NTLDR missing or NTDETECT.COM not found in windows XP

by Rohit Khurana on February 10, 2008



Have you ever seen “NTLDR is missing, Press any key to restart” during boot up ? One of our reader got this problem suddenly at the time of booting windows. Due to this, the windows does not boot.

What is NTLDR ?

NTLDR (NT Loader) is the boot loader for all releases of Microsoft’s Windows NT operating system up to and including Windows XP.

This message NTLDR is missing indicates that the boot loader is either corrupted or missing due to some reason.

Let’s see how we can fix it.


There are two approaches to fix the missing boot loader in windows XP.

If your Windows is installed on FAT32 Partitions:
1. Boot your computer with a Win98 startup floppy.


2. Now, copy the NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM files from the i386 directory on your floppy to your windows installation drive (e.g in “c:\” in case the windows is installed on c:).

If your Windows is installed on NTFS Partitions:
1. Arrange for the bootable Windows XP setup CD.
2. Boot from CD select R=Repair option, by pressing R key during the setup.
3. Select the windows installation.
. You need to enter in the administrator password when requested, if you had not set any password for the administrator account just press enter without typing.
5. Type the following commands to repair the bootloader, where X is the drive letter for your CD / DVD drive.
COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C\:
. Eject CD-ROM and type exit to restart.

We hope this helps to fix the trouble.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kanak Bhandari February 10, 2008 at 11:04 am

Reminded me of college days when every month one among my friends used to have this problem . We normally used to copy it to the windows 98 boot floppy and then using move command used to paste it to the C drive. :) .. This repair option in Windows XP is also really handy at times !!

haresh February 22, 2008 at 3:19 am


mapi spooler error in 0utlook 2003 , because of this i cant work in my outlook

masrour March 1, 2008 at 9:53 pm

I installed Linux (centos5) and grub boot loader on MBR and I had windows xp and win2000 owver it too. when i boot with linux i could select for my other operating system (xp).
For some resean i format one of windows ntfs partintions and after that my windows couldn’t boot. it show ntldr is missing.
for resolving it. i tried to boot by xp setup CD but my CD after showing to boot process setup.my display nothing else show and darked! I can’t do anything with this. at now, What’t your idea?!

thanks regards for your considrations :)

Dexx March 27, 2008 at 12:34 am


You guys are awesome.

I tried several different things in the recovery console before I read anything, then I read things, which told me to do basically exactly what I’d already done, in slightly different orders. no luck.

Then I read your page, and it made sense, simple, elegant, oh so windows.


thanks again!

prakash April 29, 2008 at 10:58 am


somnath June 13, 2008 at 10:24 am

how can i remove trojan horse virus form computer……….

akshay August 2, 2008 at 12:02 am

These guys are really great

Arihant August 22, 2008 at 5:43 am

Press F8
Select the option “Last Good Known Configuration that Worked”
And Windows XP will load Properly

toni September 7, 2008 at 9:00 pm

i solve the problem

thankyou so much …………

jo December 1, 2008 at 3:23 pm

I’m having the same problem. Tried the usual remedies to no avail. I need your help PLEASE!

I have an old hp, running xp home. Pre-installed, didn’t come with cd. I have floppy drive.

Thanks in advance!

smack_daddy December 21, 2008 at 8:11 pm

thanks man
Life saving stuffs

drewber May 3, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I know this post is old, but what if you do not have a c:\windows to install these files to? the only option I have in Recovery Console is c:\minint which is a PE or recovery install. what then?

Prachi August 21, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Is there any solution without the Windows XP setup CD??
Please help! :(

seismo November 29, 2011 at 6:18 am

I installed a new dve/r into my computer. When I booted up the computer I got an error screen saying NTLDR is missing press ctnl alt del to restart the computer. I’ve been on a lot of sites looking for a soluation. My computer won’t read a disk at all, can’t boot up using the windows disk. Even if I bought software to fix it I couldn’t use since the PC won’t read a disc now. I can’t enter the bios either. Running win xp pro, amd dual core processor, 2G ddr ram, asus crosshair MB.


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