How to Solve “NTLDR is Missing” for Windows XP

NTLDR is Missing

“NTLDR is missing” is a common error that Windows XP users encounter once in a while during boot up. NTLDR is a vital system file used to start the Windows XP Operating System. If that’s the case, it usually displays “NTLDR is Missing” error message when you try to start your Windows XP PC. There are also some instances where you also get error message like “NTDETECT.COM is missing.” The fix is very similar to “NTLDR is missing” error, so I will just include both in my tutorial. This tutorial will cover the nature, cause and resolution of this issue.

Problem:
When trying to start up Windows, you might get an error message saying NTLDR is missing or not found and you are only given an option to press any key to restart.

Cause:
The most common cause of “NTLDR is missing” error message is when your hard drive or flash drive has corrupted or may be due to misconfigured system files. It happens when your PC is trying to boot from a hard drive that is not properly configured or is non-bootable. The corruption or deletion of NTLDR file could be due to incomplete or improper OS upgrade, corrupt sectors of your hard drive or even loose or damaged IDE/SATA cable.

NTLDR is Missing
Press any key to restart

Boot : Couldn’t find NTLDR
Please insert another disk.

NTLDR is missing
Press Ctrl Alt Del to Restart

The “NTLDR is missing” error displays shortly after the computer is started, immediately after the Power On Self Test is complete. Windows XP has only initially begun to load when the NTLDR error message appears.

Causes of NTLDR Errors :
There are a number of possible causes for NTLDR errors, including the most common “NTLDR is missing” error message.

1. Computer is booting from a non-bootable source.
2. Computer hard disk drive is not properly setup in BIOS.
3. Corrupt NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM file.
4. Misconfiguration with the boot.ini file.
5. Attempting to upgrade from a Windows 95, 98, or ME computer that is using FAT32.
6. New hard disk drive being added.
7. Corrupt boot sector / master boot record.
8. Seriously corrupted version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
9. Loose or Faulty IDE/EIDE hard disk drive cable.
10. Failing to enable USB keyboard support in the BIOS.

How to fix “NTLDR is Missing” for Win XP :

If you get the “NTLDR is Missing” error, follow these instructions :

1. Load Windows XP CD into CD drive.
2. Make sure BIOS is set to boot to CD drive.
3. Boot the computer from CD.
4. At menu, press “R” to load Recovery Console.
5. Select the installation to be fixed.
*The following instructions assume CD-ROM is labeled as drive D and the hard drive partition the windows installation is on is labeled as drive C. Replace the letters accordingly.
6. Type “COPY D:\i386\ntldr C:\” and press ENTER.
7. Type “COPY D:\i386\ntdetect.com C:\” and press ENTER.
8. Remove CD and type “EXIT” and press ENTER (to reboot your computer). 5. Log into your Windows installation by pressing the “1″ key and pressing enter. You will then be prompted for your administrator password, enter that password.
*The following instructions assume CD-ROM is labeled as drive D and the hard drive partition the windows installation is on is labeled as drive C. Replace the letters accordingly.
6. Type “COPY D:\i386\ntldr C:\” and press ENTER.
7. Type “COPY D:\i386\ntdetect.com C:\” and press ENTER.
8. Once both of these files have been successfully copied, Remove CD and type “EXIT” and press ENTER (to reboot your computer).

Note: This error has also been known to occur when a memory stick is in a card reader and the computer is attempting to boot from it. If you have any card reader or flash reader make sure that no memory stick is inside the computer. Additionally disconnect all USB drives, cameras, ipods, iphones, etc. from the computer.

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