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How to Fix Failed NTFS.sys in Windows 10

Fix Windows could not start because Ntfs.sys is missing or corrupt with the detailed guide. First, restore a missing or corrupt NTFS.sys file with a bootable CD. Second, recover lost system, data files with EaseUS data recovery software.

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Table of Contents

The failed Ntfs.sys will generate different error codes, so the fixes are different. Here's a quick view of all errors and solutions:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix Error Code 1. NTFS_File_SYSTEM (Ntfs.sys)

Method 1. Fix disk corruptions with Windows built-in Chkdsk utility. Enter "Safe Mode with Command Prompt". Open "This PC", right-click the problematic drive...Full steps 


Method 2. Update outdated drivers that cause failed Ntfs.sys problem. Right-click on "This PC" and go to "Manage" > "Device Manager"...Full steps


Method 1. Update Windows. Enter safe mode, click "Start" and type update. Choose "Check for updates"...Full steps


Method 2. Run system file checker tool: DISM and SFC scan. In safe mode, click "Start" and type cmd...Full steps


Method 3. Check the RAM. Faulty RAM stick installation or incorrect RAM setup may induce an Ntfs.sys...Full steps

What Is NTFS.sys

Ntfs.sys is located in C:\Windows\System32\drivers folder. Ntfs.sys indicates either the system file that is essential in running Windows or the hardware driver that allows the Windows operating system to read and write to NTFS drives. Thus, if you get a BSOD with the stop code: NTFS_File_SYSTEM (Ntfs.sys), that means there is something wrong with the hardware driver. If you receive the error code: SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION (Ntfs.sys), you probably get a corrupted system file.

What Caused Failed NTFS.sys

Every error has its causes. The culprit for NTFS_File_SYSTEM (Ntfs.sys) is likely to be disk corruption, be it NTFS file system corruption or disk errors like bad sectors. Besides, corrupted hard drive drivers can also result in a failed Ntfs.sys. And the SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION (Ntfs.sys) may be induced by antivirus software that is conflicted with the system, corrupted or outdated driver, or problematic RAM sticks.

Specify the error message on your computer screen and carry out the corresponding fixes to remove the Ntfs.sys error.

How to Recover Files Lost Due to NTFS.sys Error

Before you fix the missing or corrupt NTFS.sys file in Windows XP/7/8/10, export your data first. Usually, computer data files may possibly lose after such an NTFS.sys error and EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard software can take good care of it.

EaseUS File Recovery Software

  • Support deleted file recovery, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations.
  • Restore data after formatting, emptying recycle bin, virus attack, system crash, and more.
  • Support over 1000 types of files like DOC/DOCX, XLS/XLSX, PPT/PPTX, AIF/AIFF, MP3, JPG/JPEG, AVI, MOV, MP4, and more.
 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to restore whatever disappeared on your computer, HDD or external SD card, USB flash drive, etc. That's how you're guaranteed an effective and safe fix for missing or corrupt NTFS.sys files without losing data.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS file recovery software on your Windows computer. Choose the exact location where you lost the files and click the "Scan" button.

select a location to scan

Step 2. The software will immediately start scanning the drive, and the deleted files will be displayed soon. If you find the files you need during the scan, you can stop the scan. In order to find the target file quickly, you can use the file format filter.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Select files, such as Word, Excel, PDF, photos, videos, or emails and click the "Recover" button. You can browse for a different location to keep the recovered files.

Recover lost data

Error Code 1. NTFS_File_SYSTEM (Ntfs.sys)

As mentioned, the main culprit for a failed Ntfs.sys in such a situation is a file system error, bad sectors, or outdated device drivers. Given that, the solutions to this issue are quite clear: fix disk corruptions and update the device driver.

Since there are multiple disks and drivers on a computer, you first need to specify the drive(or device) or driver that is causing the problem using the Event Viewer. To check it, you need to enter Safe Mode.

Step 1. Hold down the power button for 10s to shut down the computer.

Step 2. Press the power button to start the computer. Once you see the first sign of Windows has started, e.g., the logo of the manufacturer, hold down the power button for 10s again to turn off the device.

Step 3. Press the power button to start the computer. Once Windows restarts, hold down the power button for 10s to turn off the computer.

Step 4. Press the power button to start the computer, and don't interrupt it this time. Then you will see your computer in WinRE.

Step 5. On the "Choose an option" screen, choose "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced options" > "Startup Settings" > "Restart".

Step 6. After the restart, you will see a list of options, as shown in the image below. Select "5" or press "F5" to enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Enter Safe Mode

Now you need to check Event Viewer:

Step 1. Click "Start" and enter the event viewer.

Step 2. Right-click "Event Viewer" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. Expand "Windows Logs" and choose "System".

Step 4. Check the errors that coincided with the blue screen and fix the error according to the information.

Check Event Viewer

Method 1. Fix Disk Corruptions

The Windows built-in Chkdsk utility can fix disk errors like file system errors and bad sectors. Thus, you can solve the disk corruption with the command-line tool. If you don't want to use command lines, applying the disk checking feature has the same effect.

Step 1. Enter "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" using the way introduced above.

Step 2. Open "This PC", right-click the problematic drive, and choose "Properties".

Step 3. Go to the "Tools" tab, click "Check".

Check disk corruptions

Method 2. Update Device Driver

An outdated or corrupted driver is the cause of the failed Ntfs.sys in most cases. If you figure out the faulty driver via Event Viewer, go to Safe Mode with Networking to update the corresponding driver.

Step 1. Right-click on "This PC" and go to "Manage" > "Device Manager".

Step 2. Expand "Display adapters", right-click on the graphics card driver, and choose "Update driver".

Update driver

According to Microsoft, there are other tips worth trying to fix the blue screen of death caused by the Ntfs.sys error.

  • Disable any virus scanners, backup programs, or disk defragment tools.
  • Run hardware diagnostics provided by the manufacturer.
  • Ensure there is enough space on the system drive. If not, you can extend the system drive to make Windows run properly.


Based on the possible reasons that lead to the Ntfs.sys error, in addition to updating the driver using the way introduced above, here are other solutions you can apply.

Method 1. Update Windows

Updating Windows can not only fix some known bugs or problems but also update necessary drivers.

Step 1. Enter safe mode following the steps provided.

Step 2. Click "Start" and type update.

Step 3. Choose "Check for updates".

Step 4. Windows will show you the new updates available. Click "Install now" to update your Windows. (Make sure you install all the updates available.)

Update Windows

Method 2. Run System File Checker Tools

System File Checker tool is a built-in utility in Windows that can check and repair missing or corrupted system files. It will repair the failed Ntfs.sys file automatically. Follow the steps introduced in the last part to enter Safe Mode with Command Prompt and then:

Step 1. In safe mode, click "Start" and type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. If you are using Windows 10, you should first run DISM.exe: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth to make a Windows image to protect your data:

Step 4. When the DISM command has been completed, type the following command: sfc /scannow to start scanning and repairing your system files.

Method 3. Check the RAM

Faulty RAM stick installation or incorrect RAM setup may also induce an Ntfs.sys error. First, you need to check the hardware. To do so, turn off your computer and reconnect the RAM sticks. You can troubleshoot the problematic RAM stick by removing all of them and trying to power on each stick one by one.

If there is nothing wrong with the hardware, you need to check the timings and frequencies of the RAM. You can get the recommended values from the manufacturer and apply third-party tools to check the actual values of the RAM sticks. If they don't match, you can enter BIOS to adjust the RAM values to the recommended ones.

Tips and Notifications

  • You can also apply the driver installation disc to update the corresponding hardware driver.
  • Both updating driver and running System File Checker tool can be applied to both of the situations.
  • Disable antivirus or similar software is only helpful in Windows 10.

The Bottom Line

Ntfs.sys is a system file that enables the communication between the operating system and the hardware. Therefore, it's necessary for Windows to run smoothly. When Ntfs.sys fails, you may get a blue screen of death. To fix it, the most effective way is to update the faulty driver. If that doesn't help, use the other ways detailed to have a try. I hope one of them will help you solve the Ntfs.sys error.

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Updated by Jaden

Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.

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Approved by Evan Galasso

Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.

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