Many a times when you start your computer, weird messages from the computer start popping up. One of the most common ones happens to be “NTLDR Is Missing”. In such a scenario what is that can be done and how can you troubleshoot the message? Read on for details.

What is NTLDR?

NTLDR is an abbreviation used for NT loader. This is the main boot loader in all the Microsoft’s Windows NT operating systems. NTLDR is usually stored on a hard drive and run from there itself. However, it can also be run from a CD-Rom or a USB-flash drive.

Why “NTLDR Is Missing” pops up?

The popping of the “NTLDR Is Missing” usually means that the windows boot loader cannot be detected by the computer. Usually it occurs when the drive used for booting is not the one that has the loader stored on. This may be due to changes in configuration or any other cause. Another reason that may result in such a message is that one or more files of NTLDR (such as Ntldr, Ntdetect.com, Boot.ini) may have corrupted. At times, when the basic input/output system (BIOS) becomes outdated, such messages start popping up.

How to troubleshoot the “NTLDR Is Missing” error message?

1) Check for BIOS

The first and foremost step to troubleshooting the message is to check if the BIOS is not outdated. Ensure that the BIOS installed in your computer is the latest and the revised version. Only once you are sure that it is not BIOS creating a problem, move on to repairing the windows startup environment.

2) Use the Recovery Console

Step 1: Insert the Windows 2000 setup disc or Windows 2000 CD-ROM and restart the computer.

Step 2: Type ‘R’ at the Welcome to Setup screen. This will start the repair work of windows 2000.

Step 3: Now press ‘C’ to repair the windows installation. Type the number corresponding to the windows installation that you want to repair and press enter.

Step 4: When prompted, enter the administrator password and press enter. In normal circumstances though, administrator account is not password protected.

Step 5: In the text box, type ‘map’ and press enter. Remember the drive letter corresponding to the CD-ROM drive.

Step 6: Now in the text box, type the command: copy drive:\i386\ntldr c:\

Now type copy drive:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\

(Here, ‘drive’ indicates the letter assigned to the CD-ROM drive, for example, drive E:\.)

Notice keenly the spaces between ‘ntldr and c:\’ and ‘ntdetect.com and c:\’.

If you are asked to overwrite the file, type ‘y’ for yes and press enter.

Step 7: Now type c:\Boot.ini in the dialogue box and press enter. A list will appear that will look like this:

[boot loader]

timeout=30

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT=”Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional” /fastdetect

Step 8: However, if you receive a message saying “The system cannot find the file or directory specified”, know that your boot.ini file is missing and needs installing.

For the same, open a notepad file and type the following commands:

[boot loader]

timeout=30

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT=”Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional” /fastdetect

Step 9: Save the file on a CD or a floppy and name it as boot.ini.

Step 10: Now in the recovery console command prompt, type: copy a:\Boot.ini c:\

This will copy the boot.ini file you created to the windows system.

Step 11: Now type ‘exit’ and press enter.

Step 12: Restart the computer.