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Ntfs.sys missing or corrupt and PC not booting

Posted on 2008-10-10
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
When booting up with an XP Pro machine I am getting "Following file missing or corrupt: System32\Drivers\Ntfs.sys"
After hunting through this wonderful site and having a chat with my good friend Google, here is where I am:

*Attached the HDD to a different PC as a second disc using an IDE to USB cable and ran chkdsk /r. No errors found.

*Used XP Pro SP2 boot disc to try Repair install, but doesn't even make it to the setup screen. Just finds more "missing" files (eg: acpi.sys, pci.sys and cdrom.sys).

*Hooked it back up to the other PC and manually replaced the ntfs.sys file - Renamed with .old and copy and pasted from the boot disc. Put back in its home and the same error on boot. I should note that the original file was named ntfs.sys, the new file was named NTFS.SYS and the error says Ntfs.sys, although I am sure this makes no difference.

*Attempted using an upgrade disc (straw clutching time) and got the missing or corrupt ntfs.sys file.

*The PC has 2 disc drives so tried the other drive for the sake of ruling out. Still no love.

Kinda stuck and hoping to not have to do a reinstall. If it comes to that, well tough cookies, I spose, but is definitely being left as the absolute last option.

Thanks for any help guys!!
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Question by:Monkey_Bazooka
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Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 22692683
Repair Installation as you did should fix issue:
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
However, it seems no help after you did, the upgrade disc XP might not have option for you to repair. Tr repair install again and follow the link above.  
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Author Comment

by:Monkey_Bazooka
ID: 22692704
Thanks, Punky, but I have already found this link on my web travels through this site and have had no luck. The sinking feeling you get when you can't even do a repair install is pretty depressing...

As I stated earlier, I don't even get to the Setup screen to enable me to select the Repair option.
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Expert Comment

by:ChrisC00
ID: 22692714
Where did you get the replacement .sys from? Same XP version with the same service pack?
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Author Comment

by:Monkey_Bazooka
ID: 22692723
That I don't know. It isn't my PC. Good point though. I used my own disc and this is an old PC, so it is a great possibility that they are different service packs.

Will try and find the original disc form the owner.
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Expert Comment

by:ChrisC00
ID: 22692729
Have you tried the recovery console?

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822800
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 22692917
This may help. It is the latest XP version of what was once ERD Commander.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5D600369-0554-4595-8AB4-C34B2860E087&displaylang=en

Of particular interest are System File Repair, File Restore, and the Solution Wizard.
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Expert Comment

by:Dhiraj Mutha
ID: 22692968
Connected the HDD to a different system, take the backup of your data and then reinstall the os.
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Author Comment

by:Monkey_Bazooka
ID: 22693315
First of all - Willcomp - thanks, that is awesome! I have ERD and it is fantastic, but have been keeping an ear open for something new.

Okay. Got the original disc, replaced the file and it got past the error screen only to go onto a continual reboot loop. It gets to the old "do you want to start normally, last good config, safe mode, etc, etc" I chose last good config the first time and I saw a half second blue screen flash, then it rebooted.

Tried all the others with no blue screen, just an immediate reboot. Tried to get to the recovery console again and got "setupdd.sys could not be loaded error code 7" which equals RAM issue.

I twig that I put BRAND NEW PC133 SDRAM in this very machine a couple months ago. Been running better than ever til now? Remove the new RAM and voila - she boots to desktop. Good - and bad.

Tried the new stick on its own and get the original error. Try the original god-knows-how-old stick and a perfect, albeit slow, boot every time. How can brand new RAM go bad so damn quick?

And on closer inspection its XP Home, not Pro, if that makes a diff to how it handles new\multiple sticks of RAM.

I thought that *maybe* a service pack upgrade may help - it says sp2. I try to install sp3 and it tells me its already there. I dunno...

So I'm guessing hardware issue, but I am hoping someone will say "Hey, you know what - XP Pro will fix that 2 stick of RAM prob of yours.."

Anyone got good news for me? Don't particularly want to do this and have it not work then tell the owner of the PC that I not only had to slow it down to get it working, I had to wipe all their settings that, judging by the age of this thing (running p4 and originally 256mb sdram) has taken a long time to set up.

Thanks again for any help folks
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Accepted Solution

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willcomp earned 500 total points
ID: 22693759
Changing versions of Windows won't help. It's either a bad stick of RAM or incompatible RAM due to density or size.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Monkey_Bazooka
ID: 31407074
You were absolutely right. I started to reinstall and got the same message. Oh well, new RAM it is then...
Still find it strange that it could work perfect for a couple months and then die. Temperamental little buggers..
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