NTLDR or NT Loader is a software application embedded in the primary hard drive's boot sector. NTLDR and Ntdetect.com files aid the computer's operating system (OS) during boot up. Their function is to prompt the user by showing a boot menu to choose which version of OS to start in cases where more than one OS is installed in a computer system. NTLDR and Ntdetect.com files can be corrupted by computer viruses or mistakenly deleted. If this happens, the message NTLDR is Missing appears. Follow these steps to restore NTLDR and Ntdetect.com files.
- Access the Recovery Console of Windows XP. Insert the Windows XP installation CD into the optical drive and restart your PC. Press any key on the keyboard once the Press any key to boot from CD message shows up. Afterwards, the set up process begins. Once it is done, press R on the keyboard to enter Recovery Console. When you see the message, "Which Windows installation would you like to log onto?" you will need to press 1 and then Enter. After that, you have to enter the administrator password which is typically just the password you use to access XP in a daily basis. If you do not have a password, just press Enter.
- Enter command. Now you are in the Recovery Console prompt. First, type in copy d:\i386\ntldr c:\ and then press Enter. Next is to type the second command which is copy d:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\ and then Enter once more. If a message pops up prompting you to overwrite either of the two files, simply press Y on your computer keyboard.
- Remove the installation CD. Once you are done with the changes made on the Recovery Console, eject the Windows XP installation CD from the optical drive. After that, you have to type in exit.
- Restart your PC. After you have typed in exit, simply press Enter on your computer keyboard. This will automatically restart your personal computer for you. Restarting your computer is essential as the changes made in the Recovery Console will only be recognized by the system only when it is re-launched.
- Check if the changes resolved the issue. Performing the steps outlined above should result in a smooth boot up of your computer system. This is supposing the NTLDR and the NTdetect.com files were the ones causing the problem.
NTLDR and Ntdetect.com files are very important system files and losing them from your computer boot up sector could result in critical errors. This is why you should never make the mistake of configuring or deleting them unless you are certain about what you are doing.