Vista: ntoskrnl.exe corrupt, system restore option not working

By herbgurl82
Apr 29, 2009
  1. I am running Windows Vista on a Gateway ML6721 Notebook. Last week, Windows automatically ran updates, (Not sure which ones, I apologize!) and since then, I have been getting an error message that reads:
    The file ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt

    I put in the disc that is marked Gateway recovery, ran Startup repair, and accepted the prompt to restore to an earlier time. The computer would then work fine. This happened every time I turned on my computer last week. When I shut it down, even though I would select regular Shut Down, not Install Updates and Shut Down, when rebooted, it would go right to updates, update the computer, and then the same message would display. I would fix it by running Startup repair, and accepted the prompt to restore to an earlier time.

    However, this option is no longer working. I tried to do a system restore on the disc, and it fails. When I tried to do that I got an error message, saying that it failed.
    Edit: The error on the system restore says error code ox80071a91, if that helps

    Last night, I tried following the advice on the gateway support center page, and tried to repair the ntoskrnl.exe using the command prompt in recovery. It did not work.

    Now when I start my computer, all I get is a black screen. It is not a problem with the light in the screen itself because when I put in the recovery disc, it goes to that screen no problem. (A couple of times when I ran Startup recovery it said that it did not detect a problem!) I am running the Startup Repair and it is checking my disc for errors. (It says that will take over an hour, and it has been running for about an hour and a half.) . Any advice on what I should do? I would prefer not to have to reinstall windows, as I have been very bad, and have not been backing up as regularly as I should….
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    That sounds a bit long :(

    This could be a Ram or Hard drive or even a system requiring a Bios reset
    Hmm, I'm going to post this thread because it has all of that, and more, in it. And it may help :confused:

    Tutorial: No POST (Power On Self Test)
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