How to Fix Corrupt Ntfs.Sys Without a Windows Disk

Written by cee jay
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How to Fix Corrupt Ntfs.Sys Without a Windows Disk
(Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A missing or corrupt Ntfs.Sys file will cause various error messages in Windows. The common way to fix this is to run a repair using the original Windows disk. If your disk is missing, it may be possible to fix a corrupt Ntfs.Sys without a Windows disk, assuming you can still log in to Windows.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ntfs.Sys file
  • Winrar or unzipping utility
  • Unlocker (optional)

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  1. 1

    Download a replacement Ntfs.Sys file from the System Files Home website. Also, download and install WinRar if you don’t have an unzipping program.

  2. 2

    Save the Ntfs.Sys download to your desktop or “My Documents” folder. Open it with WinRar and unzip it to a folder you can easily remember.

  3. 3

    Restart the computer in safe mode by repeatedly tapping “F8” before Windows loads.

  4. 4

    Choose Safe Mode from the list of options and wait for the computer to completely load.

  5. 5

    Locate the Ntfs.Sys file you downloaded; right-click on it and select “Copy.”

  6. 6

    Go to "My Computer," then click "C:," then "Windows," then "System 32." Paste the file into the folder (right-click in an empty area of the folder and select "Paste").

  7. 7

    Restart the computer to see if the error reoccurs.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also retrieve the Ntfs.Sys file without a Windows disk if you have access to another computer with the same operating system. Go to the folder specified in the steps and copy the file to a flash drive.
  • If you have trouble starting Safe Mode, it is possible to paste Ntfs.Sys by using a program to force unlock the original file. Download and install Unlocker. Right-click the Ntfs.Sys file located in the Windows folder and choose “Unlocker.” Then, “Unlock All” and you will be able to overwrite the file with the downloaded version.
  • Starting Windows in Safe Mode allows you to overwrite system files as needed. If you attempt to paste the file in normal mode, you’ll get an error.
  • If this fix doesn’t work or you can’t boot Windows, you must repair Windows using the installation CD.

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