In Windows NT systems, the purpose of the boot.ini file is to direct the NTLDR file about which operating system to start with. It is very helpful if there is a dual-(or multi-) boot system as you can select the particular operating system to log on. However, despite being such a critical file, it is not marked as a read-only because of which it is sometimes get deleted or overwritten. Because of this, the system may not start and would become inaccessible. In such cases, you should try out the best way-out to restore the file and start the system. In case that does not happen, then you should reinstall the operating system after recovering the data using an NTFS data recovery software.
Let us consider you have a Windows Server 2003 system, which is unable to start. The following error message is displayed on a black screen:
"NTLDR is missing Press any key to restart"
There could be the following reasons behind such startup problem:
The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) of your system is obsolete, which is why you are unable to log into the system. Either of the following critical system files are missing or corrupt in your system: Ntldr Ntdetect.com Boot.ini Ntbootdd.sys
To overcome this problem, you can perform the following methods according to the particular reason:
Verify BIOS: You should obtain and install the latest version of BIOS by contacting the computer manufacturer. Repair Windows using boot disk: You should create a boot disk having the missing files. Then, you should edit the boot.ini file to point to the correct location of operating system. Then, copy the missing files from the boot disk and restart the system. Repair Windows using Recovery Console: You should perform the following steps to repair from Recovery Console: Use the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM to enter Recovery Console. Type 'Map' and press Enter. Type the following commands and press Enter after both commands: copy Drive:\i386\ntldr c:\ copy drive:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\ Type 'exit' to exit Recovery Console and restart the computer.
If you are unable to access the system even after performing these methods, then you should reinstall Windows Server 2003. However, that would require taking a backup of your valuable data, which can be done using a third-party NTFS Partition Recovery. These partition recovery tools are absolutely safe to use and do not damage the existing data while scanning the system.
The most efficient NTFS partition recovery software in the business is Stellar Phoenix NTFS Data Recovery, which runs effectively for NTFS and NTFS5 file systems. Having the ability to recover more than 185 different file types, this NTFS file recovery is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, and 2000.
What to do when the boot.ini file missing Win 2003