160GB HDD WD Caviar ATA - reads ntldr is missing

[qanda]This thread is about the Western Digital AV WD1600AVBB - hard drive - 160 GB - ATA-100. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]Have a Emachines T1450 With 40GB HDD, 256mb RAM, 64MB VGA Card, CD RW/DVD ROM Drive, I Have Installed 2X 512MB Ram Modules, GeForce FX5200 128MB Graphics card, but when upgrading HDD to 160 GB WD Caviar PATA (40GB PATA Originally Installed) I can format, Partition and install windows via Windows XP CD, when install finnishes and pc tries to boot from HDD error message reads ntldr is missing press ctrl-alt-del, (Which Doesn’t work, holding down power button is all that restarts), I have looked around for solutions and have tried making a floppy with ‘ntldr’ ‘boot.ini’ and ‘ntdetect.com’ and copied it to C: root directory using recovery console, but to no avail, I know it is something to do with high capacity PATA HDD’s but I would really like to sort this if possible, I have Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools but since I cannot get into Windows it is useless, This Emachines PC has a 1.5ghz processor and I have tried the 160 GB on another PC and all is fine, I have even installed another 40GB HDD on it and that works fine too, Please if anyone could help I would be greatful, and of course have learned something in the process, I have been formatting the HDD NTFS (The slow option) and have had no luck (6 Times Tried) Any Thoughts Welcome. RGK!

I made a 10GB partition and installed windows to that, is it possible to use the remaining 150gb unpartitioned space to use as primary save, ( The same as c:). I hope so Thanks.RGK

Hi and Welcome!

At first, make sure you have the latest Windows XP Service Pack (SP3) installed. The first release of Windows XP was not able to deal with HDDs larger than 128 GB. This was fixed with later Service Packs.

After having installed SP3 (might be tricky on a Windows without SP at all, in that case, SP2 must be installed at first), you should be able to create and format a new partition on the unused rest of the drive with Windows’ built-in Disc Manager.


Hi thanks for advice here, I am installing windows xpsp3 on a recovery disk i streamlined, and i have been into disk management and formatted the remaining space, are you saying that once this is done i should be able to install windows on that partition inside windows, or will it now be possible to install windows on this newly formatted partition via the boot from cd mode?, if that is so would it be possible to reduce the size of the first partition again just enough for install then install windows on larger partition? Again Thanks RGK.


if you managed to build a working slipstream CD with SP3, then you could try another setup from CD.
If you want to have the whole HDD as one partition, I suggest to wipe the entire disc using WD’s data lifeguard tools from a DOS floppy or CD.

Or delete the partition you created previously and have the small partition deleted during the new setup from your slipstream CD.


I really appreciate quick response but I am still confused, the reason is that i have tried to use the whole partition to install windows and everything is fine until after install( I created the slipstream cd on my pc, this is for my brother) and when i let setup continue past press any key to boot from cd and wait for windows, i get error ntldr is missing, i have researched this and the install is fine until i create a partition above 40gb, and then it just fails, i think it could be due to hdd barriers as i have another pc almost identical chipset, ram modules and this 1 accepts the 160gb hdd, i have looked into flashing the bios but there is a fee and i cannot find anything to tell me if this will resolve this issue anyway. since you know capabilities of slipstream cd i have do i still have a chance here, i have got it up and running and even had programme files default registry key changed to save on larger partition, but had problems doing same with documents and settings which i would also need to be on larger partition, this thing has had me going mad, any other help please thanks RGK.

Hi,QUOTE=RealGoneKid;2223779 i have researched this and the install is fine until i create a partition above 40gb, and then it just fails, [/QUOTE]this is really odd, since there is normally no 40 GB barrier (unless it is something artificial introduced by the manufacturer of your computer.
T1450 is unknown on emachines.com website, so there is no Bios update.

I am nearly out of ideas.
You may have a look if there is a “Limit to 32GB” jumper set (it shall not!) on the HDD, and you might also reset the CMOS (remove battery, or switch “clear CMOS” jumper for a couple of minutes). Oh, and you could replace the IDE cable. You need a 80 conductor cable.

Wipe the HDD with the WD utility and try again.

And if anything else fails, then install Windows in a 30 or 40 GB partition, then create a new partition for the rest and move your “my documents” folder to the second partition.


I say 40gb, its just there was a 40gb hdd inside i have only tried with 10gb and 5gb partitions below 40gb and above i worked down from 160gb to 80gb and stopped there, i do remember reading about the lower end hdd limits, i have just purchased a new dual ide ribbon cable, hoping to up internal memory it is a 40 pin (i don’t knoe if it is a ‘80 conductor’ or not or how i would tell, just a new 1), also as i said i had a bash at moving Documents and settings, would just moving my documents be enough, and have you got a step by step on that ( i followed 1 and it all seemed to work fine but i could not setup a desktop background, and when i installed new programmes it was causing havoc in the registry with windows not being able to create proper keys, i can succesfully move programme files but documents and settings is a tough one, also how would i identify a limit to 32gb jumper setting on hdd? resetting the cmos sounds scary could you maybe explain to me so i understand, again thank you for all your help RGK.

I tried installing windows on the larger partition on startup i got this error "windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<windows root>\system32\hal.dll."
I replaced this file using recovery console by copying the one off the working partition and overwrote this corrupt file but to no avail. Seems like your suggestions are the only chance i have, so if you could please advise as per my previous post. Thanks RGK.

I just checked the jumper settings, it was setup as the j8 jumper settings and not master, slave, or master with slave, could this configuration have something to do with it (bearing in mind the whole 160gb is working fine on a compaq pc i have with same chipset and even the same ram modules same cpu 1.5ghz intel pentium 4).Thanks RGK.

I had similar issues with 2 MSI motherboard systems for which BIOS update fixed the problem. The MSI site said BIOS updates could fix instability problems, and it did for my 2 systems. However, I don’t know if there is any fix if your system has no BIOS updates.

I managed to sort it, Thanks for all your help, I don’t know exactly what I did to sort it in the end, It was probably an accumilation of a few things, I went to put the drive back in the compaq pc but when I did there were some problems installing windows on it, so since the emachines pc was at least reading the drive I decided to format the drive 1 partition 160gb, i did the format then when the emachines pc went to put windows on, i stopped it, put the drive in the compaq to install windows on that, but still errors on compaq, I put it back in emachines and used it to install windows up to the point where there is a reboot and the emachines was failing, again put into compaq, still errors, I was going mad now couldn’t understand it at all, I was tired and my brain was hurting, (3 hours sleep in 48 hours), I got up today and thought i would put the drive in the emachines pc and let it finnish off the windows install, it went right up to the end, and then just kept going, it installed windows sp3 completely, 160gb partition all being used, I could not believe it as i was just about to throw in the towel, but what a stroke of luck, it’s 03.40am now and I have finnished installing all software, all anti-virus, firewalls, media players updates & registration finished, so once again Thank you for all help, A Great Result For Me, An amazing service you provide here, keep up the excellent work. RGK.:clap::):):clap:

This is a link to my comments at fixya who provided me with no help at all with this problem.
Again Thanks, RGK.