NTLDR is missing in dual boot situation
I am using Acronis 2009 with Chain2Gen. I have a whole series of backups, which verify as OK, but when I restore I get either a blinking cursor or "NTLDR is missing" error. I have a dual boot to my old XP installation on a different drive, but I guess that is what is not showing up. I have tried W7 repair options and several of my backups, but no joy.
Any suggestions for a path forward other than a reinstall of W7?
OK, I did a chkdsk from c: prompt through the W7 startup disk and then did a repair. That gives me a new startup screen, showing two options for Windows 7. I don't know what's up with that, I only have one installation that I know of. Anyway, now I need to get back to the boot.ini that gives me the option of Windows 7 or Windows XP. I'll search the web for a way to do that, but if anyone knows the answer, I'd appreciate a tip.
I'm worried about my Acronis backups now, though, since I had this problem. Does the inclusion of a Boot.ini file created any different situation? I've never had a problem restoring before.
My saga continues:
When my problems began, my configuration was as follows: (I think)
Partition 1: Drive J: WXP (Containing Windows XP)
Partition 2: Drive C: New W7 (Containing Windows 7)
Partition 3: Drive D: New Data (Data only)
I was dual booting between Windows 7 and Windows XP
When my problem occurred, I attempted to restore my Windows 7 installation from my Acronis backup and, seemingly, it restored it to Partition 1 instead of Partition 2, overwriting my Windows XP installation, but leaving a lot (all?) the files that were not Windows files. This confused the Boot.ini and I was getting the NTLDR is missing error. After repairing with my Windows 7 disk, I was back up and running, but my XP operating system was gone. Subsequent efforts result in a mishmosh of situations, none of which get me back to where I want to be. Presently I have:
Partition 1: Drive C: WXP (Containing Windows XP plus a bunch of other files that were on my old C drive.)
Partition 2: Drive J: New W7 (Containing Windows 7) Haven't tried to boot from here, since I no longer have dual boot.
Partition 3: Drive D: Still fine.
Does the computer always boot from Disk 0, Partition 1? I have a 1TB drive (Disk 1)that I can empty. I am thinking that I can partition it and restore my original configurations. Can I then remove my existing Drive 0, put the new one in that bay, and have it become Disk 0? Can I then put my old Disk 0 in the other bay and have it become Drive 1?
Thanks for your help.
Since I didn't get any answers, I have prepared my new drive and am about to try the plan above to see if it will work. If anyone knows why this all happened (the consolidation of my two backups), maybe you could tell me if it is going to happen again when I restore my two backups to the new partitions on the new drive. My plan is to take my existing Disk 0 out of the system so as to not corrupt it, boot from the Acronis Boot Disk and restore the two partitions, then put Disk 0 back in, boot up and see what I got. My concern is that the restores will give me two more drives with conflicts. If anyone has any advice before I do this, I'd like to hear it.
Let me see if I understand you.
1. Restore Windows 7 to partition 1 via Acronis boot disk
2. Start Windows and Mark partition 2 active
3. Restore Windows XP to partition 2 via Acronis boot disk.
4. Start Windows and make partition 1 active? That is where the Boot.ini will be. I'm expecting an error at step 2 since it will be looking for 2 operating systems and there will only be one installed.
When you have a Windows XP and a Windows 7 installation, typically the boot configuration is managed in the XP, and this is what you have since your system was telling you NTDLR is missing.
So I expect your boot files to be on the XP partition, and that partition should be mark active, system, boot. The Windows 7 partition should be marked boot.
It looks like you made some changes with the recovery CD already, didn't you (see post #3)?
Can you start from a clean drive? To do that, boot on the Win7 recovery CD, go to a command prompt, use diskpart to clean your disk. To avoid any error, remove any other disk from the system. After you have cleaned your disk, you can start doing the restore as I described.
After you have restored all partitions, in the same order, marked the right partition active, restore the MBR+Track0 and the disk signature.
If your disk doesn't boot, determine from this post in which situation you are:
If you are in option 1, you can install easyBCD to fix your dual boot.
If you are in option 2, the Windows 7 partition should be the one active, system, and not the XP one. Use diskpart to correct if necessary and bootrec as explained in the post to rebuild the boot records.
Thanks for your responses. I'm about ready to begin this journey, but please indulge me if I walk through it once to be sure I know what I'm doing.
1. I have a disk prepared with partitions for the 2 operating systems. I have marked the first "active," but I haven't figured out how to mark it "system" or "boot." Will this happen when I do the restore?
2. Yes, my post #3 does outline what I tried to begin with, which started my problems.
3. So, if I understand, I should now restore my Windows XP backup to partition 1, (which is marked active), restore my Windows 7 backup to partition 2, restore the MBR + Track 0 from the Windows XP backup to the first partition, then see what I've got.
Thanks again for your help.