How to Recover NTFS Partition Data when NTFS.sys file is Missing or Corrupt?

Computer operating system provide interface between user and computer hardware. Computer operating systems like MS Windows, Unix and Linux are multi users and multitasking programs. All device operating systems use specific file systems to store user information. MS Windows use two file systems i,e, New Technology File System(NTFS) and File Allocation Table (FAT) to store information. NTFS is most powerful and secured storage facility in MS Windows.

It is suitable option of partitioning computer disk that has high storage capacity. Both NTFS and FAT partitions can store multiple data such as images, compressed folder, audios, videos, ringtones, documents and others. For smooth running of MS Windows, all Windows system files and computer hardware must work in perfect collaboration.

However, situation does not prevail uniform all the times as user sometimes lose access of their valuable data due to Windows corruption. Users very often get the most common error message when they try to run their computer:

  • Windows could not start because the following file is missing:

You will see the above mentioned error if your NTFS.sys file is deleted, missing or corrupt. There may be various reasons behind missing NTFS.sys file:

  • Virus and spyware intrusion

  • Corrupt hard disk

  • Failure of other computer hardware

  • Forced shutdown of computer

NTFS.sys is a main Windows sytem file and MS Windows will not start on your computer if this file is missing or inaccessible. If NTFS.sys file has been deleted or missing then you need to reinstall the file from the Windows installation CD. You can copy NTFS.sys file using Recovery Console of Windows installation CD. After recovery of missing file, you can restart your computer and shall be able to access all NTFS partitions on your computer drive.

In case, your NTFS.sys file has become corrupt, then you must run Windows installation CD from your CD-ROM drive and press “R” button to repair corrupt NTFS partitions. You can also copy NTFS.sys file in the Windows system folder by running MS Windows in safe mode. Safe mode runs Windows using minimum hardware resources and installed programs. When Windows starts in safe mode, copy the NTFS.sys file from Windows installation CD from DOS prompt. The command will appear like this:

copy G:\i386\ntfs.sys C:\windows\system32\drivers (Here G refers the CD-ROM Drive and C Windows default drive)

After successful copying of the system file, restart the computer and you shall get access of your NTFS partition data. If none of the aforesaid options is successful in recovering your NTFS tables, then use third party software for this purpose. NTFS file recovery software is a competent tool to recover NTFS as well as FAT partitions of the computer. It recover files and folders of your computer even when Master Boot Records is damaged or missing. NTFS File recovery software allows you to recover NTFS partitions that are lost after disk formatting. It also offer various filter options that allow you to recover specific files or folders such as zipped archive, images, word documents and others from corrupt or deleted computer drive.


MS Windows fails to start on your computer due to various reasons and you’ll get various error messages like missing or corrupt NTFS.sys file. To start MS Windows and get access of your NTFS or FAT partition, you can try different available options such as Windows Recovery Console and running MS Windows in safe mode. If all available options fail to recover Windows data, you should use proficient NTFS file recovery software.