XP Spontaneous reboot


OSNN Newbie
Jan 14, 2004
I did a clean install a few months ago of XP Pro. I upgraded from 98, but did a wipe of my HD to start. The last few days i have been getting spontaneous reboots. Sometimes the post screen stops and I get the message "NTLDR is missing. Use CTRL + ALT + DEL to restart." I do that and it does restart, except for one time where I ended up going into CMOS and redetecting the hard drive. There was garble listed beside the Primary Master on the CMOS screen. I did some research on this and this NTLDR problem seems impossible to solve. This is the second time I have had this problem in the last few months. It must have rebooted about 5 times today, and the last one I got the NTLDR message.


ASUS A7N8X mobo
AMD Palomino 1700+
512 Megs DDR ram
MSI GeForce4 128


OSNN Veteran Addict
Jan 25, 2003
First thing is go into control panel and turn off "reboot" under what to do when a failure occurs. You will then get a blue screen with an error message on it. Post the message in here and we can help better. Just about anything can cause a reboot and you need the error message to isolate it.

Also, back up any data you don't want to loose.

Instructions from Help
To specify what Windows does if the system stops unexpectedly
You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

Open System in Control Panel.
On the Advanced tab, under Startup and Recovery, click Settings.
Under System Failure, select the check boxes that correspond to the actions you want Windows to perform if a Stop error occurs:
Write an event to the system log specifies that event information will be recorded in the system log.
Send an administrative alert specifies that your system administrator will be notified.
Automatically reboot specifies that Windows will automatically restart your computer.
Under Write Debugging Information, choose the type of information you want Windows to record when the system stops unexpectedly:
Small Memory Dump records the smallest amount of information that will help identify the problem. This option requires a paging file of at least 2 MB on the boot volume of your computer and specifies that Windows will create a new file each time the system stops unexpectedly. A history of these files is stored in the directory listed under Small Dump Directory.
Kernel Memory Dump records only kernel memory, which speeds up the process of recording information in a log when the system stops unexpectedly. Depending on the amount of RAM in your computer, you must have 50 MB to 800 MB available for the paging file on the boot volume. The file is stored in the directory listed under Dump File.
Complete Memory Dump records the entire contents of system memory when the system stops unexpectedly. If you choose this option you must have a paging file on the boot volume large enough to hold all of the physical RAM plus one megabyte (MB). The file is stored in the directory listed under Dump File.

To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click System.
You must have at least a 2-MB paging file on the computer's boot volume if you select Write an event to the system log or Send an administrative alert.
If you choose either Kernel Memory Dump or Complete Memory Dump and select the Overwrite any existing file check box, Windows always writes to the same file name. To save individual dump files, clear the Overwrite any existing file check box and change the file name after each Stop error.
You can save some memory if you clear the Write an event to the system log and Send an administrative alert check boxes. The memory saved depends on the computer, but typically about 60 KB to 70 KB are required by these features.
If you contact Microsoft Product Support Services about a Stop error, they might ask for the system-memory dump file generated by the Write Debugging Information option.


The Analog Kid
Mar 16, 2002
One thing you may want to do is to turn of auto rebooting after a crash
my computer>properties>advanced>startup and recovery settings


OSNN Addict
Oct 26, 2003
The last two posts won't help this person... "NTLDR is Missing" msg comes up before any other windows components even load... even before the boot screen, even before the screen where you can hit F8 for advanced recovery options... As much as I hate to say this, it sounds like a hardware problem, to be honest. Perhaps data corruption on the drive itself... maybe not even so much that, but the data coming FROM the HD (through the interface) is being corrupted before it loads into memory. NTLDR is what handles more or less talking with the BIOS before Windows even loads... There's a good synopsis of its functionality on MS's site somewhere that I read once, but suffice it to say that it's very very low-level and once it finishes its work, it gets out of the way and lets the windows components handle the rest (which is when the boot screen comes on and whatnot).

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