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ntldr missing or corrupt

By December 12, 2005OS


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NTLDR MissingIt’s Monday morning, you fire up your computer and are greeted by a wonderful message, “NTLDR corrupt or missing.” Very nice. So, what the heck do you do now? Here is a list of possible causes. Methodically go through these and you will have solved your little riddle.

1. Computer is booting from a non-bootable source.
2. Computer hard disk drive is not properly setup in BIOS.
3. Corrupt NTLDR and/or NTDETECT. COM file.
4. Misconfiguration with the boot.ini file.
5. Attempting to upgrade from a Windows 95, 98, or ME computer that is using FAT32.
6. New hard disk drive being added.
7. Corrupt boot sector / master boot record.
8. Seriously corrupted version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
9. Loose or Faulty IDE/EIDE hard disk drive cable.
(Source: ComputerHope, ch000465)

1. Computer is booting from a non-bootable source – First thing to check is whether or not you accidentally left a non-bootable floppy in the floppy drive. Crazy, but sometimes we forget to remove the floppy.

2. Computer hard disk drive is not properly setup in BIOS – Pretty straight forward. Check the BIOS to make sure the hard drive is set up correctly. This isn’t so much an issue today.

3. Corrupt NTLDR and/or NTDETECT. COM file – Make a bootable floppy disk. There is lots of information out there on how to do this. copy the NTLDR and NTDETECT. COM files onto it. Boot the computer. Unhide the NTLDR and NTDETECT. COM on your hard drive. Feel free to email me if you need help with that. Copy these files onto your hard drive. Reboot. XP users can boot from the XP cd and choose to repair it from the CD drive. Copy the files from the CD drive, from the i386 directory.

4. Misconfiguration with the boot.ini file – The boot.ini file tells your computer where the hard drive is located. If it’s wrong, it can’t find your hard drive. The boot.ini is confusing. Let me know if you need help with that part. You might try a default boot.ini.

5. Attempting to upgrade from a Windows 95, 98, or ME computer that is using FAT32 – Best for you to look at this Microsoft page for this.

6. New hard disk drive being added – The drive might not be blank and already contain a boot.ini file. Format it before loading.

7. Corrupt boot sector / master boot record – Use a boot disk, or if you are using XP, boot to the recovery console. Type fixmbr and fixboot to correct the boot record/sector.

8. Seriously corrupted version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP – The ole’ reinstall the operating choice. When all above else fails – reinstall.

9. Loose or Faulty IDE/EIDE hard disk drive cable – Reconnect it and you will have a rebootable system.



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Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Joe Anderson says:

    I had this after changing my bootloader. I simply changed changed the boot order to boot from my RAID controller.

  • Randomman says:

    That’s not the message I get…
    Recently my laptop has been sufferring from frequent blue screens, and typically fails to boot many times before any success. Well, the last time this happened (like 10 minutes ago) it said EXCEPTION TRAP 00000006.
    I looked this up, and it LOOKS like this is the problem.
    I guess I’ll TRY re-installing XP.
    I’m still not sure what could cause a corrupt NTLDR, but I just want my lappy working…
    I would like to add that it’s a compaq N800c with a 2.4 ghz processor, 1 gig ram and I think 100 gig hard disk.

  • pcmemoirs says:

    I had this problem a few times. Usually you just need to restore the two files from the CD and it works again. Although, I’d like to learn more about boot.ini in case I need to reconfigure it…

  • […] you are getting messages about ntldr missing or corrupt, then check out that post I just linked to.  I did it a while ago.  That should help you navigate […]

  • kal says:

    I got ntldr is missing
    i can get to the recovery console with my xp cd but i never set an administrator password
    and the fix requires one!
    when i press enter it exists the console……any ideas?
    I’ve tried password and imtheboss

  • admin says:

    try no password for administrator. a lot of times ppl don’t set one. that has worked more times than i care to remember.

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