How to fix: NTLDR is missing

Posted: August 29, 2007 in Computer

How to fix: NTLDR is missing

What happened?

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. For Windows NT4/2k/XP the NTLDR (New Technology Loader) takes it from there. If you get the “NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart” what’s most likely going on is 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, the location of NTLDR changed, or you are looking at a hardware failure situation (memory/cables/drive/motherboard/etc). Windows Vista does not boot this way, you can still use my floppy to boot into an existing installation of 98/nt/xp, but I’ve not had a chance to test Windows Vista.

Resolution

Definition:
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 Windows NT load.

 

Try this as a possible fix in Windows XP:

Boot to the XP CD. When it asks you if you want to install or Repair, choose Repair. This will take you to the Recovery console. Choose the XP install to log into, usually there’s only 1, and enter the password when prompted. For Home, the default password is blank. At the C:\Windows prompt type the following commands:

FIXBOOT, answer Yes
CD \
ATTRIB -H NTLDR
ATTRIB -S NTLDR
ATTRIB -R NTLDR
ATTRIB -H NTDETECT.COM
ATTRIB -S NTDETEC.COM
ATTRIB -R NTDETECT.COM
COPY X:\I386\NTLDR C:\
COPY X:\I386\NTDETECT.COM C:\

In steps 9 and 10, “X” is the letter of your CD-ROM drive.

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