ntoskrnl.exe is corrupted. windows wont open

  • Wes19
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Post 3+ Months Ago

when i turn on my computer an error pops up before windows even starts


Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

<Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe.
Please reinstall a copy of the above file.

My question is if I do a repair installation of windows will I lose all my data and all my programs. I am running windows xp pro.


PLEASE HELP!!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • JrzyCrim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

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.
  • DuckIT
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thats a great source of info on repairing XP! Gonna make a note of that.

S
  • JrzyCrim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

:) I've used this method to replace corrupted system files on a few occasions. There is a folder in system32 called dllcache which contains backups of many critical system files. Generally, if you have a problem with a corrupted file which causes windows 2000/XP to crash or not load at all, you can use the recovery console and replace the file in question with the copy found in dllcache. The chances that the original file and the copy in dllcache are both corrupted are very slim. Of course, if you have problems with lots of files, you should always run a Virus scan...

Cheers,
  • Smokenjoe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah,
I agree about always running a virus scan. I have had many problems which have easily been fixed by runing virus/spybot/adware programs. Always a good place top start when trouble shooting.
  • Wes19
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Post 3+ Months Ago

thank you for all the replies. I fixed the ntoskrnl.exe file but now it is giving me the same message with a different file.

<Windows>system32\config\system

any help in repairing this problem would also be greatly appreciated

Wes
  • JrzyCrim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

In a reply to a private message, I sent Wes a link to this page with recovery instructions:

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

Cheers,
  • Smokenjoe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Nice link, thanks guy.
  • Mjp
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank you so very much for this information. For some reason or another, my ntoskrnl.exe was corrupt as well. I did exactly what you said and I'm back online!!!

Thank you so much. You saved me a huge headache. BTW, anyone know what makes this happen?

I'm running a virus scan as we speak, but no problems as of yet?
  • JrzyCrim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Your welcome. Glad you were able to fix your system!

As for the why a file becomes corrupt, there are numerous reasons. A virus is definetly one cause. It's good that you are checking your system.

Other possible causes can be found here:
http://www.sturec.com/help/general/corruption.htm

I've even heard it said that a 'cosmic ray particle' can corrupt a file. While I believe this is certainly possible, It's probably a rare event.

If I find a corrupt file, I usually attribute it to entropy. :) Unless a virus was the culprit.

Seriously, though, I'm sure there are other reasons.

Cheers,
  • Mjp
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well if its of any relevance, we had a really bad lightning storm a few weeks ago. I have this computer hooked up to another monitor which is served mainly for a diff. computer. I'm running remote desktop. So it was quite a surprise to me when I tried to connect to it one day, and no go. That's when I had to drag the big hunk of crap monitor from the basement up here to do some troubleshooting.

Thank you again. I really appreciate it.
-Matt
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Post 3+ Months Ago

A lightning storm certainly can wreak havoc on a computer but if it happened a few weeks ago I doubt that was the cause of this particular failure. Unless it did damage that is only now revealing itself. I certainly hope this is not the case.
  • Mjp
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Post 3+ Months Ago

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?
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Re the noise - I'd suggest checking your CD drive/s for a disk. Sounds like you're describing the sound some CD drives make when they spin up if there's a disk in it. It's usually everytime, but it's possible that it won't. If there's a disk in the drive remove it, and that sound will probably go away.

If not, it could be your power supply fan or your CPU fan, although I doubt it.
  • zencadet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey jrzycrm
I have sent you a PM check your inbox.

regards
zencadet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

//moderator removed - Garth -I'm sorry but we do not permit assistance with problems caused by unlawfully obtained software. You'll have to go off of what's been provided for information already, or what may be provided here in the future, but please don't ask for further assistance in regards to the pirated software. -- ATNO
  • JrzyCrim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Unfortunately, I do not have a fix for this problem beyond reinstalling windows. Perhaps someone else may.

A copied version?
  • cerberus561
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What was that recovery installation that you mentioned? Does that require a recovery disk or simply the Windows 2000 cd? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanx in advance,
Cerberus 561
P.S.
the above post was mine
  • cerberus561
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey,

I have had the exact same problem on my computer. I tried a million different things like copying ntoskrnl.exe from a different computer running the exact same operating system (probably except the service pack #) and I tried copying the file from the "C:\winnt\system32\dllcache" and "C:\winnt\system32\i386\driver cache"
I think in my attempt to copy from the file I had from another computer I might have copied over the existing files you suggested for recover. Am I up a creek?

thanx,
Cerberus 561
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Not knowing exactly what you have done, I can't be sure. I don't know all of the differences between XP and 2000. I only have direct experience with XP.

Copying the ntoskrnl file from another system may not work if one is updated with service packs and another is not. Copying the ntoskrnl file from the original CD presents problems as well. Sevice packs and other updates in the past have replaced this file with newer versions. Trying to use an older version of the ntoskrnl.exe usually results in the system not booting.

In response to your first post, the recovery console is a part of the Windows 2000 installation disk. (not oem recovery). Just follow the link at the beginning of this thread and the updated instructions for restoring the file.

If you are able, list the contents of the C:\winnt\system32\i386\driver cache directory. Specifically, which cab files are present. There may be a usable ntoskrnl file present.

Good Luck

* There seems to be a lot of this about.
* Anyone that is successful in booting their system should do a complete
* Virus Scan
  • cerberus561
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks Jrzy Crim,

I have tried all that you said. My brother had said that a difference in service pack number might cause a problem. I think that I covered all possible bases in advance and that there is not much hope left of replacing the ntoskrnl.exe file. But wes19 had mentioned a repair installation. Is that as he described that the system pack number would be eliminated but that my programs woul remain? I was contemplating overall format and repartitioning so any help would be much much appreciated.
thanks,
Cerberus 561
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If a repair installation is an option with your CD, then all of your programs will be left intact. Service packs and updates will have to be reinstalled.

Sorry about your troubles, btw, I know what a pain things like this can be.
  • Smokenjoe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Agreed. Im bettin we have all been there. Good luck with it. ;)
  • cerberus561
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Post 3+ Months Ago

thanx
  • mordecai
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Post 3+ Months Ago

JrzyCrim , I have the same problem as that person, but when i turn on my computer it wont run setup, and i can not get into safe mode at all.
Can you please help me out.
  • isaaak
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i hav tried both of those sets of commands, the first says it works, then i reboot and the same problem happens. the second set of commands says that the file cannot be found.

ne help would be greatly appreciated, and thanx for all the help already[/php]
  • cerberus561
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Post 3+ Months Ago

After much work, prob about 4 hours a night for like 3 nights on this one prob, not to mention my brother trying to recompile the linux kernel in order to gain NTFS readability from my linux OS to salvage some of my documents and stuff, my computer is finally up and running. It is the best machine in this household and I am much obliged to JrzyCrm and Wes19 for starting the thread. If I didn't mention you, consider yourself thanked anyway. By the way I am writing this post from this fixed machine. Oh, and one last point. I reinstalled Windows 2000 (no recovery disc or anything) and it said that is would overwrite the My Documents, yet is neither overwrote My Documents nor Program Files. Stoked!!! Just thought I'd let u know my solution to this epidemic problem. Sorry for the length.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I had the pleasure of a corrupted ntoskrnl this week myself. *lol Not sure exactly what caused it, but something went a little whacky when I instlled XP Pro as an additional OS using System Commander. I thought I had hidden the Win2k Pro partition on install, but must have missed it.

I thought immediately of this thread. Unfortunately, I can't confirm how well the instructions work because I didn't follow them. I was overdue to clean up my OS anyway, so my workaround solution was to add a third partition and installed a clean second copy of Win2K. That went off without a hitch and XP was unaffected. My reason for choosing this method was because I knew with the clean install the original corupted Win2K would still show up as my d: drive (which it does, so I still retain access to all my original files which is all I needed it for anyway. In addition, I also can access the XP files while on Win2K and vice versa. The only downside was reinstalling all the programs but I wanted better organization anyway.

Not quite the perfect workaround, but it satisfied my needs.
  • Duto8672
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok I am having a problem with this ntoskrnl.exe file.

When I boot up my computer I get an error saying "Invalid Boot.ini file. Now booting from C:\Windows..."

Then like 5 seconds after that screen pops up, another black screen pops up saying "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupted: <windows root>system32\ntoskrnl.exe. Please reinstall this file."

Well I tried to fix the boot.ini file first by going into the recovery console and typing in:

bootcfg /rebuild. But it always says "Error: failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This error may be caused by a corrupt file system, which would prevent bootcfg from successfully scanning. Use chkdsk to detect any disk errors."

I ran chkdsk and it said it fixed errors but this error still appears at startup.

So now I try to fix the ntoskrnl.exe problem by following the directions in this thread http://www.ozzu.com/posting.php?mode=reply&t=24580 But everything I try it just ends up saying "The following file could not be found" or something like that. I may be typing them in wrong but I tried both of the solutions from the second post numerous times. I could reinstall windows but last time I ignored these same exact errors they just eventually came back. What should I do?
  • JrzyCrim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello Duto8672,

Unfortunately I do not have any other advice to offer beyond what has already been given. It sounds as if your installation is corrupted beyond repair.

The only thing I can suggest is to start from scratch. I know this not what you want to hear but I do not believe your existing installation is recoverable.

You mentioned reinstalling Windows and that later these same problems occured. Was that a repair install? If it was a clean install, did you reformat?

If not, I would suggest you follow this guide for reinstalling XP.
http://www.blackviper.com/Articles/OS/I ... xppro1.htm

During setup, you should delete all partitions and then recreate any partitions you need. Do a full format, not quick, and then proceed with the installation.

If these steps still do not fix your problem, It might be indicative of a failing hard drive. I hope for your sake it isn't but honestly, I don't know what else to suggest. You might try going to the manufacturer's website to download a diagnostic utility to test your drive.

Feel free to respond with more questions.

Good luck

I'm very sorry about your troubles.
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