Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Resident Geek for my Family. . .

One of the hazzards of knowing the amount I do about windows, and PC Hardware is that I'm constantly being called by my family for assistance with their computers. I really don't mind, slightly over half of the people who call me pay me, and generally pretty well.

My Uncle Dick called me last week and scheduled me to come out and take a look at what was going on on Tuesday night.

I get there after work and he's having issues with BOTH his desktop and his laptop.

Tech Geek Scavenger Hunt & Triva

1 year old HP P4 512MB RAM 200GB SATA Drive looking at DOS window that says NTDLR is missing. Pull out the HP restore discs becase the restore partition doesnt seem to be there. Stick disc 1 in, reboot the machine and follow the prompts to do a non destructive recovery. Get error message that it is unable to write to the drive O.o Not good. Reboot check the bios, hmm, driv shows up, run S.M.A.R.T. tests everything works out fine. Says the drive is good. Try again, choose the option to repartion and reformat the drive and re-set up the HP restore partition. Get the Same Error Messages o.O Now I'm thinking dead drive. I end up taking the box home with me and utilizing Ultimate Boot CD I'm able to fdisk and reformat the drive. Restart the HP Restore process, choose the option to repartion and reformat the drive and re-set up the HP restore partition and the whole thing goes without a hitch. Total time spent on this little project: 6.5 Hours what I will charge him. $200.00

Any ideas as to what could have caused this?

I get to deliver it back to him tonight and pick up the laptop. When I got there it wouldnt connect to the wireless at all. I monkeyed about a bit, ended up attempting to re-installing the wireless utility and although it failed, it evidently got to the point where it re-installed what it needed. As it now connects to the linksys router. It is most definately in SERIOUS need of a fresh re-install. He's had it for 2 years and hasnt re-installed his OS since he bought it. The amount of CRAP that is loaded on it, plainly scare the piss out of me. A 2.4GHZ P4 should not take 45 seconds to load the control panels page. There's also undoubtedly a large amount of extranious and usless software shoehorned in by AOL and their, "I must control every aspect of the operation of this computer" mentality. He's going to have me re-install it, configure it, load Norton Ghost on it, and back it up creating him an image, so that if anything ever goes wrong, he can just restore it. Estimated time: 4-6 hours.

While I was there he revealed that when he had an issue 2 years ago and my dad looked at it, when he mailed the machine in to have Compaq take a look at it, my dad had removed the HD and when Compaq sent the laptop back. They also sent him another 60GB HD for the laptop. Which has been sitting in a box unused.

I'm thinking that I'll tell him that I'll configure and tweak the latop for $200.00 or $150 with the 60GB Laptop drive.




( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 20th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
It's been awhile, but I once had the NTLDR issue on a 60GB Seagate drive. Turned out to be corrupted boot sectors, IIRC. Drive was still perfectly useable for storage, but Windows would dump every time.
Jul. 20th, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
It sounds similar to a problem I encountered awhile ago.

But, I agree with erk. It sounds like corrupted boot sectors and/or file systems issues/corruption.

Also found this when I did a search...

NTDL is missing is associated with the boot process. The usual message is Couldn’t find NTDLR Please insert another disk. In which case their might be a floppy in your disk drive, The file is missing or corrupt.

The boot process in which NTDLR is included follows:

NTLDR is loaded in part 5 of the boot process.

NTLDR is in part 6 of the boot process it has the following functions:

· Switches processor to flat 32-bit memory model. This supports 4 GB RAM

· Start a mini-file system to allow Windows NT to be loaded from a different file systems.

· Reads BOOT.INI and displays the contents as the operating choice list.

NTLDR loads NTDETECT.Com if Windows NT is selected in part 7 of the boot process.

NTLDR is in the 9 part of the boot process it carries out the following:

· Locates and loads the kernal, NTOSKNL.EXE, but does not initialise it.

· Next, the boot loader loads the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System from %systemroot%\System32\Config\System.

At this point, the boot loader creates the control set it will use to initialise the computer. The value in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\Select subkey determines which control set in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System to use. The loader uses the control set identified by the default value, unless you are starting by using the Last Known Good Configuration. In this case, the value under LastKnownGood specifies the control set. Based on your selection and the value of the corresponding Select subkey, the loader determines which ControlSet00x to use. It sets the value of the Current in the Select subkey to the number of the control set it will use.
At this time, the boot loader scans all of the services in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services for device drivers with a Start value of 0x0, which indicates that they should be loaded but not initialised. Device drivers with these values are typically low-level hardware device drivers, such as hard disk device drivers. The Group value for each device driver determines the order in which the boot loader loads them. The Registry subkey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\ServiceGroupOrder defines the loading order.

· Passes the hardware information to the kernal.

Here's the here. Other info surrounding the issue seemed like it was talked about in the thread. Seems like it's worth perusing.
Jul. 20th, 2006 07:36 pm (UTC)
I know what NTLDR does. . . and i brought the machine back up by Fdisking it and re-installing the HP Restore discs.

It was just odd to me, that it wouldnt let me write to the disc until I re-f-disked the drive. and that when the internal HP apps tried ot do this they failed.

Jul. 20th, 2006 08:41 pm (UTC)
As a side note, it seems like it could've also just been an issue with the MBR getting wonky. Not sure why it would have, but it's always possible.

Still, if it is an issue with the boot sectors of the drive, like I experienced, it'll eventually dump the kernel again.
Jul. 21st, 2006 08:19 pm (UTC)
it likely will happen again, my uncle said something like this happened two years ago, and that's how he got the restore discs from HP. It was under warranty at the time and they didnt even replace the HD. **shakes head**

If it happens again, I'll just re-set it up for him on a new HD.

Jul. 20th, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
teehee..uncle dick.
Jul. 21st, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
IAWTAC's regarding the NTLoader getting dorked

and score that HD!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )