Resolving “NTLDR Is Missing” Error In Windows 7

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What is NTLDR?

NTLDR is an abbreviation for NT LoaDeR. It is the boot loader for all version of Windows NT based operating systems. There are 3 components of boot that are involved – ntldr, boot.ini and ntdetect.com. NTLDR is an important component of Windows boot process. However, it was replaced by boot manager and winload.exe starting from Windows Vista.

How to fix NTLDR missing error in Windows 7

Windows 7 doesn’t have NTLDR as it has been replaced by boot manager and winload.exe.  But, when Windows 7 is present in a dual boot environment with Windows XP or Windows 2003, it can give an NTLDR missing error message in Windows 7.

As it is a problem with the boot manager, you can fix this error with Windows 7 by using the tools present in the Windows 7 DVD.

Before using the steps listed below, first try to boot into Windows 2-3 times. However, if it does not work, perform the following steps:

  1. Boot from Windows 7 boot DVD.
  2. When prompted press any key to boot from the cd, press Enter.
  3. Choose the language and then select the option to repair the operating system.
  4. Select the Windows 7 option to repair and select Next.
  5. On the System Recovery Options menu, select the option of Startup repair.
  6. You may have to select a few options based on the files that are replaced.
  7. System will restart automatically after the process completes.

Once the system restarts, try to boot again into either of the two operating systems on the PC. If the NTLDR missing error pops up again then try the next step:

  1. Boot from Windows 7 boot DVD.
  2. When prompted press any key to boot from the cd, press Enter.
  3. Choose the language, keyboard settings and other details and click Next.
  4. Click the repair option and Click Next.
  5. Choose the Windows 7 operating system and press Enter.
  6. Select Command prompt and at the prompt type CHKDSK /F and once it finishes type CHKDSK /R.
  7. Type exit and then restart the system.

If the “NTLDR is missing” error appears again follow the next step:

  1. Boot from Windows 7 boot DVD.
  2. When prompted press any key to boot from the cd, press Enter.
  3. Choose the language, keyboard settings and other details and click Next.
  4. Click the repair option and Click Next.
  5. Choose the Windows 7 operating system and press Enter.
  6. Select Command prompt and at the prompt type bootrec.exe
  7. Then type these following steps at the prompt.
      •    bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
      •    C:
      •    cd boot
      •    attrib bcd -s -h -r
      •    ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
      •    bootrec /Rebuildbcd
  8. Next, type bootrec /Fixboot.
  9. Take out the Windows 7 DVD and restart the system.

Both operating systems will be seen and you will be able to boot into both without any error message.

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