Solution - NTLDR Is Missing Error

How To Solve NTLDR Is Missing When Boot Up

Start-up problem - NTLDR is missing - Press any key to restart

ntldr is missing

What Is NTLDR?

First, let's see what NTLDR is, here are the definitions from various sites:

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 Microsoft Windows NT load. So when it goes missing for some reason, your windows cannot load. I use Windows XP on a Pentium 4 PC. Though it seemed common on a routine google search, it was not so easy to fix and many forums reported that formatting hard drive was the last solution eventually.

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.

NT Loader (NTLDR) is a small piece of software loaded from the boot sector of your primary hard drive that helps your Windows XP operating system start.

Short for NT loader, NTLDR is a program loaded from the hard drive boot sector that displays the Microsoft Windows NT startup menu and helps Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP load. This portion of the boot sequence was replaced by Bootmgr in Windows Vista and later versions of Windows.

Related Errors

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

How To Solve The Error

There are many factors that cause this error message on windows start up. Here's the solution that I personally experienced.

1.) Computer is booting in a non-bootable drive - This means your computer is trying to start up not on the harddisk but to somewhere else. Remove any connected external drives like cd on cd-rom, flash drive on the usb ports, floppy drive and etc.

2.) Bios error - Try resetting the CMOS.

3.) Hardware error - Not exactly a hardware error since the harddrive that I experience having this problem is a new computer. I just removed the hard drive, connect it on another computer and do full checkdisk. After the checkdisk, I reconnected the harddrive on the cpu, boot-up the operating system. And just like magic, everything back to normal.

4.) Some said that you must copy the boot.ini, ntldr.sys and to the harddrive in order to fix the problem. I tried this, but this doesn't work for me.

5.) Format the hard drive - If everything else fails, you can consider formatting your computer. If you're using windows 7, formatting your computer is very easy. Just don't forget to back-up your files.

Here's a youtube video from Britec Tech Tips about NTLDR is missing error:


Here's an additional information from microsoft's website:

This problem may occur if your existing Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition installation was cloned and then applied to a drive that has a different geometry from that of the source drive of the cloned copy.

For example, you are running Windows 98 on a 4-gigabyte (GB) drive. After you upgrade to a 30-GB hard disk, you use a third-party disk-imaging utility to make a mirror image of your Windows 98 installation, and then apply the image to the new drive. Later, you upgrade to Windows XP. To do this, you install Windows XP over the cloned image of Windows 98.

For this problem to occur, all the following conditions must be true:
  • The system/startup partition is formatted with the FAT32 file system.
  • The computer starts by using INT-13 extensions. (This is a partition larger than 7.8 GB with a System-ID type of 0C in the partition table).
  • Because of the cloning procedure, the Heads (sides) value in the FAT32 BIOS Parameter Block (BPB) does not match the geometry of the physical drive.
The Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition startup code ignores the Heads value in the BPB and starts those programs even though the value is not valid. However, the startup code in Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP requires this value, and startup is unsuccessful if the value is not valid.


  1. I tried almost everything to fix this problem but still it is not working. I put a Windows XP installer in the CD-Rom drive but when the the message "setup is configuring" after a seconds there's no display in my monitor. I don't know why.

    Anyone can please help me why I encounter like this. If possible I don't want to reformat the drive.

  2. sometimes formatting the harddrive is the best solution. it let you start to a new - fresh system again.