“NTLDR is Missing” in Windows XP – How to fix


There are various “NTLDR is Missing” error messages, below are some of the most common error messages.

  • “NTLDR is missing Press any key to restart”.
  • “NTLDR is missing Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart”.
  • “Boot: Could not find NTLDR Please insert another disk”.

The “NTLDR missing” error appears very shortly after the computer is started and immediately after the Power On Self Test (POST) completes. Windows XP starts only when the NTLDR error message appears.

The “NTLDR missing” error appears very shortly after the computer is started and immediately after the Power On Self Test (POST) completes. Windows XP starts only when the NTLDR error message appears.

Causes NTLDR error

There are a number of possible causes for NTLDR errors, including the most common “NTLDR is missing” problem.

The main reason for this error is when the computer tries to boot from the hard drive or the flash drive is not properly configured. In other words, it is trying to boot from an unbootable source. In addition, booting from media on optical drives or floppy disks also causes this error.

Other causes are NTLDR errors such as corrupted files, misconfiguration, problems with operating system and hard drive upgrades, corrupted hard drive sectors, unused BIOS updates, and IDE cables. loose or damaged.

How to fix “NTLDR is Missing”

1. Restarting the computer, restarting the computer can fix many problems and there are NTLDR errors.

2. Check the media on the floppy disk drive, optical drive (CD / DVD / BD) and disconnect all external drives. As mentioned above, the “NTLDR is Missing” error occurs when the computer tries to boot from the floppy disk, CD / DVD.BD, external hard drive or flash drive can not boot.

Note: If it detects that this is the cause of the NTLDR error and the frequency occurs frequently, you should consider changing the boot order in the BIOS so that the hard drive installed with Windows is the first in the list.

3. Configure correctly. BIOS configures the way the hard drive works on the computer so misconfiguration can lead to many problems including NTLDR errors.

Note: If you are not sure about the settings in the BIOS, you should configure the optical drive and the hard drive in Auto mode.

4. Restore the NTLDR and ntdetect.com files from the Windows XP CD. Restoring these two important system files from the original Windows XP CD can fix the NTLDR is missing problem.

5. Modify or replace the boot.ini file. The boot.ini file that is not properly configured when installing Windows XP may cause NTLDR errors. Therefore, fixing or replacing this file may fix the problem.

6. Write a new boot sector for the Windows XP system partition. If this boot sector is corrupted or not properly configured, it can cause the “NTLDR is Missing” error, so you should consider writing a new boot sector.

7. Repair the Master Boot Record in Windows XP. The NTLDR error message may also appear if this boot record is corrupted.

8. The NTLDR error message may be caused by a broken or loose IDE cable, so you should check the IDE cable connection to see if this is the cause of the NTLDR error. If so, replace another IDE cable.

9. Update your motherboard BIOS. Sometimes, the BIOS is not updated, which also causes the “NTLDR is Missing” error.

10. Install Windows XP in Repair mode. When installed in this mode can replace the damaged or lost files.

11. If the above does not fix the problem “NTLDR is Missing”, you should perform a clean install of Windows XP. When installed new, Windows Xp will be completely removed from the computer and reinstalled from the beginning.

Note: Although this method can fix almost all NTLD errors, this is a time-consuming process because you will have to back up and restore the data. In case you can not access the files for backup, that means you will lose all your data if you continue to install new Windows XP.

12. Replace the hard drive and then perform a clean installation of Windows XP. If after installing a new Windows XP that still can not fix the problem, then probably due to hardware. Please replace a new hard drive and perform a fresh installation of Windows XP.

NTLDR errors only occur on Windows XP operating systems, including Windows XP Professional and Home Edition. Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista use BOOTMGR, not NTLDR. If you get the “NTLDR Missing” error in one of these operating systems, especially during the installation process, try starting with the new installation process from scratch.