When A Good File Goes Bad . . .

I have a relative who was working on his computer the other day during a storm, and he either got too much or too little electricity.

As a result, he has a hard drive that will not boot, and gives the error message, “c:windowssystem32driversntfs.sys is missing or corrupted” which is not good news for an NTFS-formatted drive.

The drive will get to the initial XP screen, then reboot, regular/safe mode, doesn’t matter. Loads ntfs.sys, then reboots a few seconds later. Put the drive in another computer, and it won’t boot through, either; it reboots, too.

The drive hasn’t failed, a system-level diagnostic says it’s OK.

Microsoft has a page addressing this problem, but the solution doesn’t work. As soon as you hit the Repair (or for that matter the Install) button, you get a Blue Screen of Death saying, “Naughty, naughty ntfs.sys.”

I haven’t tried start-up floppy recovery yet, that’s next, but if it didn’t work with the CD, I doubt it will work with the floppies.

I ask anyone who has gone through this before, what do you do if the MS solution don’t work? It would be nice to get the drive back in operation, but recovering the My Documents folder would be OK enough, too.

It’s a 40Gb IBM drive, out of warranty. Windows XP XP2 (used a slipstreamed SP2 CD to try to recover).

Any ideas? Thanks!


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