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ntldr is compressed

ntldr is compressed

ntldr is compressed

hi folks
 i have here a friends computer.he's running xp home and his computer won't boot, it gets an error message saying "ntldr is compressed press ctrl alt del to reboot"

  i've tried using fixboot and fixmbr from the recovery console "didn't work"
  i also tried to restore using my good ole 98 boot disk to get to the command promt "that didn't even see the c drive "i guesse i can't use it to see a nt file sys..

 any suggestions?

here's some info if it helps
the computer is a hp
the h/d has 2 partions(from hp)
1 non-dos about 5g
1 nt    remainding 35g


RE: ntldr is compressed

Expand the file from the XP CD.  It is in the \i386 folder:
expand ntldr._ c:\ntldr

You can do this under Recovery Console:

expand source [/F:filespec] [destination] [/y]
expand source [/F:filespec] /D

Use this command to expand a file. In the command syntax, source specifies the name of the file to be expanded and destination specifies the folder for the new file. If you do not specify a destination, the command defaults to the current folder. You cannot include wildcard characters.

You can use the following options:
/y : Do not prompt before overwriting an existing file.
/f:filespec : Identifies the files to be expanded.
/d : Do not expand; display only a directory of the files in the source.

If the source contains more than one file, the /f:filespec parameter is required to identify the specific files to be expanded. You can include wildcard characters.

The destination can be any folder in the system folders of the current Windows installation, in the root of the drive, in the local installation sources, or in the Cmdcons folder. The destination cannot be removable media, and the destination file cannot be read-only. Use the attrib command to remove the read-only attribute.

RE: ntldr is compressed

thanks for the reply bcaster
i don't know how to use the command line all that well..so don't waste your time checking for a reply from me.you gave me instructions on what to do,now i have to figure out how to do it..i'll get it but it will take a while..
so THANKS and have a good day:)


RE: ntldr is compressed

i just really don't know how to write it:(

i've tried all differant variations of
expand d:\xp_pro\i386\ntldr c:\ntldr
to no avail
i tried useing [d:\xp_pro\i386\ntldr] [c:\ntldr]
but i don't think i'm supposed to use these []
i have to get ready for work now,so i'll read that knowledge base article in work and maybe a light bulb will go off in my head..
i'm totaly ignorant of the command line

fdisk and format is all i know:(

  another BIG THANKS bcaster

RE: ntldr is compressed

1. Start the Recovery Console. If you do not have the Recovery Console installed, start it from the Windows XP compact disc (CD). To do this, follow these steps:

 a. Insert the Windows XP CD and restart the computer. If prompted, select any options required to boot from the CD.

 b. When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts; choose the repair or recover option by pressing R.

 c. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot system, choose the installation that you need to access from the recovery console.

 d. When prompted, type the Administrator password.

2. At the command prompt, type "cd \" (without the quotation marks), and then press ENTER.

3. Type "ren ntldr ntldr.old" (without the quotation marks), and then press ENTER.

4. Type "map" (without the quotation marks), and then press ENTER.

5. Note the drive letter assigned to the CD-ROM drive that contains the Windows XP CD. It is displayed in a format similar to the following:  D: \Device\CdRom0

6. Type "expand <drive>\i386\ntldr._" (without the quotation marks) (where <drive> is the drive letter of the CD-ROM drive that contains the Windows XP CD), and then press ENTER. For example:

  Expand d:\i386\ntldr._ <ENTER>

Note the underscore character after the "."

The following message appears:  ntldr, 1 file(s) expanded.

7. Type "exit" (without the quotation marks). The computer restarts.

8. Remove the Windows XP CD and start the computer normally.

RE: ntldr is compressed

but,when i type as you suggested it says "the system cannot find file or directory specified" but if i type without the "._" at the end it says file cannot be uncompressed.. the ntldr file is in the "c" directory,i was able to rename.the cd-rom is "d"

i even copied ntldr to a floppy still would not uncompress,i just talked to the guy and he said i can format nothing important on the computer.he just uses it for internet.

i just would like to get some experiance with repairing not always reinstalling windows..  

   again a BIG THANKS bcaster

i'll wait a little bit to see if you suggest anything else.. THANKS

RE: ntldr is compressed

Start Recovery Console.

cd c:\
copy d:\i386\ntldr


Reboot. (with out the XP CD in the drive)

I am worried that this is not the core issue.  Please let me know what happens.  Note carefully any and all error messages.


RE: ntldr is compressed

i copied ntldr after command it said 1 file copied,there were no error messages

i rebooted and
ntldr is compressed
press ctr alt del


RE: ntldr is compressed

Start again Recovery Console.

bootcfg /rebuild

Point to your XP installation.

fixboot c:


Reboot and test.

RE: ntldr is compressed

this is what comes up
i typed  "bootcfg /rebuild"
comes back saying
"scanning all disks for windows installation please wait"
"windows installion was successful total identfied windows install
[1] c:\windows"
add installation to boot list (yes\no\all)
"i put y"
enter load identifier "i put fixboot"
enter load options "i put fixboot"
it comes back to command promt
i reboot and ntldr is compressed

           AGAIN THANKS

RE: ntldr is compressed

"Load identifier" is asking for a description line in boot.ini.

You still need to use under Recovery Console fixboot.

But if you have access to another XP machine, please create an XP boot disk:  http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us...

Your machine is beginning to worry me a bit.
But it can be fixed.

RE: ntldr is compressed

By the way, is your friend's computer an HP or COMPAQ computer with the boot volume in a reserved partition?

If so, hit F12 on startup, and follow the instructions to Repair the boot partition.

RE: ntldr is compressed

I want to emphasize that some OEM computer manufacturers place a boot/restore partition, sometimes as FAT12, and if there is an issue with that partition you need to call the OEM manufacturer.

Often they will tell you to insert the System Restore CD.  I can think of clever ways to do some basic repairs to such "boot/recovery" partitions, but in the end you need to call the computer manufacturer as it is their problem, and not yours if the system is still under Warranty.

But be forewarned, you may not like the answer they give you.

Be nice.

RE: ntldr is compressed

yes it is an hp computer
and it does have 2 paritions, one 5gig partion that is labeled "?" an i can't check the dir because of the ? caracter.

i downloaded xp boot disk from ms
i got to disk 2 then it says

file \ntkrnlmp.exe could not be loaded
the error code 7
setup could not continue

i will try the f12 you mentioned
if that don't work i'm going to fdisk and do a clean install..
i will let you know if f12 works

i feel as though i o u a case of beer:)

          you have a GREAT week-end

RE: ntldr is compressed

f12 didn't do anything, so i guesse i'll format..:(

             THANKS for all your help

RE: ntldr is compressed

Call HP Tech Support first.

RE: ntldr is compressed

just realized i've been spelling your name wrong bcastner..

            have a great day!

RE: ntldr is compressed

I have seen worse, called worse.

Call HP.
Be Nice.

Bill Castner

RE: ntldr is compressed

i hate phones..
plus i'm always leary about monkeying with computers this much,after all this i just don't this it will run at top efficiency and i don't want to give a computer back to somebody in that state..so i guesse i'll give it a new start..
                   THANKS AGAIN!

RE: ntldr is compressed

New start meaning what?

. The HP restore partition seems questionable, but there should have been a bootable Restore CD.  Again, I hate phones too, call the guys/gals at HP Tech Support.  

. If your intention is a clean install of XP, including removing partitions, and a clean format, and an installation from another OEM Disk, it will not work.

. If your intention is to use a Retail XP CD to do the above, your "Key" will not work.

. If you insist on manuevering around these obstacles, at least see two threads:


I strongly urge you to call HP in this instance.  If the computer is still under Warranty, they will cross-ship you a new box and give you thirty days to transfer everything.  And if you are nice, they will send you a full CD of the XP OS.  If out of Warranty, you pay $11 for a full XP licensed CD that allows you a clean install.

RE: ntldr is compressed

new development
i set the 5gig non-dos partition active and now i can get to the f12 screen you mention,i choose the last known good config and i get a bsd saying
stop: c000021a {fatal system error}
the session manger initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc000003a (0x00000000 0x0000000)
the system has shut down

i'm going to play with this for a little

RE: ntldr is compressed

Gentlemen, interesting reading here.  I have an HP home pc with the same problem.  Have you made any postive headway on the fix yet?  I am the point of checking the warranty to see what they will do for me.


RE: ntldr is compressed

Yeah definatly a HP problem, I'm working on a friends pc and what a surprise! It is a HP. I got the NTLDR fixed, then the boot.ini was messed up, workin on that now. Thanks.

RE: ntldr is compressed

I was having the same problem (XP Pro on an HP).  After reading this post and thinking about it and my situation, I realized what my problem was.  (This may not apply to you.)

I turned compression on in the filesystem.  Therefore, NTLDR is compressed.  Period.  Nothing is going to change that except telling NTFS to uncompress the file.

Get into the Recovery Console, and see if NTLDR is compressed:

     dir \ntldr

If the "c" attribute is shown, enter the command:

     attrib -c \ntldr

exit (reboot), Windows boots up.

btw: I get (minor) errors restoring from the recovery partition.  Anyone who calls HP should make sure to complain about having 5 gig of disk wasted and not having a proper Windows install disc.  These complaints do eventually have an effect if enough people complain.

RE: ntldr is compressed

This may sound like a dumb question, but how do you get into the Recovery Console?

Here's my situation.  I've got an HP Pavilion with XP Home.  It has the recovery partition built on the harddrive and didn't come with any recovery/restore CD's.

I tried creating a boot disk following the Microsoft article mentioned by bcastner.  When I try to use it I get the following error:

    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    <Windows root>\system32\hal.dll
    Please re-install a copy of the above file.

Any thoughts on this would be great.

Thanks in advance.

RE: ntldr is compressed


How did you fix the NTLDR problem:

We are now having the compressed ntldr problem with an hp machine.

When we start the machine we get the message
ntldr comprerssed
ctrl,alt,del to restart

tried all of above and no joy so far.


2 heads are better than 1, but 1 is better than a committee.

RE: ntldr is compressed

I believe you can fix this from the recovery console by changing the attribute using the following...
attrib -c c:\ntldr
(this assumes your ntldr file is on the c drive)

RE: ntldr is compressed

Hi there. I just signed up cause I had the same problem.

It just occured after i performed a HP restauration (cause my Internet connection didnt work properly).

Since then, i havent been able to start my comp on this hard drive. I read carefully what you wrote and i'm going to try what you suggested.

See you.

RE: ntldr is compressed

From recovery console:

expand d:\i386\ntldr._ c:\ntldr

RE: ntldr is compressed

Carey Frisch, MVP noted in the Newsgroups:  


If you have a HP PC:

Run the Recovery (F10) Advanced Options, ALT D to Command Prompt.
Type the following .. (press Enter afer each line):

c:\windows\system32\compact /u d:\ntldr

Restart your PC

When back in Windows .. go to My Computer .. right-click the C: drive .. Properties ..
and remove checkmark from "Compress Drive to save disk space: .. and Apply
(to stop happening next time you recover)

RE: ntldr is compressed

After reading the above post I tried that method to fixing this problem (which I'm having as well) but...

I got a new error:

"Access denied - G:\i386\ntldr"

Note: my CD drive is G:, so I tried typing "G:\ntldr" with the attrib command again...

"File not found - G:\ntldr"

At this point, I want to throw my computer out of the window but I know someone out there can help me.

I'm also using an HP and having the same problems as the people above.

RE: ntldr is compressed

You cannot use the ATTRIB command on a CD file (as you cannot write to the CD).

The drive "D:" above in Carey Frisch's discussion is referring to the recovery partition seen during the use of the recovery process, Advanced Options.

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