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I have a dell inspiron e1405 and when i turn it on i get a black screen with a message that says "NTLDR is missing". what is the problem and what can i do?

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The first thing to check is that you don't have a CD/DVD in the drive, or a flash drive inserted in a USB port. Your machine's BIOS is probably configured to first try to boot to a CD, or a removable device, and only THEN to the hard drive. So...assuming that this is not the case...

The NTLDR file (the boot loader file) is either corrupted or missing. If you have your Windows installation CD, you can then boot from it and use the Repair function.

Type "R" at the Welcome to Setup screen. Select the OS you want to repair (usually "1"). You will be asked for an administrator password...if you have set one, enter it, otherwise just hit Enter with a blank.

Assuming that your machine is using the standard drive assignment letters, type in the following at the command prompt:

copy d:\i386\ntldr\ c:\
copy d:\i365\ c:\

Notice that the backslashes are REVERSE...found just above your Enter key.
Then remove the CD and reboot.

If this does not solve the problem, there are two possibilities. The first is that your Windows boot files are badly corrupted, and you'll have to reformat/reinstall Windows. The second is that your hard drive may be failing, in which case a reformat/reinstall won't help.

If you have someone available with a USB/SATA adapter, you can remove the hard drive from your computer and have them hook it into theirs as an add-on drive. If they can access the drive, they should do a check disk routine to see if it is having physical problems. If so, you know what the basic problem really is.

If the drive is physically OK, but badly corrupted, you may need to reconsider what you are using for malware and/or virus protection as these can sometimes cause this sort of problem.

Hope that's helpful.

Posted on Dec 31, 2010


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