ntfs.sys file corrupt-virus related?

By uscgcforwardwif ยท 14 replies
Sep 3, 2003
  1. OK, I swear I didn't do anything to this computer except
    restart it. Upon restarting it, the computer gives me
    the following error message:

    Windows could not start because the following file is
    missing or corrupt:

    You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows
    Setup using the original setup cd-rom. Select 'r' at the
    first screen to start repair.

    OK, I don't get an R at the first screen. Infact, it
    attempts to load some files and then gives me the error
    message of : File setupdd.sys could not be loaded. The
    error code is 4. Setup cannot continue.

    *Editing in that I use WInXP Pro.*

    OK, my floppy drive isn't working properly, the light
    stays on continuously, so it has been unhooked (it was
    like this prior to any problems, and this is the first
    problem I have had with the computer except for the
    Wormblaster Virus). My neighbor coppied the ntfs.sys
    file to a CD, however, we cannot start the computer in
    safe mode with command prompt because it keeps giving us
    the same message about the ntfs.sys file and keeps rebooting. Husband is in the
    military and out to sea, would like to get this resolved
    prior to him coming home...could it be a virus, or what
    is going on here and most importantly HOW CAN I FIX IT???????

    I mean I just don't know what to do...I think I have tried everything and all of the "fixes" that I have found online deal with either using a floppy (which I cannot), or copying using the command prompt, but I cannot even get that...never before have I wanted to see that c:\ in my life!!! HELP HELP HELP!!!!
  2. jjonesx86

    jjonesx86 TS Rookie


    I'm having the exact same problem. When I try to boot I get the corrupt ntfs.sys error and when I try to boot to XP CD I get one of several other corrupt .sys errors (pci.sys, ntfs.sys, etc).

    Does anyone have any ideas?
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    "corrupted NTFS.sys" is usually caused by a physical bad hard disk, corrupted filesystem or bad memory.

    If your CD is not loading, this reaffirms the possibility of bad hardware.

    Some other possibilities include a bad IDE cable, bad drive channel or bad memory slot. Overheating could also be a problem as well as corrupted or buggy chipset/IDE/SCSI drivers. But drivers would not extend this to the CDROM during Windows XP setup.

    The most certain way to fix this is by trial and error (replace the memory with known-good memory, attempt an XP repair with a new IDE cable or on a different IDE channel, use a known-good hard disk to reinstall Windows XP... etc..)

    You may actually want to run a diagnostic test on your memory and hard disk before you do anything else that might be time consuming

    Memory test: www.memtest86.org
    Drive tests:
  4. Cando

    Cando TS Rookie

    Same problem

    I am also having the same problem.

    I removed my HD and re-formatted and re-installed WInXP and put it into another PC and it ran perfectly.....as soon as i put it back into my PC it gave me the same error.....so it cant be the HD in my case.....

    Could it really be from bad memroy, or IDE cable etc?? Can these things really cause a corrupt windows nts file?

    I was actually playing a game when all of a sudden it froze and rebooted my PC and gave me that error. Could the Vid card have overheated the system?

    One more thing.....that link for the memeory test you suggested doesnt seem to load, could you post it again?

  5. Krugger

    Krugger TS Rookie Posts: 173

  6. UncleGemboel

    UncleGemboel TS Rookie Posts: 36

    I am sorry but the link you provide lead to error page, well maybe the site is down.
    Actually i have similar problem and yes is hardware problem, for me is my memory, so like Rick or Krugger advice, just check your HDD or memory.
  7. Cando

    Cando TS Rookie

    Thanks for all your help

    It actually turned out to be my memmory.

    I took it out and replaced it and my PC worked perfectly....as soon as i put my old memmory back in i got the same error.
  8. chrisw

    chrisw TS Rookie

    re ntfs error

    Had the same problem (pci.sys and ntfs.sys error) with XP Pro.

    Had recently upgraded memory on laptop with new 256mb. Everything was working fine for a couple of days.....

    Had left a game paused, system hibernated..on return to the laptop found that the game had crashed and wouldn't restart.decided to reboot the machine and on reboot got error message.

    couldnt start in safe-mode couldnt restore , couldnt set up xp from original cd.
    after a lot of searching on the net, found that memory could be the problem so removed 256mb card and put back the old 64mb card..... machine booted into xp pro but needed to scandisk. made online report to microsoft and they came back with service pack 1 update required.

    Loading that now.....will try the 256mb card when update has been loaded.
  9. Difranko

    Difranko TS Rookie

    Hi Just joined today to say thank you for your post, helped me to resolve XP Pro installation problem (I was getting file setupdd.sys could not be loaded. The error code is 4. Setup cannot continue press any key to continue). I had 3 memory cards just put on this computer and one of them turned out to be bad. Thank you again
  10. m@artin

    m@artin TS Rookie

    Boot failure

    I added some hardware and after that XP wouldn't start anymore as ntfs.sys should be missing or corrupt. I removed tha hardware and PC booted normal again. I replaced the power suply (300 W) for a 450 Watt, reinstalled the hardware and the PC run fine.
  11. Enigmatic_Man

    Enigmatic_Man TS Rookie

    Sorry folks 'Rick' is wrong. There are many issues that can cause this type of error

    Question - Are you using a slip streamed OEM version of Win XP SP2? That type of config is a known source to produce the error "NTFS.SYS is corrupt" or "USBEHCI.SYS" is corrupt. Know this - these types of error messages are not proof positive of a hardware issue.

    Bottom line, be careful what you read and becareful the advice of "so called" experts on message boards. Expert posters (imposters) like 'Rick' typically have half a clue, gleened from some article they read in a trade mag or from some back alley wanker source. They typically have no real world expercience troubleshooting computer issues. True computer consultants share their knowledge from "real world" expercience. I hope my 10 years in this biz qualifies me.

    Back to the techincal issue...

    The other non hardware issues that can prodcue this type of error message are listed below.

    For Win2k - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321557/

    BTW: Do not discount the potential HW issue that 'Rick' mentioned. Yes, it is possible the error message ""NTFS.SYS" may indicate a potential HW issue. But more than likely it is not due to a HW failure.


  12. portlyjent

    portlyjent TS Rookie

    Big Thanx

    Hey all just became a member! I just wanted to thank everyone who posted some probable causes and solutions to this i tried everything except for this site for solutions and this is the one place that seamed to have a clue what was going on. Turned out to be some bad memory so thanx again all!
  13. villain_xx

    villain_xx TS Rookie

    The Guy Enigmatic_Man with post # 11 needs to apologize to Sir Rick..

    Just because he didnt work with computers as your self for 10 years doesnt mean the REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES from a non professional to another make his information any less valid, ya weenie trout. Your 10 years just proved you were just a jerk who wants recognition on a forum where it is supposed to share information to help others.

    But any ways!

    i had all the problems as every one else..

    I had 2gb of Corsair XMS extreme speed DDR 3200 .... pulled them out put in an old 512mb DDR 2700 stick and booted up properly and windows informed me "your computer has recovered from a serious error" no sh*t really?

    thanks everyone for coming back to this forum to show what caused the problem... I would have NEVER figured my memory sticks were the cause.
  14. steel

    steel TS Rookie

    hi thanks

    well i havent fixed the problem yet. however I have been building Pc's and teaching pc history,assembly,programming, since the ibm 8086. Ive put togeather over 200 pc's and trouble shot at least 10x that. Ive also worked for gateway tech. So if your having this problem with the corrupted ntfs.sys file and the reboot automatically wanting to restall but not able to dont feel bad it pretty much took me by suprise as well. I really thought it was a virus but i have the luxury of having 6 pc's in my home. After changing out 3 harddrives and having the same issue with each. I installed a new 200gig maxtor right out of the box, And yes i changed the ide cables. :) same problem ntfs.sys corrupted. Wanted to reboot and reinstall but couldnt. I almost threw it across the room. After reading this column i decided to replace ram :). If your reading this (Test your ram). This column helped alot wish i had read it earlier. Wasted 2 days thinking about the problem and was getting very mad. not to mention the hours of working on it. I have been working with PC's for 15+ years and i stand humbled. Thanks folks.!
  15. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    and when u said u worked for gateway tech u said the whole story that is the worst placed to get any kind of knowledg in in the world read this board those computers have more problems than any.
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