How do your repair a computer that's missing the NTLDR file?


Quick Answer

Repair a computer that's missing the NTLDR file by changing the boot drive order or repairing the Windows installation. NTLDR, standing for Net Loader, is the boot loader application of Windows versions between NT and XP.

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Full Answer

You may receive the error message if your computer is trying to boot into another drive. If the target drive does not have a Windows installation, it does not have the NTLDR file either. To fix it, access your BIOS by pressing the button your computer indicates during startup. Depending on the exact model, the button may be: Delete, F2, F1, Escape or a key combination.

Once in the BIOS, navigate to the Boot screen, and reorder your drives. Make sure the hard drive in which Windows is installed is at the top. The BIOS does not display hard drive partition or identification letters, such as c: and d:. If you do not know which drive has the operating system, try all drives one by one. Save the new settings and restart your computer.

Alternatively, the system may display the error when the NTLDR file is corrupt or missing. If this is the case, rearrange the boot order in the BIOS to have the CD or DVD drive at the top, insert a Windows installation disc into the drive, and restart your computer. When prompted to press any key to boot into the CD, press any key. Once in the setup, press R to enter the repair tool, log into your Windows installation by typing 1, and hit Enter. Type in your administrator password if the application asks for it.

With administrative privileges granted, type "copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\" to replace the corrupt NTLDR file. E: stands for your CD drive and c: is where Windows is. Remove the disc, and restart your computer.

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