This article was previously published under Q315233
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 249000.
When you try to start Microsoft Windows XP in a dual-boot configuration, you may receive the following error message:
Windows XP could not start because the following files were missing or corrupted: WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM NTLDR MISSING You can try to repair this file by starting the Windows Setup program from original floppies or boot from CD-ROM. Select 'r' at first screen to repair
This behavior may occur if the following conditions are true:
You are performing a dual-boot procedure with Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Windows XP and you installed Windows NT 4.0 after you installed Windows XP.
You reinstalled Windows NT 4.0.
Note Windows NT 4.0 does not detect the additional startup features of Windows XP, and it replaces the shared Windows boot files (Ntldr and Ntdetect.com).
To resolve this behavior, replace the Windows XP Ntldr and Ntdetect.com files. Follow these steps:
Start the Recovery Console, type fixboot at the prompt, and then press ENTER.
If the Recovery Console does not appear, follow these steps:
Use one of the following methods to start the computer so that you can access the file system of the boot partition:
Specify another operating system on the Boot menu.
Start from the Windows XP CD-ROM, and then at the Windows Setup screen, press "R" to use the Recovery Console to repair the Windows installation.
Use a Windows NT 4.0 boot disk that also contains the Windows XP boot files.
If your boot partition is a basic disk that is formatted with the FAT file system, use an MS-DOS boot disk.
Copy the Ntldr and Ntdetect.com files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP CD-ROM to the root folder of your boot drive. The boot drive is typically drive C.
If you are using MS-DOS to perform this file replacement, you may have to remove the System attribute, the Read-only attribute, and the Hidden attribute from the files by using the attrib command. To do this, type the following lines at the MS-DOS command prompt, and then press ENTER after each line: