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Win2k won't boot after format.

My home PC has two drives.  Originally I had Win2k on C and data on D.  An nVidia driver update mangled windows, so I installed Win2k on D.  On startup it showed both installs and defaulted to the good one on D.  Since I was only using the install on D, I went ahead and reformatted C.  Now it won't boot.  On startup it stops with a "NTLDR is missing" error.  I've tried changing the drive boot order in the BIOS; neither drive is bootable.  I don't have a recovery disk.  Do I need to reinstall Win2k on C, or is there a way to make one drive bootable?

Thanks!

An embarrased regular
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

You'll need to use the recovery console that you can access when you book from the windows cd. I believe the command 'fixboot' should sort you out, or one of its brethren. Have a look at:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/home/using/productdoc/en/default.asp?url=/WINDOWSXP/home/using/productdoc/en/bootcons_fixboot.asp

John C
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Oh, that link's to WinXP but if memory serves me it's just the same on Win2K.

John C
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The boot loader (& boot.ini info for both 2k installs) was on C because it was the original boot drive, which has now been blown away.  I don't know if you can rebuild the boot loader/boot.ini, but frankly it's probably just easier to re-install it the _right_way_ on C:

Just my $0.02

GiorgioG
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

It sounds as though you have deleted the Master Boot Record on C and need to rebuild it. The tool mentioned may well do that.

Or if you like multiboot setups, you may find XOSL useful, can be found on the Ranish Partition Manager site.

Alternatively it's possible (I think) that you may have a valid MBR on drive D (though I doubt it). You could try making that drive primary and see whether you can boot off it. I doubt it, but if it works, it's the quickest solution.

Dave Hallett
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Doh! I see you tried that already. Sorry. Afternoon sleepiness... zzzz.

Dave Hallett
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The most common cause for a broken system after a reformat of secondary partitions is due to this:

when possible, windows prefers to put a bunch of requisite boot up files into the most compatible file system in this order: 1. fat32, 2. ntfs

so if you had a fat32 d: drive.. that's where it would put these files.. so when it boots up it looks in your d: drive first for boot stuff.. runs them.. then continues the boot up on your c: drive..

guess what happens if you reformat d:?

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

your situation sounds like what i described, but reversed.. anyway i am not sure if you are running fat32 at all, so the problem may not apply

anyway to recover your data file just load the drive as a secondary drive on the ide bus in another computer  (remember the jumpers) .. and then assign free drive letter s to any existing partitions to access it... (unless god forbids you encrypt your drive)

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

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