6 Ways to Fix NTLDR Error on Windows 10 Boot Screen

6 Ways to Fix NTLDR Error on Windows 10 Boot Screen

One of the bad starts to a day is when you boot your Windows 10 PC and are greeted with the NTLDR is missing error, leaving you puzzled. What is the ‘NTLDR is missing’ error? Why is Windows 10 asking you to press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart your computer?

In this post, we will tell you about the error, why it occurs, and how to solve it. Once you troubleshoot, you should see your familiar desktop wallpaper instead of a strange black screen.

What Is NTLDR Is Missing Error

NTLDR is the boot loader for Windows NT OS, including Windows 10. It is located in the primary HDD/SSD.

There are three primary files: NTLDR (the main boot loader file), COM (also known as NTDETECT.COM, which detects hardware for booting NT-based OS like Windows 10), and boot.ini (containing system configuration details).

Aside from “NTLDR is missing,” users may encounter three common errors:

1. NTLDR is missing. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart.

2. NTLDR is missing. Press any key to restart.

3. Boot: Couldn’t find NTLDR. Please insert another disk.

The ‘NTLDR is missing’ error occurs when the system cannot read/write data to three important files necessary for booting Windows OS. Possible causes include configuration errors, corrupt HDD/SSD, and more. The following solutions should work in all three scenarios.

1. Restart Computer

Try rebooting your computer once to check if it works. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del keys to restart, and if it doesn’t work, hold the power button until the system shuts down. Press it again to boot.

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2. Unplug All Accessories

Remove all unnecessary accessories and peripherals from your computer, only keeping the keyboard and mouse. If you have a laptop, remove the mouse and keyboard as well. Certain accessories may interfere with the boot process. You can reconnect them later. Specifically, remove any external hard disks, pen drives, and CDs, as the system may be attempting to load from an external drive where the boot files are not located. Restart your computer again. By removing external drives, your computer will be forced to look at the primary drive, where it should find NTLDR and boot properly.

3. BIOS Boot Order

If you can’t remove external drives or if removing them is not working, you can change the boot order from the BIOS/UEFI. Here is a video on how to do that.

Use the arrow keys to go to System Configuration > Boot Options (keyboard instructions at the bottom of the BIOS/UEFI screen). Make sure the primary drive containing the NT Loader files, where you have installed your Windows OS, is at the top of the priority list. Your computer should now boot from the primary drive instead of the secondary drive.

Reboot your computer and check again for the NTLDR is missing error.

4. Windows Startup Repair

We recommend performing a startup repair using a bootable flash drive or disk. Download the official Windows 10 ISO and convert a flash drive into a bootable one using Windows USB/DVD Download Tool. Use a different computer to do this. Follow point 3 above to change the boot order again, but choose the flash drive as the first priority this time.

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Restart your computer and repeatedly press the F8 key before you see the Windows logo. Select Repair Your Computer option under Advanced Boot Options from the Boot Menu and press Enter. If you see the Windows logo or the ‘NTLDR is missing’ error instead, shut down and try again. It may take a few tries, but you will eventually succeed.

Select your language and input method, then enter your username and password. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options and choose Startup Repair. Follow the on-screen instructions. Finally, click Finish and reboot your computer to check for the NTLDR is missing error.

5. Use Recovery Drive

Have you ever created a recovery drive? If so, you can use it to restore or reinstall Windows 10. Note that reinstalling Windows 10 will reset your computer to its original state. This means you’ll lose all data, apps, and personalized settings.

Before reinstalling, try a System Restore. This will revert your computer back to a working state without affecting personal files, but it will remove recently installed apps. Both options are available in the Windows Recovery Environment.

If you see the Keep my files option during reinstallation, select it to save your files and other important data. You will still lose apps and settings. Your Microsoft account settings will sync back if you are using one.

6. Use Installation Media

As mentioned in solution 3, create a fresh Windows 10 bootable USB as a rescue disc. You can also use it to restore or reinstall Windows 10 if you forgot to create a recovery drive.

Download the media creation tool and double-click to run it. Select Create installation media for another PC and follow instructions. Assuming you are using a different computer to create the Windows 10 installation USB drive.

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Insert the Windows 10 bootable flash drive on the computer with the ‘NTLDR is missing’ error. Boot from the flash drive. Change the boot order if necessary. Follow the on-screen instructions. Then select Repair your computer > Troubleshoot. Here, you can restore your computer to a previous point or reinstall Windows using the installation media.

Repair, Restore, Reinstall

When troubleshooting computer issues, there are several options to consider. If basic troubleshooting steps like removing accessories and checking cables don’t work, you can choose from three options available in the Windows Recovery Environment. The option you choose will depend on whether you have backed up your data and app settings. It’s important to know how to access the Windows Recovery Environment in your specific situation.

Next, we have a list of 7 screen recorder apps for Windows 10 that you should try. These apps allow you to record your screen, including any errors or bugs, and share them with friends or support staff for assistance.

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