NTLDR is missing: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

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NTLDR is missing: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

Here we can see, “NTLDR is missing: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart”

The NTLDR is missing a boot problem message that affects Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. Here’s how to fix it.

Symptoms and description

This mistake is linked to the error messages, alerts, warnings, and symptoms listed below.

Symptom 1: The NTLDR error screen is absent on previous versions of Windows

When a computer is powered on, the BIOS selects a bootable hard drive and then executes code stored in the MBR at the hard drive’s beginning. The boot sector is loaded from the active partition by the MBR code. This boot sector code in Windows XP is responsible for loading NTLDR (the Windows XP bootloader) and its dependencies required to load the operating system kernel and start Windows. The NTLDR file is usually found in the active partition’s root directory on the first boot drive. The loading process will halt if the NTLDR file is not discovered or is corrupted, and the “NTLDR is missing” error screen will appear.

NTLDR is missing
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

While “NTLDR is missing” is the most common error message, the computer may also display “Boot: Couldn’t detect NTLDR” or “NTLDR is Missing.” To restart, press any key.” 

Symptom 2: The NTLDR error screen is gone on later versions of Windows

Since Windows Vista, the NTLDR loader used in Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows 2003 Server, has been replaced with the newer BOOTMGR loader, so this problem should not occur on newer computers. However, if the earlier NTLDR boot sector code is written to the partition with a newer version of Windows, it can still cause problems. This is frequently caused by mistakes made while manually configuring the boot loader.

This Error’s Causes

One of the following causes has been identified as a possible cause of this error:

Cause 1: The computer is trying to boot from an unbootable source

This error can occur when a computer tries to boot from a non-bootable source, such as a floppy disc or a flash drive. This frequently happens when the BIOS boot sequence on that PC is set incorrectly.

Cause 2: Files associated with NTLDR are corrupt or missing

This error will show if any of the boot-related files (NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, and Boot.ini) are missing or corrupt on Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows 2003 Server. These files are usually hidden and secured by the operating system, but they can still become corrupted due to human error, power failures, or virus assaults.

Also See:  NTLDR is Corrupt: Fix for Windows XP

Cause 3: The active partition on the bootable volume is wrongly set

This issue can occur if the active partition on a bootable disc is set incorrectly, similar to the primary cause. Let’s pretend the computer has a bootable volume with two main partitions. The operating system files, NTLDR, and the NTLDR bootloader code set are all on the first partition, which is active. The second partition is inactive, with only the NTLDR bootloader code set, not the NTLDR itself, most likely a remnant from a prior Windows installation. Suppose the user selects the second partition as the active partition instead of the first. In that case, the system attempts to load from the second partition, searches for the NTLDR file, cannot locate it on this volume, and then stops the loading process, presenting an error screen.

Cause 4: The incorrect boot sector code has been installed

Although Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 utilise a newer version of the loader called BOOTMGR, this issue can still occur if the bootable partition has the older NTLDR-compatible master boot code. This is frequently caused by mistakes made while manually configuring the boot loader.

Cause 5: There are too many files in the root directory

Suppose the root folder contains too many files in Windows XP Service Pack 1 and older versions of Windows 2000. In that case, the MFT (Master File Table) may become so fragmented that an additional allocation index is formed. The NTLDR file may be pushed to the second allocation index since files are mapped alphabetically in the allocation indexes. The boot sector will be unable to load NTLDR if it does not read any allocation indexes after the first. This error is addressed in Windows XP Service Pack 2 and newer Windows 2000 versions.

On Windows, the error “NTLDR is missing” can be fixed

Fix 1: Use Easy Recovery Essentials to rebuild NTLDR

For Windows XP, 2000, and 2003 Server, Easy Recovery Essentials’ one-click automated system repair fixes difficulties caused by missing or misconfigured NTLDR bootloader files by reconstructing them from scratch on the active bootable partition. Alternatively, EasyRE writes the right boot sector code to the partition on newer versions of Windows to ensure that the system loads properly. This is done automatically as part of the automated repair procedure and does not involve any user interaction or manual action.

Easy Recovery Essentials’ built-in Automated Repair tool is guaranteed to fix the “NTLDR automatically is missing” issue. EasyRE can be downloaded and produced on any PC and is presently available for Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8.

  1. Easy Recovery Essentials is a free download. Before you download EasyRE, note your Windows version (XP, Vista, 7, or 8).
  2. The image should be burned.
  3. Start your computer with the Easy Recovery Essentials CD or USB you made.
  4. After EasyRE has started, select “Automated Repair” and click Continue.
  5. After EasyRE has finished scanning your computer’s discs, find and pick the drive letter for your Windows installation from the list, and then click the Automated Repair option to start the repair process.
  6. Easy Recovery Essentials will begin looking for faults on the selected drive. EasyRE will scan the disc, partition, bootsector, filesystem, bootloader, and registry for faults and rectify them automatically. EasyRE’s repair is automated; thus, no interaction is required.
  7. EasyRE will provide its findings after the process is completed. To reboot your PC and test the changes, click the Restart option.
  8. As your PC starts to load, the “NTLDR is missing” problem should be fixed.

Fix 2: Remove all removable media from the system

Because this error is frequently caused by the BIOS attempting to load from a non-bootable external drive, the user should unplug all external drives and remove all removable media, such as CD/floppy discs, memory cards, and USB devices, to ensure that the BIOS does not attempt to load from any of them.

Fix 3: Change BIOS boot order

Alternatively, you can check the BIOS boot order to ensure the computer tries to boot from an internal disc first.

Follow these procedures to determine the boot order:

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. To access the BIOS menu, press the appropriate key. The computer’s manufacturer and model determines this key. This is normally displayed on the first screen of your monitor. Any of the following could be the case: F2, F8, F10, or F12; Esc, Del, F2, F8, F10, or F12.
  3. Find the key that opens “BIOS”, “setup”, or “BIOS menu” if the screen has numerous keys.

Select the BOOT tab with the arrow keys. Raising the HDD drive to the top of the priority list is a good idea.

Fix 4: Replace the files NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM

Users of Windows XP can utilise their Windows Installation Disc to replace the essential files for NTLDR to load correctly. NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM are the names of the files.

The steps to replace these files are as follows:

  1. Place the Windows XP installation CD in the drive.
  2. Restart the machine and select the CD drive to boot from.
  3. To boot from the CD, press any key.
  4. When the Windows Options menu appears, press R to open Repair Console.
  5. After that, use the Administrator password to log into Windows by hitting 1 on the keyboard.
  6. To copy the NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM files from the Windows installation disc to the hard disc, run the following commands:
copy D:\i386\ntldr C:\
copy D:\i386\ntdetect.com C:\

Where D:\ is the drive letter for the installation CD and C:\ is the drive letter for the Windows XP partition.

7. Remove the Windows installation CD from the disc drive once these files have been copied.

8. Restart the computer.

Also See:  Windows XP Boot Components

Fix 5: Rebuild boot.ini file

Rebuilding the boot.ini file is the next step:

  1. Place the Windows XP installation CD in the drive.
  2. Restart the machine and select the CD drive to boot from.
  3. To boot from the CD, press any key.
  4. When the Windows Options menu appears, press R to open Repair Console.
  5. After that, use the Administrator password to log into Windows by hitting 1 on the keyboard.
  6. When the Command Prompt displays, type the following command:
bootcfg /rebuild

7. Answer “Y” when the system asks if you want to add a specific Windows installation to the boot list (Yes).

8. As the Load Identifier, type “Windows XP” and “/fastdetect” as the OS Load Options.

9. Remove the installation CD from the system.

10. Restart your computer.

Fix 6: Change the bootsector code

This problem can be repaired by putting a valid BOOTMGR-related boot sector code to the bootable partition on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10.

The steps to writing a proper boot sector are as follows:

  1. Place the Windows Vista (or any newer version) installation CD in the drive.
  2. Restart the machine and select the CD drive to boot from.
  3. To boot from the CD, press any key.
  4. After selecting the appropriate language, time, and keyboard input, click Repair your machine.
  5. Click Next after selecting the Windows installation drive, commonly C:
  6. When the System Recovery Options box displays, select Command Prompt.
  7. After that, type the following command and click s Enter:
bootcfg /rebuild

8. Select Yes if the application detects a Windows installation and prompts you to add it to the boot list.

9. Remove the installation CD

10. Restart your computer.

Fix 7: Remove any unnecessary files from the root folder

Suppose the PC’s operating system is an earlier version of Windows XP or Windows 2000, and there are too many files in the root folder. In that case, you can try booting into the Repair Console from a Windows Installation disc and deleting the files there.

To erase files from the repair console, follow these steps:

  1. Place the Windows XP installation CD in the drive.
  2. Restart the machine and select the CD drive to boot from.
  3. To boot from the CD, press any key.
  4. When the Windows Options menu appears, press R to open Repair Console.
  5. After that, use the Administrator password to log into Windows by hitting 1 on the keyboard.
  6. When Command Prompt displays, use the following command to relocate to the root folder from the default C:\ Windows folder:
cd ..

7. To see all files in the root folder, type the following command.

dir

8. Then, to delete the file, type the following command:

del [filename]

The name of the file to be removed is [filename].

9. Remove the installation CD from the system.

10. Restart the computer.

Because the Windows XP recovery interface does not offer mass file deletion, manual file deletion may be a lengthy and inconvenient operation if there are many of them. If this is the case, you can use a more recent Windows CD to load and utilise the programme.

del *.* /A-S-H

Conclusion

I hope this information was helpful. If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments.

User Questions

1. What can I do if my NTLDR is missing?

  • Your computer should be restarted.
  • Disconnect any external devices and check your floppy and optical (CD/DVD/BD) drives for media.
  • In BIOS, verify that the hard drive and other drive settings are accurate.
  • From the Windows XP CD, restore the NTLDR and ntdetect.com files.

2. What is the location of NTLDR?

The end product is an image.

The NTLDR file is usually found in the active partition’s root directory on the first boot drive.

3. What is the meaning of ntldr missing in Windows 7?

Instead, Windows 7 used the BootMgr boot component file, which improved. If you receive the notice “ntdlr is missing” when booting Windows 7, you may have an erroneous dual boot setup or issues that happened during the upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7.

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4. NTLDR is missing after using Hiren’s boot cd

NTLDR is missing after using Hiren’s boot cd. from techsupport

5. Help!NTLDR is missing. Press ctrl+alt+del to restart

Help!NTLDR is missing. Press ctrl+alt+del to restart from techsupport