- NTFS.sys error -

The Problem:

Recently, a friend of mine had a problem with Windows XP.
The computer would not start and presented a blue screen with an error 0x024 in ntfs.sys.
You could not even start in safe mode, a new installation using WinXP or Win2k-CD stopped with an NTFS-error as well.
I did some research and found some people who had the same problem, but no real solution. Microsoft has some Troubleshooting information but this looked like a lot of work and probable data-loss (check references). I did not have that much time since I wanted to start off into holidays the day after.

Detailed problem information:

What I found out:
If your hard disk is okay (no hardware failure), it is most likely that the error occurs due to a corrupt NTFS-filesystem. This could occur because of a dirty shutdown, a hang-up or something similar.
Current Journaling file-systems should prevent such errors but they can happen nonetheless.
So, there is an error in the filesystem that Windows is not aware of. When it starts to mount the partition with the corrupt filesystem, the computer hangs (bluescreen).

The solution: my suggestion:

(Please be aware that you try this on your own risk. I will NOT take ANY GUARANTEE that this will work or that your data will not take any harm. It worked for me, but that does not guarantee anything!)

Get a Knoppix image and burn it to a CD. You might know someone who already has one.
Knoppix is a Live-Linux, means a Linux that starts directly from CD without writing ANYTHING to your hard disk. Of course, you can use any Linux-Live-Distribution. I was just notified by a user who used Slax instead (thanks!).
Just insert the CD and restart your computer. If Windows still boots up, you have to enter your bios and change the boot sequence. CDROM boot must be BEFORE hard disk (e.g. IDE-0).
Knoppix will boot up and will most likely find your hard disk (I could even mount and read it). Currently, Linux does only offer NTFS read support. With Knoppix you can easily save your data over a network to another computer. You should in EVERY case do this to prevent data-loss!
Anyway, the NTFS write support is currently in development. On the Knoppix-CD also is the package ntfs-tools, which contains ntfsfix.
Due to the development status of the NTFS-Linux Project, write support of NTFS could corrupt the NTFS-filesystem which is written.
ntfsfix marks the partition and when Windows boots again, it will check the disk (chkdsk) automatically, which is exactly what we could not do before because Windows hung just before.
1. Boot Knoppix
2. Open Shell
3. Type "su" and press enter. (this makes you root)
4. Type "cfdisk" and press enter.
5. You will see all your partitions on your hard disk. They are e.g. hda1 (probably your C:), hda5 (D:) ... Check those where filesystem is NTFS.
6. Write these down! You should then have a list like: hda1, hda5, hda6
7. Exit cfdisk.
8. Now type: "ntfsfix /dev/hda1" and press enter.
9. Do this and replace hda1 with all occurences on your list.
10. Close Knoppix and reboot.
Windows will boot up and it might take quite a long time while the screen is black. As long as the bluescreen does not come up, everything is okay.
If Windows finally starts okay, you should be done.


Microsoft support: Troubleshooting Stop 0x24 or NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM Error Messages
Linux-NTFS Project

Another comment from a user (Tamara), just for your information (tnx Tamara):

"I fixed it using Ubuntu 7.1, I had to replace the 'su' by 'sudo' and had to mount the disk
sudo mount /dev/hdax /mnt/windisk -t ntfs -o umask=0222"

Alternate solution with Windows XP (by Vulf)

31.01.2009. I received an alternate solution without Knoppix but with Windows XP tools from Vulf.
Beware, I did not test this solution! Use at your own risk!

Using a couple free programs on a working PC:
  1. make an ISO of the Windows CD ROM
  2. Copy TXTSETUP.SIF from your Windows XP CD-ROM to the Desktop; it's found in the I386 directory of the CD-ROM.
  3. Using WordPad add a semicolon to the line "ntfs = ntfs.sys" so it reads ";ntfs = ntfs.sys".
  4. Using an ISO handling program like CDmage, insert the edited TXTSETUP.SIF into the Windows XP ISO image overwriting the original.
  5. Burn the ISO to CD and boot it on the PC with the ntfs.sys error.
  6. Enter the recovery console and at the 'C:' prompt type 'chkdsk /p' (without the quotes) and press Enter.
Vulfs comment:
Using this procedure, I recovered full use of the hard drive with no data loss.


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this page last updated: 13.09.2021