Get the fix for “NTLDR is compressed” boot error in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1.

Just like with the “BOOTMGR is compressed” error , there are no other known alternative error messages for this boot issue. Windows simply shows the following text:

NTLDR is compressed

Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

-

Hitting the Ctrl + Alt + Del combination of keys would restart the computer and come back to this black screen.

This error appears when your hard disk has been recently compressed. Other have reported to have this error after performing a System Restore using the Destructive Option.

Windows can’t start without loading the correct version of this file, an uncompressed one.

Fix: Use Easy Recovery Essentials

Easy Recovery Essentials is guaranteed to fix the “NTLDR is compressed” error automatically using its built-in Automated Repair option. EasyRE is currently available for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and can be downloaded and created on any PC.

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials. Make sure to note your Windows version (XP, Vista, 7 or 8) before you download EasyRE. This guide can help you identify what version of Windows you have installed.
  2. Burn the image. Follow these instructions on how to burn the bootable ISO image very carefully, as making a bootable CD can be tricky! Alternatively, these instructions explain how to create a bootable EasyRE recovery USB stick/drive.
  3. Boot up your PC from the Easy Recovery Essentials CD or USB you created.
  4. Once EasyRE is running, choose the “Automated Repair” option and click Continue.
    EasyRE Home

    Choose “Automated Repair” in Easy Recovery Essentials

  5. After EasyRE scans your computer’s drives, identify and select the drive letter for your Windows installation from the list, and then click on the Automated Repair button to begin.
    EasyRE displays a list of found Windows operating systems

    Choose the drive associated with the Windows installation you’re trying to repair.

  6. Easy Recovery Essentials will start analyzing the selected drive for problems. EasyRE will test for and attempt to automatically correct errors with the disk, partition, bootsector, filesystem, bootloader, and registry. No intervention is required, as EasyRE’s repair is fully automated:
    EasyRE: Automated Repair

    Easy Recovery Essentials searches for errors and makes corrections to the selected Windows installation.

  7. Once the process is complete, EasyRE will report its findings. Click on the Restart button to reboot your PC and test the changes.
  8. The “NTLDR is compressed” error should now be fixed as your PC begins to load:
    EasyRE: Automated Repair

    Windows, booting up successfully.

You can download Easy Recovery Essentials from here.

Fix NTLDR is compressed on Windows XP

Windows Setup CD/DVD Required!
Some of the solutions below require the use of the Microsoft Windows setup CD or DVD. If your PC did not come with a Windows installation disc or if you no longer have your Windows setup media, you can use Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows instead. EasyRE will automatically find and fix many problems, and can also be used to solve this problem with the directions below.

Fix #1: Decompress your hard drive

The command you need to use here is called attrib. It can set and remove file attributes: hidden, system, archive or read-only.

  1. Insert your Windows XP install disc
  2. Restart your computer and boot from the CD
  3. As the Windows XP Setup welcome screen appears, press the R key to access Recovery Console
  4. Command Prompt will now ask you “which Windows installation would you like to log onto” which is 1. Type 1 and then hit Enter:
    1
  5. Enter your Administrator password
  6. Type cd \ in Command Prompt after that:
    cd \
  7. Type attrib -c c:\ntldr, assuming c: is your hard disk drive’s letter where you installed Windows:
    attrib -c c:\ntldr
  8. Type exit and hit Enter:
    exit
  9. Restart your computer

Fix NTLDR is compressed on Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1

Windows Setup CD/DVD Required!
Some of the solutions below require the use of the Microsoft Windows setup CD or DVD. If your PC did not come with a Windows installation disc or if you no longer have your Windows setup media, you can use Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows instead. EasyRE will automatically find and fix many problems, and can also be used to solve this problem with the directions below.

Fix #1: Use Startup Repair

This solution can be applied to both versions: Windows Vista or Windows 7.

  1. Insert your Windows install disk
  2. Press any key when you see “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD”
  3. Click on Repair your computer after selecting your language, time and keyboard method
  4. Select the drive of your Windows installation and click Next. Standard drive is usually C:\
  5. Select Startup Repair and wait for the process to finish.

More Information

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
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