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Replace Hard Drive in dell system

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My friend got a dell computer without a hard drive and when they bought a hard drive and tried to install it and boot up they get an error message that says something about "MTLDR" file missing could you please tell me what they should do. they have a Windows disk but cannot get past this error message. :tazz: (I can't give any more info but ill try and get back to you).
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I have never encountered your particular error but I searched Microsofts site and found a link that my be of interest to your friend.
http://search.micros...u=NTLDR missing

I also noticed they were using a Dell computer. After they get the error fixed you may want to look at Dell's support site for the latest drivers on that particular model of computer. The link for the driver downloads at Dell can be found at:

I hope this was of some help and good luck with the repair.

Edited by BKO, 19 June 2005 - 06:45 PM.

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If they put a new hard drive in, ntldr will be missing for sure. You have to go in to Setup and set it to a different boot sequence. For installations A, CDROM ,C is usually the best. Then you can put the Setup cd-rom in and boot from it, or boot from a floppy if you're using that to prepare the disk. :tazz: .
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As its been pointed out I think you meant "NTLDR". Too for once not leave a 2 page post. The NTLDR is a file that stores boot info (tells the system where to look to find the OS or OS's). With out it the computer is clueless. This is a only found on NTFS drives.

Few things.

Were you replacing the hard drive that had windows on it?

If so you will need to go into your bios and change your "boot order" so that the CDROM is before the hard drives. Then pop your 2000 or XP CD in and fire it up. Should boot from the CD after that. Note that 98 and earlier version of windows does not support install from the CD with out using a disk to boot and load a OS. This can lead to a whole other set of issues. So post again if that’s the case.

If you are adding a drive for more space and you left the drive that had windows on it.

Some drives come setup for slave others master. With out knowing the drive type I can’t tell what it was. You have two spots with two cable that gives spots for 4 items.

Average setup.
First a bit of review on daisy chaining. If you hold the hard drive cable in your hands you will notice its got three plugs. On the end with the most space is the one that goes into the motherboard. On the end where the plugs are closest together the one on the outside is the master, the one on the inside is the slave. Your main drive with windows would be on the primary cable in the master spot. On your secondary cable your CDROM or DVD would sit.

Now when adding a drive to a system with this setup its best to put it in on the slave spot of the master cable. All newer ATA drives have jumpers on them to set the drive in master, slave or cable select. While cable select is easier from time to time you can have issues. So make sure you have it on the slave spot with the drive set to master.

That should give you enough info on how to setup the new drive if either is the case. If not post more detail on the setup.

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