[Solved] Fix ‘NTLDR is Missing’ Errors

“NTLDR is Missing : Press any Key to Restart” – this is the first message I got on my computer screen when I turned it on… and NTLDR Missing errors werer not as uncommon as I thought it was! Here is my experience troubleshooting NTLDR Missing errors on my computer…


What is NTLDR?

ntldr missing

NTLDR is short for NT loader – a program loaded from the hard drive boot sector that displays the Microsoft Windows NT startup menu and helps Microsoft Windows NT load. So when it goes missing for some reason, your windows cannot load. I use Windows XP on a Pentium 4 PC. Though it seemed common on a routine google search, it was not so easy to fix and many forums reported that formatting hard drive was the last solution eventually.

Causes and fixes of NTLDR is Missing

NTLDR is missingFirstly I started with Microsoft Support to get an official reason for the computer error and they have the causes to it. The article says that the problem may occur if your existing Windows 95,  98, or Millennium Edition installation was cloned and then applied to a drive that has a different geometry from that of the source drive of the cloned copy.

To resolve this problem, correct the Heads (sides) value in the FAT32 BPB so the Windows XP startup can continue. To update the value, rewrite the Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition startup code.

But the problem was that I had an original preinstalled Windows XP on my branded PC, and there was no attempt to “try to install Microsoft Windows XP or upgrade to Windows XP on a computer that runs Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition”. So I went looking for alternative sources of help.

I can across a site NTLDRmissing.com – (a problem common enough to deserve its own domain name!). It helps you make a NTLDR boot disk to get back into Windows and Use windows to fix the boot files on the hard drive.  They advise that most likely the BIOS either didn’t look for the right drive, didn’t find the right partition, it wasn’t active, didn’t find the MBR, or the MBR didn’t list NTLDR in the right place, or the location of NTLDR changed.”

ComputerHope has another excellent article enlisting the causes for these errors and tutorials on how to fix them too. They suggest it could have been caused by computer is booting from a non-bootable source,  hard disk drive is not properly setup in BIOS, a corrupt NTLDR and/or NTDETECT.COM file, a possible  misconfiguration of boot.ini file, a bad attempt to upgrade from a Windows 95, 98, or ME computer that is using FAT32 etc.

How we fixed Missing NTLDR on Our Computer

We tried several of the possible solutions, but none worked well. Finally what worked was that since NTLDR was missing, we decided to substitute the NTLDR file in the right place. Since we had access to another computer, we copied the NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM which was available from the recovery CD which comes with computer. If you do not have the recovery CD, they were available from the site mentioned above or is available from another computer using the same Operating System (Windows XP in our case). The location was C:\i386\ntldr C:\i386\ntdetect.com

We then used a bootable disc to restart the computer (the Win XP bootable CD did not work, a Win 98 bootable CD worked). After entering MS DOS mode, these 2 files were copied to the C drive in the proper location. After restart, then pressing F10 on start up (used for system recovery on my computer), we were able to start the repair of Windows via system recovery (which was not possible earlier). This reinstalled all Windows drivers and system files, while preserving all data on my computer.

Thus, I was saved from formatting my hard drive, learned how to make a bootable disc, learned copying files in MS DOS, how to perform system recovery and remember to keep the original PC system recovery CD safe. So before you end up formatting your hard drive, give these other options a try.

Note: This was tested on older versions of Windows – if you have Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10, then you need to check if these will work for you.

NOTE: This article is for informational purpose only and is just a detail of how I went about fixing my computer for common NTLDR error which can affect your computer too. If you are not an expert in hardware or software computer issues, seek professional support. Unnecessary mishandling the computer hardware of software could make your computer unusable and cause data loss permanently.


  1. Jago says:

    I get this problem every few times I start my PC. I’ve discovered it’s caused by the computer ‘losing’ my C: and trying to boot from the D: (which obviously doesn’t have NTLDR on it). I have to go into the BIOS and change the boot properties to ensure that c: is the first hard drive in the list…??

    No idea why this happens though??

    • Mees says:

      Sad enough, you can’t change this in de BIOS.

      The boot information is all stored in the MBR.
      (Master Boot Record)

      You need a bootable drive like displayed int his page.

    • Ricardo McCarthy says:

      I found that missing NTLDR in in windows XP was a sign of a corrupt hard disk. I installed a new hard disk, downloaded operating system from recovery disk from manufacturer, downloaded all windows updates & hardware drivers. The computer runs like new.

      Ricardo McCarthy

  2. Anonymous says:

    you could setup your bios to use the cdrom as a boot drive then boot the windows xp install cd and tell it you wish to repair an installation, from there you could copy the files. save you from using a win98 disk

  3. Ray says:

    Just had this problem (21 June 2006!!!) and could not “Repair” obviously, because the install is looking for NTLDR etc.
    By far the simplest method for me was to install a new copy of XP into a “junk directory on the same partition as my original copy of XP. I merely told the install process to use the folder c:\windowszzz.
    That puts ntldr etc back in place and you can simply start using the old windows OS as though nothing had happened.
    It took about an hour to do the entire fix. HTH

  4. kulasekhar says:

    it is useful for every one to solve problems

  5. Lee says:

    I have a HP notebook came with win xp home its about 4 years old Hard drive crash so I got a new one and put it in but now I get error message NTLDR file is missing I do not have a floppy drive on note book how do I fix? I newbe terms please!!!

  6. abrhaley teklay says:

    It is very excellent for defining the problem of ntldr & how to solve its problem.But in some others the solution is not so clear.
    thank you!

  7. Jade says:

    i have replace the damage motherboard but after replacing the display says “ntldr is missing” i used ntldr fixing procedures from the internet no chage? i used the single drive and devided to two and i use for booting is drive d:, c: is for back-up. “ntldr missing” displays after i replace a new mother board. pls help me… E-mail me at jazzistyla@yahoo.com

  8. segun says:

    Please i need you to tell me the website i can get to download for NTLDR is missing online.

  9. Nikosami says:

    um..the site that travis gave you has the ntldr file missing replacement on it. download it and put it into a floppy it will replace all the file inside that floppy so make sure it’s blank or no files on it. when you load it up the comp will search for the floppy and then you try from 1-10 if it still doesn’t work then you go into safe mode and do the same process over again it takes a lenghty time to do all this but it’s quite worth it if you want to get your computer to work again anyways if it still doesn’t work they suggest you get the window xp software and push repair and make sure it’s not an upgrade software another is that if it still doesn’t work i say you get professional help it’ll cost around 40 bucks…or you can skip right to the proffessional help…either way or get fustrated and attack yoru computer that works too

  10. marius says:

    try booting a xp cd. then enter the recovery console by pressing “r” when it gives you the option.

    follow the prompts untilyou find a command line line that looks something like this

    enter the following two commands


    do not do this if you have a dual boot system. it will render the second boot os useless. if you don’t know about dualbooting then go ahaed and try this it ca’t do any harm. saved me many times with all sorts of problems

  11. vasu says:

    i have only a completely new hard drive in my lap top and no OS and i am trying to install windows XP home frm the cd however the ntldr error appears when i boot frm the hard drive as well as thee cd rom drive. i can therefore only go as far as into the bios and switch the boot types around. this has no effect i cannot access the cd and the harddrive is new (so there is no point booting from an empty hardrive)

  12. Apasijgaldg says:

    I have this same problem

    i have only a completely new hard drive in my lap top and no OS and i am trying to install windows XP home frm the cd however the ntldr error appears when i boot frm the hard drive as well as thee cd rom drive. i can therefore only go as far as into the bios and switch the boot types around. this has no effect i cannot access the cd and the harddrive is new (so there is no point booting from an empty hardrive)


  13. edwin says:

    am still not able to fix ntfs missing

  14. Wamono moses says:

    Hmmm… NTLDR dis thing has given me 24 hrs stress. After instaling xp on my drive this morning, guess wat i see, “NTLDR is missing press any key to restart” and ma key board wasnt functiong so i unplug the HD and put the xp CD in the CD drive, then start the pc and as soon as it read read the xp OS, i plugged in the HD and boom. I sets off instaling. I hav 2 partitions and on disk C: i decided to reinstal xp

  15. joe says:

    wel…my problem on NTLDR missing.is that i cant load any OS(2000 or Xp).during the boot stage…it ask press any key to boot from CDRom.immediately NTLDR is missing ,press ctrl+alt+del to restart.that wil be the message that wil pop out.please i need to load my operating system on my PC

  16. elnur says:

    hello i have the same problem..i deleted something then i have ntldr is missing..can i fix it by myself? and one more question…do i lose my all data?

  17. tya_soft says:

    I am also facing this problem with this annoying message “NTLDR is missing.Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to restrat”.Can any body suggest me how to fix it.Thanks!

  18. jas says:

    tya_soft – doesnt all the information above suggest what you can do ?

  19. Rin says:

    Is there anything I can do if I want to be able to start windows off of 2 different hard discs, like so i can switch back and forth with the same computer?

  20. jim_896ech.com says:

    Hello all,

    Last night I was up all night trying to fix the missing NTLDR problem. After 18hrs of research I now have a green belt in XP and Win 2003 startup knowledge.
    Here is the abridged version of the solution I had to implement to get Win 2003 to finally boot.

    I drop to recovery mode and used fixboot to set the partition to bootable. Then used fixmbr to tell it to boot off the HDD. However, the drive I was trying to set wouldnt accept that it was supposed to be bootable. I had already copied the ntldr, ntdetect.com, and boot.ini file to the root of the hard drive, but when I would boot the computer it wouldnt even recognize the hard drive as bootable. I could however get a differnt hard drive in the computer to accept being bootable and tried to set the boot.ini on it to look at the hard drive with the installation on it, but still no go.

    I spent 18hrs learning about how Win 2003 boots to figure out what I was missing. At about 2am my brother and I quessed that perhaps the tools we were using from the recovery console were not doing their job correctly.

    We decided to use a linux solution to set the partition as bootable. We loaded Knoppix 5.1 (almost any version of knoppix should do) and used cfdisk. Its a utility to create partitions in linux. The key feature it had that we used to fix out problem was setting the partition to bootable. After we did that, everything the arthur said worked.

    So, after this I must say that I am even more disappointed with the tools in Windows than usual. There were to tools that had failed to work, fixboot and another called bootcfg (which sounded like a cool tool but kept giving us errors and unable to complete its job.)

    All in all i would say 3 cheers for the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, Knoppix, and the author of this article site.


  21. Ross says:

    pop in your recovery disk / disk you got to install windows with and then follow the instructions

  22. Dumisa says:

    I`ve bought a second hand computer that was already installed Windows 98 and i decided to upgrade it to Windows XP Home Edition when i run the setups it say NTLDR is Missing : Press any Key to Restart.I made research about this it is said that i should get Win 98 bootable CD i tried retailers in East London but i did not get it help where else can i find this Disk

  23. Gotham says:

    Last night i recieved this message saying ” NTLDR Missing” Please press any key to restart. Now i have had both 98 and xp installed for a long time. The problem arised when on c: I deleted some files accidentaly. My hard disk is detecting normally as a slave on another pc with all my backup taken. I want to eliminate this problem keeping 98 & Xp as it is. S.O.S.

  24. rohin says:

    copy the ntldr file from the XP installation cd…after booting to recovery console

  25. rohin says:

    steps to boot to recovery console…boot the xp cd in tghe top most drive..change the boot seq in the bios to boot from cdrom…from the main screen after booting of the XP os cd..choose r to repair xp via recovery console. Press 2 …no admin password hit enter …
    from a c:\windows prompt type c:\ (enter)

    type map.. to find the drive letter of the cdrom drive..

    let say it E:
    E:\cd I386>copy ntldr d:\ (which ever partition has XP

  26. Mark says:


    I tuned on my laptop this morning with the message (NTLDR is missing press any key to restart). Every time I pressed any off the keys it kept repeating the same message n can’t seem to get past it, I have tried putting in my XP disc, but nothing works,, its doing the same thing day in day out

  27. Jameson says:

    NTLDR is missing, I have tried to install the XP, it says ” setup did not find any hard drives installed in your computer. make sure any hard drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer and any disk related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufacturer supplied diagnostic or setup program.”

    Please assist.

  28. Ronald says:

    Hi guys.

    Here is my 2 cents.

    “When your computer starts, the BIOS attempts to find the primary hard drive’s active partition to read the first sector for the MBR (Master Boot Record), it uses that info to load the rest of the OS…”


    “NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart”

    I HAVE SPENT hours looking at fixing this error after formating my sons PC (he had heaps of crap installed and wanted a fresh start).

    I formated the C: (and kept all his data backed up on the partioned D: and E: drives). This will work on a “new” hd or recently formated hd.

    I did not have the old school floppy disks (my son has not even seen one, lol!) to make a startup disk or to try and Download the fixntldr.exe from a working computer.

    SO INSTEAD tried something dangerous as i was desperate (and note this was my sons PC so the stakes were not high – but i had to try for his sake).

    SOLUTION: Remeber from the start..” ….computer starts, the BIOS attempts to find the primary hard drive’s active partition to read the first sector..”


    SETUP BIOS to read CDROM first as you should have already tried (remember hit del key just after startup).

    The stupid harddrive IS the problem and this “New Technology Loader” crap IS the problem.


    4. TURN ON PC (NO HARD DRIVE = NO NTLDR is missing error!!!)
    5. WINDOWS XP CD WILL BOOT UP AND START LOADING AS NORMAL (and you will not get NO NTLDR is missing error!!!)
    6. IT WILL START LOADING THE CD AND BEGIN THE “COLLECTING INFORMATION PART” (you will not see the typical “NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart”
    7. AT THIS STAGE CAREFULLY REPLUG THE CABLE AND POWER AS SOON AS YOU CAN (there is no rush actually, dont bump anything – have your son ready to poke a stick at u away from the PC and to call the ambulance if necessary if you get electricuted)
    9. THEN FINALLY TELL YOUR SON “I’m the MAN!!!!!”

    Try this guys when you have exhausted all your alternative options please. I actually broke a sweat on this PC problem.

  29. Paresh Chavan says:

    I too had the similar problem..Even when i inserted a WinXP bootable CD it was not going to the setup. So this is what i did. I inserted a Win2000 setup CD. I went on the repair section and choose the recovery console. After that i choose the windows installation and checked for the files ntldr and ntdetect.com. But surprisingly i found that ntldr was renamed to ntldv. So i just renamed the file back to ntldr and rebooted. It worked…

  30. ping? says:

    Ronald who posted #28 likes to live dangerously. Hot-plugging hard disks is a rather bad idea.

    Most BIOSes that can boot from CDs also have an option to set up boot order. Go to BIOS setup, find the boot order option, and set it to boot from CD before the hard drive. Save and reboot. No need to disassemble or unplug anything.

  31. Tisha says:

    Ok, so here’s my problem … Ronald I actually thought yours was going to work!!! Of course with my luck it didn’t. I installed windows vista on my computer (huge mistake, I know). I didn’t like the program so I decided to go back to Windows XP. Little did I know, you can’t actually do that (so my computer says anyway). I decided to delete a few files (big mistake). I to get the same message NTLDR file missing..blah blah blah, restart. I’ve done everything that every article has told me to do, except the main topic here. I don’t have a floppy or A: drive. Anyway, Ronald I did exactly what you said to do, but as far as I get is to instead of saying NTLDR is missing now is says something about Disk Boot Failure. It doesn’t go on to your step 5 or 6. I’m in a dalemma here because I don’t have any previous versions of windows except XP. What do I do now? Suggestions from anyone would be GREATLY appreciated.

  32. Phillip says:

    Cheers Ron. I tried everything on the net and left your option till last. Go figure….it work. THe CD boot first Option in BIOS was tried, but the NTLDR still came. I had no luck with the boot CD. Rather than going to the shops and paying someone to fix it I tried the dangerous option by Ronald. Even with the hard OUT of the boot sequence order, that loader error still came. Figures that no harddrive lets the CD rom boot properly

  33. kevin says:

    I have the same problem as Tisha…any help would be great…I have try to boot from USB drive but that didn’t work either…still get the same message…

  34. Latisha says:

    Hey Kevin, I actually decided to put my hard drive in another computer and it booted up just fine. I read some more articles throughout the web, and I believe my problem was that the motherboard was weak. If you have another computer that you can put the hard drive in I would try that. Also, I hope you didn’t have anything important on that hard drive because I had to reload the OS and lost everything. I would definitely try to put the hard drive in totally different computer and try that.

  35. Rupesh says:

    Dear Sir,
    I don’t have any problem right now but there may occur problems so i want to say that please send me some useful ideas related computer troubleshooting i.e.(basic computer maitainance) so that i can solve many things as hardware technicians are doing now a days. I am from Nepal and I have keen intrest in computer maintainance. So plz plz plz send me tips so that i can do better in the field of computer maintainance . As i have already stateed below about my email. SO you can send it in my mail . I hope for your favourable reply. I remail Sir.

    Your sincerely,

    • Deepak says:

      I have same NTLDR missing problem. As i have installed XP without any changes to same drive, i.e. c:\. So now how can i go to previous xp configuration? i want to delete the recent xp, what should i do to do that?
      Plz send me mail regarding this.

  36. marc says:

    I had a similar problem with installing a new HDD. No booting WinXP bootable CD possible. After reading Ronald’s 2 cents I tried succesfully the following. Inserted XP CD – use HDD as external USB drive. Could only delete partition on HDD because the BIOS did not recognise drive. Switched off system. Removed external USB drive/power cables and connected internal flat/power cables. Start system and voila… I could boot from XP CD and format drive and install XP OS. I worked for me hope the same for you.

  37. Latisha says:

    Ronald … I believe your “2 cents” is do-able, but I messed up majorly. What I did wrong is that I got angry with my computer (Windows Vista) and started deleting files that should have never been deleted. Had the error just occured on its own, I honestly believe your technique would have worked for me. Everything you have said in both posts that I have read, make perfect sense. I just wish I would have found your posts before I did what I did. I don’t like to bother with those pesky shops either. Chances are they are going to charge me an arm and leg for something so simple as turning the computer on, when all I needed to know is where the power switch was … lol. At the point that I needed to fix my computer, I really didn’t care what I did to it. I honestly believe though, that my problem was the motherboard. This is an HP and this is the 2nd time I have had that problem. I just wish I could remember the forum I was in to say exactly what it was saying. It basically described everything (as your first post did), then it went on to say if that fails then I would need to replace the motherboard, which I did, and my OS loaded just fine. So like I say, if I would have found your post before I got so mad at my computer, I honestly believe your solution would have worked. I think you did a splendid job explaining a simple task. Thanks Ron!


  38. Simon says:

    If you are having this problem with a wiped disk, rather than use the “pull the cable” trick you can any of a number of boot cds and simply mark the partition as non-bootable – the xp install cd will then proceed as normal.

  39. Khaled El-dehairy says:

    i had this probem after the first reboot when installing Windows xp sp2, but when i booted with dos and check for the ntldr file and ntdetect file they were there. So, i assumed that the problem was in the MBR. i then used a uility to fix the MBR from DOS (lots of them is on Herin’s CD), and restarted .. and everything were on its track again and completed setup as normal.

  40. Gaj says:


    I have a preinstalled version of Windows XP Media Centre on my laptop and have this NTLDR missing problem. As such there is no recovery console. I borrowed a friends version of XP (Home Edition or Professional – I can’t remember – just know it is not Media Centre Edition) accessed the recovery console and copied the NTLDR and NTDETECT files to my laptop. I reboot my comp and I still get the same error message. Is the problem still happening because I have got XP Media Centre on my comp and used the NTLDR from a XP Home/Professional edition? If so is there any place I can download the appropriate file from as I have asked all my friends and they dont have XP Media Centre edition.

    I was able to access my c: and the files on it also using Knoppix originally however after trying some of the fixes on forums and using the recovery disk from my friends XP and the fixboot command I can still access my c: however the files I originally had are no longer there.

    PLease help!

  41. Gary says:

    I ran into this problem after replacing my IDE cables (I got some new ones that are better quality–old computer). I mistakenly plugged the master hard drive into a slave socket. After having a boot-up problem, I realized the mistake and corrected it.

    However, my computer still fails to boot and shows the message “NTLDR missing”. I tried swapping back my original cables–problem persists.

    If an attempt to boot from a master hard drive is done with it in a slave position, does this cause some writing to the hard drive that introduces this problem? It appears there are a number of ways to try recovering from the NTLDR Missing problem. Given my scenario, what’s the safest and simplest way to recover? Thanks!

  42. noel says:

    I also have a problem NTDLR is missing, can any one say using the Windows XP CD recovery can fix the problem by copying NTDLR.exe and NTDetect.com ?

  43. Igor says:

    Have the same problem after upgrading to a bigger hard drive on my Toshiba Satellite 2800-10. I have tried all suggested solutions and think right now that he BIOS is too old to handle big (40 Gigs)’ disks. The way to boot up the system right now is to have a floppy with the ntldr in the floppy drive at boot up. The system somehow finds the floppy ntldr file and then resumes booting Windows XP Pro. Not perfect but it will do for the moment.

  44. gerry says:

    I tried a norton system works disk then win XP instal disk. Neither would boot even though I have the CD set to boot before the HD.

    I will try the “tinyempire’ floppy cure as I just put it on a floppy. I doubt my floppy will be recognized.

    What I am thinking is maybe my MOBO battery IS DEAD.

  45. Shane says:

    Ronald has a good solution. It is a last resort. I tried that before I read this forum, and it worked. For a while. It worked long enough to finish the XP setup, then I turned it off after the setup. I turned it back on and it started working, but I had to restart (forgot the keyboard -.-). When I restarted it started normally made the same sounds it normally does and then BAM blank screen. It hit the computer load screen. Then I see a quick flash of the BIOS showing me what I have in all the drive bays and the normal kind of stuff. But when it comes to the part where it SHOULD boot Windows XP, it just sits there, idling like an idiot. It sits there and neither the hard drive speeds up nor the little light on the front flashes (the one that tells you if its processing data). It sits there and never does anything. I probably killed my hard drive, but its my first build ever, so I imagine I was bound to screw something up. For some reason I cant get into BIOS (I think its because the computers hotkey to get there during start up is different then im used to (usually F1 or F2). But I am sure the boot sequence is as follows: 3.5″ Floppy, CD-ROM, and finally the HDD. As far as I know it sees that the HDD is there, but it doesnt want to boot from it.
    Its formatted using NTFS instead of FAT32. I used Ronalds way (yes I hot-plugged my HD, but really, I dont care), and it worked. So if you are desperate, try it. Anyone think they know how I screwed it up, please help me out.

  46. ahmed says:

    Roland Thank u very much, u method worked..what i did was to remove the power to the SATA hard drive and on boot up i quickly inserted back the power, it did boot from the CD but it displayed another error..it said no hard drive found..so i left it cos i know from there on i can handle it.

  47. Jaz says:

    I had this problem and unplugged all my other hard disks except the primary one and it worked.
    still trying to figure out what causes this.
    it doesnt seem to be a software problem.

  48. Khairy says:

    Really thanks to Jago first comment it returns that i have removed the first drive i boot from (Dvd-rom)which causes my cpu to give me this message. by changing the boot sequence the windows has started normaly; so before anything check that first

  49. Sam says:

    Hi All,

    I am also having this missing ntldr press ctrl+alt+del to restart after adding a new sata hdd into my pc. I’ve changed sata cable settings, gone into the boot menu and was able to boot from the other 2 sata hdds but windows won’t recognise the new sata hdd. After few changes pc didn’t boot and kept showing missing ntldr, press ctrl+alt+del to restart…Would you know how to fix this, please help

  50. Sam says:

    Further to my previous posting: I was able to see the new HDD in the BIOS, other time it was not even there. Anyway windows won’t recognise the new hdd
    Do you guys think the hdd may be a problem?

  51. greg says:

    Ron is the man!!! been fighting this laptop for two hours I set the booted to the cd rom with the hard drive out then shoved it in as the xp disk started loading and all is fine
    thank you ron for another way to skin that cat

  52. Karthik.K says:

    NTLDR missing message showing. We can copy the NTLDR file and fix it through the CD – Drive to the path at System32 are windows ? We can do like that???

  53. Barbara says:

    Okay, I’ll jump in. My husband was doing something on the computer, Saturday. He told me he was “changing from the ‘new’ Yahoo mail page back to the ‘classic’.” It locked up, so he rebooted. I think he said it did it again, so he rebooted, again. He also told me he got a message (on the Yahoo screen) that said his display needed to be changed in order to view the “new” yahoo mail page. Then he just turned it off. When I booted up, nothing happened. Nothing! Black screen, with the front light on the box staying orange, the color of “hibernation.” I pulled the hard drive out and put it in another machine and booted. “Missing NTLDR; Press any key to restart,” appeared. I’m not sure why there would be a difference between the two machines and the appearance/lack thereof of the error message. Any ideas? I’m still in the process of repairing, by the way, and there seems to be a wealth of information on this subject. I’m glad I’m not the only one perplexed by this.

  54. Angel Benitez says:

    A lot of people get frustrated when they see “ntldr is missing” No need to panic. Use your recovery disk, [Windows reinstallation cd]. Boot from cd, when ask, to repair or install a fresh copy of windows press R to repair. When repair starts press 1 for c:windows. If you have put a password to access windows, type your password, if you didn’t put a password just hit enter. At the c prompt type C:i386ntldr C:i386ntdetect.com. The file will be copied on your hard disk. When finished, just type exit and remove recovery disk. That should do the trick.

  55. Rahmat Shah Masrroe says:

    Dear Friends, The NTLDR Missing Message is an easy error to repair, do these steps to solve this on.
    1. insert windows xp cd
    2. both your computer with windows xp cd
    3. in the installation menu choose (R) for repair consol
    4. now enter your windows drive like 1, 2, 3, 4
    5. enter your administrator password if dont have then leave it blank
    6. go to cd room drive
    7. now type copy d:i386ntldr c:
    copy d:i386ntdetect.com c:
    8. now restart your computer and enjoy your fixed windows.


  56. soul eater says:

    hi guys.. i had the similar problems like very one. My problem occurs quite differently..i didn’t install any new hardware or software. The message “NTLDR is missing” occurs after i knock my computer plug off by accident while i was cleaning my house. I tried many things like putting the boot disk. but it didnt read the boot disk or show the screen for me to choose 1st do this… So i start playing around with the bios boot setup utility. Since i am not a computer guy, i tried to do little stuff that i can to fix it.. anyway i come upon “Hard Disk Drives” which i played around the order of my hard drives in priority sequence. I had 4 hard drives in my computer, so i tried to change the 2nd drive to the 1st drive and then F10 to save and the exit to restart. It might said incorrect OS or SO. i forgot which was it. No big deal, just go back to bios by pressing Delt and change the order around of hard drive sequence. After the second tried, it went into windows. I was so happy and amazed how playing around will fixed my problem. somehow my hard drives sequence change during the accident. And my comp is trying to detect the original hard drives contain windows file as well as NTLDR. Obviously the NTLDR is missing since it wasn’t detecting the correct hard drive. This is just my personal experience. I hope this will help some people which have similar problem as me. I am just glad i don’t have to format my computer because i just had my comp formated 2 months ago.

  57. Hendra Jason M says:

    I’ve been trying to fix it for hours and hours and no luck until i found this excelent software: Ultimate boot CD for windows.
    It works!!! Thank’s God for it!

  58. Zack Kendrix says:


    I’ve been wondering, why did this problem happen to me. I bought a brand new HDD and i trying to install windows XP on it since i want the new HDD to be my primary. So i go to BIOS and set the boot order to CDROM 1st, Floppy 2nd and HDD 3rd. What happen is the error NTLDR is missing show up. I cant use the floppy boot disk method coz the HDD is completely new.

    Im about to try Ronald 2 cent method, but i will wait until that time come. Ive had read at many site. Most of them says that i boot a non-bootable disk, lol. Well, i used the windows XP cd that i used before.

    Well, it came up in my mind that maybe my cd were broken, so i tried at another computer, no problem at all. If any other possible way to fix this problem i would gladly appreciate it before i tried to hot-plugged lol.


  59. hem says:

    ..i have my systerm running..n then when i added another hard disk (some data in it not os)..the systeme read as ntldr is missig..when i boot the system.. can u help me plz.

  60. Sunil says:

    After starting the computer it shows the message NTLDR is Missing but my main problem is next as after this message display is going blank and i cant read any instruction. Is there any problem to motherboard? I read several topics about how to solve the problem of NTLDR Missing but not found solution of this type where display is going blank. plz suggest the solution.
    Thanks in advance.

  61. Trey says:

    Hello guys need help too..i dwnloaded a sofware in cleanin pc..and might have deleted some wndows files..but after cleaning using the software..windows was workn perfectly..but when i restarted my pc..i got ths ntldr missing and cant get my wndows workn..right now am using my mobile phne searchin for ..guys any idea what hapend?o any solutions for this problem?thanx in advance

  62. sartorius says:

    Say I was doing a search on NTLDR found this site. I get that error message if I leave a floppy disk inserted and try to start windows. Is this normal?

    Even though it says to press any key you still need to remove the floppy disk to start windows.
    Hope this helps anyone who may unmistakingly do this. I still would like to know if there is a way to correct or not correct this.

  63. Vincent says:

    Hello folks,

    I get that error each time I want to add a secondary HDD. I DID set the master/slave HDDs properly but still… What’s going on???

    Thanks for your help.

  64. jojo says:

    Hi guys,

    I have a case of “NTLDR is Missing” :) I’m lost. I have an old Hp, running xp(home edition). My pc didn’t come with the xp cd and I don’t have recovery disks. You know the hp story :)

    Pressing f8 doesn’t do anything. Pressing f10 takes me to the HP System Recovery system, but if I opt for standard recovery, it takes me back to NTLDR is missing.

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance!

  65. Liam says:


    I have the NTLDR is missing!

    I have the XP CD (Professinal)

    I press r for recovery and this comes up

    the recovery console provides system repair and recovery functionality.

    type EXIT to quit the recovery console and restart the computer.

    The path or file specified is not valid.

    What do i do next??



  66. Tammy says:

    hi there, i havent a clue about computers and i have an acer aspire 3630 laptop someone gave me and im gettin NTLDR is missing press any key to restart every time i turn it on, id really like to get it repaired as soon as poss but i wouldnt b able to do it myself. how much would it cost roughly to get it repaired?
    any help appreciated. its for my sons xmas


  67. Victor says:

    I have a problem trying to format my system, after several power failure, wat i saw on my screen was NTLDR is missing. i tried reformating the system, perfomed ALT CTR DEl it still persisted. eachtime i put a new operating system and press any key,no respone. i want some who could help me restor my system.

  68. vasu says:

    I bought a new PC, while istalling xp prop, files not copied 100%( did 74%), then problem came while copying. Thes as per the instruction I went reinstallation, while it restarting it was prompting that “ntldr missing. alt+ctr+del for restart”. I did all BIOS set sequence but it won’t work. HDD not showing in BIOS master/slave.while starting asking for shit +tab. And giving all drives not sufficient to RAID and creat array, but no key is active there.
    plz help me to solve this.

  69. burnleaf says:

    Similar to a lot of these posts:
    NTLDR missing press Ctrl+Alt+Del msg appears
    Put in XP bootable disc, when it gets to Recovery Console I press ‘r’ – msg: No Hard drives found press F3 to exit – I have made the bootable file from NTLDRmissing.com and tried his ten steps – I have seen all of the error msgs listed on the site.
    I tried BART PE and can see all of my C and D drive files, and ran Hard disk disgnostics from CMOS – disk drive is fine…
    any ideas?

  70. gokul.k says:

    I brought new system last week.while installing xp pro,but am switch on my cpu then put my os cd but NTLDR missing error is coming my pc.so pls how s this error slove.

  71. Oscar says:

    I recovered all my data from an inaccessible disk to chkdsk, fixmbr or fixboot with the free testdisk from sourceforge, win version, PC option.

  72. tomyam says:

    I’ve the same problem.. calling for help.
    Tried all methods already. My question is:- if i format the d drive and installed win xp to d only, but my c drive is where the bios is, can i format it too to combine the 2 c and d?
    pls help..

  73. tomyam says:

    Hi all, finally is window xp started :)
    i get rid of all the partition and combine them to 1
    now can load everything well….
    thks to all….bye

  74. segun says:

    i also have the same problem. but i cant get to the ms-dos. i input my password and it says its not valid. i dont know if there is another password for administrator.i need an information so as to log on to my c:\>.tnks

  75. tomyam says:

    hi segun,
    u got to run window xp cd agn to go to dos promp.
    how? when window xp setup, it will ask u to ‘Enter’ for installation or press ‘R’ for the repair console. Use this repair. Try it.
    as for password u hv to confirm..

  76. jak says:

    I’m getting the error of “NTLDR missing” press ctrl+alt+del to restart.
    I tried the following steps

    1. insert windows xp cd
    2. both your computer with windows xp cd
    3. in the installation menu choose (R) for repair consol
    4. now enter your windows drive like 1, 2, 3, 4
    5. enter your administrator password if dont have then leave it blank
    6. go to cd room drive
    7. now type copy d:\i386\ntldr c:\
    copy d:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\

    but still did not overcome the problem pleaseeeeee hel me out

    • Anita says:

      I tried the following steps

      1. insert windows xp cd into your computer
      3. in the installation menu choose (R) for repair consol
      4. now enter your windows drive like 1, 2, 3, 4
      5. enter your administrator password if dont have then leave it blank (press enter)
      6. go to cd room drive
      7. now type copy d:\i386\ntldr c:\
      8. then type copy d:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\

      after this I just decided to reinstall all of windows xp

      Thanks Jak for this info is worked wonders!


  77. tomyam says:

    Hi Jak,
    i use the above method on 08/02/09 it works.
    in your installation of window xp they require you to do partition right?
    pls dun have too many partition, delete all and create into 1. it will work.
    provided u keep all ur previous driver k… cos now i’m experiencing sound driver missing…

  78. Minun says:

    Hii Jak,
    i m agree with u
    i have done all the as u done
    but i could not get any thing
    i cant solve this error plz help me out.

  79. King David says:

    I had the same problem and the boot disk cable was not inserted all the way. I pushed it in all the way, and it booted just fine. Try that.

  80. hgk says:

    Phew: I read all the comments. (I fixed my problem. It may apply to you.) Nothing worked. We work with kids and I was trying to reinstall xp on a messed up drive. So we wiped the hd drive clean. Then, when trying to get xp installed from the cd set up disk, it would not boot giving the ‘ntldr’ message. You cant add files if you cannot boot. I gave up and decided we could not fix it, but I happened to leave the pc on with the disc in the drive and when I returned more than ahour later, it appeared to have started to boot. And then it did load windows without any drivers exept usb. The motherboard was an asus a7n266vm. Without a lan driver and no interent we got the drivers on a diffrent machine from asus and installed them which then required a reboot and (naturally) the machine hung before booting at the same place but without the message. I cleaned the xp cd and put it back in the drive and tried again. It booted from the hard drived. (this is this case for this machine) With the drivers installed I went to the internet and to MS support and found voluminous info on the ntldr problem. Explaining ‘how and why’ which may help those of you still trying to tackle the problem. Good luck. Phew! P.S.
    I did a search for the ntldr file and the result said no files present. So I copied the file from our working machine (its in the 1386 folder). When I copied it to the c: drive it asked, (No kidding)did I want to override the existing file?

  81. Sinqobile says:

    my computer does not start it says ntldr is missing pliz help me to start my computer

  82. Blue Boris says:

    Pattar (5/12/8) almost had it right. After I started building computers I decided to keep all of my old hard drives. After I transfer the data I format them and install a clean Windows installation and they come in handy for just this purpose. You could just buy a new small hard drive if you want to save your data. It has to have an OS installed on it.

    You do the easy things first and when you get to the point where you have to wipe your data, try this:

    Open your computer and disconnect your hard drive cable from the problem drive. Disconnect the other connector on that same cable from whatever it is attached to (2nd HD or CD usually). Connect the clean windows HD to the cable at the primary spot and the problem HD to the secondary spot and make sure you have the jumpers arranged correctly for master and slave. Remember to check the bios to be sure you are booting from the new clean windows HD. Start the computer and use the OS on the clean windows HD to save your data or copy the whole of the HD somewhere else. If you bought a big enough new drive you can just copy the whole drive. Seagate makes a nice utility from this and can work from a floppy. This way you keep your data and the new drive, if you bought one, does not cost as much as lost data. If you just borrow a large external hard drive you can copy to that, format your old drive, reinstall windows clean, copy your data back. BB

  83. Pete says:

    Quick solution for this and similar HDD problems:

    1. get “MBRtool” (1.6MB)
    2. put it on CD (or other bootable drive)
    3. Boot from CD, MBRtool shows its own menu
    4. use MBRtool to wipe MBR (master boot record)-
    the drive in question should be number 0
    5. install or repair OS with original CD

    you will need this too, if you try to install a second hand notebook HDD.

  84. lou says:

    i follow these instructions and worked:
    Using the Windows Recovery Console
    The Windows 2000 and Windows XP CDs supplied by Microsoft has a tool called the Recovery Console which can be used to repair errors that prevent Windows XP from starting using the command line. OEM versions of Windows XP, including computers that were supplied with Windows XP preinstalled, may not have this utility.

    Insert the Windows CD and start the computer.
    When the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press R.
    Type a number corresponding to the Windows installation you wish to repair (usually 1) and press Enter.
    When prompted, type the administrator password and press Enter.
    From the command prompt, copy NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM from the i386 folder of the CD to the root folder of the hard drive. In the example commands given below, C: is the hard drive and D: is the CD-ROM drive. You will need to change the drive letters if appropriate:
    COPY D:\I386\NTLDR C:\
    Remove the Windows XP CD from the drive and restart the computer.

  85. Mohan Rajoriya says:

    Hi guys
    How can solve NTLDR is missing problem
    follow this step
    1.First insert your xp installation CD and
    Restart your computer ( ctrl+alt+del )
    2. both your computer with windows xp cd
    3. in the installation menu choose (R) for repair consol
    4. now enter your windows drive like 1, 2, 3, 4
    5. enter your administrator password if dont have then leave it blank
    6. go to cd room drive
    7. now type copy d:i386ntldr c:
    copy d:i386ntdetect.com c:
    8. now restart your computer and enjoy your fixed windows.


  86. Habtamu says:

    1.First insert your xp installation CD and
    Restart your computer ( ctrl+alt+del )
    2. both your computer with windows xp cd
    3. in the installation menu choose (R) for repair consol
    4. now enter your windows drive like 1, 2, 3, 4
    5. enter your administrator password if dont have then leave it blank
    6. go to cd room drive
    7. now type copy d:\i386\ntldr c:\
    copy d:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\
    8. now restart your computer and enjoy your fixed windows.
    I do the above at that time the window come blue screen that means RAM damp so can U get other solution pls.
    help me
    Best wish

  87. Rocks says:

    Further to peoples comments…

    in the bios if the hard drive still boots and wont let the CDROM start, try change to boot sequence and have the CDROM last. Otherwise if that fails, disable the harddrive from the boot order and the CDROM should start and allow you the opportunity to attempt a repair..

  88. Rocks says:

    Sorry, further to my last comment, Change the boot of the CDROM first* (not last)

  89. hendrik says:

    How can you boot from the windows cd?
    I was running Vista and I just installed linux and tried configuring easybcd.. but it didn’t work the way I wanted so I deleted the files from easybcd and the mdr on Vista… Hoping it would boot using the linux grub… which it obviously donesn’t.
    Now I get the missing NTLDR message, even when my cd is in the drive and my bios used to be set up to boot from cd first.
    I have a medion laptop md96850 and I can’t connect my HD to another computer cause it doesn’t fit…
    I hope someone replies with something usefull…

  90. John says:

    Try FIXBOOT command once you are in the recovery console prompt c:\windows\

  91. Lucas says:

    Yo, I’ve been having the same exact problem with my laptop computer. Unfortunately most of the tips on the web all require the windows xp cd and I don’t have that. Is there anyway to re-install or create a new NTLRC file? Please reply


  92. Lucas says:

    O yeah, My computer is a Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 Notebook with windows xp and if it helps at all i have a Recovery and Utility Disc and a Drivers and Application Restore Disc for my computer. Should I use any of them?


  93. Sam says:

    Hey guys when i start my computer it says NLTDR is missing and it dosen’t let me do anything except restart and when i restart is says its misssing again. So i put the Windows Xp reinstallation CD in because i wanted to restore my computer. My computer got infected by virus so i want to reinstall it but the NTLBR thing is annoying the crap out of me. anyways when i put the reinstallation disk in it dosent do anything it just says NLTBR is missing.
    Any help would be more than appreciated

  94. Jeet says:

    Subject: Problem Fixed

    I was having this problem since last 4 weeks, my computer had been lying dead all this time.

    Anyways, after reading lot of blogs and talking to MicroSoft customer support, here is my solution that I fixed:

    1. Boot (F12) using CD (Win XP Installation disc).
    2. There are two options, either to install or to repair.
    Choose to install (don’t worry, the hard disk will not be formatted, repair option will show up again)
    3. In the next screen, choose, repair.
    From here, the whole process will take 2-3 hrs, when all the system files will be checked and updated.

    Note: The drivers for attached hardware devices need to be installed again, otherwise, all other setting remains the same.
    My Documents will not be lost.

    I think I cleaned up third party application or deleted NTLDR. After the sytem was restored, I saw the file in my recycle bin.

    All the best for you.

  95. Harsh says:

    My problems:
    1. nltdr missing
    2. #2-07 fail
    3. hal.dll missing
    4. annot boot disk
    5. I/O error accessing boot sector
    What happen: I am sure i had deleted the nltdr hidden files .
    1. fixntldriso.zip from tinyempire.com { none of the ten steps worked but it helped to find the above errors.
    2. ALso tried to run windows xp setup but it states that i do not have a hard drive.
    3. resorted the bios options to default but no luck.
    Can somebody help

  96. vishal singh says:

    when I tuned on my hcl laptop this night it showing message (NTLDR is missing press ctrl alt del to restart). Many time I pressed same the keys it kept repeating the same message n can’t seem to get past it, please send me any deatil about to resolve problem from my PC

  97. bastionprime says:

    I found out that the ‘ntldr’ can also occur due to your hard drive not being set as ‘Active’. I recently partioned my 120GB and my new partition was marked as the active drive, so the pc reading the new partition with no information on it, kept giving the ntldr error at start up.I had used a Hirens Bootable CD to access the drives through partition magic and reactivate the drive or in my case the partition that have the OS was installed on.

    hope this helps some of you guys out there!

  98. Ann Printer says:

    Interesting. Just pulled up your blog post doing a search for XP repair.

    I like XP but it can be tough to fix sometimes. (But it is still easier for me to understand than NT!)

    Thanks for posting.

  99. Rebecca says:

    While this wonderful way of rewriting an OS disk and reinstalling it may work well for those of you with Cd ROM drives, it doesn’t work for those of us with netbooks.
    This happened to me last night and since I have no CD ROM drive and no way of booting up I had to ALT and F10 and completely wipe the hard drive in order to restore my OS. Granted, I lost all of my programs and documents, there was no other way on a netbook to actually fix this problem unless I borrowed a CD ROM drive and reinstalled that way.
    Not to netbook users, save EVERYTHING on your computer to an external website because if this happens to you and you don’t have CD ROM drive, you have no option but to start from scratch.

  100. Paulette says:

    Power surge shut down my computer. Now, it won’t let Windows come up at all. Gives the “safe mode” option, but when I try that, it still won’t come up. Then throws up the “hit F1” message. What is this problem and how do I fix it?

  101. peter says:

    had same issue treid everything finally checked hard drives and found c drive was not my active drive through my computer/ manage/disk management and make sure c dive is your active drive this worked for me hope this helps you

  102. John says:

    An install (Roxio Creator 2010) deleted NTLDR which left me with an unbootable machine. Acronis (F11 during boot-up) permitted the reload of an earlier back-up.
    The problem is that people who suffer this failure can’t get here to this site to search out a solution and rarely think of Googling the solution on a public library computer.
    At first this is a frightening problem. Hard to plan ahead for something you know nothing about.

  103. michael says:

    this happened to me right after i loaded up the windows xp home disk but i really don’t give a shit because i have like 10 hard drives but i just wanted to see what was the ntldr was, so then could i go on into my computer and get this C:i386ntldr C:i386ntdetect.com from there or do you get it off internet thanks people.

  104. prang says:

    Hi All,
    I was not able to start windows xp so i formatted all the drives of my HDD by connecting it with another working computer which is having windows xp.But now when i connected my HDD to my motherboard and trying to install windows xp from cd drive on it.It displays a message NTLDR is missing press ctrl+alt+del to restart.I have kept cd as the first boot device.
    Anybody please help me out to solve this problem.Please reply as soon as possible.

    • Liza says:

      As happened with my computer try to allocate your drives to make more space. What could have happened is that somehow your computer decided that there were too many files threw a tantrum and spit out your information to unexeptable places and created clone drives…..Try your media disc if all else fails reformat and reinstall your XP and remove all unnecessary accesories from your computer..

  105. scott says:

    I’d just like to say in reply to Ronalds post way back in( June 15, 2007). Good on ya mate! Good to see a simple unplug and plugging back in a power socket to IDE 0, to eliminate( NTLDR is missing) can get windows XP up and running still. Worked for me and beat hours of downloading and searching for or paying others to fix the problem. Cheers mate! Scott

  106. shimmy says:

    I had this error message when windows tried to boot from a usb flash drive, removing it solved the issue

  107. Liza says:

    I had this happen with my Vista…didn’t see any articles helping to fix it…but I figured it out on my own..even though I had to format my drive…not sure what caused it but basically I took the media direct cd and booted from that and allocated all available disk space to the c-drive….just because vista did not want to reinstall because it wasn’t reading my disc drives correctly…after it formatted my drive and put my computers files in the correct area I wa able to reinstall Vista….lesson learned back up your files :)

  108. aljon says:

    after I convert FAT32 to NTFS.
    and after I restart my computer for complete setting
    a word “NTLDR is Missing” comes…
    I’ll try to troubleshoot by using “fdisk and scandisk” through win98.
    to recover my computer configuration. . .
    But those command did not work..
    I’ll tray also formatting and installing new windows.
    I don’t know is it contenously work after several hours or time.
    finally I got it…..
    but there is something happened…

  109. josh says:

    how do i recovery my ntloader from dos i cant use a bootable disk

  110. shree krishna says:

    i tried the mentioned steps but could nit store the ntldr how can i do it help me???????

  111. Sherman Unkefer says:

    Is it possible that cleaning your CPU may reduce the chances of having computer errors?

  112. Roy O Brien says:

    Quickest fix is to just remove the HDD and use a USB cable to connect it to a PC then with and using any old windows disc from any PC just search for then copy and paste the NTLDR file in a couple of different folders on the hdd, replace it and it will load as before. Never mind all that crap the so called experts tell you when you google it just do it this way and save a lot of time, Kind regards, Roy.

  113. Barrie says:

    I had to restore my Windows Vista computer to original factory state using the recovery disc and after that was done I got the message ‘NTLDR is missing’ display as well. Never got that message before, didn’t even know what it meant, but after researching the meaning I knew exactly what the cause was. I had just recently installed a second hard drive and the computer was trying to boot from it, which of course had no operating system and thus the cause for the message. After changing the boot sequence to the main drive the problem was solved.

  114. Mike says:

    Anyone experiencing this error on windows vista or 7 i would HIGHLY recommend this link and do what the 2nd comment suggests by James. He explains EVERYTHING in simple terms and how he fixed the error which also worked for me aswell! heres the link: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_vista-hardware/ntldr-is-missing-on-vista/9dbd22a3-5bc7-4a3b-b659-5a287ee4ba84?page=1&tm=1310802454645#footer

  115. Gregory says:

    Yes if you are receiving the NTDLR error message then your boot loader is most likey corrupted or damaged (possibly by a virus). The above link provides excellent information on how to repair the boot loader in windows vista via the installation disk. If all else has failed for you i would highly recommend it.

  116. Bill Albright says:

    My computer was slow and hard to do anything with it. My cousin had this Dell she had abandoned and told me if I wanted it, have at it. Then my NTLDR is missing. Am using another set, not a whiz, 88yr old Army First Sergeant

  117. Arun G Nair says:

    U can use any linux based OS that offer live cd
    like Ubuntu, Linx Mint and so on
    then copy the ntldr file from a normal computer with same os to a pendrive and then put in the c drive in the live OS in your computer
    that will do!

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