ntoskrnl.exe is corrupted. windows wont open

  • Netmon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have the exact same issue as described above except mine's with 2000 not XP. I have successfully completed several of the repair steps as described above but I have one glaring obstical.
I'm at the REPAIR CONSOLE C:/> prompt and and the instructions say,
"CD Windows" (or in my case WINNT) I try and get "access denied".

FURTHER: I have copied the file: ntoskrnl.exe from this (ok) machine to a CDRW and attempted on the (down) mahine, to copy it (cd drive is I)
I:/> copy ntoskrnl.exe c:\winnt\system32 [enter]
access is denied
I have the administrator user name (changed) and password.
so how do I get the rights?
  • digital_gangsta
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have a similar thing when I boot my system.

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows 2000 root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe.
Please reinstall a copy of the above file.

I was able to instal 2k pro on another partician. I got online, found this forum etc. (very cool and informative forums here i must say!) I fixed my boot.ini so I could dual boot, replaced my hal.dll, ntoskrnl.exe, and ntldr files, and still get the same message every time. so after my last boot up, I noticed something -

the part where it says '<windows 2000 root>' in the message on the black screen (I am assuming this refering to the root windows folder where the OS is at) my actual folder isnt named that. it is just named WINDOWS. so like the message should actually read <WINDOWS root>, but it does not.. it took me a while to notice that little tidbit.

so basically I can only assume that somewhere along the path of how windows loads, the folder reference to the ntoskrnl.exe has been altered, and thus the system is trying to load the ntoskrnl.exe from a folder which does not exist, and thus, the error.

so, should I rename my folder to match the message on the screen? or is there some file I missed that needs replacing? i can only guess for the most part, if I rename the folder, it will only screw up a poo pile of other things, so I didn't want to attempt that, at least till someone reads this and hopefully has a solution.....

your assistance is MOST APPRECIATED, as I have over 5 years of stuff installed on my original windows instal, and it would just plain suck totally rotten eggs with poop on em if I have to loose it all to Fdisk...
:(
  • adminhelp
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Post 3+ Months Ago

well, I had the same error and I fixed it using CHKDSK on my UBCD cd. You can download it Here => http://www.ubcd4win.com/.

It is good for many other things too! So keep it!

David
------------------
http://www.redstickhackers.com
  • apache_no
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I did exactly like what U wrote and it worked but then when I restart my comp the same problem came back.

I reinstall my windows and guess what after installing SP-2 all of a sudden this problem came back. I did your suggestion again and it didn't seem to work :(

How should I tackle this problem ? any suggestion ?
  • GhostToast
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i have had the same thing happen. i did a defrag overnight on friday. saturday morning it said i was finished, and that there were some fragged files that could not be defragged. i am running windows xp pro SP 2 btw. the image did not look very different. so i resumed playing civilization 4 and it started to run a little choppy. sometimes the game will just do this so i closed the application and re-ran it. it crashed so i decided to reboot. the reason i'm saying all of this will become evident..

so then i get the classic error that all of us on this thread seem to be getting. the old ntoskrnl.exe. cant get in. i send it to the PC shop saturday and the guy has called me today saying that their recovery rig cant even run the windows repair on it (i would have done it myself but my windows xp cd is across the state) because it wont recognize it as a partition with windows. the only option it will offer is to format. so now they are trying to run checkdisk on it because it is only showing up as a 4 meg (vs the 120 gig, less-than-a-year-old drive that it is) drive! and it is all returning 0s... so far. i am really pissed. someone please offer me some words of advice, or at least of comfort :cry:
  • pramitroy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Have you run "sfc /scannow" ? If not insert your XP installation cd and type that command at the command prompt.
  • GhostToast
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i cant. i dont have the windows xp cd, as stated in my post.
  • GhostToast
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Post 3+ Months Ago

they have tried to use windows system recover though, using up-to-date oem versions of windows xp w/ service pak 2 i think.
  • pramitroy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What did they get using checkdisk ? If they are unsuccessful using system recovery it may be a problem with the disk itself.
  • GhostToast
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i am convinced that it is the disc. they ran surface scans, even in linux...a binary image returned almost all 0's. it had 4 megs of data according to linux. so. it's DOA. i'm sad. but i am getting a replacement from maxtor cause it is still under warranty. i just wish i could get my system back in commission before thanksgiving break. i must wait for my dad to ship his windows xp cd...

the guys at the computer shop even let me borrow their windows xp service pack 2 cd so i could get started, but their's is OEM, and my product auth code is retail...so they do aren't compatible, sadly. oh postal service....please move swiftly!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

do u have access to the disk itself? because if so, the disk contains a text file called unattend.txt in the i386 folder. open this file and scroll down to the bottom. it will say: ProductKey = "XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX...". use this product key during installation and you will be able to fully install. however, u wont be able to activate but since u have an xp copy on the way u dont need to because when that gets to u you can activate your copy using that cdkey
:)
  • AFraser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi everyone,

I came across this thread while researching my corrupt/absent NTOSKRNL.EXE problem on the internet. My problem is very similar to Netmon's problem (July/05).

I can get into the Windows XP recovery console no problem, but I just can't seem to expand NTOSKRNL.EX_ from the CD to my C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directory. I kept getting the following error: "Unable to create file NTOSKRNL.EXE". The same thing happens when I try to expand NTKRNLMP.EX_ as NTOSKRNL.EXE.

I ran CHKDSK /r, which "...found and fixed one or more errors on the volume." I tried running BOOTCFG /rebuild, but I keep getting the following error:
Quote:
"Error: failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. The error may be caused by a corrupt file system, which would prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning. Use chkdsk to detect any disk errors."
I get this error no matter how many times I run CHKDSK /r.

I've tried a couple of manual edits of BOOT.INI, trying different partition numbers, etc. Nothing helped, so I put it back the way it originally was.

Now, when I look in my \SYSTEM32 directory using the repair console, NTOSKRNL.EXE has completely vanished. It was there when I first started, and I didn't delete it on purpose, unless CHKDSK did somehow.

I think a lot of my problems would be solved if I could just EXPAND that file (NTOSKRNL.EX_) from my Windows XP CD to my SYSTEM32 directory, but I can't! It's really frustrating... Does anyone else have any experience or advice regarding this? I've spent the whole weekend trying to get my computer resuscitated, and I'm starting to worry that I'll have to reinstall everything and lose important files!

Any and all advice is appreciated! Thanks!
A. Fraser
  • Rikosuave11
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi Everyone,

I took the time to read and skim through all 9 pages of the postings on this thread and found that my error is somewhat unique to what everyone else is experiencing.

I'm running WIN2K. I’m not sure if it’s Pro or not. Does it matter? I know it’s not server or workstation. Anyway, I hadn't had the computer online since May, and just recently put it back online and almost immediately got a virus before i could even update my virus files and download windows security updates. It would freeze after i entered my login and password into windows. I got around it by just changing the password. I tried running the virus scan and it would freeze when scanning this particular directory. I don't remember which it was, but i seem to think it was in the system32 folder somewhere. So i just ran the virus check on every other directory, and it found nothing, but continued ot lock up if i went to a full system scan. So i took my computer back off the internet and now about 2 weeks later of little to no trouble with it, i ran into another problem:

Out of nowhere, my computer locked up in windows and i rebooted and now get the error everyone here's been talking about:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows 2000 root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe.
Please reinstall a copy of the above file.

I don't have a windows 2K CD readily available, (though i can have my brother mail me his) so i downloaded off a website the 4 floppy boot disks so that i could at least run setup of windows.

This is the link I got the boot disks from:

http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm

From there, i tried JrzyCrim's instructions for Recovery Console, but ran into a problem.

I followed the instructions at the following link:

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/j_helmig/wxprcons.htm

But at the final blue screen, when i hit C to enter recovery console, instead of it asking me which windows 2000 installation i would like to login to, and then asking for the administrator password, it just takes me to a command prompt directly. The prompt it takes me to is C:\>, not C:\WINNT>.

I type DIR, and see the directory WINNT. I type "cd WINNT" and i get

"The system cannot find the file or directory specified"

I try JrzyCrim's code: "cd c:\winnt\system32", it says

"The system cannot find the file or directory specified"

When i try: cd "c:\winnt\driver cache\i386", i get the same thing.

But when i type "cd NVIDIA", (another directory I see in C:) it says "Access Denied", which i think it should.

So then i tried a repair installation, thinking it wouldn't be a big deal to lose the windows updates, etc. So i made a ERD from my dad's laptop which runs WIN2K Pro. I don't know if any other aspect of windows is the same, other than they're both 2K. And i tried a fast repair and a manual repair using the ERD and without using the ERD. (so 4 different tries). The steps i followed were at this link:

http://www.windows2000.windowsreinstall.com/

Each try ended with the same result. After i inserted the ERD, and pressed enter, or after i said i did not have an ERD, instead of saying it found windows 2000 in the following folder, it said

Setup cannot create the folder
\WINNT
Setup cannot continue until the folder is created
Press To Retry, Press ENTER
To quit Setup, Press F3

When i press enter, it does nothing, and i have to restart the setup, which takes me right back to where i started.

So it seems not to be seeing the entire directory WINNT. Do i need the actual Windows 2K CD to do a repair installation? Because as stated, I'm just using 4 floppy boot disks to get into windows setup.

I'm quite lost on what to do. Any help would be appreciated. And thank you in advance for your time and effort.

~Rick


JrzyCrim wrote:
Hello,

If you do a repair installation of Windows (XP?), you won't have to re-install any of your apps. However, you will have to install all of your windows hotfixes and updates. You shouldn't have to do a repair install, however.

You can use the Recovery Console on your Windows CD .

Just follow the instructions at the above link.

Once at the command prompt, type in the following commands:

Edited:
Code: [ Select ]
cd c:\windows\system32

copy "..\driver cache\i386\ntoskrnl.exe"
  1. cd c:\windows\system32
  2. copy "..\driver cache\i386\ntoskrnl.exe"

If prompted to overwite the existing file, type y and enter.

If you receive a file not found error, make sure that the path in the copy command is correct. If it is correct and you still receive the error, then try the following commands:

Code: [ Select ]
cd "c:\windows\driver cache\i386"

expand sp1.cab -F:ntoskrnl.exe c:\windows\system32
  1. cd "c:\windows\driver cache\i386"
  2. expand sp1.cab -F:ntoskrnl.exe c:\windows\system32


Again, if you are prompted to overwrite the file, type y and then enter.

Also, if your OS is installed on a partition/drive other than C:, then replace any occurance of C: with the correct letter. (D: for example).

Replace any occurence of 'windows' with what is appropriate for your system. (winnt for example)

Reboot. Your system should start up normally.
  • tomc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi I have been reading this msg board and am having a similar problem.
I had the usual (by the sounds of everyones problems) problem of a corrupt or missing ntoskrnl file. I cured that by using the recovery console on the XP install disk and expanding the file from the cd to C:

However here is the rub on restarting XP kept rebooting on start up so I went into the repair a windows setup and now I get the following error

Setup cannot create the folder \WINDOWS\driver Cache i386
setup cannot continue until the folder is created

can anyone help please.
  • beerslayer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi, all -

I'm having pretty much the same symptoms as many others who have posted in this topic - the dreaded "ntoskrnl.exe is missing" error, but I got to the problem from a different direction. Here's my situation:

System: multi-boot, with 3 OSes: Win98, Win2kPro, RH Linux 7.3. Drive is partitioned strangely, but for all intents and purposes Win2k is on the D: drive, which the "Recovery Console" command MAP reports to be partition #4. Windows 2000 has been working just fine for years, until I decided to mess with it this afternoon and I really seem to have screwed it up badly.

What I tried to do: System is desperately low on disk space, especially on D:, the system drive. Silly me - I thought maybe I could clear up some space by reducing the size of the dllcache folder, so I set it to 50MB through the registry and then attempted to purge the old contents using the command "sfc /purgecache". BIG mistake.

What it did: It wanted to reinstall a bunch of files from the "SP4 CD", which doesn't exist and never has. I had upgraded to SP4 a long time ago, not from a CD, and did not keep the installer due to - you guessed it - low disk space. So I canceled sfc using its cancel button (I did NOT force-quit it in TaskManager).

Now I'm getting the ntoskrnl.exe missing error. But when I boot into Win98 on C:, I can check the D:\WINNT\System32\Config directory and the file ntoskrnl.exe is present and appears to be normal (it is not zero-length - about 1.6MB).

So far as I can tell, the BOOT.INI file does point at the correct drive ('Partition(4)'), but I've tried modifying it anyway (both on the HD and on a FD created as described several posts back) with no success. I'm at my wit's end here because it looks like all the necessary files are in the right places, and it still won't boot.

If you've read this far, thanks, and I hope someone can point out something else I can try. I really don't want to lose this installation.
  • pramitroy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This behavior can occur if any of the following conditions exist:
• The Default value in the [Boot Loader] section of the Boot.ini file is missing or invalid.
• Windows NT is not installed in the location specified in the Boot.ini file.
• For Microsoft Windows 2000, the Hal.dll file can be corrupted or missing.


If you have the emergency repair disk(ERD) you created boot from that and try modifying the boot.ini file.
Here is a sample and example
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289022/en-us

To replace hal.dll see this
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/237556/
  • sankar
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Mjp wrote:
Alright, hmmmm.....as I was reading that post my computer just restarted itself...no idea why. The power did not go out, that was just plain weird. Also, twice I've had this problem. The computer wouldn't start up. I believe this was after the storm. I found out later one of the times was cause a video driver? Even though I hadn't touched my drivers for a while and everything was always fine. Also, when I tried to start my computer during these times it made a very loud whining/humming noise immediately when I turned the power on. Very hard to describe. After I turned it off, after hearing that, and turned it back on. It did it again. So I tried it again, and it didn't do it.

I know its extremely vague, but any idea what might be the cause of this?


I too face a similar problem but peculiar in its very own nature. ok let me come to the point. i have windows xp pro installed in my comp. when i start my computer with keyboard connected i get weird noise. some buzz sound. windows fails to boot saying ntoskrnl.exe is missing. but when i start with the keyboard plugged out i'm able to go to the login screen. alas all my accounts are password protected so nothing doing. if i try to connect keyboard at this stage my mouse too freezes. i cant try repairing too. i need to modify the bios setting to boot from cd. which requires keyboard control. help me out...
  • Rikosuave11
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi Everyone,

I was able to repair the ntoskrnl.exe problem. But now when it goes to the "Windos is starting" black screen with that white progress bar across the bottom, i get the problem,

Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

Now i tried to follow the instructions jrsycrim had to fix it, found here

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_sys32.htm

But when i tried the command

copy c:\windows\repair\system , and then press ENTER.

It said the file was not found. I looked in my repair folder and saw there were 2 files, for 0 bytes, which i think means it's empty. So i don't have that file. Is there someplace else i can copy that file over?

Also, when i try to do a repair installation, i get that blue screen "to set up windows 2000 now, press enter, then i do and agree to the license, then the next screen, it doesn't give me the option to do a repair install. It goes straight ot my partitions and asks where i want to install the new copy of windows. WHy don't i get the option to repair install?

Also, i have 2 paritions on this harddrive. One has windows on it and the other has all my important files. If i install a fresh copy of windows on the partiiton with the old version of windows, will i lose my info on the other partition?

your help is greatly appreciated.

Rick
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Also, i have 2 paritions on this harddrive. One has windows on it and the other has all my important files. If i install a fresh copy of windows on the partiiton with the old version of windows, will i lose my info on the other partition?

No you will not. Windows will only install to the partition you specify and will leave the others intact.

Are you trying to repair Windows 2000 or XP? You have both mentioned in your post.
  • arno
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi guys,
I have exactly the same problem with the ntoskrnl.exe file, but when i follow your advice and try to do the process in the windows xp recovery console, I can't access the command prompt...

At the stage:
1: C:\ WINDOWS
"Which windows installation would you like to log onto?", when I type "1", it gets stuck there for ages and I can't do anything.

What should I do?
Please save me, and explain me in easy steps, cause I'm not a specialist with computers :?
Thanks a lot!
Arno
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I would try and do a repair installation. Here is step by step instructions.
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
  • Mhuff
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Alright just built new comp and have gone in to install win xp pro. I get it all installed go to start up and get the ntoskrnl.exe corruption. I boot up windows again and try and do the repair file which has been said before, but on my setup menu it shows my C:partition1 ,

and if i want to setup windows press enter

create a partition press C

delete partition press D

I have deleted and reinstalled it several times and same error...what can i do?


later on i setup windows by pressing enter, then when it rebooted it, i was given the "read disk error press alt+ctl+del to reboot" so i did it and same thing read disk error. So then i deleted partition tried reformatting and ntoskernl.exe . I am going to try and do the long reformatting again to see if it works. Didn't the first time, but maybe this time it will. I have no way of getting to the RC...any other way of getting there, because it doesn't show up when i put in the windows xp pro cd and run it.
  • Mhuff
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Alright i did the long reformatting and it worked, i had it running and all was jolly until after i was updating bios and installing things like anti virus etc. I go to do the restart and come up with a new problem "C0000221 ... ntdll.dll error. Now it just keeps looping when i try and reboot. I reformatted it twice with quick way and reinstalled windows, then when i try and to boot it up i get the same ntdll.dll error or config error. So for the last time i am going to run long reformat way and try it again. If it screws up I am sending back my three day old maxtor hard drive. Any other suggestions?
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... us;Q314474
  • Rikosuave11
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i guess i'm just not sure of the difference between "retaining all files and folders" yet at the same time "replace the version of windows" Just so we can communicate better, my operating system partition is my C: drive, and my important information i can't lose is on my D: drive. I don't need to keep any of the info on my C: drive....it can be formatted for all i care. But i'd guess that's where the virus resides. So maybe it'd be better if i formatted just the C: drive and then reinstalled windows? But if i do that, would that mean any programs (ie microsoft money, video games, etc) that i installed on the D: drive, wouldn't work anymore? I'd have to reinstall?


also, to answer your qeustion, i'm dealing with win 2k
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

More than likely yes. The registry entries made when those programs were installed would be erased once you installed Windows.
  • Rikosuave11
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Post 3+ Months Ago

so you'd recommend i format that partition to eradicate the virus? or would the reinstall take care of the virus alone?
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There are many ways to skin a virus without formatting.

But if that is the route you want to take, I would format vice the re-install, a.k.a. repair install.
  • snakeyes37
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi,

I'm having the same exact problem as the first poster, my ntoskrnl.exe is missing aswell. But the solutions that were given aren't working as easily as they were for him. When I try and cd to the system32 folder I keep getting the following error, "The path or file specified is not valid." And when I try expanding the ntoskrnl.ex_ I get this error too, "Access is denied."


Thanks.
  • HPDV1000
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello all,

Here's the problem, hope someone has some thoughts or guidance.....

Recently I bought a HP dv1000 which seemed to be running as it should for about the first six days. However after that when I turned it on it would show the initial HP graphic screen when powered up and then go black and start an audio alarm of a constant drone. To solve this I pressed the stop button on the media control (other buttons seem to have the same effect too) and the alarm would soon stop and the computer would return to it's normal start up process. It was around the same time that I noticed a strance thing happening with the number 5 key. The key would act as if constantly being pressed for no reason and cause the number 5 to scrawl across the screen when not pushed. It would happen on all applications to start up which required text, msn messenger, word docs etc. By pressing the media player stop button, the problem would seem to go away but often soon return.
My first thoughts were that it must be a bit of a faulty button but I did a bit of a test on it and it still requires the same amount of finger pressure on the keyboard to activate the button.
So with the strange audio alarm on the start up and the number 5 thing, I then decided to do a start up and let the audio alarm run for a while to figure itself out. After a minute or so it would sometimes say notskrnl exe. missing or corrupt. I am very amature when it comes to this sort of thing but I managed to locate thefile in the window32 I think it was so it wasn't missing, but possibly corrupt. I then attempted to replace the file which I think seemed to work but only for one start up.

So my questions are....

1. Do you think it is a faulty PC problem (I had only had it for six days however had used internet while running Norton AntiVirus and anti spyware)

2. Do you think the problem of the number five and the bad start up are related?

3. What are the sort of effects of a corrupt nostkrnl exe. everything else seems to be running fine

I hope someone out there can help. If you need any further info let me know.


Thanks

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