Question

Corrupt file Windows XP SP3

I received an email with a .wav attachment that would not open. So I copied it and pasted it to a MS Office Word blank page and tried to open it. It came form a relative so I thought it was OK.
As soon as I tried to open it a window came up asking if I wanted to "covert" it. I clicked yes and immediately my screen went blue and the following message came up:

Following file is missing or corrupt:
System32/Drivers?Ntfs.sys

I switched my laptop off and tried to reboot. I got a message "press any key to reboot from CD"
Then the message "You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-ROM. Select "r" at the first screen to start repair

I pressed "r" and the cmputer went into Windows setup. After loading all the files it gave me 3 options
1. Install Windows again and wipe out your files
2.Repair Windows.
3. Quit setup
I chose no.2 and it asked me for Administrator Password and although I entered the correct one, it rejected it three times and then rebooted. I tried again and the same happened.
I went into F10 and there under Security it accepted my Administrator Password. I have to save my data because I last did a backup in Nov 2011 so I can't lose anything. What can I do?

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Comments
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Clarification Request
First thing to do

First thing to do is use another computer to download Ubuntu .iso file for your system. You need to burn this .iso file to a cd, insert the burned cd into your inoperative laptop, and run Ubuntu only as a Live CD. Choose "Try Ubuntu without installing" option. This will make your computer think it is running Ubuntu, but no changes to your computer will be made if you do not choose to install it. Any changes will automatically disappear when you shut down your system.

You should be able to backup all your files using this OS.

Direct link to ubuntu .iso file here (version 10.4.4 LTS): http://releases.ubuntu.com/lucid/ubuntu-10.04.4-desktop-i386.iso

No information provided about make, model, or OS so general link also provided here: http://releases.ubuntu.com/lucid/

Other ways to restore the missing ntfs.sys file, so post back asap.

You can reset your admin password using: http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/

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Checking: my laptop details below

I have an HP Compaq nx6110
OS Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600
Service Pack 3.0
BIOS Version 68DTD Ver. F.DC
Intel (R) Celeron (R) M 1.50GHz
Version x86 Family 6 Model 13
Cache 1024KB
Capacity 37.26 GB
Free 21.40GB

Will the Ubuntu you recommend above still be OK to use?

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Certainly

More to the point, with the information about your system, I can say the first direct link is the one you want to download to a second computer, and use that to burn the 694 MB .iso file to a CD.

Running Ubuntu can be done it two ways:

--Live CD: You get to try it out without installing it. It will need at least 512 MB memory (you don't say) to run normally in virtual operation. As the CD-ROM is much slower than the hard drive, it will take some time to start and get to the desktop. Bonus is that it is very similar in operation to XP, and all you would need to do is look for the XP drive, and use copy/paste to save your files to a backup media of choice.

It will run OK with just 256 MB memory though.

--Installing Ubuntu: This is not your best choice, as it will be installed side-by-side to XP, and you will wind up with a dual-boot system where you can either run XP (once you get that repaired) or Ubuntu. You cannot remove Ubuntu once installed should you decide you don't want it. Or, if the wrong option is chosen, Ubuntu will overwrite the XP partition.

So, do not choose to install.

Once the .iso file is made bootable, suggest trying it out on a good computer similar (Intel processor) to see what the boot process is like, and what happens when you choose to try ubuntu without installing and then shut down the computer.

--Tip: Watch for a keyboard and little man icons at the bottom of the display when first starting up, and hit enter as soon as you see them. This will bring you to the default language selection, hit enter again, and then the multiple choices will appear. If you miss this step the first time, do not worry, a choice to try it out will appear later.

Since the entire Live CD operation is virtual, merely pressing the power switch off will shut your system down without problems if you do this before the desktop loads. Normally you would use the shut down command within Ubuntu to properly end your virtual session once you are in the desktop. (Look for a power button icon upper right corner of desktop.)

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Questions

Hi,
Thank you so much for your help. I have 1024kb RAM. Sorry for the ommission.

When you say "backup media of choice", I have an external drive that can plug into a USB on my inoperative laptop. I want to copy and paste to this drive into which I will place a blank CD. Will that work?

One other question, for future reference, could I extract files from the inoperative laptop to a second laptop by linking the two through USB ports and searching for the files from the second laptop?

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Ubuntu .iso file problem

Hi,
When I switch my HP Compaq laptop on, it asks for my initial password as it always has done, then I get a screen with the following message:


"Windows could not start because the following file is missing
or corrupt:
System32\Drivers\Ntfs.sys

You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup
using the original Setup CD-ROM.
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair"

I downloaded the Ubuntu iso file and burnt a copy onto a DVD (too big for a CD) then inserted it into my inoperative laptop but I can only get past the above message (screen) by inserting the Operating System CD Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 in the drive.
So how do I activate the Ubuntu lucid programme?

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My bet is you copied the .iso file to that DVD.
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Good computer

Did you try the burned .iso file on CD/DVD on a good computer that will boot first from the CD drive?

If it does boot into Ubuntu then you will know it is a BIOS setting on the laptop that needs to be changed. Wrong boot order on your laptop will result in the computer looking to boot from the hard drive first and never seeing the CD-ROM drive. This is likely why you would see the same thing as before, when you inserted a known good bootable Ubuntu Live CD.

To do this, you need to enter the BIOS.

Here: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00034791&tmp_track_link=ot_recdoc/c00042629/en_us/c00034791/loc:1&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&product=449805

Use either F2 or F10 to access the BIOS. Once there, you need to look for the boot setup order. You need the CD to boot first, then the hard drive. If there is a third or fourth option, it is ok if they are placed below the hard drive in boot order. Use the save option within the BIOS to save your changes.

If the .iso file is not made bootable, and is copied instead, the CD is not bootable. Use a free program such as http://www.imgburn.com/ on the good computer to make Ubuntu bootable.

Please let us know if it worked for you.

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You may want to reply to those with the issue?

Be careful about which post you reply to.

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Answer
I sounds like bad news

mchainmchain is trying to lead you to be able to do this: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/use-ubuntu-live-cd-to-backup-files-from-your-dead-windows-computer/
Then the data can be transferred to a different media before the offending computer is restored. Another approach could be to follow Grif's advice: http://forums.cnet.com/7726-6132_102-5098912.html?tag=posts;msg5165373
It sounds to me as the .wav attachment was not OK and dumped some malware in the OS. The telltale message "Following file is missing or corrupt:
System32/Drivers?Ntfs.sys"
It is possible that is a coincidence but it is not looking good for that. I hope in worst case scenario, that there is restore media available to you for run Recovery.

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