Re: Need some help with startup

Thanks again Paul. You're always there to help :-)

Paul wrote:
Seum wrote:
Hello again Experts,

I am assembling a new components in an effort to startup Win2K. I have the Win2K Pro CD and I was ready to go but it won't start because of my shortage of bits and pieces. Usually it reported failure to start. The partition I want to install on is NTFS. I made an effort to startup yesterday and was given the info that NTLDR is missing. I had no way of knowing how to extract that from the Win2K CD. A computer search of the CD went nowhere.

I know that the least of what I can do is to get my hands on the following: ntldr, boot.ini,, bootsect.dos, ntbootdd.sys.
Does anyone know whether there is a location from which I might download them or how I might extract them from the Win2K CD? I had many boot discs but cannot find them at present, apart from one that two floppy drives were not able to read. I have a new floppy drive on order and not with 17 pins - it will be USB.

Comments would be appreciated.

I'm puzzled by your need to search for the primitive elements of the OS.

First of all, clear things up for us.

1) Are you doing a brand new install on your hard drive ?

The SATA drive had no OS on it and I am now trying to install Win2K on it.

2) Are you trying to get an old Win2K install to run on the new computer ?
(Driver mismatch...)
Ouch!, it seems that way.
3) Does the hard drive already have something on it, in terms
of files or filesystems ? Sometimes the Windows installer doesn't
like the MBR left by a previous Linux install.

Yes, it has 2 partitions with files. This 750GB Seagate never had an OS on it before. I was trying to put the usual OS files on the 3rd partition because several attempts to load Win2K onto a blank NTFS partition failed.

The Win2K CD, boots without help from hard drives. All the
necessary files, for whatever "mini-OS" is used by the
installer, are all there.

I'll have another try today.

Other elements that may be necessary, are things like RAID
drivers or other exotic drivers. Since we've discussed
running the Southbridge SATA ports in "IDE" mode, and you're
using a relatively modern (Win2K SP4 slipstreamed install CD),
you should be ready for just about anything in the way of a
standard IDE mode SATA port. If you were setting up a RAID
with the OS on it, a floppy and some F6 drivers would be

I have no interest in RAID. I used the BIOS to switch the 1st SATA
port to IDE and that is the port that the Segate is attached to now.

I've had an older computer here, refuse to boot from anything,
when a "completely empty" hard drive was connected. I needed to
prep the hard drive on another computer, and put a bogus FAT32
partition on it, just to ensure the MBR was non-zero and valid.
And then I could boot from the CD. Without doing that, the BIOS got
upset when it poked the hard drive and found no MBR flag in
the last two bytes of the MBR.

When the partition I want to use was completely empty I always got a Failure message. After I put a few small files on it, the message was changed to Missing NTLDR. Would I have to remove the NTFS and install FAT32, or is there a game to play first? How and when to apply FAT32?

If you have an existing Win2K installation, you can attempt
a repair install using the CD. The CD should be the same
Service Pack level as the existing install. Here, my Win2K
installs have either been at SP2 or SP4 level, and I have
installer CDs set up for both situations. The original
installer is Win2K SP2, and I also have a slipstreamed
Win2K SP4 CD I made. I can use that to repair install
the OS, if it's at the SP4 level (or SP4 plus Rollup).

I do have two HDs with Win2K installed and both have SP4 installed.
I hadn't thought of keeping a copies but, thanks to you,
I now know. How do you 'slipstream' Win2K SP4?

That's a excellent article. Thanks!

If the hard drive with the Win2K OS on it, is your only
copy, I would immediately back up that copy to another hard
drive. I use a sector by sector copy to a spare drive for that.
If an attempted Repair Install goes south, or something gets
damaged, the backup is there to allow you to start over again.

I have the original Microsoft CD that I used only once and a backup
copy made after that first installation. That backup I always use.

You can use a Linux LiveCD, a spare hard drive, a copy of
"dd" on the LiveCD, to back up a disk. This is a basic,
incomplete command for the process.

sudo dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb # copy entire disk


That's a good suggestion but I feel secure with the 2 I have now.
I will be saving this Linux info.

In the sequence here, you can see "NTLDR is missing" could come
from an issue with the partition boot sector. Another possible
reason, is the NTLDR is actually missing, but that isn't likely
if the disk was previously booting on the old system.

The Seagate disk never had an OS on it and, as I mentioned, the last response I had was NTLDR missing.

That is a great article :-)

If you simply "copy" the files from C: on one drive, to
another drive (i.e. from an active partition to an ordinary
partition which was previously used for data), there would be
no partition boot sector in the area just before the file system
begins in that partition. I regularly do just that, copy files
back and forth, and frequently trash the partition boot sector.
It can be repaired from the Recovery Console, using "fixboot"
(from the recovery console msdos-like prompt). I do this
as part of "defragmenting" my C: partition (wash, rinse, repeat).
I've had defragmentation runs that took the better part of a day,
and it's just faster to copy the files all off the partition,
then copy them back after doing some monkey business. And the fixboot,
so it boots again later.

From what I remember, I almost always used the same drive. No moving files between partitions, unless they are unrelated to the OS.

Paul, how many centuries have you spent learning IT?


That did help Paul, thanks! :-)