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Dr. Bell
Dr. Bell, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Computer
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Experience:  12 Years of hands on / in class experience w/ certifications. Most qualified technician in the area.
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my Toshiba laptop says NTLDR is missing. What is next ste

Customer Question

my Toshiba laptop says NTLDR is missing. What is next step?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Dr. Bell replied 6 years ago.

Hello, sorry to hear your having trouble.


First of all, I'd like to ask a few questions to get the ball rolling.


Before this error occurred, were there any changes to your laptop that you know of--(Installed or Un-installed programs, deleted any files, or add/removed any hardware)?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Computer crashed. It was a vrus and was determined to be a trojan viris
Expert:  Dr. Bell replied 6 years ago.

Ah, that's no fun. Perhaps there is some luck involved and the virus only did damage to the NTLDR file and nothing else of importance.


Give me a few minutes while I review some information about the NTLDR file.


Also, I see you have Windows XP. Would you happen to know if it's "Home, Professional, or MCE?" If not then that's ok.


From the sounds of it, we may have to attempt to replace that NTLDR file through a command prompt. I'll get back with you shortly with more information.



Expert:  Dr. Bell replied 6 years ago.

Ok, would you happen to have your Windows XP Installation cd? We will need this to "Boot from the CD" and enter a command prompt. Thanks.

Expert:  Dr. Bell replied 6 years ago.

Alright, assuming you have your Windows XP cd, insert the CD into the CD-Rom of your toshiba laptop. Power off and power on the laptop.


Depending on the model of your laptop, you may need to press the "C" key to boot to the cd-rom or perhaps the F12 key to open a boot selection menu. If you enter the menu, you'll want to boot from the cd/dvd drive.


Immediately following, you may see the words "Press any key to boot from CD...."


Immediatly press a key.


You will then see "Windows Setup" in the top left of the screen.


Give it a minute or two to load the necessary files.


You will then see a menu with the following options:


"To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER"

"To repair a Windows XP Installation using the Recovery Console, press R"

"To quit setup without installing Windows XP, press F3"


Press "R" to use the Recovery Console.


The screen will turn black and begin to boot into the Recovery Console.

You will then be prompted to select a Windows Installation.


On some systems, there is a 1, and a 2. One of them being a Recovery partition and the other being a "C:\WINDOWS" partition.


Type the number next to "C:\WINDOWS" and press ENTER.


It will ask you to type in the Administrator password. This is generally blank unless it has been changed by you or another user.


Type in the password XXXXX you know it and press ENTER. Otherwise, if it is blank, press ENTER.


You are now at the C:\WINDOWS command prompt.


Now you need to know the "Drive Letter" of your cd-rom drive. This is sort of a hit and miss operation to find it.


Generally, when it asked you to select a Windows Installation there was a 1 and 2 to select from. The C:\WINDOWS install or the recovery install.


If there was ONLY 1 selection and no more, your CD-ROM drive letter should be "D:\"

If there were 2 installs to select from, your CD-ROM drive letter should be "E:\"

If there were 3 installs to select from, your CD-ROM drive letter should be "F:\"


At any rate, there is usually no more than 2. So your CD-ROM drive letter is going to be E:\ or D:\ if this is the case.


First, at the "C:\WINDOWS>" command prompt, I want you to type E: and press enter.


If this is a valid drive, your new prompt will be "E:\>"


If not, it will give you an error stating that "The specified drive is not valid, or there is no disk in the drive."


If this is the case, type D: and press enter.


If this is a valid drive, your new prompt will be "D:\>"


After you are at your CD-ROM prompt (E:\> or D:\>), I want you to type the command DIR and press enter.


If you are at the correct CD-ROM prompt you will get a list with some or all of the following files:









..and so on...


This ensures that you have the correct drive letter for the CD-ROM drive.


After you have confirmed this, at the command prompt, type C: and press enter.


This should return you to the C:\WINDOWS> prompt.


Now the fun part.

Whichever your cd-rom drive letter is, you will use that in the following commands. We will use E:\ in this example. If yours is D:\, use that in the following commands instead of E:\.


At the C:\WINDOWS> command prompt, type:


copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\

and press ENTER.

The result should be, "1 file(s) copied."


Now, at the C:\WINDOWS> command prompt, type:


copy e:\i386\ c:\
and press ENTER.

The result should be, "1 file(s) copied."


You have now successfully replaced the NTLDR and NTDETECT files (which work together).

Type EXIT and press ENTER.

Your laptop will restart. Be sure to remove the Windows XP CD from the cd-rom drive to prevent it from booting back to the cd.


As long as no more system files have been corrupted, your Windows XP installation should boot up succesfully and you can now continue to use your laptop!


If for some reason this does not correct the NTLDR issue, please post back to me so we can try other options.


Please be sure to "ACCEPT" this answer if it works for you so that I may retrieve your deposit and leave a positive feedback for you. If you were satisfied with my service, please do the same for me. Thank you for using JustAnswer. It's been a pleasure assisting you.


Please do not hesitate to further pursue this issue if this was not a cure to your problem. I will still be available to support you if this has not corrected it.


Thanks again and enjoy the holidays!


-Dr. Bell

Computer Specialist

CompTIA A+, IC3