How to Restore a Dell PC to Fix a Missing NTLDR

By Jason Taetsch

Accidentally removing an essential system file, such as an NTLDR file, can have a damaging effect on a computer's performance. The NTLDR, short for NT Loader, is the boot loader for the Windows 2003 and XP operating systems. If the NTLDR file is missing, consider performing a system restore to reinstall the necessary files for the proper function of the computer system. Dell PCs come preinstalled with a factory image partition to aide users in restoring their computers to a functional state without the need for any additional software CDs or technical assistance.

Things You'll Need

  • External hard drive

Step 1

Connect the external hard drive to your computer. Copy and paste any valuable programs, photos, music, documents or other files into the external hard drive's folder, as the Dell PC's hard drive will be erased during the restore. Disconnect the external hard drive when you are finished backing up your files.

Step 2

Remove any nonessential hardware devices attached to the PC, such as any printers, scanners, MP3 players or smart phones, and restart the computer.

Step 3

Press down the "F8" key once the Dell logo appears on the screen. The "Advanced Boot Options Menu" will appear on the screen. Use the arrow keys to scroll down to "Repair Your Computer" and press "Enter." Configure the language settings for the system and click "Next."

Step 4

Enter in the login information for the administrator account that was created when the computer was first turned on. Click "OK" and choose the "Dell Factory Image Restore" icon.

Step 5

Click "Next" in the Restore window and click the box for "Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition." Click the "Next" button to restore the missing NTLDR file and any other critical system files that may have gone missing. Click "Finish" to restart your computer with the new operating condition in place.