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NTLDR: FATAL ERROR 256 READING BOOT.INI

Windows XP Support


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  #1  
Old 23-01-2006
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Ntldr: Fatal Error 256 Reading Boot.ini

I am getting the error called "NTLDR: FATAL ERROR 256 READING BOOT.INI" when I am trying to boot the computer. No one is talking about it and it doesnt seems to have any answers for it as well.

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  #2  
Old 23-01-2006
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Re: NTLDR: FATAL ERROR 256 READING BOOT.INI

The NTLoader (NTLDR) is a boot sector file necessary to load the required drivers to start Windows XP. If this files is corrupted or missing, normal boot is interrupted and a boot disk has to be used to logon or a repair of the Boot Sector files copied from the Windows XP CD by means of the Recovery Console, or with the FIXBOOT command in the Recovery Console, or after gaining access into the system by means of a boot disk, the files can be copied to the boot sector from the diskette.
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  #3  
Old 23-01-2006
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You can try to boot the recovery console and then run bootcfg /rebuild from the command prompt. Check the below article for more information:

HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP [Q307654]
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=307654
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  #4  
Old 23-06-2009
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Okay, just so everyone knows, I may have just screwed this up myself...

I did this - downloaded 'xp boot files' to floppies from allbootdisks.com and they didn't work. So when I ran the console, I ran fixboot, I thought that's what I needed, but I didn't have the computer with this page on it to double check. So yeah, may have just made this worse.

Anyway, I went in and ran this after I found out I had the wrong command, and did the bootcfg /rebuild and it said there was an error - why I think the fixboot messed it up even more. It tells me to run chkdsk, which didn't detect any errors. I ran the bootcfg /rebuild again and its still telling me that there's an error and to run chkdsk.

I know if I really screwed this up by running fixboot, I'll likely have to reformat and reinstall fresh. I have a lot of my graphics program stuff installed on it already before it came up with this error with the boot.ini file and I REALLY don't want to do that if I can avoid it.

Why use an NT disk when I'm running XP pro? Sorry, it has been ages since I worked on them much, and so there might be new things I'm not up to date on...

NTLDR: FATAL ERROR 256 READING BOOT.INI was the original error we were getting. We bought two 500Gig hds from Western Digital and copied the old drive to the new one - we still have the old drive, but if its not reading it, would we be able to copy the BOOT.INI from the old drive to the new one?

I found out that it wasn't reading the new drive as C: at all - it was reading one of the Ebooks we had attached as C and that was why it was saying that there was some error that wasn't allowing bootcfg /rebuild to work, and also why it wasn't showing up with with any errors on chkdisk either - because there weren't any errors, but Windows also wasn't installed on the ebook.

Once I removed the ebooks from the computer, it said that there was an irreparable error. I made two boot disks from the disk that came with the drive - Data Life Guard Boot Disk and Data Life Guard Diagnostics Boot Disk and have tried booting from both of those, and all it does is have the green light on the a drive for an innumerable amount of time and the cursor on the screen blinks. Since then, I tried booted from the Windows XP cd again and it reads the disk in the drive, but I'm not given the option to boot from the CD any more. I don't know what is going on with this, these drives have been nothing but trouble. And I feel like I'm ready to throw the computer out the window.

This is why I gave up Tech Support ages ago, and now it seems like nothing I remember how to do, works anymore. My problem with finding the NT system is finding one that matches where the computer has a floppy so I can make a boot disk. The 'automatic boot disks' I made from Allbootdisks.com didn't work.

Think I'm on last resort before reformatting the drive and completely starting over.... Trying to locate the old boot ini file from the old drive that we still have to copy over to the newer one to see if that will work. Everything else I've tried hasn't.

My laptop has XP Media Center on it. That is what I post with. Talking to someone my husband works with at Intel, they said that XP Pro, like is on my desktop was harder to repair and cause you had to have another computer with XP Pro on it for making the boot disk. Right now it's copying the files from the old drive to the new one. There was nothing wrong with the old drive, we just replaced it due to storage capacity. The newer drives were bigger and I needed the space for my graphics program.

The purpose of the new drives was to have enough room to store my art program - DAZ 3D Studio and all the corresponding files that I need for my art. Each of the files for DAZ aside from what comes in the base program, are installed separately, and it increases the size of the base program dramatically. I had the new drives on a master-slave set up and had a good deal of the DAZ program files installed, and it was running fine. I took a break from it for a few days and when I go back I find that it must have done an update and restarted cause it wasn't where I left it, and that's where the error first appeared.

I can't really create a boot disk from either of our laptops even though they are running XP Media Center because we don't have an external floppy. I had to make the one I did at my mom's by downloading the files to her desktop and then creating them as per the instructions from allbootdisks.com, and still they didn't work. All that happened was the cursor blinked on the screen, and the green light on the floppy drive stayed on... this was for 45 minutes - and did nothing...

I really need to get this drive running without reformatting cause I have art on there that I need for the purposes of creation dates for applying for copyright. So I'd hoped to get it working without wiping everything.

I did try doing another copy last night, but no, it didn't work... same error.
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  #5  
Old 25-06-2009
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Ended up having to put the old drive back in and reformat the new one, setting it up as a bootable drive once more. This wiped out everything I had on it, but it is working again.
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