What is NTLDR?
NTLDR is the boot loader for Windows NT-based Operating Systems, such as Windows XP.
Why am I getting an error that says NTLDR is missing?
There are a few possible reasons for this error, including something as simple as a non-bootable device that your computer is attempting to boot from to severe corruption. This tutorial will help diagnose and repair the issue. However, please be aware that this sometimes can mean that your computer is having more serious problems.
How can I fix it?
As there are several possible causes, I'll start with the most simple:
Attempting to boot from a non-bootable device:
Take out any floppy disks and CDs and reboot.
If you are attempting to format your hard drive and/or install Windows XP, make sure you configure your CMOS Setup (BIOS) to boot from your Windows CD.
Ensure that your CMOS Setup is properly configured to boot from your hard drive, and check the manufacturer's website to make sure that you have the most recent BIOS.
Loose hard drive cable
Believe it or not, this can happen if the data cable leading to your hard drive is loose. Open your case and make sure that all the cables leading to and from the hard drives are secure.
New addition of a hard drive, or improper hard drive configuration
Again, make sure to check your CMOS Setup has the proper boot order for your hard drives, if applicable. If you just added a new hard drive, your computer may be trying to boot from it instead of your boot hard drive.
Corrupt NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, or boot.ini
If your boot.ini file is not corrupt, please complete the following steps:
Boot from your XP CD and press R to enter the Recovery Console
Choose the installation and type your Administrator password (if none, leave blank)
Type copy D:\i386\ntldr C:\, press Enter *replace D:\ with your CD drive letter and C:\ with the letter of the drive you selected in #2
Type copy D:\i386\ntdetect.com C:\ and press Enter *replace D:\ with your CD drive letter and C:\ with the letter of the drive you selected in #2
Type exit to reboot your computer and see if it worked
If none of these steps work, or you need assistance, please ask a friend, computer repairperson, or post a detailed explanation on a tech support forum.