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Turbone 06-06-2011 09:11 PM

NLTDR missing
Googled this and found this link to the old forum (I assume because its not here).

What I have is a Toshiba Satellite A35 I bought for $10 at a yard sale.
My problem is that any CD I put in spins but the computer will not run the program. I can get into the bios and set it to boot up with the CD, but nothing I put in runs.
Except once. I put in a HD config CD and got it to format the HD, but now I still get the NTLDR missing message with any boot CD I try.
I even tore the thing apart to get to the CMOS battery and reset it.
I tried a different HD from another laptop I have (Averatec) and it started to boot, but flashed a BSOD and shut down. Not sure if the Toshiba HD are proprietary or not?
So, should I source another HD or keep working (futilely) on this one?

Ilya 06-08-2011 05:59 AM

Honestly I think you have bigger problem than a busted HDD.

Did you format the HDD, then ran a bootable CD and you still got that message? Basically you couldn't reinstall windows?

Try installing older systems and see how they handle. Win95 or Win98. Then flash BIOS.

Without an OS it can only be done with DrDos and a floppy disk. Haven't done it myself in years but if the laptop is that important to you it might worth a try.

Turbone 06-08-2011 04:38 PM

I formatted than used a boot CD with the same results. The drive would spin the CD, but after a minute it would stop and nothing happens.
The laptop doesnt have a floppy drive, so I would need to find one.
I'm beginning to think you are correct about bigger problems.
I like a challenge, but dont like being frustrated :(
Isnt a NTLDR error a software problem and not BIOS?

Ilya 06-08-2011 05:26 PM

Here's the thing. You are still booting from HDD. The message you are getting should NOT be present with clean HDD. The reason You had BSoD from another HDD is because SW on it is configured for different HW.

Here are my suggestions
1) Make sure your CD is set with higher priority to your HDD in BIOS (obviously) then press the keys that worked in BIOS(arrows, enter etc). Or simply put both your palms on the keyboard and press all buttons :), just makes to do it quickly enough when "Press any key to boot from CD" prompts. If this doesn't work try plugging in a USB keyboard and set your BIOS to support USB input peripherals. This might not be available in older BIOS, but still give it a try even if it's not.

2) Get the HDD out of your 10$ comp put it in Averatec, and run from CD. See if that works. If it does, than maybe your keyboard is not functioning properly on the 10$ computer AND your HDD was not formatted properly. So format it on Averatec computer, do a thorough format.

3) Try using a different OS, download free Linux and burn an image. Again, try with different keyboard.

P.S. To answer your question. NTLDR is a software issue on OS side. I believe it's only required when OS is somehow detected on HDD. BIOS is software as well, it is what starts the OS amongst multiple other things. So by resetting CMOS you basically reset BIOS's memory which contains some OS data, time, date etc. However if the BIOS itself is old it might not matter if the CMOS is cleared or not.

Turbone 06-12-2011 08:14 PM

Thanks, I'll give the HDD swap a try and post back.

Turbone 06-14-2011 01:51 AM

Removed the Toshiba HDD, installed it in my Averatec and did a clean install of XP.
Installed it back in the Toshiba and the screen comes up with the "Windows did not start successfully".
If I try and start in any mode, it starts to boot into XP then flashes a bsod.
Its so fast I cant even read it.
Is all of Toshiba's stuff proprietary?
Do I need a recovery disc for this model?

Ilya 06-15-2011 03:58 PM

You missed a critical point :).

You CANNOT install windows on one hardware and then move HDD to another, that's why you get BSoD. You should have formatted it with Averatec then install XP on Toshiba.

At least now you know that Averatec formats it good.

Turbone 06-16-2011 05:20 PM

Well, duh.
I'll give that a try today.

Turbone 06-16-2011 09:11 PM

Ok, I'm using XP Home CD to partition and right after it formats it goes to installing XP. How do I format it not using the XP CD?
Bear with me, I'm a hardware guy, not software.

Ilya 06-17-2011 05:11 AM

I think deleting partition is sufficient enough for it to be unrecognizable. However, I'm not sure if it's somehow restores them if you were to cancel right after you delete them with Windows XP.

So things to try:

Delete partition, then plug the HDD back into Toshiba. Install from there. If this doesn't work...

Try using Linux CD for formatting.

Turbone 06-27-2011 05:35 AM

I keep getting a invalid partition table.
Stupid toshiba.

Ilya 06-28-2011 08:28 PM

Hold on. It shouldn't boot from HDD.
Can you make sure that in BIOS you set boot priority to CD-ROM, if at all possible, for now, remove HDD completely out of boot option.
If it prompts you the usual "Press any key to boot from CD" and it doesn't respond immediately after pressing a key that simply means your laptop keyboard is malfunctioning. Somehow in BIOS it work and past that it is unresponsive.

Frank 08-05-2011 04:02 PM

Toshiba A35 hardware is not proprietary. I have an A35 and have upgraded the HDD twice.

NTLDR is the boot loader. This tells the OS where to load from. If you have multiple OSes you can configure the NTLDR to point to different OSes.

I believe the key to bring up boot options during the POST (Power On Self Test) is F10. From here you would change to where ever your boot media is installed (e.g. USB, CD, HDD, Network.)

If you want an easy way to create a bootable USB drive with linux on it I highly recommend LiLi USB Creator which can be found here:

With this utility you can easily try different versions of linux without wasting multiple CDs. If this is your first time with Linux I recommend either Fedora or Ubuntu variants as they are fairly easy to configure and the support for them is widely available. Note, for all you fanboys out there this isn't a thread to start flaming about your favorite distro.

After linux is installed and configured you should be able to mount and format your hard drive to whatever file system you like. If you plan on installing windows back on this machine you will want to format in NTFS. Youtube has videos on how to format NTFS in linux if you want to go that route. Most distros of linux come with native partitioning support but you may need a few packages installed before you can format your NTFS drive. Packages you may need for linux to format NTFS are: gparted and ntfsprogs

So this should give you a bit to figure out so I will end my "wall of text" now.

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