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Error message when you start your computer with a non-system disk

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

When you start your computer, you may receive one or more of the following error messages:
Non-system disk or disk error
Replace and strike any key when ready
NTLDR is missing
Press any key to restart
Remove disks or other media.
Press any key to restart.
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.
To resolve this issue, use one or more of the following methods, and then restart your computer:
  • 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. To do this, you must change your computer's setup and the option that controls which device your computer uses to start from. Make sure that you select a device that has boot files (or operating system files) installed.
  • If you start your computer from a hard disk drive, install a bootable operating system (such as Windows XP) on the drive.
For additional information about other possible causes for these error messages, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
318728 How to troubleshoot the "NTLDR is missing" error message in Windows 2000
255220 "NTLDR is missing" error message when you upgrade or install Windows 2000 over Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition
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
non-bootable nonbootable diskette

Article ID: 812492 - Last Review: 09/23/2011 23:43:00 - Revision: 4.0

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • kberrmsg kbprb KB812492