Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Different NTLDR issue: caused by non-system hard drive

21 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7 64-bit
Different NTLDR issue: caused by non-system hard drive

I am getting an "NTLDR is missing" message on bootup, but the origin of the problem is, I think, different from the other NTLDR problems I've see on on this and other forums, because it is not related to the main (system) drive. In fact, when I remove the problem drive -- the E: drive, or in other words not the system drive -- the computer boots up fine. I thought that perhaps that this two-year-old disk was dying or that there were some bad sectors, but I've checked the disk for errors in Windows 7 (Properties > Tools > Check for Errors) and have found no problem. I've also tried different cables and SATA ports, always with the same result. Finally, I tried a System Restore. My other hard drives run fine. And the problem drive reads just fine when I connect it through a USB 2.0 hard drive deck.

I would prefer not to play with the Windows 7 MBR since the system seems fine when I don't use the problem drive. So here are some questions:

1. why am I having this problem?

2. Does a non-system drive have its own boot record or MBR that could be causing this problem?

3. If so, is there some way of editing or replacing it?

4. Is there any other kind of fix that I'm not seeing?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Check your BIOS boot order.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP


There are many different reasons that this could occur. The most common being that this drive used to be used as a boot drive. The "fix" for this is to wipe the drive with DBAN/KillDisk, and then format it again.

I would suggest reading up on TestDisk (free here: TestDisk - CGSecurity ) - that'll give you some idea of how it works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Mar 2011   #4

Windows 7 64-bit

Thank you both for the responses. Just as followup: boot order was not the problem, and the drive had not been used as a system drive. I used Testdisk to the best of my ability, but without success. I just ended up transferring the information to another drive and reformatted the problem drive, which seems to be working OK in a JBOD external enclosure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Different NTLDR issue: caused by non-system hard drive

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
hard drive failed, system image not found on hard drive
hi all, i hope someone can help me out, i am a newbie to all this so bare with me. my hard drive failed over a month ago but i managed to do a system image with win7 to my new 2tb internal hard drive. i cannot get the image recovery to work as i says "no image can be found on hard disk". i am at...
Backup and Restore
Windows 7 blue screen crash/hard drive booting issue/NTLDR missing
Hey all, Came across a problem recently on my 9 month old rig. Specs are in my profile. Anyway, I had 3 hard drives set up: my main SSD which runs Windows 7, a USB external 1 terabyte and a 500gig SATA Western Digital. I believe the 500gig SATA was failing or malfunctioning. I was getting...
BSOD Help and Support
NTLDR + non system disk error
Intro Hey guys, I have an HP Elitebook laptop. I got it new about 2 years ago and have had it attached to a docking station since I bought it. Connected to the docking station is an external hard drive where I store a complete backup of my laptop (I use the program "Norton Ghost"). I should...
General Discussion
Win 7 WD eSATA hard drive crash NTLDR is missing
Had a dual-boot system (Win 7 on drive 1, XP on drive 2) installed. Got an NTLDR is missing error on the primary WD drive on which Win 7 was installed. XP wouldn't boot either because the MBR is on the primary drive. So, I had to reinstall XP and all the software on the 2nd drive and test in...
Hardware & Devices
NTLDR is Missing error. Dead Hard Drives to blame?
Here is my situation. About 8 months ago I had fixed up my computer, got new a harddrive, upgraded the processor and videocards, yadda yadda. Only problem was, I haddn't been able to use the computer for 8 months. It was sitting at my old house, and unfortunately I never got to confirm if it...
Backup and Restore
NTLDR on first SATA drive?
Before installing Windows 7 on a fresh new empty 500 gig drive, I seem to have mixed up SATA1 and SATA2. The drive accidentally sitting in SATA1 position was a Terabyte drive used on my last system, a Vista system I fried. Once I noticed my mistake, after the Windows 7 install, I switched them...
Installation & Setup

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:56.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App