Longer explanations of smaller problems in making NTLDR is missing boot disk

This page is part of a tutorial for working around the error message "NTLDR is Missing". To start from the beginning, visit first page for ntldr is missing instructions

What if I don't want to download a file from a website I don't trust?

If you want to make a floppy yourself, format it using a Windows NT/2000/XP computer (it can't be Windows 95/98/ME) and then get a copy of 3 files from a working Windows NT/2000/XP computer: NTLDR, ntdetect.com, and boot.ini come off the root of the C: drive. Either put those on the floppy and boot up with it, or somehow copy those to the C: drive of the broken computer.

If you can't get access to those files, but still don't want to run an executable from a website off the internet, download and expand onto the floppy this zip file: fixntldr.zip.

What's in fixntldr.zip?

Two program files copied from a Windows XP installation named "ntldr" and "ntdetect.com" these assist in booting your existing installation.

And a text file named "boot.ini" that is what you use to make the selection of which partition and disk you are trying to boot from. The contents of boot.ini are as follows:

[Boot Loader]

[Operating Systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)Windows="1ST TRY THIS seleccione esto primero" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)Windows="2ND TRY THIS essayez ceci en deuxieme" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)Windows="3RD TRY THIS wahlen Sie diesen Third" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)Windows="4TH TRY THIS selezioni questo fourth" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)Windows="5TH TRY THIS selecione este fifth" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(3)Windows="6TH TRY THIS seleccione este sexto" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)Windows="7TH TRY THIS essayez ceci en septieme" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(4)Windows="8TH TRY THIS wahlen Sie dieses achte" /fastdetect
C:="9TH TRY THIS selezioni questo nono"
D:="10TH TRY THIS selecione este decimo"

winxp.ini has "Winxp" instead of Windows, and Winnt.ini has "Winnt" instead of Windows.

I threw in some Spanish / French / German / Italian / Portuguese for international flavor.

The contents of fixntldr.bat file is:


attrib boot.ini -h -r -s -a
attrib ntldr -h -r -s -a
attrib ntdetect.com -h -r -s -a

rename boot.ini boot.ini.bak
rename ntldr ntldr.bak
rename ntdetect.com ntdetect.com.bak

copy a:\boot.ini boot.ini /-Y
copy a:\ntldr ntldr /-Y
copy a:\ntdetect.com ntdetect.com /-Y

(It is renaming the files on C:, copying the files from A:, then removing the hidden, read only, system, and archive attributes. My sincere thanks to Jorge Toscano for providing the code for the bat file and the Portuguese translation)

How to make a bootable CD http://nightowl.radified.com/bootcd/bootcdintro.html Go Back

What if my backup system is Linux or another alt OS?

Floppy: (fixntldr-winnt if you are using Windows 2000 or Windows NT4) FIXNTLDR ISO image for Windows NT4 and Windows 2000 (ntldrusb-winnt for Windows NT4 or 2000 or upgrades from)

I made the disk an executable to make it easier to make a floppy. Of course that only works for Microsoft OS's. If you back up system is Linux or any other alternative operating system, then use xpnt4lix.zip / xpnt4lix.rar for Windows XP installs or 2knt4lix.zip / 2knt4lix.rar for Windows 2000 or NT4 installs, you will need to uncompress those files). (These are previous versions in case those img files don't work for you: fixntldrimg.zip or fixntldrimg.rar). You'll need a program like rawrite.exe (which works in DOS if you can get there from a Win98 boot disk) but for your OS. Read RedHat talk about making a floppy from an image (and I have it on good word that the command in linux is "dd if=filename.img of=/dev/fd0" or do a search on Google. You may also be able to do that linux command line in a Mac. But if you have an easy way to make a boot floppy on a Mac I don't know about, please let me know milescomer@gmail.com , or just send it along using one of the forms. If you give me a solution. I'll give you $10 from the pay pal account on this site.

If none of these options work for you, check out the What if I don't want to download a file from a website I don't trust? section to try and find a way you can create the disk yourself with your current configuration, then drop me a line to let me know how you did it. Go Back.

What if it was not named Windows but WINNT like in NT4 or 2000?

For a floppy: Instead of just the fixntldr.exe, use the fixntldr-winnt.exe file if your system is NT4, or 2000, or was upgraded from a previous installation of NT4 or 2000.

For a CD-RW: fixntldriso4w2k.zip

For a USB drive: ntldrusb-winnt.zip Screenshots of every step of making the USB disk and boot with it

If you named your windows directory something like "shinyhappypeople" then open the boot.ini file and change any mention of "windows" to "shinyhappypeople" like so:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)shinyhappypeople="1ST TRY THIS"

Save changes, and put the disk back in and continue on trying the 10 choices. Go Back

What if I don't see this screen?

It's possible that the .zip file only was placed on the disk. What we're looking for is inside the zip file, running THAT file so that it "unpacks" and is written to the disk. So if you open the disk in the good computer, you should see something that looks like boot files, or at least a readme.txt file. If you see readme.txt, then go to next paragraph about boot order.

Some computers, when booting up, will say "Press F9 for Boot Device" or maybe "Boot Options" or "Setup", etc.

What we want to do is "force" the computer to choose our new boot disk as the device it boots from. So try to press whatever key it wants to change the regular boot process; sometimes if you can't see it prompt you for anything, you can tap the Esc, End, Delete, F2, F9, F10, F12 keys; or maybe even try holding them down, to get it to stop and ask you "How do you want to boot?".

If you do not see the screen come up with the different selections of boot devices, we may have to "Enter Setup" and find a setting where we can change the "Boot Order" or "Boot Priority" to boot from the Floppy/CD/USB before booting from the hard drive. Then Save your Changes, and Exit.

Go back to the main page where you left off: Select one of 10 choices

Go back to the main ntldr is missing page. Alternative: use the ntldrismissing.com boot disk by Lazesoft