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Article ID: 314057 - Last Review: November 9, 2007 - Revision: 4.1

This article was previously published under Q314057
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 255220  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255220/ ) .

SYMPTOMS

This section is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus)
When you try to install Windows XP or upgrade to Windows XP on a computer that runs Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition, you may receive the following error message after the first restart during the installation:
NTLDR is missing
Press any key to restart

CAUSE

This problem may occur if your existing Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition installation was cloned and then applied to a drive that has a different geometry from that of the source drive of the cloned copy.

For example, you are running Windows 98 on a 4-gigabyte (GB) drive. After you upgrade to a 30-GB hard disk, you use a third-party disk-imaging utility to make a mirror image of your Windows 98 installation, and then apply the image to the new drive. Later, you upgrade to Windows XP. To do this, you install Windows XP over the cloned image of Windows 98.

For this problem to occur, all the following conditions must be true:
  • The system/startup partition is formatted with the FAT32 file system.
  • The computer starts by using INT-13 extensions. (This is a partition larger than 7.8 GB with a System-ID type of 0C in the partition table).
  • Because of the cloning procedure, the Heads (sides) value in the FAT32 BIOS Parameter Block (BPB) does not match the geometry of the physical drive.
The Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition startup code ignores the Heads value in the BPB and starts those programs even though the value is not valid. However, the startup code in Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP requires this value, and startup is unsuccessful if the value is not valid.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, correct the Heads (sides) value in the FAT32 BPB so that the Windows XP startup can continue. To update the value, rewrite the Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition startup code. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Restart the computer by using a Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition startup disk that contains the Sys.com file. (By default, this file is included.)
  2. Make a backup copy of the Msdos.sys file in the root directory of the system drive. To do this, type the following commands at a command prompt:
    attrib -h -r -s c:\msdos.sys
    rename msdos.sys *.ysy
  3. At a command prompt, type sys c: to rewrite the Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition startup code with accurate BPB information. If this command runs successfully, go to step 4.

    If you are using a Windows Millennium Edition startup disk, and you receive the following error message, one or more files in the Windows Millennium Edition installation have been removed:
    Cannot find the system file in the standard locations on drive C:
    Follow these steps to put the correct files on the drive so that the sys command can locate them:
    1. Type the following commands. Press ENTER after each command:
      c:
      cd\windows
      If Windows is installed in a folder other than the Windows folder, adjust the commands accordingly.
    2. Try to switch to the Command folder by typing the following command:
      cd command
      If you receive an error message that the path is not found, type the following command to create the Command folder, and then run the cd command command again:
      md command
    3. Switch to the EBD folder by typing the following command:
      cd ebd
      If you do not receive an error message that the path is not found, type the following command to create the EBD folder, and then repeat the cd ebd command:
      md ebd
    4. In the EBD folder, use the following commands to copy the Io.sys file from the root of the hard disk and to rename the Io.sys file to Winboot.sys:
      attrib -s -h -r c:\io.sys
      copy c:\io.sys winboot.sys
      Winboot.sys is the file that Sys.com requires.
    5. Switch back to drive A, and then type the following commands:
      a:
      sys c:
    Type the following commands to restore the original Msdos.sys file. Press ENTER after each command:
    attrib -s -h -r c:\msdos.sys
    copy c:\msdos.ysy c:\msdos.sys
    Press Y to overwrite the existing Msdos.sys file. You will receive a "1 FILE(S) COPIED" verification that the file was overwritten.
  4. Restart the computer to Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition, and then try to install or upgrade to Windows XP again.

    Note Or, after you run the sys c: command, you can start to the Recovery Console, and then use the fixboot command to rewrite the Windows XP startup code. With this procedure, the original installation continues normally.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
178947  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/178947/ ) Registry file was not found. Registry services may...
318948  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318948/ ) "NTLDR is missing or corrupt" error message during Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4.0 upgrade
320397  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320397/ ) Windows may not start and you may receive an "NTLDR is missing" error message if Windows is not up-to-date and there are too many files in the root folder
883275  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/883275/ ) You cannot start your computer after you modify the permissions in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, or in Windows 2000
812492  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/812492/ ) Error message when you start your computer with a non-system disk
315261  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315261/ ) The computer does not start after you change the active partition by using the Disk Management tool
If the articles listed here do not help you resolve the problem or if you experience symptoms that differ from those that are described in this article, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information. To search the Microsoft Knowledge Base, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com (http://support.microsoft.com/)
Then, type the text of the error message that you receive, or type a description of the problem in the Search Support (KB) field.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbresolve kbfilesystems kbenv kberrmsg kbprb kbsetup KB314057
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