How to Reinstall a Missing NTLDR File

By Amanda Rumble

NT Loaded (NTLDR) is the boot loader used for the Microsoft Windows NT operating system, including Windows 98, 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7. It runs from the hard disk drive in most cases but also can be run from a CD-ROM, floppy disk or USB flash drive. When booting into Windows, you may encounter an error with NTLDR, making it impossible to boot into Windows. These errors include "NTLDR is missing," "Boot: Couldn't find NTLDR" or "NTDLR is missing." This may be due to an attempt to boot the computer from an incompatible CD or flash drive. In that case, remove the media. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to copy the NTLDR file from the Windows XP CD to your hard drive.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows XP installation disk

Step 1

Place your Windows XP installation disk in the CD-ROM drive and restart the computer. Press any key to boot from the CD when the prompt appears.

Step 2

Press "R" once the Windows XP setup screen appears to access repair mode. Press "1" to log in to your Windows installation directly.

Step 3

Enter the administration password for your account in Windows.

Step 4

Copy two files from the CD to your computer. The example assumes that your "C:" drive is the hard drive Windows is installed on, and "E:" is your CD-ROM drive. Change the drive letters according to your computer's specifications. Type (without the quotation marks) "copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\" and press enter. Type "copy e:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\" and press "Enter."

Step 5

Remove the CD from the computer and restart your computer to remove the error and boot into Windows.

References & Resources