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Recovery reinstall can't restart - "NTLDR is compressed"

I hit ctrl, Alt, Del as instructed, but it won't restart. Goes back to same screen over and over.  I've installed several times with same result.  My hard disk is now wiped and I can't get past this issue.

Computer is e-machine W3506, XPHome, 2 gig memory.  A little over a year old.

If that item is compressed, it must be compressed inside the recovery disk because nothing is left of my system that I can reach.  Black screen.

Any hope for this poor thing?

Thanks for all suggestions.

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  • critt Dec 07, 2008

    Thanks, kornho
    Reading my message back, I see I left a lot out, though my thoughts were full.  Sorry.

    E machine, 3506.  I can't get to other info because the thing is down.
    It froze completely.  I'd been wanting to reinstall for a while to get fresh start, so I decided to do that.  I couldn't get to recovery by clicking it because everything was stuck - frozen.  I inserted the restore CD (disk) and let it do its thing.  

    I didn't check for anything because I assumed it would take care of everything.

    you asked:
    >>first explain clearly how you got the ntldr is missing error.
    how do you say you completed the installation from the recovery disk? 
    at what point you get the cltr alt del message after you have reinstalled the os, does it really complete the installation?
    did you check if your device has the master boot record protected while you were doing the installation... make sure the mbr is writable before you start the installation. (check your bios and set it accordingly).<<<

    The CD screen came up and asked what I wanted to do.  I chose 1st option of restoring 'safely'.  I watched it go through the format, moving files, and finishing.  It showed me a button to click to 'restart', and I did.  It blinked and came back with the message of NTLDR is depressed, hit Crt, Alt,  Del to restart.  I did this, the screen clicked, blacked out, the the G logo came back with the same message -

    I then chose the 2nd option, remove everything and reinstall.  I sat through the format, file moving and finishing only to arrive at the same message again.
    The disk is empty, but says it's full.  It was networked and I checked it on the networked machine.  My C: is RAW, and it's colored as 'full'.  Since it has not been restored there's no way I can get to anything.

    The problem is the NRLDR must be on the CD, not my computer.  I can't restart the computer to finish the install. 

    Should I find a free disk wiper and try the recovery CD again?  I'll probably have the same problem though.

    Thanks for

  • critt Dec 09, 2008

    Thanks for trying. I did reply to you with more info., but the reply added itself to the original message so you probably didn't know.

    I've given up on fixing the issue. I've asked in all the forums I could find and no one can answer. It must be a unique problem. lol

    I do appreciate your reply.

    This forum is kind of difficult to use. Where is the reply link? I must check 'Solution' or I have 'same problem'. Neither one is right. Well actually I do still have the same problem.

    I noticed there are no more than one reply on most posts, I suppose that's why. Or is it one freebie only? I don't mind paying if I was sure of good advice, but are the ones helped, being helped through private email? I see few answers as I browse the questions. I'm going to have to take it to a shop I suppose.

    Thanks for the single reply,

  • juicy reds Apr 07, 2009

    with my emachine i did whta u said above . but it does not prompt me for a administrator code



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You have a complex problem or a simple one! you may need to provide more details as we go through this (I'll try my best)

basically your system is looking in the wrong place or simply can't access the system partition (where your windows installation files are) and it could be as simple as removing a forgotten floppy disk from the floppy drive or it could be complex as to be a bios issue that may require firmware update.

let's start by checking the obvios:

1.remove any floppy disk if you have any in the floppy drive and test.
2. go into your bios and check the boot order, for now make sure your first boot device is your hard drive (the order can be changed at a later time if needed)

first explain clearly how you got the ntldr is missing error.
how do you say you completed the installation from the recovery disk?
at what point you get the cltr alt del message after you have reinstalled the os, does it really complete the installation?
did you check if your device has the master boot record protected while you were doing the installation... make sure the mbr is writable before you start the installation. (check your bios and set it accordingly).

your recovery disk does have a compressed image of your system as it was when you purchase your computer. and that's normal.. if you did not do a backup of your files or do not have the installation cd's for your applications you pretty much have lost everything at this point but the operating system and the default programs that are part of the image on your recovery disk, and that was expected with the procedure you conducted.

post your findings and the answer and we will follow up with you.

Posted on Dec 06, 2008

  • Francisco Cortes
    Francisco Cortes Dec 10, 2008

    first of all my apologies for 2 things: 1 I misunderstood your question and 2 for the delay getting back to you.. this is a new case for me so bear with with me please:

    as I said, I had never heard of the error you had before.. so I did I little bit of digging/googling and found this:

    1. you need to get a bootable windows cd. as you need to go into recovery console.. if your recovery disk is not a windows cd but an oem recovery disk you may need to get an actual windows xp cd. and follow the instructions to repair installation by entering into recovery console.. you will be prompted for user and password. enter the 'administrator' account as the user and blank for the pasword (don't type blank.. just press enter to go in, asuming you don't have a password for the administrator account.)

    2. once you're in recovery console (which pretty much looks like dos screen) enter the following:

    cd \ (press enter)
    attrib -c ntldr (press enter)
    exit (press enter)

    ..then restart

    cd \ :takes you to the root the active particion (usually c:)

    attrib -c: ntldr will uncompress the file called "ntldr" by taking the compression attribute off the this file.

    exit: simply takes you out of the recovery console.

    I hope this helps.



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