NTLDR is Missing - Issue affecting Dell Laptops

If you have a Dell laptop, and out of the blue you get the error NTLDR is Missing when you turn the machine is turned on, followed by an Invalid MBR error on subsequent reboots - DO NOT PANIC

Chances are, you accidentally pressed the Media Direct Button (looks like a house on my laptop) instead of the Power Button. Now if you have a Dell standard install, this will probably load the Media Direct application - but if you have done a wipe / rebuild, and not set up the Media Direct partion as expected, then you will likely get NTLDR / MBR errors, and an unbootable machine.

When you press this little button, the system rewrites the MBR on the primary disk, and causes the system to boot to a different partition (one which theoretically should contain the Media Direct application). If that partition does not exist, you get an apparently bricked laptop.

The good news is, that if you press the button again, then the changes to the MBR get reverted - may need a subsequent reboot - and you should be able to get back into windows :)

Dangerous button :-/

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
Leanne's Gravatar Thank you so much for this message I borrowed my husband's laptop and when he started it up this happened. Obvs I have pressed the house button instead of the on/off, its sorted now though....after two days of strees, can't believe it could be that easy to sort. Thanks again!
# Posted By Leanne | 03/02/10 20:14
Rob's Gravatar Thanks so much Dan! I was messing with Windows recovery disks etc. to no avail. I didn't dare hit that darn Media Direct button again (that i had hit accidentally on a morning with no coffee yet and blurry vision!) But a second push of that little devil did the trick. Many thanks!
# Posted By Rob | 19/02/10 14:04
John McGee's Gravatar I have exazctly tis problem with a Dell XPS M1530 which I have upgraded to Windows 7 without replacing the Dell MediaDirect software. However, I cannot get your solution to work. I would be grateful for any advice.
# Posted By John McGee | 01/08/10 22:43
Reynaldo Miranda's Gravatar Great, Dan! (Y) Never thought the solution was so easy. Always had to re-installing again.
Thank you very much!
# Posted By Reynaldo Miranda | 22/09/10 01:40
Kurtis's Gravatar Awesome! I don't know how many times I've had to fix that problem - relearning it each time, but never seeing the "just press it again" solution! I should have just left the computer out for my kids to press the button again and fix the problem for me!
Very much appreciated!
# Posted By Kurtis | 03/05/11 22:03
Sunil's Gravatar Hi Dan!

You saved my day. Had never thought that the cause of the problem could be so silly and equally simple is the solution.
I think I need to change the action that the media direct initiates to aviod such problems in future.

Cheers!
Sunny
# Posted By Sunil | 30/05/11 08:16
Claudio's Gravatar Great tip!
You really saved my day, thanks a lot!
# Posted By Claudio | 31/08/11 10:11
Erasmo Vitoria's Gravatar Hi! Thank you very much! Saved my day!
I'm using XP SP3 on Inspiron 1525.
# Posted By Erasmo Vitoria | 16/11/12 09:38
BlogCFC was created by Raymond Camden. This blog is hosted by DotLance Ltd.