Knowledge Base

How to Resolve NTLDR or NTDETECT is Missing or Corrupt Errors in Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003

NTLDR or NTDETECT error at boot I get NTLDR\NTDETECT missing error when I start my computer 

Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003


Click HERE to see a video demonstration
  1. Start the Windows Recovery Console:
    1. Insert the Windows installation CD into the CD or DVD drive.
    2. Restart the computer.
    3. While the computer is starting, repeatedly press F12 every 3 seconds to access the one-time boot menu.
    4. When the one-time boot menu appears, press the Down Arrow to highlight the CD-ROM option that appears, which is one of the following options: Onboard CD-ROM Drive or Onboard USB CD-ROM Drive.
    5. Press Enter.
    6. When the computer boots to the CD-ROM drive, press R to enter the Recovery Console.
    7. If prompted, select the number corresponding to the Windows installation you want to repair and press <Enter>.
    8. Enter the Administrator password, if any, and press <Enter>.

NOTE: If you are not prompted to choose a Windows installation and given just a C:\ prompt, the Windows installation cannot be seen. Run diagnostics on the hard drive. If the diagnostics pass, attempt a fixboot, then fixmbr from the C:\ prompt. A reinstallation of Windows may be required.

  1. Type map, and press <Enter>. Make note of the drive letter assigned to the optical (DVD or CD-ROM) drive. NOTE: In the demonstration video, the map command was not used.
  2. Type copy x:\i386\ntldr c:\ (where x is the drive letter for the optical drive), and press <Enter>.
  3. Type copy x:\i386\ c:\ (where x is the drive letter for the optical drive), and press <Enter>.
  4. If you are prompted to overwrite the file, type y, and press <Enter>.
  5. Type exit and press <Enter>.
  6. As the computer restarts, remove the Windows CD.
Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN145956

Last Date Modified: 07/11/2011 12:00 AM

Rate this article

Easy to understand
Did this article solve your problem?
Yes No
Send us feedback
Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
Enter Captcha Code
There is an error with an entry. Please try again entering your CAPTCHA code.
Feedback shows invalid character, not accepted special characters are <> () \
Sorry, our feedback system is currently down. Please try again later.

Thank you. Your feedback has been sent.