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XP Pro Ntfs.sys missing or corrupted

Posted on 2008-10-13
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Greetings all. I have another question open for a related issue but I need a bit more exposure, hence, a second post. Original post was for a missing system file. I successfully copied it from the repair folder and that error is gone. The hardware is a Dell Optiplex GX280, XP Pro, SP3, Maxtor 7y250M0 250G Sata Drive, 3 Gig Ram (3 - 1G sticks). The system hung on shutdown. Did ctrl-alt-del and immediately shut down. Waited 5 minutes, rebooted, all normal. Shut down, normal. Booted next day with the following error:
"Ntfs.sys is missing or corrupted. Will not boot to safe mode either.
What I have done so far:

run Chkdsk /r   found 2 errors and corrected them
Copied Ntfs.sys from XP CD to the drivers folder (after renaming the original Ntfs.old). No change
Booted UBCD to test the Hard drive... ok
Booted Knoppix and run Ntfsfix on /dev/sda1.  no change
Booted ERD Commander, and performed the following:
copied Ntfs.sys again from ERD CD. No change
File checker. No corrupted files.
System Restore. No change.
Removed all Ram and tried one stick at a time in each of the 4 slots (12 reboots total). No change

Power supply is 3 weeks old and is a Power and Cooling 500 Watt

When attempting to boot, I get hashes across the bottom that slowly fill until I get the error message. Kind of looks like Windows 2000 booting.

Last thing done to system before problem occurred was installing EA Games Spore. (This is son's PC) Ran no problem for 3 days prior to this issue occurring. I am at work but will try any and all suggestions as soon as I get home. I am really desperate folks. I have the installation CD from Dell, but not sure if it is a recovery CD or Installation CD. A recovery CD means a reformat. Installation means I can do a repair... I think??? What have I not tried yet??? My son is so bummed... and it's my birthday today  :), so someone make my day plssssssssss...

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Question by:flubbster
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Expert Comment

by:reedsdomain
ID: 22703266
I've run into this issue on several computers before and it was one of 2 things:

1.  The power supply is faulty and not getting enough power to the HD causing errors to occur during reading/writing (this was a rare example).  Replacing the power supply and copying over the needed files from a working computer resolved the issue.

2. On the majority of computers I have fixed this issue on a virus infected the hd.  I took out the hard drive, installed it on another computer and ran several scans on it to find/clean the virus (I used Symantec Anti-Virus, Spybot Search and Destroy & Ad-Aware).  Also after you clean the hd you can copy over any important docs as a backup.  This fix had only about a 50% success rate.

Unfortunately I found that the quickest fix tended to be copying off needed files by setting up the hard drive as a slave on another computer (don't forget to scan for viruses first) and then placing original hd back in primary computer and reinstalling the operating system.  Hopefully you get another post that resolves the issue with less work.
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Author Comment

by:flubbster
ID: 22703359
System was running Avast Antivirus, Superantispyware, and Spybot Search and Destroy. I would hope there is no virus. Don't have another PC to try it in either....
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Expert Comment

by:sk_raja_raja
ID: 22703879
1.On the NTFS.sys file take a look at this
http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org/how_do_i_rectify_a_missing_or_co.htm
Do you have another computer? If so, then take your Hard Drive from this computer
And put it on the other computer BUT!!!! Make sure the other computer is running XP as well.
Copy over the files you need.

2.http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000876.htm
Missing or corrupt c:\windows\system32\drivers\ntfs.sys.

3.See http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/39746/39746.html about copying the ntfs.sys file from your CD to your system area

4.You may need a repair install, then: http://www.dougknox.com/xp/tips/xp_repair_install.htm 

5.http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_23211470.html
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Accepted Solution

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flubbster earned 0 total points
ID: 22704121
I have copied the ntfs.sys file to the drivers folder several times with no luck. Something else is hosing the system it seems. I am going to run memtest from UBCD tonight just in case.

any other ideas?????
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