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NTLDR is missing – what – why – how to fix - WinTechGeek

NTLDR is missing – what – why – how to fix

NTLDR is missing …… Seems familiar ? I think you are Smile.   This is an Error which most of the computer lovers experienced at least once in their journey. One day you power on your computer and huh!!!  A black screen comes with a weird error  “  NTLDR is Missing  ” .You are in dark wonder what happened to it suddenly? it was working fine till last time you were on it ..





At this point, you ring the local Engineer’s Bell to shoot the problem out and get your computer back to normal life so you can play your favorite Game or Browse your favorite website ..(What’s your Fav Game : CS ?COD ? What’s your favorite website : FaceBook or youtube do share with others via comment below) ..I have been in touch with many of those  local computers experts who feel proud in calling them “Engineer”. Majority of  them thinks this disease cannot be cured and the only way left now is to Boot up from a Windows CD and let the computer Born again , I mean Format and re-install after which it becomes a new baby. You will have to teach him about your needs once again. If you are rude enough you will surly bother the hard drive spindle of servers lying in Google’s data centers to get some information for you on this problem. Google servers are helpful enough. if you share your problem with them,they with look into millions of millions web pages from their database and display thousands of results. When you see those results you will understand that you not a a unique creature on the planet with this problem..Many others faced this problem before you and posted on various tech support forums.Some kind peoples posted the solution as well to do blah blah blah and the problem will be shouted out.. but you are a computer lover..You are smart ..

Will you also follow the same steps to fix the problem ?without knowing what does this error means and why you are firing those bullets in form of commands from something called recovery console..

Well, If you are still reading and showing interest then this post is for you and I understands my efforts are not worthless. Read on.. In this post I will explain why and when does this error comes and what could be the possible reasons for this.. Also how to fix it explaining  why.. I will try to make it short but still it may be a bit long..Take a deep breathe and continue reading …


[stextbox id="info"] NTLDR is Missing  -  When does this error comes :[/stextbox]

Let me start from the beginning so it will make more sense..…


  • Power Button is pressed to power on the computer,
  • The SMPS supply power to all the components attached and then a PowerGood Signal is sent indicating Everything is OK to start booting,
  • The Executable Code in the BIOS ROM looks for the First Bootable disk in the configuration (Configuration is known as CMOS settings or BIOS settings in normal language however BIOS and CMOS are 2 different things which we talk on later.)
  • The BIOS looks for the first Sector of the Bootable Disk (Assuming your HDD is configured as a Bootable disk) and read it..First sector (Sector 0)  of the HDD is called Master Boot Record and abbreviated as MBR.
  • The MBR contains 2 important parts, a small Bootable code and partition table.
  • The Small Boot code has the information to boot up the system and partition table contains a table of partitions and its physical location on your Hard drive.
  • The boot code Reads the partition table to find the active partition (Active partition is same as System partition which holds the core boot files).
  • Once successfully located, The MBR code transfers the control to the First sector of activate partition.
  • The first sector of active partition is known as Boot Sector. Boot sector contains information abut the partition layout, partition type and a small executable code. The small executable does has enough capabilities to read the root of partition (Only Files,not a subfolder or folder).
  • The BootSector (talking about windows XP or windows 2003) is designed to read “NTLDR” from the root of active partition.
  • If the boot sector finds the NTLDR in root, it hand overs the next steps to NTLDR’s Entry point of main function,
  • IF the boot sector is failed to locate NTLDR in the root of the volume, it will display an error message .
  • I bet now you know what will be the error message….
  • Oh!. You are right but… The error message text depends on the file system type. If its NTFS it will display “ NTLDR IS MISSNG ” but in case of a FAT partition  it will say Boot: could not find NLTDR


I hope you understood how this error comes..


[stextbox id="info"] OK, I got it, Now  What can be done to fix it -[/stextbox]


After reading the steps above , it looks either of blow is the possibility…

1.  NTLDR is Corrupt or missing,

2. The Boot sector is corrupt or  finding NTLDR at wrong place,


Most likely  first will be the possibility, to fix it -

1. Boot into Windows Recovery console. Windows recovery console comes with the windows installation CD.

2. Grab the CD and insert it into the CD drive (the coffee tray Smile )

3. Boot the system, It should boot directly from CD as almost all computers are configured to boot from CD first.It should ask you to “Press any key to boot from CD”

If not booting from CD then Configure the Computer to boot from CD drive.  You should press Del or F1 or F2 to go into BIOS.Depends on the BIOS version and manufacture you will see Boot options.Change the CD as 1st drive to boot from .

4. Windows Installation CD will load necessary files and ask you to choose one from below




5. Press R at this point

6. it will take you to Recovery console. Seelct the windows installation number . If you have only one OS then put 1.

7. Type the administrator password, if no password just press enter.

8. type “copy D:\i386\ntldr C:\” and press enter.


It should say “One file copied”.

9. Do the same copy for ntdetect.com as well which is supporting file for ntldr. Not needed but just to be safer side.

“copy D:\i386\ntdected.com C:\”

10.  here , D is the drive letter of the CD ROM, You can find the drive letter by typing “MAP” command. It will tell you which is your CD rom drive .or switch to each drives and do a dir. At this point we can reboot and hopefully it should boot up the computer fine.If not then the problem was 2nd possibility.the BOOTSector corruption. Why not apply both fix together and reboot only once..


12. Lets do the fix for this as well, it wont  harm anything,no side effect or running fix boot.

13. From the same command console, Do following.. Fixboot


running fixboot

running fixboot command



Fixboot will repair the Boot sector and now you are ready to reboot the computer..

Restart the computer and you should see that computer is happy to boot correctly….   That’s all for today,Feel free to write  your thoughts ,suggestion or if any questions in below comment box ..It will help me improve this blog more and more for my readers..




  1. NIce one . I too faced this problem.. but I dnt remember what i did to resolved that problem..

  2. firdous alekar

    please put the booting sequence in brief detail if you have, that will be more beneficial to new comers for understanding.

    • sure sir. First of all its the result of your Teaching :)

      About Boot Sequence ..Writing is on the Way..it will take few more days to make sure all the information provided is reliable and then will publish..

      Thank You.

  3. Sushil

    It is really useful.. Thanks Subhash.. Expecting more such articles. :)

  4. Interesting post friend. I am sure this will help many of us. Thank you.

  5. It happens to me once. Then I re installed XP. I lost my all data in C: drive. Thanks for sharing details

  6. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is just nice and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  7. chinmaya

    Power Button is pressed to power on the computer,
    The SMPS supply power to all the components attached and then a PowerGood Signal is sent indicating Everything is OK to start booting,
    The Executable Code in the BIOS ROM looks for the First Bootable disk in the configuration (Configuration is known as CMOS settings or BIOS settings in normal language however BIOS and CMOS are 2 different things which we talk on later.)

  8. Hi Subash,

    How If i can’t remember and lost my administrator password?

    Please help

    • HI Ammar,

      In that case you may try to Repair windows using windows CD. Though Password breaking utilities are available (like Hiren boot) but wold not recommend using them.

      Below process should work for you
      1. Boot with windows CD
      2. select Repair your computer (2nd repair option after pressing F8)
      3. It should boot correctly now.

      Windows repair will not remove any of your files or settings instead just fix the corrupt bootoader or missing windows system files.

      Let me know if you still have errors/questions.

  9. This error is the nightmare of many computer users. So far i knew that fixing it is very difficult – every time i had this error i formated my disc. I am glad to know that there is a way to fix it. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. John

    Hi, can i slave my corrupted or missing ntlr drive to other computer and do what you instruct to copy? coz i try to boot from xp installer but it didnt display ENTER,Repair and F3 screen.


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