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Windows 2000 server does not start

Posted on 2004-10-03
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I get this error: windows 2000 could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:\winnt\system32\drivers\ntfs.sys

What do I do to solve this problem?
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Question by:sergenet
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12212418
Try replacing the file.  Find another computer with with the same Service Pack level and copy the file to a floppy.  The reboot you problem server using a 2000 CD and go into the Recovery console.  Once in, navigate to c:\winnt\system32\drivers and RENAME ntfs.sys.  Then copy the file from the floppy to that directory.  Then reboot and see what happens.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12212421
Also, if you have a Service Pack install/uninstall folder, you may be able to get the file from there instead of using the floppy.
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by:sergenet
ID: 12212577
Unfortunately I do not have another system with the same os. I only have the original cd.  What would happen if I do a fresh install?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12212810
Would advise against it.  I've seen reinstalling Windows on top of Windows (when using NT versions, which includes 2000 and XP) cause even more serious problems, ESPECIALLY if the service pack is not the same on the install CD and the system as currently configured.

I'd recommend booting to the 2000CD and recovery console and look through winnt\$NTUNINSTALL... folders, as well as winnt\servicepackfiles folder for another copy of NTFS.SYS.  You might get away with copying that single file from the CD, but I wouldn't advise reinstalling ALL files with an install of Windows on top of Windows.
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by:sergenet
ID: 12212866
I went through the folders in the system and found ntfs.sys in winnt\servicepackfiles and copied it to the drivers folder after renaming the one there. I restarted the system and got the same error.
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by:oBdA
ID: 12213132
Your boot.ini might have become corrupted. Try if this article helps:
Error Message: Windows 2000 Could Not Start Because the Following File Is Missing or Corrupt: \Winnt\System32\Config\System
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=319011
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Author Comment

by:sergenet
ID: 12213218
Now the message reads: "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <windows 2000 root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe"
Please I need to solve this problem as the web site is down. Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:sergenet
ID: 12213334
I created a boot disk as explained in the article you referenced, but am not sure of a couple of things. I have one scsi drive with one partition so under [boot loader] I left the Default=scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\winnt and the same for [operating systems] with winnt="Windows 2000"
I am not sure about the last file that is needed, NTBOOTDD.SYS   it says to copy the correct device driver for the scsi controller in use and rename it to NTBOOTDD.SYS  I do not know how to do that.
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 12213973
Here's something lengthy you could try that would get you running faster, if not now, then if you have a similar problem in the future.  REinstall Windows but do it to a DIFFERENT location.  in other words, install it to winnt.alt or something like that.  This will create a dual boot for you.  Don't bother joining the server to the domain, but you can then apply service packs and updates to that, bringing it up to speed (version wise).  Then you can FAR more easily replace/restore files in your primary installation.
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