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Tim Fisher

NTLDR is Missing - What Now?

By May 25, 2007

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It can be a pretty serious error message that most of us will see sometime during our time on a PC. Causes can be as simple as leaving a floppy disk or CD in the drive during a reboot or as complicated as a corrupt system file.

If you're not sure what to do, check out this step by step troubleshooting guide on NTLDR errors to get back up and running in no time.

June 5, 2007 at 12:59 am
(1) sasser says:

just fixmbr and fixboot

June 8, 2007 at 4:21 am
(2) Essa Ceesay says:

Thanks for the helping me out with missing NTLDR.

Keep up the good work

October 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm
(3) artu says:

I am a novice. I have an Acer 2500 lap top. It is a 2003 model. The operating system windows XP. Today when I started it up I got the NTLDR missing error-message. Attempting to understand the problem I found Tim Fisher’s Website. I have followed his instructions as closely as possible but because the recovery CD provided is for windows 85 and will only perform a complete format and reinstall I used a dell XP recovery CD from my desk top. Using it I have been able to get all the way through step six of Tim’s recovery instructions but after I enter copy d: \i386\ntldr c: \ the message I get is: access denied. So now I can’t finish the repair. What should I do now? Please help!

Thank You —Art

May 31, 2009 at 10:32 pm
(4) Yasun says:

Why NLTDR is missing. Whta is the reason…

August 25, 2009 at 4:06 pm
(5) Jeet says:

Subject: Problem Fixed

I was having this problem since last 4 weeks, my computer had been lying dead all this time.

Anyways, after reading lot of blogs and talking to MicroSoft customer support, here is my solution that I fixed:

1. Boot (F12) using CD (Win XP Installation disc).
2. There are two options, either to install or to repair.
Choose to install (don’t worry, the hard disk will not be formatted, repair option will show up again)
3. In the next screen, choose, repair.
From here, the whole process will take 2-3 hrs, when all the system files will be checked and updated.

Note: The drivers for attached hardware devices need to be installed again, otherwise, all other setting remains the same.
My Documents will not be lost.

I think I cleaned up third party application or deleted NTLDR. After the sytem was restored, I saw the file in my recycle bin.

All the best for you.

September 2, 2009 at 2:33 am
(6) dave says:

Using fixmbr and fixboot does NOT work.

September 2, 2009 at 7:36 am
(7) Tim Fisher says:

The fixmbr and fixboot commands work when the cause of the problem is boot sector or MBR related, but NTLDR issues can be caused by a wide variety of things. Obviously if it’s because you left an old floppy disk in the drive, those commands won’t do a thing. You get the idea.

October 11, 2009 at 9:08 pm
(8) Random Visitor says:

For novices (like myself):

Before getting freaked out, try unplugging all of your external devices — hard drives, etc. Then restart. Take a deep breath, and cross your fingers.

(Windows could be trying to boot off of the wrong device. By disconncecting all external devices, you rule out that possibility.)

November 6, 2009 at 9:59 am
(9) Paul says:

Got the same error message when booting with a vista 64 bit. The only fix that I have found that works for me is to shut down the machine then unplug it. Turn on the machine again while it is unplugged. Then plug it in again and my system boots without a problem. The ntldr message is intemittent on my system.

December 12, 2009 at 9:00 pm
(10) DClark says:

Thanks Random Visitor! I was starting to freak out. I unplugged my external hard drive, rebooted, and it started right up!

April 29, 2010 at 11:43 pm
(11) BLUrMaN says:

Hey…wat if we’ve already deleted that NTLDR frm our receycle bin too??????plese help me.

April 30, 2010 at 8:56 am
(12) Tim Fisher says:

@BLUrMaN: Did you take a look at the troubleshooting guide I linked to in the blog post?

July 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm
(13) Anonymous says:

@Paul: How do you “turn on the machine while it is unplugged”? No power = unable to turn machine on

July 17, 2011 at 8:51 am
(14) watsakainan says:

@paul w0w pc will own when unplug? the only optiOn i know is to repair the windows or format

August 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm
(15) Bob says:

I ran into this while installing Win 7. New clean hard drive and all that. But while I was doing it, there was an old Win XP disk plugged in. This did have the boot information on it and as far as I can tell, this kept the Win 7 disk from installing that information on the new hard drive. The NTLDR pops up when boot information is not on the drive you are trying to boot. So, install Win 7 from the CD, but before you do remove any other media with boot information on it (other hard drives, etc). The Win 7 CD will not cause any problem. Worked for me.

December 11, 2012 at 5:39 am
(16) Miss D says:


I have followed all the steps and i still get the same error…..my laptop wont boot….i need help asap

December 11, 2012 at 11:54 am
(17) Tim Fisher says:

@Miss D: Post in my forum instead and someone can help out with your specific situation.

March 10, 2013 at 7:23 am
(18) jre says:

I’ve gotten a lot of help in the past from your easy to follow steps. I have been having a hard time finding a solution to ntdlr with access denied as a response. I’ve gone as far as getting to:

copy d:\i386\ntdlr c:\

where the response is “Access denied” (the same issue Artu had). I’d appreciate any tips or solutions.


March 14, 2013 at 11:20 am
(19) Tim Fisher says:

@jre: Are you doing this from Recovery Console?

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