NTLDR Missing

Got a ticket today to look at a Dell Precision 360 workstation. Upon arriving, I noticed the following error message “NTLDR is missing”. After a big gulp, I loaded my Windows XP CD to attempt a “fixboot” and “fixmbr”. Unfortunately, this particular computer was setup with IDE RAID-0 and I had no idea where the driver disk for it was. Using BartPE, I booted the PC. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw all of the user’s files there. However, boot.ini, ntdetect.com and ntldr were missing from C:. Using BartPE, I copied these files from my workstation (also running Windows XP) to his workstation. Upon reboot, I was greeted with this message:

system32hal.dll is missing or corrupt reinstall file

I booted with BartPE again and saw that the file was indeed there. I looked at another Dell Precision workstation and noticed this line in the boot.ini:

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS

Dells usually have a hidden diagnostic partition which can throw a tech off. Upon changing the partition from 1 to 2, the system booted. It booted and then it rebooted ad infinitum. I then boot it into safe mode and it gave me an option to do a system restore. I happily agreed to this prompt and restored it from a week ago. System booted right up!

This taught me two lessons: always treat each problem as unique. A missing NTLDR usually spells hard drive failure, but in this case it appears there was nothing wrong with the hard drive. Finally, system restore really does work! I have a habit of turning this off on each workstation I visit (due to it wasting resources), but it saved my bacon today. I am never turning off system restore again!

– Soli Deo Gloria

Moving From Blogger to WordPress

This morning I got the WordPress blog up and running on my own web site at www.leinss.com/blog. Please update all of your links to point to the new web site. I am going to place “pointer links” in each blog entry at Blogger so people redirected from old links can find the content at the new place. The blog entry on Filemon and Regmon has been moved the HOW-TO section of my web site. Each blog entry that represents a HOW-TO article will get a permanent home on my web site’s HOW-TO section as well.

– Soli Deo Gloria

New Web Site is Up!

Out with the old and in with the new. My new web site at www.leinss.com is up and running on a new host! A lot of content from my old site has been transferred over, except some of the really old stuff (like my how-to guide ripping guide TV shows using a TV tuner card). I can now run detailed statistics to see where hits are coming from and what the most popular areas of my web site are.

What do you want to see on my web site? Let me know by e-mailing me at web(..at..)leinss.com

-Soli Deo Gloria

Moving to New Web Hosting Company

Shortly, I will be moving my web page to a new web hosting company. The web page currently available will remain the same for now. I’m actually learning how to use Adobe Golive! to make a more aesthetically pleasing web site. However, once the new web page is in place, some of the links on this blog may break and pages will be moved around. It may be wise to save any articles or files NOW before I start breaking things!

The main site (www.leinss.com) is the one that should be bookmarked and not stealth.kirenet.com/~aleinss.

Update (10 PM): I made the change shortly after I wrote this. My web page is now up at the new provider Powweb. Unfortunately, after I changed my name servers to Powweb they wiped out my main MX record and reset it to mail.leinss.com. I have to now forward all of my incoming e-mail from Powweb to Tuffmail because the DNS propagation is going so darn slow (I might be in a walker by the time the Internet sees my new MX record).

2nd Update (1/8/06):

I had to go from Powweb.com to Dreamhost.com, because Powweb’s name servers wouldn’t take my MX record changes. I waited 22 hours and still no change. Dreamhost’s name servers picked up in the change in 30 minutes!

– Soli Deo Gloria