\system32\ntoskrnl.exe file is missing or corrupt

By vondalin
Dec 22, 2007
  1. Hi, im new here and not very technically minded so any help would be appreciated :)
    My computer crashed and is displaying "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    <windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
    please re-install a copy of the above file"
    It is also making a continuous clicking noise :(
    Having read pervious posts and other stuff on the net I tried different keyboards, both the pin types and USB kinds but nothing.
    I have the XP disk but it doesn't give me the option to do anything with it, I cant access safe mode and im not really sure what to do so any help or ideas would be great.
    Thanks Vondalin
  2. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 4,041

    1. Insert the Microsoft Windows XP CD.
    2. Reboot the computer, as the computer is starting you should see a message to press any key to boot from the CD. When you see this message press any key.
    3. In the Microsoft Windows XP setup menu press the R key to enter the recovery console.
    4. Select the operating system you wish to fix, and then enter the administrator password (if it asks)
    5. Type expand d:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ c:\windows\system32 (d: only if that is the drive for your cd drive is different replace d: with the correct drive)
    6. You will then be prompted if you wish to overwrite the file type Y and press enter to overwrite the file.
    7. Type exit to reboot the computer.

    if you get any errors copy them down exactly and let us know what they are

    Also know that sometimes when system files become corrupt or changed you may have malware on your computer so after you have fixed this it would be a good idea to come back and read this Then if you decide you want to clean your system go
  3. vondalin

    vondalin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Blind Dragon, thanks for the quick reply. I have inserted the disk and rebooted but nothing at all happens. looks like this may be a job for pc world
  4. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 4,041

    not so fast

    1. Insert the Windows XP CD into the CD-ROM drive.
    2. Click Start, and then click Run. click Browse
    3. find the following d:\i386\winnt32.exe

    4. A Windows Setup Dialog Box should appear. The Windows Setup Dialog Box describes the Recovery Console option. To confirm the installation, click Yes.
    5. Restart the computer. The next time that you start your computer, "Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" appears on the startup menu.
  5. vondalin

    vondalin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Your not one to give up easly are you?
    I cant get the computer to start up, it wont get past the black screen with the white writing, the error mesage "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    <windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe please re-install a copy of the above file" comes up before I have a chance to do anything at all.
    I really appreceate the help
  6. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 4,041

    What kind of computer do you have. we need to enter BIOS prior to this so that you can set the boot order. Depending on what make model computer -> will depend what to hit to enter bios usually tapping F1, F2 or F10

    I am going to go eat but basically what you want to do is

    Enter BIOS settings by tapping the Setup key (F1,F2, etc) before you computer tries to load windows.

    Look for a setting that says Boot Order, Boot Sequence, First Boot Device, Boot Management, or something similar and select it.

    The screen will show a list of devices that your computer can boot from. You need to select the CD-ROM

    Hit F10 to save and exit
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