm not imaging or restoring. And of course my target system was booting off the C drive with those files located in the root of C. So, restoring my image did in fact leave me with a drive that was attempting to reference files that weren't there. I haven't a clue as to how to force the reference of these files back onto the boot drive where I would think they belong.

    So I burned a regular CD with those files on it copied from D of my source disk and went into back into recovery console and manually copied them to the root of D on my target. Upon rebooting, I now get a different message indicating that hal.dll is missing or corrupt, but I'll try to fix that via the repairing windows link posted above.

    Any insight into how the location of boot.ini, etc. can be changed would be appreciated.
     
  5. levesqs

    levesqs Registered Member

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    Same problem as you. While looking at the image content (with restore files) I see that there is only config.sys and autoexec.bat files that is part of the hiden files on the root. no others... Of course, because of that, I got the same message of NTLDR not found. I recover by booting XP in recovery mode and copying NTLDR and ntdetect.com . It complains about boot.ini but I later recover it.

    When I look at all the archive, I see none of those hiden files there.
    but I was succesful to recover using a bootable CD of trueimage to rebuid a IDE disk. Strangely this seems to be linked to the fact that I am now trying to restore a RAID disk from a runing system booted on IDE disk.

    Anyone knows what exaclty the recover BMR and track 0 do or is supposed to do? my feeling is that it should take care of this but it doesn't

    Just for information, here is the general path I am doing.
    it's a lot easyer than installing windows on a RAID with driver disk...

    1-Install XP on IDE disk
    2-Boot on IDE disk
    3-install all dirver including RAID driver until everything works.
    4-true image backup final system
    5-format a RAID disks array
    6-restore system on RAID
    7-Boot on RAID disk
    8-Verify performances of RAID ( block size etc... restart at 5 if necessary)
    8-install games...
    9-use IDE system as backup to restore the "biodegradable" windows system on the RAID)


    Steve
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    rhfritz,

    I missed your thread. Could you look in Disk Management of your 80 GB computer and tell me if you have a partition to the left of your C: drive in the graphic. For example, Dell computers have a 50 MB diagnostic partition as the first partition. Or is C: drive your first partition? Any other Drive 0 partitions?

    Which partition is labeled "System"?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  7. rhfritz

    rhfritz Registered Member

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    I'm familiar with the DELL diagnostic partition. No, this isn't a DELL machine and hence has no other hidden partitions.

    With regard to levesqs's comment. He has discovered a variation of some new information I have discovered.

    I physically opened the case because of a peculiarity I noted when I was imaging the partition: ATI listed the two partitions in an alternate order, i.e. My 'C' drive was listed as 'D'. I'm not sure if my 'D' was 'E' or if my CDROM was 'C.'

    The point is that the OEM who built my box installed the CDROM as the lone drive on the Primary IDE controller and installed the 80GB IDE hard drive on one of the secondary controllers that can be configured for RAID but was configured in the BIOS as IDE. I expect this drive-letter nonsense is related to how ATI and XP are provided the list of available devices at run-time.

    I have moved my 80GB drive onto the primary controller in the Master position (CS enabled) with the CDROM in the slave position. The system still boots fine as it is still referencing the magic files on the D drive. Again, the question is: Is there a way to make an existing XP Installation look for these magic files on the C Drive?

    Rob
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    rhfritz,

    You didn't answer, which partition is the "System" drive in Disk Management?

    Some people like to install Windows in the D: drive for hacker prevention reasons. It makes image backups a real problem as you have found. I doubt there is an easy solution for you.

    Definitions.. The Boot partition contains the Windows OS. The System partition contains the Boot files. Sounds back the front doesn't it?

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314470/en-us
     
  9. rhfritz

    rhfritz Registered Member

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    In disk manager, the Boot partition is C but the System is D. I may just delete the D partition on the 80GB to see if I can use a repair process to make C the System partition as well.

    But even with the drive located on the primary IDE controller, ATI still lists D first. I suspect it lists the system partition first, boot second.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    rhfritz,

    Interesting. Thanks. That demonstrates the problem your OEM WinXP installer created for you.

    If you have a floppy drive this disc may start your computer without needing a D: drive. The C: drive needs to be "active" which it will be.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305595/

    If you don't have a floppy drive you can convert the floppy to a boot CD in another computer. I keep 3 of these CDs with a different boot.ini on each. Very handy for boot.ini mismatches.
     
  11. Clearline

    Clearline Registered Member

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    I like the trick of just writing a reference in the boot ini for each partition that may be accessed, so if one choice doesn't boot, then try another. Ater system is stabilized, the extra boot ini entries can be removed.

    I am also testing multi boot ini settings with different hal version calls (as there about 4 hal versions). so when mounting images on different computers, I can try to select which hal will work with that particular board.
    /HAL=path\hal version


    Hidden partitions, while not effecting drive letters usually do effect the partition number in the boot ini.
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes. The boot.ini in my Dell references partition 2 due to the preceding hidden partition.

    This is probably not what you meant but I had 8 Win XP installed in a test computer. Three in primary partitions and five in logical drives. 8 different boot.ini.
     
  13. Clearline

    Clearline Registered Member

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    So per one of my systems, I would have all 8 of the systems listed, in a single boot ini ( the one that starts with your system) and choose from the menu.

    Usually I am writing these systems to HDs, from another locations, then sticking the hDs in other machines, so I am giving the operating system options based on how it defines with BIOS, locations. Multiple systems may cross interfere with each other.

    These procedure are OK for system developement and troubleshooting, but are not really for backups.
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes. It's a problem restoring or altering partitions with the "Microsoft Way".

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/principles.htm
     
  15. Clearline

    Clearline Registered Member

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    Thanks for the multiboot article reference. It's good review material.
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  17. Clearline

    Clearline Registered Member

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    Fat32 vs NT on boot drvs

    Acutally I have a question for you. I'm am coming to the opinion that, at least for XP os systems, the windows drv be fat32, especially as you can only restore a TI image to the file version it was copied in. Otherwise, if using an NT system, if you are having boot problems, you can't edit the disk in the destination pc as a floppy boot will recognize fat32 systems. (where you can run a fast fdisk partition activate, and edit the boot.ini)

    On all of my systems, all temp and swap files are on another drive or partion (usually D: @ Secondary Master) and all documents and files are stored on other drvs and partitions.

    So all that is left on the C:Windrv are programs and profiles. I have hundreds of programs loaded and my C: driv is typycally 3-5gb. So a fat32 file sys can easily use the 4k blocks for under 8gb, like NT.

    With the scenario above, I don't see any benefit to an nt file system, as even security is not an issue with program files, and i don't use compression with active programs. In the past, I have never noticed any performance differences between the 2 systems.

    So the the question is, what is your opinion of my opinion.

    PS: to enhance security and to cut down a files in my C: drv. I make an ISO file of the Installation files (i386 or win\option\cabs) and then remove the files. Then use Daemon virtual cd to mount the image, and instuct windows as to where the source files are (ex W:)
    this cuts down on disk size usage, makes backup images smaller (iso stored on a different partion/drv) and prevent viruses and trojans from attacking your source files, as they can't change or corrupt files within an .iso (some of the 'better' viruses were attacking system by altering source files, then when the win security tried to replace corrupted files it would do it with corrupted files, that were now approved!)
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I use a similar approach except you are more efficient. My C: drive is 7 GB used space but total is 13 GB and I use NTFS.

    We are in agreement.

    http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=1162262284;start=46#46
     
  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    With my NTFS I use a BartPE CD to do this editing. For me, it's far better than using DOS. I'm DOS challenged.
     
  20. Clearline

    Clearline Registered Member

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    I recently worked on a LT 'Toshiba Tuffbook' that has no cd drv and only floppy disk. In order to load TI, I had to make a 6-7 disk floppy set (would not usb boot), to get network access, so I could stream images over, but as my xp images were all nt based, I could not edit the restored drvs, to get them to boot.

    On my base system, I keep about 6 blank partitions, so I can just drop an OS in them, arrange the files and then iso or TI them. I am now building fat32 XP homedrv systems.
     
  21. rhfritz

    rhfritz Registered Member

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    So aside from getting the system up and running via a floppy, or using the "/HAL=path" command provided elsewhere, there's no way to fix this problem by editing the registry?
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Does the floppy work?


    PS I'm still thinking about a fix. Could you let us see a copy of your boot.ini? Just copy and paste here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  23. PMP

    PMP Registered Member

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    I had these same problems a couple of years ago and i no longer suffer this problem. Here is what i did:

    I simply copied the files on the root of my BOOT drive (c:\ which are not large and which include the three required files boot.ini, ntdetect and ntldr - NOTE: OF COURSE - do NOT copy the page or hib files ) and i put these into the root of all my XP systems that i have on many other drives/partitions. Then if i image an OS that is not my first boot drive i have all the required files in that imaged file. I actually got so fed up with this i copied the files into a folder to make it easier to do each time - bu then i am lazy heheh!!

    I use multiboot and i frequently restore OS to different partitions on different drives (IDE, SATA, RAID & USB/Firewire) and then whichever OS i select it always seems to work.

    HOWEVER: - if you use multiboot then beware - I found that i had, occasionally, to alter the Startup and recovery default OS list to correctly reflect the path where i changed OS installations to other drives. MY COMPUTER>PROPERTIES>ADVANCED>Startup & Recovery - Sytem startup.

    LASTLY - this may all change with VISTA.......

    Another Pete
     
  24. rhfritz

    rhfritz Registered Member

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    PMP:

    I had tried copying the files to the root of the C drive and then ended up with a "HAL.DLL corrupt or missing" message. I think there's other registry stuff that is somehow pointing to the D drive.

    Brian K:

    I'm sure the floppy would work. I could post it, but the boot.ini file looks "normal", again, owing to my belief that the remaining stuff referencing the other drive is in the registry. Keep in mind that I had also run bootcfg which neither substantively changed the file nor allowed the system to boot without D being present -- even when bootcfg, etc. was run when D wasn't present.

    Finally, this was a useful exercise in that it explains how we can end up with a non-bootable ATI image because it is missing the critical files. But in the end, since the MS and Acronis tools don't support an easy resolution, In my situation I'm just going to go back and make sure the 80gb drive is plugged into the correct controller, delete the D partition, and reload XP from scratch on C. I can restore D later.

    rf
     
  25. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    Read this excellent article that describes how to solve this type of problem http://www.short-media.com/review.php?r=313.
     
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