I have a HP Paviliona600n computer that I'm working on. Windows does not boot. What I do is I take the harddrive out and I put it in a external case and copy the data that they want. I'm having problems with this harddrive. I can't access it. It's like it's encrypted. Under Manager it sees it, the size and the partions. When I try to access it under My Computer it says that I don't have access and the font of the files are squares. I can open the drive and see files but I can't open any of them. I have never heard or seen anything like this. Anyone know how I can access the files?

11 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by digitalocksmith

U didn't note the OS ver.
could be you're right and it's encrypted, OR the FAT table is corrupt.
mixing NTFS and FAT32 won't help matters either.
did the drive work before?


Yes it worked before just fine. One night it was working and than it was shutdown and in the morning it didn't boot. Windows XP Home SP1. Error is below

NTLDR is Missing
Press any key to restart


'NTLDR is Missing
Press any key to restart'

Possible causes..... (my $2 worth)

(Computer hard disk drive is not properly setup in BIOS).

Verify that your hard drive is properly setup in the BIOS setup. This includes checking that the correct boot order is installed. Improper settings can cause this error and so can attempting to boot from a non-bootable media.

(Corrupt NTLDR and/or NTDETECT.COM file) .

Insert the Windows XP bootable CD into the computer.
When prompted to press any key to boot from the CD, press any key.
Once in the Windows XP setup menu press the "R" key to repair Windows.
Log into your Windows installation by pressing the "1" key and pressing enter.
You will then be prompted for your administrator password, enter that password.
Copy the below two files to the root directory of the primary hard disk. In the below example we are copying these files from the CD-ROM drive letter "E". This letter may be different on your computer.

copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\
copy e:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\

Once both of these files have been successfully copied, remove the CD from the computer and reboot.

(Misconfiguration with the boot.ini file).

Edit the boot.ini on the root directory of the hard disk drive and verify that it is pointing to the correct location of your Windows Operating System and that the partitions are properly defined.

(Corrupt boot sector / master boot record).

It's possible your computer's hard disk drive may have a corrupt boot sector and/or master boot record. These can be repaired through the Microsoft Windows Recovery console by running the fixboot and fixmbr commands.

(Seriously corrupted version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP).

If you have tried each of the above recommendations that apply to your situation and you continue to experience this issue it is possible you may have a seriously corrupted version of Windows. Therefore I would recommend you reinstall Windows XP.
You can try a repair install if you choose (and try to save any data that is important), but i would back up what i needed and then format and clean install!

(Loose or Faulty IDE/EIDE hard disk drive cable).

This issue has been known to be caused by a loose or faulty IDE/EIDE cable. If the above recommendation does not resolve your issue and your computer hard disk drive is using an IDE or EIDE interface. Verify the computer hard disk drive cable is firmly connected by disconnected and reconnecting the cable.
If the issue continues it is also a possibility that your system has a faulty cable, try replacing the hard disk drive cable with another cable and/or a new cable.

Let us know how you get on!

Good Luck :cool:


NTLDR is Missing
Press any key to restart

the noted error usually arrives after a bad setup on the drive itself, i.e. no fdisk first, then format, XP reacts badly to it, errors, however usually show up quickly on a new OS install.
as noted above the solution could be as easy as a new/different ribbon cable. drives much above 30g use the 80 conduit cable, they go bad frequently more often than the older 40.


digitalocksmith and mechbas I have done all of that plus more and still doesn't work.

What I haven't done yet is reinstalling Windows XP home without formatting. Can anyone clearify if I do it will I lose any data?


U can do a repair install w/o formatting and (quite possibly) keep most of the current install IF you have the original xp setup disc. follow this link
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm and read it CAREFULLY you might want to dnld the file repairxp.txt. if there's any chance to get the current OS install back up that's it. I've tried it myself and I know it works although some apps and hdwr will probably have to be reinstalled afterward. NOTE: afterward the OS WILL have to be activated and you won't have the full month to do so.
IF you format, what you don't copy to a seperate media IS gone. Tip: if you intend to format, fdisk first. that of course is your last resort.


mechbas is correct! Anything that was on that drive will be gone after a format.

This is the main reason why i always keep my system files on a seperate drive/partition from the good stuff (ie music, vids, pics etc).
That way if things go south for the winter with the OS, a format and clean install is the only way to go. (Its all about the registry) ;)

Proper hard drive management is the key to preserving your data and 'format' will never be a scary word again

IMO, repair installs are a waste of time!

My advice would be to back up all your important data and clean install windows.
Just my opinion though, as ive seen to many tears!
A few hours reinstalling third party programs beats the crap out of troubleshooting for days or weeks on end!

Nothin like the smell of fried fdisk in the morning...hehe!

Good Luck dude!!

This topic has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.
Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.