{ 12 Intelligent Comments }

Windows Boot & Startup Troubleshooting Guide

PC Booting BIOS ScreenCan’t Get Into Windows?

After switching on or rebooting your PC, you are receiving one or more error messages and cannot access the Windows XP desktop.

Typically you won’t be able to get past these messages. You will have to either switch off or restart by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.

This troubleshooting guide covers some of the most common Windows XP boot up problems and their solutions.

If you do come across a solution that doesn’t work for you, why not leave a comment below the solution and see if others can help you out.


  • You cannot boot into the Windows XP desktop
  • You are receiving one of the error messages below:
    • Non-System Disk or Disk Error
    • NTLDR is missing. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart
    • NTLDR is compressed.  Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart
    • Operating System Not Found
    • Missing Operating System
    • Invalid Boot.ini
    • Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: Windows\System32\Hal.dll


This troubleshooting guide will assist you to solve the problems associated with the error messages listed above.

If your error message is not listed please write a comment with details of your problem so that we can update this troubleshooting guide which will also assist others with the same problems. 

Solution 1 | Error: Non-System Disk or Disk Error

Click here for the non-system disk or disk error troubleshooting guide

Solution 2 | Error: NTLDR is missing.  Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart

Click here for the NTLDR is missing troubleshooting guide

Solution 3 | Error:  Operating System not found

Click here for the Operating System not found troubleshooting guide

Solution 4 | Error:  Missing Operating System

Click here for the Missing Operating System troubleshooting guide

Solution 5 | Error:  Invalid Boot.ini

Click here for the Invalid Boot.ini troubleshooting guide

Solution 6 | Error:  Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: Windows\System32\Hal.dll

Click here for the Windows\System32\Hal.dll troubleshooting guide

Solution 7 | Error: NTLDR is compressed.  Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart

Click here for the NTLDR is compressed troubleshooting guide


Wow, 12 Comments! We've got a conversation going now. Join the discussion below!

  1. BBUCK says:


    technical information: 0x000000ED (0x82F8C808, 0xC0000006, 0x00000000,0x00000000)

    i have tried to get to safe mode and keeps sending back to restart. this is XP versison of DELL Dimension 3100 model. I have a genertic MS XP disc but lost the code its not on my disc wrapper. So how do I reboot in safemode for original harddrive set up access to make computer work?

  2. Le says:

    4 year old Sony Viao.
    screen message:
    Windows could not start because the following file is either missing or corrupt \window\system32\config\system
    insert original setup CD-Rom select r from start to repair.
    I chatted with the tech support, since these computers did not come with startup discs. I made a restore disc when i first got the machine, but the computer will not read the disc.
    I can do a complete restore by getting to the screen using F10, but it will erase everything on the HD and I was hoping i could save some of what i had on this computer. The Tech support recommended i contact Drive Savers, but from what i read this is too expensive.
    Can anyone give me instructions to try to get data from the HD or do a recovery.

  3. bones says:

    after restarting Windows XP this morning i receive the error message ‘Non-System Disk or Disk Error’ and cannot get into Windows.
    i have disable my floppy and other movable component no avail. i have tried to boot my pc with my xp cd no solution. can any body help me out please

  4. Ryan Smith says:

    Thank you! That saved me hours of messing around with NTDLR! Cheers!

  5. GOWTHAM says:

    i have met the same problem “non-system disk or disk error”
    i followed the above steps to recover my system but it doesn’t works their is any other steps to boot the system??????????????
    can u help me !!!!!!!!!

  6. GOWTHAM says:

    non-system disk or disk error which it causes hard disk to be failure???????????
    i need to change my hard disk???????

  7. while i’m installing msoffice 2007 in windows xp sp2 it says Office.en-us\dwtrig20.exe it cannot found the file and i stopped the setup and after that it has got shut down and got restarted automatically then after it always restart within a min after it started
    and also on starting windows it says invalid boot.ini and booting from C:/windows/ and starts no

  8. Rick says:

    I have a Toshiba Sattilite Laptop i turned it on and it started to go threw the loading process, It seems like it went all the way threw the loading but my screen is black i have nothing but the mouse arrow on the screen all my desktop icons everything is gone, What do i look for and try to do? Please help me out if anyone can, I have no disk’s its windows 7 i tried to run my System Repair Disk from my Acer with the same Operating Systems, Again Please help me thanks.

  9. Kazun says:

    I have been reinstalling the OS Win XP based on eMachines instruction initially,because I could not locate eMachines OS disc,but I could not.
    Then I tried the Recovery consol which I created as your instruction.
    I run the Recovery consol to install XP but screen showed i.e. .
    After that I located the eMachines OS disk, then I tried to re-install
    this, seems to be OK until half way, screen showed as

    I tried it,but samething all over again.
    Plesae someone help me!!! Best Regards,

    1. Kazun says:

      Response are as follow

      Invalid Boot.ini file

      Booting from C:\windows\

      After trying eMachines OS disk, respose are
      The system is not fully installed.

      Please run setup again.

      then the screen is freezed.

      Anyone has got any idea?

      Many thanks,

  10. cbelmont says:

    I have a Dell- Inspiron 1150 with windows Xp, when I press the ON botton I only get a black screen with a blinking cursor. My labtop does not respond to any comands and does not run the Boot CD.Can someone tel how to solve this problem?

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