GAC, get yourself a floppydisk that has system files on it (i.e., fdisk, format.com). This is to format it without using the XP cd to do so:
- insert and boot to floppy disk
- boot withOUT cdrom support
- run fdisk command
- choose large disk support (assuming you have a large hard drive)
- view your partition table to confirm that all partitions are there
- delete all partitions, unless you just want to delete the C:\ partition
- create a primary partition
- set it to active mode
- if you are creating other partitions, then create a logical partition, then off that create some extended partitions. This depends entirely on how many partitions you want. I like using partitons to separate functionality.
- view parititon table again to ensure it is correct
- exit fdisk and reboot to floppy disk WITH cdrom support
- run format.com like this ("format c: /s") without the double quotes
- format any other partitions (unless you want to do so from within XP, but this time without the /s flag.
- change to cdrom drive.
- run setup.exe, or you can just boot to the cdrom drive by leaving your floppy disk out of its drive or changing the boot sequence from within BIOS
will give you some insight into what this NTLDR business is all about. There could be a number of things wrong at this point. You didn't explain any sympoms (what happens before the PC crashed), so it's hard to say what would cause this NTLDR issue. As of right now I'm inclined to think it could be any of these [* = more likely] (most likely just one of them):
- * trojan destroyed the boot sector of the hard drive
- your son messed with BIOS
- * the hard drive is going out (any funny noises such as clicking or grinding? what about much longer than usual load times or choppiness with the mouse cursor?)
- the processor is going out, since NTLDR makes changes to the processor's memory modes, if the processor is damaged, NTLDR won't be able to work with it.
I hope I have been able to help you.