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How to Fix NTFS.SYS Missing or Corrupt Error

Akshay Vats | Modified: August 26th, 2021 ~ 6 Minutes Reading

“When I was installing service pack 2, suddenly system freeze. Then, I tried to reboot the system and it displays an error message like “Windows could not start because System32DriversNtfs.sys file is missing or corrupt”. You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original setup CD-ROM. Choose ‘R’ at the first screen to start repair. Unable to understand the exact problem. Is there any solution available.”

Ntfs.sys is a Windows driver in a computer. It is a small software application through which computer communicates with hardware or other connected devices. It means the driver can directly access the internals of an operating system, hardware, and other devices. It is really easy to start and stop the driver from Services in Control Panel. However, its .sys is a file in the Windows file system and file from Microsoft. But there are some situations, in which due to some reason users faces an error like ntfs.sys missing or corrupt. Most of the times, the malware also represents itself as ntfs.sys that also generate such type of errors. Therefore, it becomes necessary for a user to check the ntfs.sys process on the system to verify it is not a threat. Hence, in this article, how to fix NTFS.SYS Corrupt error in Windows manually is discussed.

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“As I started my Windows computers at home, it behaves inappropriately and generates an error “ntfs.sys Missing damaged or corrupt”. I tried to restart the computer to take backup and format the computer but it does not work. Moreover, I am not able to understand what exactly this ntfs.sys file. Can anyone help me out of this? It becomes really irritating for me to keeps on seeing this error. Any suggestions, how can I fix ntfs.sys corrupt vista.”

Causes of Error Drivers Ntfs.sys Missing or Corrupt

The exact error message that a user gets is:
NTFS.SYS Missing or Corrupt

It means the ntfs.sys file missing or corrupt. Therefore, in this post, all possible reasons that

Cause this Error are Discussed and are listed below:

  • Overclocking: It can also be one of the reasons for this Windows driver file error. Any changes with bus or memory speeds may cause a problem with memory or other systems settings that may results in file corruption also.
  • Heating Problem: Overheating is one of the major causes of corruption in any file. It can be possible that fans and processor heat sink fan are not working properly, which may result in ntfs.sys file corruption.
  • Malware Attack: If the system is infected with any type of virus then, also there are chances that ntfs.sys file gets corrupted easily and keeps on displaying this error message.
  • FAT 32 to NTFS Conversion: While converting FAT 32 to NTFS file system, there are chances that file gets corrupted in between due to any reason such as abnormal shut down, power failure, etc.
  • Memory or Hardware Problem: It can also be possible that the system is has a memory or hardware failure. Moreover, it is not good for a system that computer memory falls down suddenly. To overcome this issue a use suggested resetting computer memory.

Manual Solutions to Fix Windows Driver File Error

In order to resolve ntfs.sys missing or corrupt error, there are various solutions available that a user can try to resolve ntfs.sys error. All of them are listed below:

Replace Ntfs.sys using Recovery Console

  • A user needs to insert Windows CD into the computer and run the CD when the message “Press any key to boot from CD” is displayed.
  •  After that, a welcome screen comes and you need to press R to choose To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R option.
  • Now, from the Recovery Console, type the number of installation that a user wants to login
  • In order to get the command prompt, a user must have the administrator password
  • In the command prompt, a user needs to execute the following DOS command:
    cd \windows\system32\drivers >> Enter
    ren ntfs.sys ntfs.old >> Enter
  • With these commands, existing ntfs.sys file is renamed so that the new one is replaced easily and is not corrupted
    After that, run the following command and press Enter:
    copy cd:\i386\ntfs.sys drive:\windows\system32\drivers
  • Where cd is a drive letter for CD-ROM drive and drive is the drive where a user installed Windows XP
  • Now, remove the CD and type Quit. Restart your system

Resolve Ntfs.sys Missing or Corrupt error using CHKDSK

As discussed above, the hard disk can also be one of the reasons that may cause ntfs.sys file corruption. So a user can use this try to take disk check by running CHDSK from Recovery Console.

After this, open Command Prompt and type the command written below:
CHKDSK /R >> Enter

  • Here, /R is a command line switch to repair any type of error found on the hard disk automatically. However, CHKDSK can take time so be prepared to wait and have patience. After resolving all hard disk error, restart the computer.


Repair Ntfs.sys using Windows XP Repair Install

In this solution, a user can try to repair Windows XP using repair install. It replaces Windows system files with originals without changing application and settings. To do the repair install follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Follow the same steps to open Recovery Console mentioned above and press Enter instead of R key to setup Windows
  • Now, choose the installation to repair and press R to begin the repair process


  • When re-installation completes, restart your system successfully.


Ntfs.sys is the most important file system of Windows driver, which helps Windows in booting the system properly. To overcome the unexpected ntfs.sys file related issues such as ntfs.sys missing or corrupt, users are advised to first understand the causes of such error. The above article has tried to cover all possible manual ways to resolve ntfs.sys missing file issues successfully without any expert help. Users can rely on these solutions and perform the recovery of Windows system file driver related issues conveniently by following each instruction carefully.