NTLDR Is Missing – How To Repair

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 “NTDR is missing” when the user attempts to boot their system. Below are some ways to fix or repair the problem so your system should boot up properly.

  1. This is the first thing to look at. Is your system trying to boot from a CD or floppy disk that is non-bootable? Remove the CD or floppy and try again.
  2. Have you added a new hard disk with another copy of Windows installed on the new disk? Have you confirmed that the drives are set properly as Master and Slave?
  3. If steps 1 and 2 do not apply,then it is time to pull out the big guns. Follow steps 4 through 10.
  4. Insert the Windows XP bootable CD into the computer.
  5. When prompted to press any key to boot from the CD, press any key.
  6. Once in the Windows XP setup menu, press the “R” key to repair Windows.
  7. Log into your Windows installation by pressing the “1″ key and pressing enter.
  8. You will then be prompted for your administrator password; enter that password.
  9. 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 “E.” This letter may be different on your computer.
    copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\
    copy e:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\
  10. Once both of these files have been successfully copied, remove the CD from the computer and reboot.

Your system should now boot normally. Still having problems? Drop by the forum at lockergnome.com for more help. Registration is free.

[tags]NTLDR, missing, error, repair, fix, windows, copy[/tags]

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • mister x

    I would definately recommend pulling ntldr and ntdetect out of the most recent restore point snapshot or even $uninstall before copying an older and quite possibly incompatible version from an installation disk. Also, before doing that I would recommend attempting a chkdsk and search through Found folders.

  • http://ntldrismissing.com/ Miles Comer

    Might I humbly suggest my site:
    http://ntldrismissing.com/
    If the other solutions don’t work for you. It consists of making a non-invasive disk that boots your hard drive.
    And it’s free.

  • dra_gUNz

    It happen suddnly in my mate pc .. Huh

  • Saad

    hello im saad i have a dell XPS 600 it says the floppy diskette is corrupted and says f1 to continue and f2 for setup
    i press f1 then it says ntldr file missing
    how do i replace or do anything
    i have important data
    plz help

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Saad,

    May I recommend that you post your question on the Lockergnome forum. You will be provided with expert assistance and should be able to get your problem fixed or at least be able to salvage your important data.

    http://help.lockergnome.com/general/

    You will need to register before posting your problem, but registration is Free.

  • Mr Z

    Hi. My computer crashed and gave an error message. Now my Hard drive is corrupted(cant be detected by my computer). I bought a new hard drive and then tried to install windows XP service pack 2 on the new hard drive and i couldn’t. Is it because i don’t have windows 95 or 98 installed in the new hard drive??

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Mr. Z,

    You do not need 95 or 98 installed first. May I suggest you post your problem over at the Lockergnome forum. And provide some more information. Any errors, was the drive formatted properly and so forth.

    http://www.help.lockergnome.com

    Regards, Ron

  • Bryan Hume

    With an external hardrive case, the one case that you put your internal hearddrive in and plug into a USB port, can I remove my harddrive use an external harddrive and plug this into this laptop I’m using and coopy the NTLDR file onto the broken one?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Bryan,
    That should work. Please let us know what happens. Also for additional information, you could also post your problem at:
    http://help.lockergnome.com
    There are some experts there willing to help you with your computer problems for FREE.
    All the best, Ron

  • Gary Thomas

    Boot from CD option has disappeared from Boot Menu options. Boot from floppy ends in a starting DOS/loading files loop. Any suggestions?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Gary,
    I’d check the power and ribbon cable to the CD-Rom and mobo and make sure they are tight. It sounds like the BIOS isn’t see the Rom – just a guess.

    If you are still having problems, take a ride over to:
    http://help.lockergnome.com

    One of the experts there should be able to help you further.

  • http://www.murrob.co.zw francis

    it has helped me out and i am most glad

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Francis,
    Thanks for the comment and I am glad it worked for you.

  • http://www.pampered-pooch.com Harris

    Thank you so much. I was setting up a dual boot sysytem on a Vista based machine and had gotten evrything done except that I kept getting the NTLDR is missing error. I finalyy found this page and followed your instructions (modifying the drive letter to D; to reflect where I have my XP installation) and it worked perfectly.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Harris,
    Glad it worked for you.
    Regards, Ron

  • Big Al

    Many thanks, your advice was spot on, after getting the error message “ntldr” I thought F*** what Have I done now ,I did not have a clue but a few minutes on your site sorted it. So thanks once again.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Big Al,
    You are welcome.

  • http://www.foursquarestudios.com Tami

    I have the NTLDR message on my Vista machine (two weeks old!). Any ideas on how to repair it? Everything I have read up until now has stated that the easy fix works only on XP and older machines.

    Thanks!
    Tami

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Tami,
    If this is a brand new computer system from a OEM, I’d contact them first.

    You can also try doing a Repair of Vista:

    http://www.windowsvista.windowsreinstall.com/vistaultimate/repairstartup/part1.htm

    I hope this helps, Ron

  • mikey

    well.. i tried all those things that you told me to but it still……
    and i can’t remove my CD after i wrote those stuff on my dos. please help!!!

  • hayley

    Thank you soo much ur page on how to fix the missing ntldr saved my life!! i’ve learned my lesson to always back up photos and important documents!!

    thank you sooooo much

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi hayley,
    You are most welcome.
    Ron

  • kim

    after i followed your instruction my computer succesfully startup to windows, but i could not log in. theres no icon to click so that i can log on, what can i do? i hope you can email me the answer, thanks!

  • memoman42

    Hello,

    After attempting to restore my pc with various methods, I tried Miles’ website (http://ntldrismissing.com/). I’m happy to say that it worked like a charm, it’s been working for about a month now, with no problems. Thanks, Miles.

  • Michael

    Thank you so much for this info. I have spent hours unsuccesfully trying to fix this problem. I did not want to loose all the info in my comp. This fix was quick and easy and it worked. Thanks again.

  • Don

    Hello
    This did the trick. After following your instructions system booted right up.
    Thanks for you help.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/blade/2006/12/12/ntldr-is-missing-how-to-repair/ karl

    i enterd the first command on my widnows xp pc service pack 3 and is said file copied and then turned of before i could enbter the second command now when i turn my computer on it keeps restarting i tried to enter the commands again but this time it said forbiden :)

  • Eric

    I`ve got the same error with my computer.I know all the steps.the problem is i don’t have a CD/DVD drive or a floppy drive.I went to Miles` site and then tried the repair with a USB flash drive, switched the boot order around and still got the error.I also enabled the Boot form another device selection from the BIOS.

    Help Me!!!!!!SOS
    Thanks if You Do!!!!

  • Alex

    I Have an IBM Thinkpad T40. I Tryed to boot but wont let just says NTLDR Is MISSING Prees ctrl+Alt+Del to restart. I need help.tryed a lot of Windows xp cd’s non work

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  • http://na sunder singh

    hi , i am suing win vista oem product of hp, i am getting ntldr missing eror, i would be thankfull , if anyone could help me out
    sunder singh

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Did HP supply you with a Vista DVD? If not, give them a call and get one. :-)

    Thank take a look here.

    http://wp3.lockergnome.com/blade/2006/12/14/how-to-fix-ntldr-is-missing-update/

  • Alo

    Hi,

    I bought my e-machine 620; computerabout 5 years ago, I used to restore my computer with the 2 restor manufacture disk without problem, and one day my computer started problem then I took an enginer who changed the motherboard for it, then it last me for about 2 years until day before yesterday I wanted to restore my computer once again, I thought it is easy as the times before I changed the mother board.

    but now I have reinstalled the 2 manufacture disk on my computer the screen is black and it can not be opened.

    When the mother board was replaced I was given a CD called Intel-VIA, IVE 10 , Version 1.0 , 15G09X027000AK

    as the computer screen is black I put the mother board CD into the driver and it asked for a floppy disk A. I put a normal floppy disk, then something on the blac screen completed after 100 second.

    then it say press any kepy, I did it, at the end a messege came up saying NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart. I pressed any key, then again it say NTLDR is missing.

    I tried the aboves several times but all is the same.

    please advice me step by step how can get back the computer to a normal computer. because it can not be used now it is just saying press any key the NTLDR is missing.

    Many thanks

    Alo

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Alo,
    I would venture a guess that because of the motherboard being changed, the disks you have are not properly setting up the video driver. I would format the hard disk and reinstall using the OEM disks and see what happens.

    I would also contact the tech who replaced the mobo and seek his opinion as well.

  • Faizan A. Chughtai

    hey guyz

    i heard the problem and infact faced one myself!!!

    so that NTLDR file is actually the bootable file located in the root drive(i.e where WINDOWS is installed)

    if the problem occurs…

    enter the windows xp cd (if u r using windows xp)

    1.then boot from that cd
    2.when in setup press ‘R’ to repair the existing copy of windos.
    3.the command prompt will ask for the copy of windows to repair as

    1: C:\WINDOWS

    press 1.

    then give the administrator password.

    type
    (if ure cd-rom dive is ‘e’)

    C:\WINDOWS>copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\

    then

    C:\WINDOWS>copy e:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\

    there you go!!

    now type ‘EXIT’ and reboot the system.

    GOD LUCK…
    feel free to
    contact: [email protected]

  • monica herrera

    What is a bootable CD i dont understand that???

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    A bootable CD is one that will start the system without using the operating system on the hard disk.

  • http://datarecoveryhelps.blogspot.com shreek

    Hi,

    Nice posting. NTLDR is a system file require for boot operation. If this file get corrupted then you can recover it with the help of stellar phoenix data recovery software which recover damaged, accidentally deleted data from hard drive.

    Thanks

  • marc

    i tried everything else. nothing worked. This fixed me right up.

    Thank you for taking the time to post and to share your knowledge.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Marc,
    Glad it worked for you. Thanks for letting me know.
    Regards, Ron

  • bill

    excellant lol

  • Kurt

    Worked like a champ! thank you very much for posting fix. Simple and exact Instructions, couldn’t ask for anything more.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Kurt,
    I am glad it worked for you.

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  • Ron Wilson

    Thnx so much for the “ntldr” fix!. Worked like a charm. I had deleted the file in error as “junk”, when I noticed it listed next to my C directory, showing as a stand alone file. Big mistake on my part. All is normal with boot-up again. Thank you.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Ron,
    You are most welcome. I am glad it worked for you.

  • Rick

    Thanks you sooo much! I accidentally deleted these when I was deleteing some other things. I had to google this with my PS3, and this was the first result that came up and it worked. Also, after you finish typing those commands in, type “exit” to reboot.. Thanks again, my computer booted up fine just now.

  • jeff

    it dident work for me :( oh well guess i well just reinstall

  • nathan

    hey ron, im 14 soo im streesed alot since i cant do much. but whats happening 2 me is, itz saying NTLDR is missing, press ctrl+alt+del+ to restart. which ends up doing the same thing over and over again. i have 2 c-d’s that are rebooting or reinstallation c-d’s but they dont work either, during the re-installation process, theres about 5 pop ups that say im missing sum file. it then says to abort / retry / or ignore. i ignore then all. at the end of the installation, it jus keeps on re-doing the installation ovr and ovr again.. i went to setup a couple times, but i hav no idea wut most of it means >_<
    do u hav any solutions? plz help asap ^^ thx.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Nathan,
    It appears that the disks you have are NOT a copy of XP itself. May I suggest you borrow a Windows XP CD and try the above procedure again. Since you are not installing the OS, no serial number is required and is perfectly legal.

  • nathan

    where can i borrow a windows XP c-d? from a friend orr can i possibly downlaod from internet, soo rite im using 2 disks for re-booting, theres permanent marker on both saying original HP loaded software disc 1 of 2 and disk 2 of 2, whhich dont work =/ i cant even do ur step 7 which is da press 1 & enter thing

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Nathan,
    From a friend, relative, neighbor, anyone who owns a Windows XP machine with the XP disk.

    The disks you have are driver and application disk provided by HP and not XP. When you bought your HP system there may have been some information about making XP CD’s.

  • nathan

    ahh my dad jus found a xp c-d that he gave to me =D
    i placed it in and it says press any key to start re-installation or w/e before the NTLDR is missing came up =D ooo. mayyeb this is it?

  • nathan

    ahh umm we hav a xp c-d .. but we dont knothe administracotr password cuz my dads friend gave it to him lng time ago… =[

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Nathan,
    Read this article:
    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windowsxp/ht/adminpassword02.htm

    You may need to get some pro help from a friend who knows Windows. Password recovery tools are tricky.

    PS Leave the password blank and press enter. Most people don’t even know that an admin account is set up with XP and don’t bother with a password at all.

  • nathan

    Thanks Ron =D your information was REaLLy helpful ^^ hopefully i can solve this problem, thanks again!

  • nathan

    umm, actually im still stuck =O after i press “R” then it says, Which windows installation would you like to log into?

    is this when i press 1+ enter? because i did, and then that helping thing shows up >_< ahh.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Nathan,
    The ‘helping thing’ is actually a menu.

    Take a look at this site. Does your menu look like this?

    http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic8356.html

    Let me know

  • duane

    i can’t remember my admin password…any ideas

    could i take out the hard drive from my laptop, connect it to another computer and copy all the data out then reset my laptop

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone
  • http://www.rockband.6te.net Iyanggg

    It amazing….its working
    Thanks for the Info++ here…

    Happy day always.

    Regards

  • MEENA

    RON, MY XP IN A SHUTTLE X WILL NOT REBOOT, PREVIOUSLY HAD CASE WITH MICROSOFT, THIS IF FIRST TIME IT IS NOT REBOOTING WITH ERROR MISSING NTLDR, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF YOU DO A DUAL BOOT WILL THAT ENABLE ME TO ACCESS MY DATA DIRECTLY OR DOES IT DO A READABLE MIRROR OR COPY ONLY, IF TIME CAN YOU WALK ME THROUGH THE STEPS, I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING I FOUND ONLINE IT APPEARS DATA STILL THERE BECAUSE IT SAYS 238465 MB, I DID NOT GET OPPORTUNITY TO BACK UP LATEST WORK, THINK IT SURGED, I HAD CONSIDERED ALSO TAKING OUT DRIVE AND PLACING IN AN EXTERNAL BUT NOVICE AT THIS.. I TRIED INSTALLING DISK, NOW I AM NOT SURE IF BIOS AND SLAVE ON CORRECT ENTRIES…APPRECIATE ANY FEEDBACK TO GET IT STARTED IN NORMAL CAPACITY OR AT LEAST BE ABLE TO GET INTO MY DATA, OTHER CONCERN IF I CONNECT MY EXTERNAL IT IS ONE OF THOSE FINGER PRINT ONES NEEDS SOFTWARE IN THE XP, I DO NOT WANT TO DAMAGE THE EXTERNAL IN ANYWAY, I SNAPPED PICS OF ALL THE ERRORS IF SOMEONE OR YOURSELF HAD A MOMENT TO GLANCE AT THEM AND STIR ME IN TO NOT TO DOS…READING YOUR SITE DID GIVE ME FURTHER UNDERSTANDING THANK YOU MEENA – OH ALSO I DOWNLOADED ONE OF THOSE FIXNTLDR.EXE ON CD BUT IT WILL NOT RUN, I THEN TRIED IT ON FLASH CARD AND PLUGGED IN STILL NO GO

  • MEENA

    RE: PREVIOUS MISSING NTLDR ERROR ON XP
    HAVE YOU HAD PRIOR EXPERIENCE WITH THE LINUX KNOPPIX TO BACK UP WORK… I HAVE LOADS OF VIDEO AND JPG WANT IT TO BE IN SAME FORMAT

    ARE THERE ANY AUTOMATIC PROGRAMS TO HELP REBOOT THAT ACTUALLY LEAVE YOUR DATA??

    I ATTEMPTED GOING INTO XP PROFESSIONAL SETUP
    I WANTED TO KNOW IF I PRESS ENTER THAN GO TO F8 AND TRY SAFEMODE WILL I BE ABLE TO GET MY DATA OR WILL THE PRESSING ENTER TO INSTALL XP OVERLAP MY EXISTING DATA AND CLEAR IT OUT SINCE THE LAST PROMPT WAS

    C: PARTITION (FAT) 238465 MB 2 MB FREE

    APPRECIATE ANY FEEDBACK TO MY EMAIL THANX

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Meena,
    If you can still read the drive, I would would try placing it into another Windows system as a slave drive. You will than be able to access your files.

    May I also recommend this site for assistance:
    http://help.lockergnome.com/general/

    All the best, Ron

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  • m

    hi
    i have acer but my laptop doesnt have cd-rom and NTLDR is missing,,What should I do?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    m,
    You can buy an external CD Rom drive. But you will also need a XP disk.

  • http://nil Noori

    dear it works thanks for your information and that is very good tip and tricks

    thanks ones again

    khalilnoori

  • zack

    hey…i have try it but i have a problem when i press ‘R’ to repair…..
    i had enter the black screen and a few word but it never asking to enter to the window installation…then i press 1,nothing haven’t happen….seriously i really need help!…….thanks for the favour…….

  • Winston

    ntldr is missing on Vista/Windows7 dual-boot system.

    I posted this over on lockergnome.com, but thought that more eyeballs would help.

    what do I have to specifically do to recover and still preserve dual-boot?

    thanks

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone
  • Mehdi

    Hey i have prob with my laptop and is saying NTLDR IS missing i dont know how to fix that can anyone help me out on this

  • Adam from Malaysia

    Hei Ron thank you so much for the post, it really did guide me out of trouble. Good day.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Adam,
    You are most welcome.

  • http://lockergnome.com, Tabrez Khan

    i have added a new hard disk with another copy of Windows installed on the new disk. i Have 2 nos. of drives are sated properly as Master and Slave. but NTLDR is missing. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart …i keep getting this message wen i try to log on.

  • Prateet

    i got a little problem over here,

    i had a notebook, there comes a error message..
    NTLDR missing ,
    press ctrl + ALT + delete to restart,

    when i do restart and again the message comes same,

    my cd rom is not working well, it could not read the bootable cd

    so, what to do,
    can u say me to solve this problem?
    its too urget, i know u had already understand it,
    and how to do format from LAN to THAT laptop?

    • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

      I would try using a USB drive with the boot information from the CD on it. Set your BIOS to boot from USB.

  • vijay

    how to repair NTLDR file for windows xp.

  • daki96

    Hey Ron how to see wich letter i have for CD-ROM……..
    ???????

    • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

      daki96,
      Which letter? I don’t understand the question.
      Could you be more specific?
      Thx, Ron

      Also you can post your question over at our help forum for more assistance:

      http://help.lockergnome.com/

  • Oded

    10x’ .
    I followed the instructions and it worked.
    Thank you again.

    • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

      Hello Oded,
      I’m glad it worked for you.

  • http://www.lodhi.pk Lodhi

    It worked.. thanks

    • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

      Hi Lodhi,
      You are welcome. I am glad it worked for you.

  • KETAN

    thanks it worked

  • http://www.stellarwindowsdatarecovery.com/ Windows Recovery

    To resolve this issue, verify that the BIOS on your computer
    If you still faces the problem then use Stellar Windows data recovery software.

  • Roy O Brien

    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.

  • http://Gmail Preet

    Hey my computer is hanging in the boot process what should i do

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    so true

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    Ha, I agree, very interesting.
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    After reading this article I was wondering if current compression algorithms account for exceptions in patterns for better compression. Say a pattern is repeated three times, but the middle occurrence differed by one byte, does the algorithm still take advantage of this repeated pattern, but just note the one byte difference as an exception?

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