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

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 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 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 it with Easy Recovery Essentials

Easy Recovery Essentials, Windows recovery and repair disk, can fix this boot error automatically and faster. It works with Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8.

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials. Choose your version (XP, Vista, 7 or 8) before you go to download
  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!
  3. Boot into Easy Recovery Essentials
  4. Choose Automated Repair option and click Continue
    Easy Recovery Essentials Repairs NTLDR errors

    Choose “Automated Repair” in Easy Recovery Essentials

  5. Choose your Windows installation drive’s letter (usually C:\) and click on Automated Repair
  6. Easy Recovery Essentials will now begin to fix the error automatically
    Easy Recovery Essentials repairs boot errors

    Easy Recovery Essentials Starts the Process

  7. Once the process is complete, click on Restart
  8. Fixed, the “NTLDR is compressed” error is now fixed in Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8:
    Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Boot Screens

    Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Loading Successfully

You can download Easy Recovery Essentials from here.

Fix NTLDR is compressed on Windows Vista, 7, and 8

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: Vista or 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)
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