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Help...Sony Vaio home desktop computer had Windows crash showing error "NTLDR is missing"

MikeB's picture

I'm not a computer guru by a long shot so all help & suggestions are greatly appreciated. I may have to take it to someone or if that's too expensive it might meet my axe in the back yard and I'll get something new.

It's probably my fault but I received a new router from Vonage, a Motorola VT4224 I think, and I don't recall setting up any firewalls. Soon after, this computer became VERY slow and was getting bogged down with pop-ups galore and background things running. A virus scan came up with some 'root' type viruses and a 'trojan' thing-a-muh-jiggie. Neither of which I could remove. One would go away for a day, but the next day it would be back with a vengeance.

Half the time the computer would start up but without the usual desktop icons, just the wall paper pic. A restart or two would fix that. But now all that happens is a black screen with the cryptic "NTLDR is missing." Because Windows and other software were preloaded as a bundle upon purchase back in 2004, start up discs will be hard to come by, but Sony has some sort of reconfigure work-around evidently.

Any suggestions? - is it repairable? - is a fix reasonable? - or is it best to Paul Bunyon this thing and go back to a Commodore 64?

Comments

timv's picture

Commodore 64!

Well you could always try looking at ntldrismissing.com--no joke, there's actually a site there that looks like it might be pretty helpful. Basically either something knocked out the partition table or the boot sector on your disk, or maybe your BIOS setting got changed and it's trying to boot off a non-existant device. (Or maybe you just left an unbootable floppy disc or cd-rom in one of your drives--I've done stuff like that plenty of times!)

Or that could be just the tip of the iceberg and the root/trojan situation could have messed things up pretty badly all around. It's hard to know before you dig into it.

Considering that it's a four-year-old machine and newer/bigger/faster things are quite cheap, there are certainly options to consider there other than a Commodore 64.

If things do turn out to be worse than just a simple no-boot problem, another way to go would be to get a fresh (and certainly bigger and faster) hard disk and some real XP install discs and start over rebuilding the software installation from scratch. Then recover your data files from the old disk when it's all up and running. In the Windows world, a clean re-install is a favored solution quite often.

Good luck with it. I know how aggravating that kind of thing can be.

roadskater's picture

Commodore 128?

Maybe the 128 is a slightly better fallback? I enjoyed having one of those after the 64 or 2 I had. The real treasure as timv and I have often alas'd, was the gorgeous (screen image) of the Commodore 1702 color monitor. Methinks it was an early S-Video unit, that would likely make a great match for a set-top digital-to-analog TV converter these days, as composite and S-Video are the only outputs allowed for units to qualify for the $40 coupon. More on this later when I get my solutions set. For now I'm using a USB stick to watch digital TV on me notebook. Sweet. Free viewing is my favorite. Regarding your problem, I read that page and it's pretty much a complete coverage as far as I can see. If you get it going again you want to disconnect from the internet with that machine (before now). Use another computer to download files onto a USB or CD or DVD to get files over if these items work on your Sony. Check out these items, all from http://snapfiles.com, the download site I trust (along with http://download.com by cnet). If it's not on snapfiles, I have found, there's a reason. Often it was there and was taken off for a good reason. I only use freeware (with very rare exceptions) and that site makes it easy to view only freeware, and they don't call trialware freeware. Rootkit finders and removers. I'd use Sophos and f-secure blacklight (long history of great stuff)... http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/Sophos-Anti-Rootkit/sophosantiroot.html http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/fsecure-blacklight/fsblacklight.html If you need to go further, check AVG (grisoft.com) for a free rootkit remover and maybe visit other virus companies to look for free rootkit removal tools. No need to pay for this. They want to help you so much you'll want to buy something. I'd get AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition or one of these at least... http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/AVG_Free_Edition/avg.html http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/avast_Home_Edition/avast.html http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/PC_Tools_AntiVirus/pctoolsav.html http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/AntiVir_PE/antivir.html I'd run two, but not have more than one active at the same time. Also look at the cleaners for specific issues available on snapfiles. Panda, Symantec, McAfee and others offer these. For spyware I've always used... http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/Spybot_-_Search_and_Destroy/spybot.html ...but recently installed... http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/spyware-terminator/spywareterminator.html ...on a client's machine and while he was annoyed with the messages while training the software, I thought it looked like good stuff, and it also hooks you up with an open source av program called ClamAV. I still need to install and use it myself, but it seemed great. Remember that if you get to Windows CELEBRATE BRIEFLY BUT BACKUP YOUR IMPORTANT DATA IMMEDIATELY. You may then want to do some more searches about where to go. Sometimes a virus will be in System Restore and you may have to kill the System Restore information completely and/or turn off System Restore for a full cleanup. And sometimes you can get rid of something mild by just doing a System Restore to a previous date long ago in a galaxy far away or some such. You might want to beef up the firewall on XP with... http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/ZoneAlarm/zonealarm.html ...but I don't know if this is necessary or will help. Timv and others feel free to pitch in here and disagree or not. OH YEAH! If Sony has a free or almost free solution, particularly if you don't have any really dear data that is not backed up, that sounds like a plan too. Tell us more about what happened before if you like and definitely (please if you like) take some notes as you go through all this and if you get it going or even if not, share whatever you feel up to with the world. It could provide some help for someone on a baby it's a 3AM I must be lonely night with that Black Screen of Death and the NTLDR message and an insulting cursor flashing off and on saying "Ha ha. Ha ha."

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