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NTLDR is Missing, Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

By yodomino6 ยท 10 replies
Feb 2, 2005
  1. Grrr.

    So while Windows XP was "loading my personal settings" it froze on me, forcing me to restart my computer. I did so only to find an error message that read:

    NTLDR is missing
    Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

    I tried putting in the Windows setup disk to try and repair the issue, it detected a problem and said Windows has fixed a problem blah blah blah it needs to restart. I did so and not to my surprise, the error message still remains.

    After much frustration with the issue I finally decided to format the drive and reinstall Windows (as I have done oh so many times before). I went in and formatted the drive it successfully copied all the setup files restarted and low and behold.... The error message is still there.

    I even tried my powermax disc and reset the drive to zeros.

    I don't get it! Someone help please! :confused:
  2. Paul

    Paul TS Rookie Posts: 58

    you can always go to system restore.
  3. yodomino6

    yodomino6 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How do I do that?
  4. cybersleeper

    cybersleeper TS Rookie

    start>all programs>accessories>system tools>system restore

    or you could hit f8 while booting up before the windows screen and select last known good configuration.
  5. yodomino6

    yodomino6 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Windows doesn't boot.
  6. HoopaJoop

    HoopaJoop TS Rookie Posts: 90

    You need to hit f8 before it goes into loading your profile information. Basically as soon as you see any windows stuff come up start mashing f8 until it hates you and let's you into the boot options. That's the way it works for me.
  7. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    if you formatted the drive already then "last known good" and "safe mode" are no longer an option since there is no OS there.
    If you have done a low level format(which is what PowerMax does) and tried reinstalling Windows and still can't get in, you may have a problem with the Harddisk.
  8. yodomino6

    yodomino6 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    THANK YOU!! You are the only one who really understands what is going on!
  9. kilo

    kilo TS Rookie

    Ever get it working?

    When your computer starts, the BIOS attempts to find the primary hard drive's active partition to read the first sector for the MBR (Master Boot Record), it uses that info to load the rest of the OS. For Windows NT4/2k/XP the NTLDR takes it from there. If you get the "NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart" what's most likely going on is the BIOS either didn't look for the right drive, didn't find the right partition, it wasn't active, didn't find the MBR, or the MBR didn't list NTLDR in the right place, or the location of NTLDR changed.

    I wrote that down from what I understood here:

    Do you have more than one hard drive? Technically you can have your MBR and NTLDR on one drive and your Windows install on a different physical drive. If that's the case it's the other drive you might have the problem on.

    Here is what I can suggest: Try that bootdisk from the site I mentioned at the first of the post (be sure to try all 10 options).
    If that doesn't work, unplug all of your hard drives and cd-roms, find out which IDE connection is "Primary" and plug it into the hard drive you want to use, plug it into the "first" plug so that it is Master, set it to master.

    (you may be able to skip this step) Make sure in your BIOS you don't have a setting like "boot from secondary slave drive", if you do, set it to primary master

    Try to just turn it on and boot normally, if you still get the error, plug your floppy back in and download a Windows 98 boot disk from http://www.bootdisk.com/ (I recommend donating) and boot up with the floppy, start fdisk, delete all partitions, create one as primary, and set it to active, (don't worry about formatting), restart and then try running that Windows XP install again (now do the formatting, try just doing it as Fat32 for now, if it works go ahead and convert to NTFS)

    good luck!
  10. Technel

    Technel TS Rookie Posts: 24

    I know this is a few days old, but I thought I would mention another possibility as well (I had this problem just this weekend). In the C:\Program Files folder, there are some critical files to Windows. If a certain one gets deleted, it may display this message on boot. The solution for me was to create a boot.ini file and, using system restore, copying that to C:\Program Files. The instructions for this procedure and other solutions can be found in this article.

    I heard that it is also a sign that your harddrive may be going bad.
  11. onnus

    onnus TS Rookie

    NTLDR is missing press Ctrl+Alt+Del AND laptop has broken floppy drive

    Ok, Im also getting the same problem:
    NTLDR is missing
    Press Ctrl+Alt +Del to restart.
    Except my laptop doesn't have a working floppy drive-broke yrs ago,never bothered fixing it.
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