Windows won’t Start with Error “NTLDR is missing”

June 19th, 2012 by Admin Leave a reply »

Every once in a while I note, in the forums where I participate, series of questions that appear over and over again. So is the case with the “NTLDR is Missing. Press any Key to Restart” error when the user attempts to boot their system.

What’s NTLDR?

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.

Fix the Error of NTLDR is missing

First please check if your system is trying to boot from a CD or USB stick. Remove the CD and USB stick and try again.  If your computer still throws the same error message at startup, please follow these steps to fix or repair the problem so your system should boot up properly.

  1. Insert your Windows installation DVD into the computer.
  2. When prompted to press any key to boot from the CD, press any key.
  3. Once in the Windows setup menu, press the R key to repair Windows.
  4. Log into your Windows installation by pressing the 1 key and pressing Enter.
  5. You will then be prompted for your administrator password, enter that password.
  6. Copy the below two files to the root directory of your Windows installation.  For example, my system drive is C:\ and the CD-ROM drive is E:\. Type the following command to copy the missing files from CD-ROM to your system drive:
    copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\
    copy e:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\
  7. Once both of these files have been successfully copied, remove the CD from the computer and reboot.

The trick can be used to fix the NTLDR errors with Windows XP/2003/2000/Me. Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista utilize BOOTMGR, not NTLDR.