Tinyempire.com - NTLDR is missing fix using a usb flash drive - Added May 31st 2010.
Screenshots of making USB drive to fix issue. I realize this webpage looks like it was made in 1995. That makes it easy to be read on a cell phone, and each step explained cuts down on the email questions I get.
If you haven't already, get your hands on the smallest usb drive you can find. It may be required that it be less than 2 gigs, but I'm not sure yet on that part. Make sure it's okay to delete whatever is on the flash drive and plug it into your working computer, we are going to "prepare it" for use on the broken computer.
Right click this link -> notes/files/ntldrusb.zip <- and choose "Save Target As" (If you are using something besides Internet Explorer 8, it may look a little different, like "Save File As" or similar)
You can save it anywhere you want, but I find it easiest to click "My Documents" on the left, then click "Save"
Once the download completes, click "Open Folder" (again, slightly different if you don't use Internet Explorer 8 or Windows XP)
Right click the file "ntldrusb.zip" and choose "Extract All" (or uncompress it however you want, with a program like WinRAR)
Click Next (This is the the Windows XP unpacker, so it might look slightly different to you)
Click Next (You could specify a different location under "Browse" if you wanted)
Click Finish (a new folder window will open up since "Show extracted files" is selected)
In the new folder that opened up, double click "HPUSBFW.EXE"
Change the File System to "FAT" (It's possible that for usb flash drives over 2gigs you can select FAT32 and it still work, but I'm not sure. I'm fairly certain NTFS will not work however and will give an error of "Long filename protection enabled see the LOCK command for more details, but again, details are still sketchy at this point)
Twitter user @UltorOfficial suggests that if the system you are using to do the formatting is Windows 7, that you choose FAT32 as choosing FAT just gave him a black screen
Now if you happen to have more than one device plugged in via USB, I'd recommend disconnecting the other device before going on. If you can't , you can make sure that you are formatting the right hard drive by matching up the letter under "Device" and "My Computer". The "Volume Label" will also match.
This is really important, IT WILL DELETE EVERYTHING ON THAT DRIVE (Usually if you just bought a new drive it will be empty instead of all the folders that I have listed in the example)
Click "Create a DOS startup disk"
Click the dots button (this will open to file browser window)
Find the uncompressed "ntldrusb" folder, if you followed my instructions it will be in "My Documents", so click the plus sign beside "My Documents"
There's that ntldrusb folder, click the plus sign by it
Click the folder named "dos system files" then click "OK"
You can rename it to something else in the "Volume Label" field if you want (don't have spaces), this makes it easy to see what it's for when you find it behind the computer desk a year from now. Then click "Start"
If you were sure it's okay, click "Yes"
It will say "Formatting the device.." for a few moments.
Okay close out that window and you should be back at the ntldrusb folder, double click "putonusb" to open it
We should now be in the "putonusb" folder.
Click "Edit" then "Select All"
All the files will get a blue highlight.
Click "Edit" then "Copy"
Allright now click the Start button then "My Computer" and then double click your usb drive to open it
Now you are in the USB NTLDR drive (or whatever you named it).
Click "Edit" and "Paste"
Once the files are done copying, close all those file windows. Like the drive we just copied files into.
Now in the bottom right corner is the system tray, click the green arrow.
It will pop up the dialog to "Safetly remove USB Mass Storage Device - Drive(your drive letter:)
Now place our flash drive into the broken computer. Turn it on and press whatever button is needed on the BIOS to bring up "Boot Options" and boot from the USB drive. Usually something like Del, F2, F12, Enter, Esc
Okay the first time we boot up with this flash drive you get this screen.
You should notice that the line on my screen that says 0 : C:* type=c (Win95 Fat32 LBA), size = 7929824 KB, Lba Pos=63
Your screen should say something similar and the KB size will look "close" to the number of MB you have.
Press the Y key on the keyboard, and it should modify the usb drive to the way we need for it to boot the computer.
Check for it to say "Writing bootsector complete".
***This step isn't part of the instructions***
***Back to your regurally scheduled program***
Update 2014-01-31: Hirens BootCD (look for the link that says Filename: "Hirens.BootCD.15.2.zip") has taken my files and incorporated it into their CD. If the instructions on the page don't work for you, give it a try making a bootable USB via Hiren bootcd-on-usb . Or just make the CD version listed on ntldrismissing.com
Update 2014-02-03: I also tried using a program called "Rufus" to "Create a bootable disk using MS-DOS" and then once it was done, copied over the files in the "put on usb" folder (overwriting the autoexec.bat file) and that also worked.
What? You didn't see that message but instead got an error that says:
Windows has disabled direct disk access to protect your long filenames.
To override this protection, see the LOCK /? command for more information.
The system has been halted. Press Ctrl Alt
Del to restart your computer.
If you got that error message, restart the computer, get back to the screen you just saw where I asked you to press Y, but press N instead.
You will get a normal "C:" prompt. Type: bootpart
You will get a screen that lists the drives like this:
Physical number of disk 0 : 35ba277
0 : C:* type=e (Win95 XInt 13), size= 127968 KB, Lba Pos=63
Physical number of disk 1 : 1c7dd491
1 : D:* type=7 (HPFS/NTFS), size= 7000000 KB, Lba Pos=2048
(Notice how I put the C and D in bold)
Now my system is setup to
automatically type: bootpart winnt boot:c:
But apparently that didn't work, so you'll need to see what is the correct letter that matches your USB drive in the "boot:c:" part. So try to determine the letter that corresponds to your USB drive, and type the command with that letter. For example, if the correct letter is "D" then the command will end in "boot:d:". IE:
bootpart winnt boot:d:
Type that and press Enter, then it will ask if you want to write the bootsector, press "Y" on the keyboard, and move on to the next step.
Press Ctrl Alt Delete to reboot the computer. (Or just power it off and on)
Now you should get the screen with the 10 options, try all 10 till you find one that boots. If you didn't get to a screen that shows you all 10 options, I am going to direct you somewhere else, a USB solution called "Hirens Boot CD", you can read about two fixes here: http://midmented.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/hirens-boot-cd-ntdlr-is-missing-viruses/
If you go through all 10 options and couldn't get back into Windows. I recommend the next step of a "Repair Install" detailed here:
Fixing windows once inside: Go back to http://ntldrismissing.com/ and pick back up after the step where you go through the 10 choices
Blinking Cursor instead of 10 choices menu?
I've had a few people tell me that they make the USB stick, but get a blinking cursor instead of the 10 choices when they boot up.
I'm not sure how this happens, but I would say try a different USB stick. I have had good luck with that in the past.
I haven't had a chance to try this yet, but I saw this the other day: Run Hiren's Boot CD from USB Flashdrive by Britec