Compressed files causing errors when starting Windows 7
Note: This article relates to Windows 7 only. If you are using Windows XP please see the article: NTLDR is compressed. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart
After switching on your computer or after restarting Windows 7 you receive the error ‘filename’ is compressed. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart on a black screen with white writing when trying to boot into Windows.
The ‘filename’ is different on different systems but the following have been reported:
- BootMgr is compressed. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart.
- QXHDK is compressed. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart.
- NTLDR is compressed. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart.
- DFJEU is compressed. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart.
- VUFEI is compressed. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart.
- DGKAR is compressed. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart.
A bug in Windows 7 file compression is causing this problem. We can solve the problem by decompressing the hard disk as shown below.
Decompress using Windows System Recovery menu
1. Boot to the Windows System Recovery Options screen. If you don’t know how to do that the see this article: Windows 7 or Vista System Recovery Options
2. On the System Recovery Options screen click LOAD DRIVERS button.
3. On the left, click Computer. You should now see your Local Disk C: on the right.
4. Right click Local Disk C: and click Properties.
5. At the bottom of the properties box, deselect the box that says Compress this drive to save space.
6. Another window will pop up asking you to confirm the attribute change. (the windows might get a bit messy so you’ll just have to move them around the screen so you can see them properly)
7. Select Apply changes to drive C:, subfolder and files and click OK
8. Now I would suggest waiting. You will not see a progress dialog as it uncompresses the drive so give it a few minutes until your hard disk stops showing activity.
9. When finished, cancel all remaining dialog boxes and restart the computer.
NTLDR is missing
After switching on your computer or after restarting Windows XP you receive an ‘NTLDR is missing‘ error message and cannot get into Windows.
You will usually have no choice but to switch off the computer or restart by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.
This article describes several possible solutions to solving the NTLDR is missing error and get your Windows XP PC up & running again.
You receive the NTLDR error message when starting or rebooting your computer:
NTLDR is missing. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart.
The NTLDR is missing error message is usually caused when the following conditions exist although there are other causes of NTLDR errors:
- The primary partition is formatted with the FAT32 filesytem
- The computer starts by using INT-13 extensions
- The heads value in the FAT32 BIOS Parameter Block (BPB) does not match that of the physical disk drive
Step 1 – Remove non bootable media
- Remove any floppy disks, CD’s or USB sticks from your computer and restart.
- If NTLDR is missing error appears again, proceed to step 2
Step 2 – Copy new system files
- Boot the computer using a Windows 95/98/ME startup boot diskette or bootable CD – If you haven’t get one then use one of these Windows Recovery Discs
- Backup MSDOS.SYS by issuing the following commands at the command prompt (pressing ENTER after each command):
attrib -h -r -s c:\msdos.sys
rename msdos.sys msdos.old
- Now copy new system files across by issuing the following command and pressing ENTER at the command prompt:
Note: Sometimes the above command fails if you are using a Windows ME boot disk. If it does following solution ERROR: Cannot find the system file in the standard locations on drive C
- Rename MSDOS.OLD back to MSDOS.SYS by issuing the following commands and pressing ENTER after each at the command prompt:
attrib -h -r -s c:\msdos.sys
copy msdos.old msdos.sys
- Remove the boot disk/CD and insert your Windows XP CD
- Restart the computer by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL
- Ensure you boot the system from the CD. The system will then boot into the Windows XP Setup.
- At the welcome screen press ‘R’ to enter the Recovery Console
- At the recovery console, select your Windows XP installation and enter your Administrator password if requested
- At the command prompt issue the following commands and press ENTER after each command:
- Remove your Windows XP CD and restart the computer
- If the NTLDR is missing error appears again after reboot, proceed to Step 3 below.
Step 3 – Windows Repair
- After Step 2 above, it is sometimes necessary to run or re-run the Windows XP Setup repair process
- If step 2 did not solve you issue re-insert your Windows XP CD and run Windows Setup again
- If NTLDR is missing error appears again, proceed to Step 4 below.
Step 4 – Download & Run BCUPDATE2
Occasionally this NTLDR error is caused by too many files in the root folder and an issue with an out of date windows version.
BCUPDATE2 is an official Microsoft fix for the NTLDR
problem but is difficult to find and cannot be downloaded directly from Microsoft without first contacting support.
This can be solved by downloading and running BCUPDATE2.EXE as follows:
- Download BCUPDATE2.EXE by clicking here (this will open in a new window/tab)
- Copy BCUPDATE2.EXE into the root folder of a Windows 95/98/ME boot diskette or CD
- Boot the computer using the boot diskette or bootable CD
- At the command prompt issue the following command and press ENTER:
bcupdate2.exe C: /F
- When prompted to update the volume press Y
- After you receive a confirmation message, remove your bootable diskette or CD and restart your computer.
Compressed NTLDR bootloader causing issues when starting Windows
After switching on your computer or after restarting Windows XP you receive the error NTLDR is compressed. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart on a black screen with white writing when trying to boot into Windows.
If you’re looking for the other NTLDR problem, NTLDR is missing error then take a look at this article instead.
- Error appears after performing a System Restore using the Destructive Option
- You receive the following the following error message when starting or rebooting your computer:
NTLDR is compressed. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart.
The above error is appearing due to a problem with the attributes of the ‘ntldr’ Windows boot loader file. By decompressing this file we can solve the problem.
Decompress by using ‘attrib’ command on NTLDR
The NTLDR file must be altered in order to clear this error and correctly boot.
- Boot into the Recovery Console (Need help with this? See this article: Three Ways To Get Into Recovery Console)
- When the console asks you to choose a Windows install to work with, enter 1 and press Enter
- When prompted, enter your Administrator password
- At the command prompt, enter the following commands, pressing Enter after each:
attrib -c c:\ntldr
- Restart your computer and the error should be gone – you can restart by typing Exit and pressing Enter.
Hard Disk Gone Missing?
After booting from the Windows XP setup CD the blue setup screen appears and goes the through the usual process of installing it’s drivers. When you reach the Welcome Screen and choose to install Windows you are presented with the error “Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer” similar to the screenshot below.
Some Common Symptoms
- You are presented with the error message: Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer at the point in the setup where you are asked to press ENTER to “setup Windows XP now”
- You are presented with the error message Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer after pressing ‘R‘ to “repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console”
This error will appear most often when your hard disk is on an SATA or SCSI controller and Windows setup does not have a suitable driver. In most cases these days you won’t have a floppy disk either to load the drivers. There are a few ways to deal with this ranging from the very simple (hopefully says you!) to the long and somewhat difficult. See the solutions below for more.
Solution 1 – Set Your SATA Controller to Compatability/IDE/Standard Mode
- Enter your BIOS/Setup Utility
- Locate the Serial ATA or SATA configuration section
- I’ve seen this section called ‘On Chip Config’ on some Phoenix Award BIOS
- On Lenovo/IBM ThinkPads it’s in Config > Serial ATA (Sata)
- Change the mode of the SATA controller from AHCI to IDE or Compatibility
- Save & Exit
- Reboot and begin the Windows Setup again.
- If Windows Setup successfully detects your hard disk this time then go ahead and perform the Windows Setup.
- When Windows setup completes change the mode back to AHCI in the BIOS
- If your problem still exists after changing this option then change it back to AHCI and proceed to Solution 2 below.
Solution 2 – Load your SATA drivers using a Floppy Disk (or CD)
UPDATE JAN 2011 – Create A Custom Windows XP CD with your SATA drivers as an alternative to using a floppy disk. If you need help finding your SATA drivers see the article How To Find Your SATA Drivers
- If you already have a floppy disk drive in your computer then great, proceed to Step 2. If you don’t, click here to get one
- Go to either your computer manufacturers support website or if you have a custom build then go to your mainboards manufacturers support website and download the SATA driver package. Some popular manuafacturers are listed below:
- Extract the downloaded driver to a blank floppy disk
- DO NOT insert the floppy disk into the computer that you are attempting to run Windows Setup on
- Insert your Windows XP CD and start your computer, press any key to boot from CD if requested
- As soon as the blue setup screen appears press F6 on your keyboard. The message to press F6 will disappear and be replaced by a message requesting you to press F2 for ASR. Do NOT press F2 (web page).
- After the “Setup is loading files” part is complete you will be presented with the screen below
- Insert the floppy disk you created and press S to Specify Additional Device. Windows will load your driver and you can now continue Windows Setup as normal.
Mount a USB Thumb Drive in Linux
You’ve plugged in your USB key and it hasn’t magically appeared on your desktop or in your ‘Places’.
In Linux you generally need to mount devices like hard disks, usb keys, external drives, cd drives, dvd drives, etc.
- You’ve plugged in a USB stick/key/thumbdrive and it hasn’t appeared on your Linux desktop or in your Places
- You’ve attached an external hard disk and it hasn’t mounted.
In this HOWTO I’ll describe how to manually mount a USB stick. This method works for other devices also. This solution was tried and tested on Ubuntu 8.04 using a 2GB Lenovo USB key and a 350GB Maxtor USB External HDD but should work for all other mountable devices in Linux.
Here’s how to do it…
Step 1 – Mounting a USB Stick/Key Temporarily
- Plug in your USB stick
- Open a terminal window
- In Ubuntu you can do this by clicking Applications > Accessories > Terminal
- Issue the following command pressing ENTER after each
- Enter your password when requested
In the above line the sda1 portion of the command represents *a device utilising the SCSI protocol* either attached externally or inside your computer.
This does not necessarily mean it’s a SCSI drive. Depending on how many drives/usb keys/etc you could have this reference could be different. If you mount the above and don’t see what you expect after issueing the ls command then you’ve most likely mounted the wrong drive. Try changing sda1 to sdb1 or sdc1, etc.
Tip: If you successfully mounted your drive you can now close the terminal window and browse to the /mnt/usbykey folder in the graphical interface of Ubuntu. You’ll find it in ‘Places’.
- Issue the following commands pressing ENTER after each
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/usbkey
- You should now see a listing of all the files in the drive that you just mounted. If you don’t, then read the note below and repeat the steps above