NTLDR is missing Issue NTLDR is Missing. Related errors Below are the full error messages that may be seen when the computer is booting. 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 Causes 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. Solutions Computer is booting from a non-bootable source Many times this error is caused when the computer is attempting to boot from a non-bootable floppy disk or CD-ROM. First verify that no floppy Diskette or CD is in the computer, unless you are attempting to boot from a diskette. 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. If you are attempting to boot from a floppy diskette and are receiving this error message it is likely that the diskette does not have all the necessary files or is corrupt. If you are attempting to install Windows XP or Windows 2000 and are receiving this error message as the computer is booting verify that your computer BIOS has the proper boot settings. For example, if you are attempting to run the install from the CD-ROM make sure the CD-ROM is the first boot device, and not the hard disk drive. Second, when the computer is booting you should receive the below prompt. Press any key to boot from the CD Important: When you see this message press any key such as the Enter key immediately, otherwise it will try booting from the hard drive and likely get the NTLDR error again. Note: If you are not receiving the above message and your BIOS boot options are set properly it's also possible that your CD-ROM drive may not be booting from the CD-ROM properly. Verify the jumpers are set properly on the CD-ROM drive. Computer hard disk drive is not properly setup in BIOS Verify that your computer hard disk drive is properly setup in the CMOS set up. Improper settings can cause this error. Corrupt NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM file Windows XP users 1. Insert the Windows XP bootable CD into the computer. 2. When prompted to press any key to boot from the CD, press any key. 3. Once in the Windows XP 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 the primary hard disk. In the below example we are copying these files from the CD-ROM drive letter, which in this case is "e." This letter may be different on your computer. 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. Misconfiguration with the boot.ini file Edit the boot.ini on the root directory of the hard disk drive and verify that it is pointing to the correct location of your Windows operating system and that the partitions are properly defined. Attempting to upgrade from a Windows 95, 98, or ME computer that is using FAT32 If you are getting this error message while you are attempting to upgrade to Windows 2000 or Windows XP from Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows ME running FAT32 try the below recommendations. 1. Boot the computer with a Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows ME bootable diskette 2. At the A:\> prompt type: sys c: <press enter> 3. After pressing enter you should receive the "System Transferred" message. Once this has been completed remove the floppy diskette and reboot the computer. New hard disk drive being added If you are attempting to add a new hard disk drive to the computer make sure that drive is a blank drive. Adding a new hard disk drive to a computer that already has Windows installed on it may cause the NTLDR error to occur. Corrupt boot sector / master boot record It's possible your computer's hard disk drive may have a corrupt boot sector or master boot record. These can be repaired through the Microsoft windows Recovery console by running the fixboot and fixmbr commands. Seriously corrupted version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP If you have tried each of the above recommendations that apply to your situation and you continue to experience this issue it is possible you may have a seriously corrupted version of Microsoft Windows. Therefore we would recommend you reinstall Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP. If you are encountering this issue during your setup you may wish to completely erase your computer hard disk drive and all of its existing data and then install Microsoft windows. Loose or Faulty IDE/EIDE hard disk drive cable This issue has been known to be caused by a loose or fault IDE /EIDE cable. If the above recommendation does not resolve your issue and your computer hard disk drive is using an IDE or EIDE interface. Verify the computer hard disk drive cable is firmly connected by disconnected and reconnecting the cable. If the issue continues it is also a possibility that the computer has a faulty cable, try replacing the hard disk drive cable with another cable or a new cable. How to use the Windows recovery console. Question How to use the Windows recovery console. Additional information The Microsoft Windows recovery console was first introduced in Microsoft Windows 2000 and is available in all later versions of Windows including Windows XP. This feature enables users to get to a mode that allows them to recover, change, or fix files or settings that may be causing their computer not to boot properly. Microsoft DOS chkdsk command About chkdsk Chkdsk is a utility that checks the computer's hard disk drives' status for any cross-linked or any additional errors with the hard disk drive. MS-DOS versions 2.x - 4.x used chkdsk.com, MS-DOS versions 5.x and beyond used chkdsk.exe. Availability The chkdsk command is an external command and is available in the below Microsoft operating systems. Windows 2000 and Windows XP chkdsk syntax Checks a disk and displays a status report. CHKDSK [volume[[path]filename]]] [/F] [/V] [/R] [/X] [/I] [/C] [/L[:size]] volume Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon), mount point, or volume name. filename FAT only: Specifies the files to check for fragmentation. /F Fixes errors on the disk. /V On FAT/FAT32: Displays the full path and name of every file on the disk. /R Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information (implies /F). /L:size NTFS only: Changes the log file size to the specified number of kilobytes. If size is not specified, displays current size. /X Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary. All opened handles to the volume would then be invalid (implies /F). /I NTFS only: Performs a less vigorous check of index entries. /C NTFS only: Skips checking of cycles within the folder structure. The /I or /C switch reduces the amount of time required to run Chkdsk by skipping certain checks of the volume. Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP users who have NTFS should also consider using the CHKNTFS command. chkdsk /f Will fix any crossed linked files ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Fixes for NTLDR Errors 1. Restart the PC. The NTLDR error could be a fluke. 2. Check your floppy and optical (CD/DVD/BD) drives for media and disconnect any external drives. Often times, the "NTLDR is Missing" error will appear if your PC is trying to boot to a non-bootable floppy disk, CD/DVD/BD, or external hard drive or flash drive. 3. Note: If you find that this is the cause of your problem and it's happening a lot, you might want to consider changing the boot order in BIOS so the hard drive with Windows installed is listed first. 4. Check the hard drive and other drive settings in BIOS and ensure they are correct. The BIOS configuration tells the computer how to use a drive so incorrect settings can cause problems, including NTLDR errors. 5. Note: There is usually an Auto setting for hard drive and optical drive configurations in BIOS which is usually a safe bet if you're not sure what to do.
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