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  NTLDR file is missing 
 Date Written 
Chris Smith Sep 18, 2005, 06:35am EDT Report Abuse

I have just tried to put windows xp home edition (no service packs) onto my sons pc. It was previously running Windows 98. However I thought the best way to do it was to format the hard drive and then install XP fresh onto it.
Unfortunately, the computer will not accept the xp cd rom and all I get is a black screen with a flashing cursor in the corner.
I plugged the hard drive into my own pc, made it the master and kept getting "NTLDR file is missing".
The boot sequence is correct in my sons pc.
Can anyone help or advise??
Much appreciated.


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Michael Paladin Sep 18, 2005, 07:41am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
I would advise against installing Windows of any kind on one machine and transferring the hard drive to another machine. You can run into more problems. If your sons machine won't boot from CD, then install Windows 98 and then install XP as an upgrade afterwards. To install 98, you will need a 98 boot disk. (A floppy disk) You can find this on lots of websites if you don't have one. Do a google search for '98 Boot Disk'. NTLDR is the New Technology Loader which is needed to boot any form of NT (NT4, Win 2000 and Win XPd). To install 98 make sure you format the hard drive FAT or FAT32. The XP install will allow you to convert to NTFS.

Do unto others exactly what you expect them to do to you.
jmerc Sep 18, 2005, 08:45am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
If you can give us a brief history on the pc your upgrading maybe we can help you out.

what type of pc is it? proprietary or did someone put it together for you?
how much memory, what type of hard drive does it have.

I gather that since your upgrading from win98 to XP Home that it's at least a few years old.

We can try and help, but a little more info on the pc would help make it easier.


Life is too short, make the best of it!
Chris Smith Sep 18, 2005, 11:12am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
The PC is an old one, 900MHz processor, 20gb hard drive 128mb ram. Its an old Compaq model.
The problem I have is that the hard drive was converted to NTFS and XP home put onto it as an upgrade. I got the devilish blue screen saying unmountable boot volume. Tried everything to get back into xp but no luck.
Took hard drive out and put in my pc, formatted it and put it back into my sons pc hoping to put xp straight back on but as stated alI I get is ntldr file is missing.
So basically i have a pc with an ntfs hard drive with no operating system.
Does that help anymore?

Surpher805 Sep 18, 2005, 12:15pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
my advise is to boot from a win98 boot floppy, run Fdisk and delete and reinstall the partition. Format FAT (you can change it to NTFS later) install win 98 then upgrade to winXP (at this piont you would choose to convert the file system to NTFS)

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Chris Smith Sep 18, 2005, 12:25pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
The system is already in NTFS so the 98 boot disk doesnt work

akhilles akhilles Sep 18, 2005, 04:43pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
Older cd drives may have trouble reading newer cd disks. Especially larger capacity ones. My suggestion would be slap your new optical drive in your son's pc, install xp, replace the drive with his old one.

As for "NTLDR file is missing", if you installed xp, you should boot xp cd and go to recovery console, do


Chris Smith Sep 18, 2005, 05:15pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
I think I may be confusing you. The state of play at present is that my sons computer has a formatted hard drive (no operating system) that wont boot from a windows xp cd rom.
All that happens is a flashing cursor in the corner.
I have tried various programs to recover the pc but best I ve got is the message "NTLDR file is missing" and hal.dll is not present.
I need to get the drive to recognise the windows xp cd in the drive.
The boot settings are correct.
I believe the pc is a compaq presario PIII 930mhz.

Kirk Bowlby Sep 18, 2005, 07:17pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
Try going to the harddrive manufacturers website, they may have a utility to format the drive, it is recomended not to format any drive under 32 GB ntfs. Use the manufacturers utility to format the drive fat32 and try to reload xp. If the xp disk is a burned copy sometimes the error will occur because the drive does not have the same geometry as the drive it was created on.

jmerc Sep 18, 2005, 07:24pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
As was mentioned in a previous reply, you should perform an FDISK and then use a FAT32 file format.
If you don't have a win 98 bootdisk you can download one from here.
make sure you change the boot order to boot from the floppy drive 1st and then you insert the boot floppy into the drive.

After you get the drive recognized you should install win98 and then upgrade to WinXP.

With a drive that size, you don't want to use an NTFS file format.


Life is too short, make the best of it!
Chris Smith Sep 19, 2005, 12:05pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
I have contacted Seagate who make the drive for support (awaiting reply).

I do still have my 98 bootdisk but as I stated the drive is in NTFS mode and so the floppy is not recognised.

As suggested I need the drive back into FAT to reload Windows 98 or a solution so my XP can be reloaded.

My XP disc is not an original, so could this not help matters?

Carl Jones Sep 24, 2005, 05:53pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
The answer is simple. If the computer can't boot from the CD then don't. Go to and make a set of bootdisks for WinXP. This will require about four to six floppies. Return the harddrive to the original PC. Next boot that computer using the floppies. After boot proceed with a normal fresh install from the WinXP cd. DO NOT load Win98 this is NOT necessary. Good Luck.

Carl Jones Sep 24, 2005, 06:06pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
PS - When you made your copy of the WinXP CD you probaly just transferred the files and not the boot portion of the CD. You should have done a image copy of the original CD. You will still need a valid Windows activation key. Again use the floppies and you should still be able to use the CD you got. Email me if any questions.

Chris Smith Sep 25, 2005, 07:03am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
Thanks to all who posted a reply.

The computer is now up and running XP, all updates loaded and no problems.

Much appreciated,


jmerc Sep 25, 2005, 08:33am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
How did you do it? Post it for future reference, never know when someone else will run into the same problem.


Life is too short, make the best of it!
Chris Smith Sep 25, 2005, 12:07pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
I ran a Windows 98 bootdisk, used fdisk to clear all partitions from the computer. As the hard drive was only 20Gb I kept the full 20Gb partition on it. I then formatted the drive.
The computer was restarted with the XP bootdisk in and also my XP CD rom. After the bootdisk had loaded I ran the CDrom by running the WINNT.EXE file. Everything loaded okay and the hard drive was converted back to FAT.
The key to solving my problem was to ensure you make any partitions created active. This may have been my downfall previously.
Hope this helps.

steve meakin Oct 03, 2005, 07:28pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
I'm having exactly the same problems, how did you make the partition active?

mothow Oct 03, 2005, 07:46pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
pop in your windows CD and and setup just like your gonna install window's then when the frist window comes up asking if you wanna do a repair or fresh install press R for repair the type in FIXBOOT and your done.I just did it this after noon

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pc tech Oct 18, 2005, 12:34am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
run fdisk to make partition active
or get
partition magic or any other third party software

for ntldr

Michael Wilson Jan 26, 2007, 05:45am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: NTLDR file is missing
I experienced this problem after resizing partitions. This is how I fixed it after wasting an hour trying to make a scsi boot disk: Enter repair console and use bootcfg /rebuild.



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