I recently had a defective MOBO replaced by ASUS. It's a P5B Deluxe. After reinstalling the MOBO and all original components the BIOS wouldn't recognize the HDD, a Seagate 320 Gb SATA drive. After checking everything and several restarts it finally recognized the hard drive. Once past the BIOS screen it wouldn't go beyond that. I kept getting an error message saying " NTLDR is missing, to restart press ctrl+alt+delete to restart ". I restarted several times with the same error message.

Fortunately I had on hand another identical Seagate HDD I had just bought last week with the intentions of putting it into an external drive case. So I took the original HDD out of the computer and installed the new one. The new one was recognized right away and I proceeded to install Windows XP with no problem.

Does anyone know what NTLDR means? I'm wondering if my original HDD was damaged when I had the problem with my MOBO.


10 Years
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Last Post by MeadowsPV

Windows installs a HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) between the OS and your hardware. If you change that hardware significantly (as in your case a whole new mobo) It will no longer be valid

A breif search gives some interesting links:


So a Windows XP repair install should fix your problem.

My MOBO was replaced but it was the same as the old / defective one, both MOBO's were an ASUS P5B-Deluxe, so it wasn't like they replaced it with a new, different one, the same chipset etc.

When I took the MOBO out and sent it back to ASUS, the hard drive that was in it had been formatted just prior to that. I had attemped one last time to reinstall Windows but it kept reading errors from the sata optical drive and XP wouldn't fully install properly. We went through a whole process of swapping out the HDD and optical drive on another computer but they both worked OK. A computer shop told me that it had to be a problem with the chipset so I replaced the MOBO under warranty. ASUS just sent me a new MOBO without actually telling me if and what was wrong with it, if anything.

So my original HDD probably didn't work in the replacement MOBO because I'm assuming that the files that are on it are corrupted including the " missing NTLDR " so I can't access it. However, I am using the computer now because, as mentioned in my original posting, I installed a new HDD that I had on hand. That leaves me with the original HDD sitting here not being used. I'm wondering now if I can install it in my computer as a secondary hard drive ( not being used for a boot drive ) and being able to access it to remove the partitions and get it formatted to get rid of all the corrupt files so I can use it again.



imho, and personal experience with Win2K and XP, The error message cannot find [ NTLDR missing ] usually indicates that the boot.ini points to the wrong partition. This usually happens to me when I add additional physical drives that may have one or more partitions AND the bios setting of drive boot priority 'adjusted' the sequence in which the bios looks for the boot device. Often, I can fix the problem in bios by moving my OS drive to the top of the list. There is a web site [ GooGle this -> How to fix: NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart ].. hth

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