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NTLDR is missing after installing EMC 10


mindy01

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Bought EMC 10 when I got the upgrade email, through the download service. Installed it no problem and began to poke around a bit. No issues. Then came back yesterday and noticed that nothing was working from the "web" style front-page. When I tried to click on the caputure video, nothing happend. Other links did not work as well and some threw up error messages. Decided to reinstall again. After the rebott, my Windows XP wouldn't come up, left with a message of "NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart" at a black screen. Could not get around this, had to google search, get a file, reboot from floppy, etc. Whole workaround. Did a system restore back before EMC 10 and everything was fine. Tried install again. Rebot machine and NTLDR gone again. Finally got back to XP and got rid of EMC 10, went back and reinstalled EMC 9. I am asking for refund of EMC 10.

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I have posted that this is a repeatable event whenever I install EMC10 on my computer. Now gi7omy please don't get upset and have a stroke or anything like that. I did not say or imply that EMC10 was the culprit. I will leave that up to the reader to surmise. I am saying that in a certain environment (the elements of which we are attempting to ascertain), after installing EMC10, the files on my computer not located in individual folders on the C:\ root directory are missing. I do not know why they are missing or what caused them to go missing, only that there is a strange coincidence that 5 times now, the event is reproducible.

 

Now, for the facts.

I have 3 hard drives C, D, E, none of which have been renamed. No SCSI.

 

ASUS motherboard

P4 2.8

2GB RAM

Windows XP Home

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The article properly documents how to recover but, is there a fix from Roxio to prevent deletions of the root files?

 

One work around I did is I created a shutdown batch file that checks if the files are missing and copies them back from a saved copy if they are.

 

This topic had been closed but I opened it back up for anyone that wants to comment on whether or not the article helped.
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Not sure if the OP's Boot.ini file is bad barryware. I have a custom built computer and have a retail copy of XP/SP2 I installed myself and the partitions seem to be pretty much the same as the OP's file as far as "partition" is concerned. And I have no other partitions on my boot drive.

 

My Boot.ini file reads:

 

;

[boot loader]

timeout=30

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS

[operating sytems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/FASTDETECT/USEPMTIMER/NOEXECUTE=OPTIN

 

Frank...

I didn't say it was a bad boot.ini. I just noticed the OS is on part(1). I have a dual boot machine and the default OS is on part(0) and the second OS is on part(1).

 

My Dual Boot:

 

[boot loader]

timeout=5

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(0)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(0)\WINDOWS="(1) Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition 2005" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="(2) Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

 

I have a laptop that still has the utility partition and the OS is installed on part(1), not (0).

 

Just something to check that's all.

 

Actually.... I think someone else on a different thread may have it figured out. They suspect that after the install completes and removes and temporary install files, it is also taking files in the root directory that are not in folders with it. That user theorized that the temp install files are being written to the root directory of the drive instead of the system temp directory.

 

Might have something to do with the files attributes.

 

One user has a problem.. Thats one thing. Two.... Maybe. But 3,4,+ all reporting the boot files are missing after install and a couple have reported that it is repeatable.... I think that deserves some real attention from the engineers at Roxio.. Can't have software installs destroying users rigs.

 

Red... Let me ask you a question. You are a Guru and I understand that one of the perks / responsibilities of Guru is beta testing new software...

 

How large is Roxio's beta pool? How long is the beta test before the commercial release?

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I've 7 drives (4 ATAs in RAID) and partitioned up to Drive M (the RAID array). The primary master is partitioned in 4 (XP Pro, XP 64, Linux and Vista Ultimate in that order) and I had actually reset the drive letters manually to be C (XP32) D(XP64 but that relettered itself K after installing) and E (Vista which calls itself C on boot) - Linux isn't recognised as a partition by Windows so that doesn't have a drive letter. My pagefile, temp and My Documents folders are all on the primary slave drive, again re-lettered to be drive F and that problem of wiping out the NTLDR and boot.ini files didn't happen with me.

 

The lettering is all non-standard (Windows will make the first partition on the primary slave drive D and the first partition on secondary master E) My optical drive I relettered to 'Z'.

 

Again - none of my boot loaders were affected and my default boot order is GRUB (choice of Linux or Windows), Vista boot (choice of Vista or older Windows) and finally the XP boot.ini (choice of 32 or 64 bit XP).

 

If this was a common occurence, I'd expect at least one of those boot loaders to go belly up - but none did

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The more I research the problem the more it seems likely that it is caused by the MFT (Master File Table) on your hard drive becoming too big and too fragmented. This is caused by a number of factors, but you are most likely to have this problem if you have used more than 87.5% of the available space on your primary hard drive (at any time in the past). The more files you add and delete, the more fragmented your MFT will become. Adding a large number of files (for instance, installing a large program like EMC 10) could trigger the "NTLDR is missing" problem.

See also... http://www.diskeeper.com/eletter/previous/...1999110261.html

 

Tom,

MFT fragmentation only causes an ntldr missing error

IF

the ROOT directory of the boot drive (C:\) has too many files in it which causes entries in the root index of the mft containing the root folder to be fragmented when it is expanded. Simply having to many files on your drive won't do it even if the mft is fragmented.

In that case the ntldr (because of re-alphabetizing of the directory listings in the mft root folder index) may end up in an index fragment other than the first one. That will cause the ntldr missing error.

Just having a fragmented mft in and of itself will not do it. Also the expansion of the mft with the addition of new files to the hd does not in itself mean the mft will fragment. It depends on other factors too.

 

From MS: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=320397

"This problem may occur if the MFT root folder is severely fragmented. If the MFT root folder contains many files, the MFT may become so fragmented that an additional allocation index is created. Because files are mapped alphabetically in the allocation indexes, the NTLDR file may be pushed to the second allocation index. When this occurs, you receive the error message that is described in the "Symptoms" section of this article."

 

STATUS

"Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

This problem was first corrected in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2.

This problem was first corrected in Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4.

Note If you install the Windows XP service pack or the Windows 2000 service pack, you will not resolve problems with an existing volume. You must run the utility to update the bootcode separately. The service pack will only write the correct bootcode for new volumes."

 

As stated in that article the problem is corrected in xp sp2

and will not affect a volume newly formatted under that os version.

So again as to my previous post, a number of the ppl in this post did new installs or re-installs which would lead to new mft tables not affected by this problem.

 

So before you will know if this is the solution you must know the following things

 

a. What os version of xp (was it xp SR2)

b. do each of these ppl have LOTS of files in their root folder (cause that's what it would take to bump the ntldr to the second index)?

Note: I don't think you can determine exactly how many files it would take to cause this since there are a number of variables involved such as the size, number of them, names (alphabetizing), size of the HD (affects placement of original mft record).

c. Did the ppl who re-installed in this thread after it happened do a format during that install?

(cause if they did then this is not what caused their problem since a new unfragmented mft would have been created if they did format)

 

Lastly the diskkeeper article you linked in your post is for NT4 not XP. I know it still refers to ntfs but NT4 had it's own set of problems with the missing ntldr that XP does not. Just using too large a partition for installation in nt could cause this if the boot files were updated by a ms patch at a later time.

 

Now I'm not saying this is NOT the cause. but you need more info before you can know for sure.

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MarkR,

 

Thank goodness that somebody understands my point!

 

The point is, of course, that the EMC10 reinstallation tries to delete all files in the root (C:\) directory on some, maybe all, PCs. I have lost a ton of stuff in this directory because of this installer bug, fortunately none of it important other than the system files which should have been protected but were not. I am amazed that some so-called experts cannot seem to grasp that NTDLR is only one of the files that gets deleted.

 

I guess that a simple fix for this would be to protect all files in the C:\ directory, although I suspect that anybody that has already seen this problem will have already lost them.

 

It might be instructive if those on this thread that claim not to have the problem check what else is left in their root directory. It is not impossible that all unprotected files are gone, but that they have only the system files remaining.

 

Thank you for the instructions, MarkR. I will ensure my PC is set that way in case I need to install EMC10 yet again.

 

What point? You make absolutely none!

 

No user has gone to this sort of nonsense to create the circumstanced you think are required to produce this.

 

The program doesn't do it, or else it would happen to everybody, not just a few.

 

You seem to have a pretty fair knowledge of computers, but it is too bad you have absolutely no troubleshooting skills…

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Huh?? :wacko::wacko:

 

LOLLOL! Yes, I am sure. Click on the URL that Daithi posted. ;)

 

That article refers to the problem AFTER you REMOVE a CD/DVD recording program. Not when a program is INSTALLED.

 

Below compliments of the KB article...

 

Symptoms of the problem

In Microsoft Windows XP, after you remove a CD recording program or a DVD recording program, or after you remove a different program

 

You can no longer access the CD drive or the DVD drive, or you receive an error message after you remove a CD recording program or a DVD recording program in Windows XP: "error code 31"

SUMMARY

After you remove a program from your computer, you can no longer access the CD drive or the DVD drive successfully. The CD drive or the DVD drive does not appear. Or, you receive an error message when you try to access the drive. This article contains two methods to resolve this problem. One of the methods requires that you manually modify the Windows registry to remove the UpperFilters registry entry and the LowerFilters registry entry. You must restart the computer after you follow the steps in this article.

 

Yup, and as you can see, it does it when you install a burning program, too. If you don't believe me, have a gander at some posts at AfterDawn and the forums for folks who use Nero.

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One user has a problem.. Thats one thing. Two.... Maybe. But 3,4,+ all reporting the boot files are missing after install and a couple have reported that it is repeatable.... I think that deserves some real attention from the engineers at Roxio.. Can't have software installs destroying users rigs.

 

You have a point here. I'll make sure this is looked into. I'll let you guys know if we need any additional information from you guys regarding the details of the issue.

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Boy.....

 

Most of this is over the head of most computer users. No offense to any computer user that may read this thread. A user created a shut down batch file? WTF?

 

99% just want to make a DVD from their captured videos, pictures, camcorders, and I am sure a lot of users use the audio features of the suite. They go to the store or buy the download and can't wait to install the software.

 

Ba-Bam.....

 

OK... So there is a work around (actually a repair sequence after the damage is done). Some have reported that they were unable to revive their drive and needed a replacement.

 

Probably a low level format would have fixed it but now you need to use the debug utility and write a few lines of code. Way over the head of most (but not all) users. (No Offence!)

 

Lets say that I purchase & download V10 today.... Is it fixed so it won't trash my computer? (Tom.. John.. Chime in)

 

Most of the regulars on this forum have stated that they have no intentions to upgrade to Vista until initial bugs are fixed or at least till SP1 is published.

 

What about this suite?? V10 was published prior to any fixes/patches to V9 and then the V9 patch basically removed some apps to make it more compatible with Vista.. No bugs were fixed.

 

Has anyone read the reviews of this suite (besides PC Magazine)?? Checked Sonics stock value (SNIC - Stock Symbol)

 

The sky is falling!

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Ah, we seem to be getting back to the head in the sand.

 

If the program doesn't do it, why does Roxio say they have found the problem and are working on a patch?

 

I don't know if EMC10 does it.

 

I do know that I have installed many programs on my computer and I have not had this problem previously. I also know that I can reproduce this problem with every installation of EMC10 that I have done.

 

Granted, that since I cannot tell you why it happens, this is only circumstantial evidence.

 

I will again make the statement that some of you guru's who seem so adamant that this is not associated with the program, just inflame those of us who have had very serious problems with our computers. Why doesn't it happen to everyone? I believe that is one of the big questions.

 

Instead of spending so much time denying an association, can we work for a resolution?

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Installed EMC10 on a DEll XPS 600 running XP Pro SP2 yesterday and received the NTLDR message. I was not aware of the existing problem or this thread and ended up running bootcfg /repair from the Recovery Console. After getting back into the OS I checked and the entire contents of the root of c: drive were gone. Let me say that again - there were NO files in the root of C: drive other than the boot.ini, ntldr and ntdetect.com files that were placed there when I ran the bootcfg repair switch (and extracted the ntdetect.com from my XP install CD). Now that I've read this thread I can also tell you that there is no Software Update (or anything similar) in my Control Panel (and yes, it does appear in Add/Remove and I ran the repair install on it just to be sure).

 

I run a support forum (tweaks.com) so I count myself lucky that I have a little technical knowledge and was able to repair the system and get it up and running fairly quickly, but I can see where this would be a major problem for many others. I'm sorry if this sounds like beating a dead horse, but there is no way this software should have been released with a problem this severe.

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...

Just something to check that's all.

 

Actually.... I think someone else on a different thread may have it figured out. They suspect that after the install completes and removes and temporary install files, it is also taking files in the root directory that are not in folders with it. That user theorized that the temp install files are being written to the root directory of the drive instead of the system temp directory.

 

Might have something to do with the files attributes.

 

One user has a problem.. Thats one thing. Two.... Maybe. But 3,4,+ all reporting the boot files are missing after install and a couple have reported that it is repeatable.... I think that deserves some real attention from the engineers at Roxio.. Can't have software installs destroying users rigs.

 

Red... Let me ask you a question. You are a Guru and I understand that one of the perks / responsibilities of Guru is beta testing new software...

 

How large is Roxio's beta pool? How long is the beta test before the commercial release?

Hi Barry,

We had a very good group of beta testers outside of Roxio. The beta testing started weeks before the release. I found the quality of our beta testers to be extremely high... they were very responsive and very thorough. This is in addition to the hundreds of people and many thousands of hours of testing performed internally. We would love to have an even bigger pool of beta testers (although we prefer quality of feedback over quantity of feedback when it comes to beta testing).

 

I agree that this problem is worth investigating, and we will investigate it.

 

People who have experienced the problem will need to boot from a Windows XP CD, then restore their boot files. I realize that this is not easy to do. In this case the hard drive is not destroyed, but certain files needed to boot from the hard drive were deleted and must be replaced before you will be able to boot from this drive again.

 

An expensive data recovery service would not seem to be the best choice in this case. The drive is apparently still functioning perfectly, and files can be read from the drive. Data recovery services are more appropriate for drives that crash, or have other physical / electrical problems.

 

Tom

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If you have a Windows XP disc, you can try this for the missing NTLDR problem: As an example, I will use G as the letter designation for your CD/DVD drive.

 

Boot your computer from the XP disc. Once it gets to where you can select the Recovery Console, do so. You should get a Command prompt. Type the following in the Command prompt.

 

copy G:\i386\ntldr c:\

 

I used G as an example. Type in the actual letter of your CD/DVD drive. It's worth a shot.

 

BTW, if when in the Recovery Console, you get the enter Administrator Password, ignore it. The Command prompt should be below it, I think.

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Hi JD,

I pointed to the diskeeper article even though it is fairly old because I thought it provides a good explanation of the MFT and how a MFT can become fragmented. I'll quote...

The Master File Table (MFT) is the heart of the NTFS file system. It is essentially an index to all of the files on an NFTS volume, containing the file name, a list of file attributes, and a pointer to the file. The data for each file is contained in one record in the MFT, called the "file record". If a file is fragmented, then more than one pointer is required - one for each fragment, in fact. When the file system accesses a file, it must first go through the MFT to obtain the location of that file, or the location of that files various fragments, as well as that file's various attributes.

 

As one might surmise, an added MFT performance barrier occurs just due to regular file fragmentation. In that the file system must access the MFT and obtain the location of every single file fragment AND THEN locate the file fragments themselves, there is a lot of "double work" involved.

 

But how does the MFT itself get fragmented, and what can be done about it? First, it should be said that NTFS has a built-in feature which, under some conditions, prevents MFT fragmentation from occurring. The MFT is created with a pre-allocated expansion space into which it can expand without fragmenting. There are a couple of conditions, however, under which MFT fragmentation does occur, one of them being very common.

 

Converting FAT to NTFS

The most common way the MFT gets fragmented is when a FAT partition is converted to NTFS. A FAT partition is converted to NTFS when such a conversion is needed or desired, but it also occurs automatically during Windows NT installation, if the NTFS format is chosen. The partition created during installation is a FAT partition, and even if the NTFS format is chosen during installation, the partition is still created as FAT, and only converted to NTFS after the first boot.

 

When a FAT partition is converted to NTFS, an MFT is created. If there is a large enough contiguous free space, the MFT is made contiguous, with contiguous pre-allocated expansion space. However, since the MFT itself plus the pre-allocated expansion space comprises about 12% of the partition, there is usually not enough contiguous free space and the MFT is created fragmented.

 

 

Full or Heavily Fragmented Disks or Partitions

We covered the subject of the MFTs pre-allocated space above. There is a caveat to the MFT pre-allocated space, however. NTFS, having been developed to efficiently use every bit of space on a disk or partition, will utilize the pre-allocated MFT space for normal files if the disk or partition becomes full or heavily fragmented. Simply said, if the disk runs out of regular space for files or file fragments, NTFS will turn to the MFTs pre-allocated space and begin writing files and file fragments to this space.

 

When this occurs, the MFT can only expand by continuing its growth in another space on the disk, a space not adjacent to the MFT. Thus MFT fragmentation begins, as when that space runs out, another space will have to be found, and so on.

 

I think the second scenario is probably more likely for anyone experiencing this problem today. If you used more than 87.5% of your primary hard drive's space at any point during the life of the drive it is extremely likely that your MFT has become fragmented.

 

I agree that the Microsoft KB article vaguely describes "If the MFT root folder contains many files, the MFT may become so fragmented that an additional allocation index is created", but it also seems clear that if you exceed 87.5% of your HD space Windows will start storing files in the space that is pre-allocated for the MFT, and your MFT will become fragmented (creating additional allocation indexes).

 

Given the description of the failure mode in the Microsoft article I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often. As the Diskeeper article points out, a fragmented MFT will also cause slower drive performance.

 

In any case, if this is the failure mode it seems that the only cure is to insure that you never use more than 87.5% of your primary hard drive, and that if you have a fragmented MFT you should free up space and defragment your drive with a utility that can defragment the MFT also.

 

Thanks for your help with this!

 

Tom

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LOLLOL! Yes, I am sure. Click on the URL that Daithi posted. ;)

Where do you think I got the verbage of my reply?

 

Yup, and as you can see, it does it when you install a burning program, too. If you don't believe me, have a gander at some posts at AfterDawn and the forums for folks who use Nero.

I visit those forums quite often... Along with others... Thank you.

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I appreciate Roxio re-opening the thread.

 

While hosting the repair article is nice, can you tell us if you are still working on the source of the issue (hinted at earlier), and a downloadable "non-threatening" version. You can't do anything about boxed product already shipped, but correcting it in future releases would be a big plus.

 

Thank you. I continue to monitor the site both for that version, as well as other fixes, patches, and single-point uninstallers.

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I used Diskeeper for defrag and optimizing my MFT and page files.

 

Reloaded EMC10 with the same results -- all files not in folders in C:\ root are missing. When I get time, I will remove some of the files.

 

I did an install on my laptop and none of the files were removed. The laptop drive is 90% used.

 

Tom2,

 

90% full?! How big is your hard disk?

 

We need to determine if the ntldr etc are actually missing and when they are removed or if you just think they are missing?

 

Did you look for them and find them missing after installing but before rebooting (while still in windows)?

 

or did you reboot then get the ntldr missing error and assume they are missing?

 

To see these files in windows explorer (before rebooting) you must have some settings enabled/disabled in windows explorer so run it and select Tools->Folder Options->View then make sure that "show hidden files and folders" is selected. "Hide extentions for known file types" is UNchecked and "Hide protected operating systems files" is UNchecked (click yes to ignore the warning and proceed) then click OK. Otherwise you might not see everything you need to in C:\

 

I'm assuming that since you keep getting your system back you have a bootable floppy or cd or something and have saved the boot files before-hand and copy them back or something. If that is the case then also copy the c:\windows\system32\attrib.exe command to the floppy too for the check after the install and reboot.

 

2. but if not do the following then

 

a. make a folder on C:\ called boot and COPY the ntldr, ntdetect.com, boot.ini into the folder.

 

Also copy the attrib.exe command into the folder too (it can be found in c:\windows\system32 assuming windows is the name of your windows dir)

 

b. Make a bootable floppy and after doing so try booting off it to make sure it works. Info on how to do that can be found Start->help and support. Click on index and enter format then look under "formatting disks/proceedure for" Note: The help is unclear that you must right click on the drive you want to format then select format OR click on it and go to file->format on the menu. [edit] Be sure to check the box that says "Create an MS-DOS startup disk and uncheck the box for "Quick Format".

 

Now if your not sure if the files were there or not or unsure at what point they went missing (I hate to ask you this but) could you please try again and after installing but before rebooting bring up windows explorer and see what files are in C:\ (boot drive). If they are NOT there after installing but before rebooting COPY them back before rebooting.

 

It wouldn't hurt to also check how much disk space you have free at that point.

 

Now if they are there then reboot and if you get the ntldr missing can you see if they are really on c:\ still or not.

 

So...if the ntldr is missing after installing and rebooting then boot off the floppy and issue the following commands

 

C:

 

cd \

 

\boot\attrib.exe

 

Please report back if you see anything in C:\ or not.

 

Then to get your system back do this

 

cd \boot

 

attrib.exe -h -s -r *.*

 

copy *.* c:\

 

cd \

 

attrib.exe +h +s +r ntldr

 

attrib.exe +h +s +r ntdetect.com

 

attrib.exe +h +s boot.ini

 

remove the floppy and reboot to windows.

 

After doing so you can delete the attrib.exe in c:\

 

Let us know what you find here. This will either rule out the mft issue or mean it needs to be investigated further.

 

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My EMC10 was a download. I did a complete install and have never seen Update Manager or Program Update. That was why I was confused with the instructions. Just finished a search for the word update and found nothing on my computer. The last Roxio I had was 7.

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Ah, we seem to be getting back to the head in the sand.

 

If the program doesn't do it, why does Roxio say they have found the problem and are working on a patch?

 

I don't know if EMC10 does it.

 

I do know that I have installed many programs on my computer and I have not had this problem previously. I also know that I can reproduce this problem with every installation of EMC10 that I have done.

 

Granted, that since I cannot tell you why it happens, this is only circumstantial evidence.

 

I will again make the statement that some of you guru's who seem so adamant that this is not associated with the program, just inflame those of us who have had very serious problems with our computers. Why doesn't it happen to everyone? I believe that is one of the big questions.

 

Instead of spending so much time denying an association, can we work for a resolution?

 

Tom2, I completely agree with you.

 

The evidence for these deletions by EMC10 on certain PCs is clear and would stand in a court of law if need be. I do not think that it is ciircumstantial, the failure is absolutely repeatable and demonstrable in front of witnesses. There is a clear sequence of events that happens, and I have observed the files being deleted at the final stages of the reinstallation process.

 

It would seem that Roxio, at least, have accepted that the problem is happening, and seem to be trying to fix the problem in a professional way.

 

The puzzle for me is why the "Gurus" are being so defensive about this, resorting to insults rather than proper open discussion which one should be able to expect from people with their experience. Why do Roxio accept that there is a problem, when they do not?

 

Regards,

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Have you noticed that, according to MSKB, this problem has been fixed in XP SP2 and Windows2000 SP4, so it doesn't appear there as filesystem keeps vulnerable entries always in the proper chunk of MFT? If any of the problem's reporters uses XP SP2 or W2K SP4, the problem simply does not appear because of MFT fragmentation reasons. Check the dates of articles, especially old ones.

 

Also, from reports it seems that ntldr file was not present on the drive. In case of fragmented MFT it would be normally visible.

 

a_t

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