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Missing NTOSKRNL.EXE


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#1
Tyler5690

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Last week, I installed some Windows updates, then shutdown my computer for the night. When I turned it on the next day, I recieved the following error message:

"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."

I tried copying it from a Windows install CD, no luck. I ran chkdsk several times, still nothing. I tried to do a repair installation, but when the installer tried to reboot, all I got was a black screen.

Any ideas on what could cause this and how I could fix it?
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#2
Guest_jwinathome_*

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Try this....

http://www.computerh...es/ch000646.htm
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#3
Tyler5690

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I actually found that site earlier when I was trying to fix it, and according to it, all that remains is misc. corruption or a bad hard disk, which I don't believe to be the case.

Edited by Tyler5690, 25 April 2007 - 02:42 PM.

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#4
Guest_jwinathome_*

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I suppose it could be malware related.
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#5
piper

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If I may jump in....

Tyler5690, of that list of troubleshooting suggestions in the article provided by jwinathome, which of those did you attempt and what were the outcomes?
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#6
Tyler5690

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Okay, here it is:

1. Keyboard issue - tried two keyboards, no change
2. Miscellaneous corruption - ran chkdsk 3 times
3. Corrupt boot.ini file. - did not check
4. Missing boot.ini file. - did not chek
5. Missing or corrupt ntoskrnl.exe file. - replaced with file from install CD
6. Windows NT installed on a partition bigger then 7.8GB - WinXP, so N/A
7. Corrupted hard disk drive or severely corrupted Windows. - was working perfectly until Windows update. Could be coincidence, but I'm pretty sure the disk is okay, its only 2 years old.
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#7
piper

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Did you boot using "Last Known Good Configuraton" as suggested for Miscellaneous Corruption? I believe the article's author's intent is software corruption, not hardware.

Please also check the boot.ini files.

You could also try restoring your system to a date prior to installing the updates.
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#8
Tyler5690

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I did try a "Last Known Good configuration" and it just hung. How would I check the boot.ini file? Also, as I said in my original post, I tried to do a repair installation, but when the installer rebooted, it just hung and would not complete.
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#9
piper

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I apologize for not making myself clear. I meant, do the steps outlined in the article jwinathome provided for rebuilding the boot.ini file.

System Restore is not the same thing as a Repair Install of Windows. Exactly which did you do?
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#10
Tyler5690

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Both. After the system restore failed to do anything, I started a repair installation.
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#11
piper

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1. Are the two keyboards you tried PS2 or USB? If both PS2, try a USB.

2. What errors, if any, did you get during the System Restore. Did you try multiple dates?

3. What errors did you get during the Repair Install? At what point did you get them? Be as specific as possible.

4. When you ran CHKDSK, did it fix any errors?

5. Please confirm that you replaced the ntoskrnl.exe file from your Windows CD successfully.

I'd highly recommend backing up all your data, just in case you need to format and install Windows fresh.
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#12
Tyler5690

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1. One keyboard was PS/2, the other was USB
2. After the system restore, the computer would just go to a black screen after the BIOS boot screen; no errors, but not a success. Did try multiple dates.
3. The repair appeared to be going successfully, but when the installer rebooted the computer, I got the black screen - no errors, just nothing.
4. The first time CHKDSK ran, it found errors but said it corrected them. The succeeding 2 CHKDSKs did not find errors.
5. I replaced the ntoskrnl.exe file once using a Winternals ERD Commander disc, and twice using different Windows intall discs, each time with no success

I do have the data backed up, and will do a clean install if it cannot be avoided, but I was hoping there would be another option.
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#13
piper

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Will that computer boot at this point?

If not, I'd say it's time to format and install Windows clean. Be sure to gather all the disks you'll need, OS, Drivers, other software.

If you need specific instructions on doing a clean install, here's a good link, complete with screen shots.
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