Windows XP is one of the operating systems from Microsoft that can throw boot errors at the user. Essentially, what you see when something of this sort happens, is a message saying ‘NTLDR is missing. Press Ctrl + Alt + Esc to Restart‘.
The NTLDR is a file that BIOS needs to have so that it can access the hard drive. This is how you boot into XP each time.
So, if and when the NTLDR is corrupted or missing, the computer will not be able to load Windows. The file may have simply changed location, and you would have the same issue to deal with.
How to fix NTLDR is missing XP
The missing NTLDR file needs to be replaced using the installation CD that you have with you. So dig that up before starting.
- Put the CD in the optical drive and turn off the PC. Then turn it back on.
- You will get the Press any key to boot from the CD prompt, or you will have to move to boot options and choose to boot from the disk. Press any key as instructed, and you will see the setup menu come up for XP.
- Hit the R key to move into repair mode. You will see another section come up.
- Pressing 1 and then Enter will take you to the part where the installation of the OS will start from.
- Type in your password here and hit Enter. Skip the former action if it is not needed.
- When the command line interface comes up, type in copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\ and hit Enter. Hit y and then Enter so that the existing ntldr on the hard drive is overwritten.
- After this, type in e:\i386\ntldr.com c:\ in the command line and hit Enter. Again, hit y and then Enter so that this time, the current com file is overwritten.
- Remove the installation CD from the optical drive after this is done.
- Restart the computer for the changes to take effect. You will move on into the Windows logon as if nothing had been wrong with the process.
That was on how to fix NTLDR is missing XP using the installation disk you have from the previous setup. If you cannot find this, then try to get similar media that would have the required replacement file.