I'm getting an NTLDR error when booting. What could cause an NTLDR error that can't be resolved by anything other than Ctrl+Alt+Del? How can I fix it? Does it have to do with my hard drive?

3 Answers 3


NTLDR file was deleted, bad sector, etc.

Boot from a Windows repair disc and see if that'll fix it.

Boot from a Linux rescue disc and see if testdisk can recover the partition and/or see the files.

Chkdsk the drive. Check SMART condition.

Restore from backup.

Those are the usual options you have left at that juncture. Would need to know more about the drive to narrow anything else down...what happened just before this, any drive errors, chkdsk from a Windows or BartPE boot disc, anything popping up about drive problems before this. You can also download the ultimate boot CD and run a drive utility to scan for bad sectors and see if that finds signs that the drive itself is failing.

  • Was using windows, had two partitions. Formatted both of them and trying to load ubuntu. The ubuntu CD is not getting booted and gives this NTLDR Error. Any solution to fix the bad sector? Aug 26, 2010 at 13:51

Honestly, most of the time when I see this someone left a cd (or even a floppy still) in the drive that it's trying to boot from. But it could also be a bad drive or corrupted file.

  • 1
    See our comments for gWaldo's answer. You don't get NTLDR errors from floppies or CDs; you can only get them from NTFS formatted drives.
    – Chris S
    Aug 26, 2010 at 13:22

Before doing what @Bart Silverstrim said, but also make sure that there's no Floppy disk inserted. Also, in the BIOS verify your boot order (ensure the hard drive is actually inserted.

Then follow his steps.

  • If it was booting from the wrong device, it would not show an NTLDR error. BIOS knows nothing about NTLDR. It must be hitting the boot sector on the drive which is then referencing NTLDR.
    – Jason Berg
    Aug 26, 2010 at 12:42
  • A floppy disk wouldn't complain about a missing NTLDR unless you somehow managed to format a floppy with NTFS. A missing HD wouldn't fit the situation either; unless he's got a second HD.
    – Chris S
    Aug 26, 2010 at 12:42
  • a Floppy will keep the system from continue to try booting other boot devices if it is higher in the boot order than the hard drives. If the Floppy is not bootable it will throw this error. The Floppy does not need to be formatted NTFS
    – gWaldo
    Aug 26, 2010 at 12:49
  • 1
    @gWaldo, no; if the Floppy is not bootable you'll get "Operating System Not Found" or some derivation thereof, there isn't a BIOS in the world that will throw an "NTLDR" error.
    – Chris S
    Aug 26, 2010 at 13:21

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