Error: NTLDR or NTDETECT.COM Not Found when starting Windows

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Article ID: 555304
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SYMPTOMS

When attempting to start Windows, you may receive an error message saying that NTLDR is not found or missing and you are asked to press any key to restart.

CAUSE

This issue may occur if your start device (such as a floppy disk drive, hard disk drive, or CD-ROM drive) does not contain boot files.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, remove the non-system disk from your boot device. For example, remove the non-system disk from the floppy drive or the CD-ROM drive.

Change your computer's boot sequence. Make sure that your computer's first boot sequence is the CD-ROM Drive.

Boot Windows and start the Recovery Console
  1. Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
  2. Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted.
  3. When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.

    Note If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you must access from the Recovery Console.
  4. When prompted, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
  5. Enter in the following commands

    COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C:\

    COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C:\

    [where X= your CD ROM drive letter]

    Take out the CD ROM and type exit

MORE INFORMATION

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314057 "NTLDR is missing" error message when you upgrade or install Windows XP

318948 "NTLDR is missing or corrupt" error message during Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4.0 upgrade

228004 Changing active partition can make your system unbootable

315261 The computer does not start after you change the active partition by using the Disk Management tool

80304 "Missing operating system" and "No ROM BASIC" error messages

125480 Windows Setup was unable to update your system files

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Article ID: 555304 - Last Review: October 6, 2011 - Revision: 2.0

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