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How to fix the NTLDR is missing error?

Here you will find out:

  • what the “NTLDR is missing” error is
  • how to fix this error
  • how DiskInternals Partition Recovery can help you

Are you ready? Let's read!

What is the “NTLDR is missing” error?

Faced with the “NTDLR is missing" error on your Windows computer? This article details a few tips for fixing NTDLR errors without losing your important files. There are a couple of reasons why your PC is showing this error message, and it is not limited to hard drive(s) incompatibility. When you attempt to boot a Windows computer from a non-bootable external hard drive, it’s possible you’ll see this error on your screen. Corrupted or misconfigured files can also lead to this error, not to mention bad sectors on the hard disk, as well as loose or bad IDE cables.

How to fix this error

Method 1: Restart your PC

First of all, restart the computer. Sometimes, the error may have appeared due to a simple misconfiguration that Windows can automatically fix upon restart.

Method 2: Unplug all external drives

Disconnect all external devices that are connected to the computer, including floppy disks, external hard drives, flash drives, and other external connections. When you have removed them all, restart the computer and check for the “NTDLR is missing” error.

Method 3: Check the BIOS boot order

Another possible method to solve NTDLR errors is by changing the BIOS boot order of your PC. The boot order identifies the disk or drive your computer should boot from. You can access the settings following the steps below:

  • Shutdown the computer and boot to BIOS mode. To enter BIOS mode, once you press the Power button, quickly skim what’s on the screen. You should see a notice like “F2 = setup, F12 = boot menu”. Press “F12” and enter BIOS. Different computers support different keys.
  • Go to the BOOT tab using arrow keys on your keyboard.
  • Add “Hard Drive” to the priority list (make sure it is there first).

Restart the computer normally.

Method 4: Replace the IDE cable

As mentioned earlier, faulty IDE cables can cause a "NTDLR is missing" error. Check to see if the IDE cables are loose so you can fasten them. If they aren’t loose, maybe you need to replace the cables as a way of troubleshooting the error.


Shut down the computer before attempting to touch any cable inside its case.

However, if this last method doesn’t work, then you should create a disk image (backup) of the hard drive and then replace it with a new one.

Restore lost files with recovery software

If unfortunately, you lost some important files while trying any of these tips, you can get back those files using DiskInternals Partition Recovery, an advanced and reliable solution for data recovery on Windows computers. DiskInternals Partition Recovery can recover data from any hard drive (internal or external), as well as flash drives and other storage devices. The software is packed with modern features and offers a neat, easy-to-use interface.

Also, with DiskInternals Partition Recovery, you can create a disk image for problematic hard drives and save your files from getting lost while seeking solutions for fixing the “NTLDR is missing” error on Windows.

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