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Temporary Windows XP Pro (System32) Startup Error


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#1
inspectordoppler

inspectordoppler

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Hi

My computer experience is limited - please help!

I encountered this problem when starting up Windows XP Pro:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root\system32\ntoskrnl.exe"

I turned off the computer and restarted the machine. Windows booted up successfully and I'm now using the same computer to post this message.

I've read other forums where people experienced this problem every time Windows booted up and had to repair their Windows XP system using the original Windows disk. But my original Windows disk includes Service Pack 1 only, which could lead to further complications as the computer may say that my original disk is out of date compared to my operating system which has Service Pack 2 and further updates from Microsoft's website.

(1) Should I leave the system as it is?

or

(2) Should I download the ntoskrnl.exe file and replace the old file in the system32 folder?
Or should I download a larger, more comprehensive file that includes the ntoskrnl.exe file?
If so can you suggest a reputable website for me? I've tried microsoft's website and they only refer to this problem in Windows 2000 and Windows NT. I've not seen a link for Windows XP.

or

(3) Can you suggest another approach?


Thanks for your help

Doppler
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#2
Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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1) At the moment yes, it may be just a one off glitch. But if it keeps occurring, investigate it. It shouldn't be doing it on every occasion and could be a sign of a hard drive or memory problem.

2) No. This is a critical system file and if you replace it with a download from the Internet, you run the risk of the computer not booting at all especially if you inadvertedly grab a file from an older version of Windows XP (that is, a file from the original XP or XP Service Pack 1). The computer will then be in a hybrid configuration which means any errors you do get if it does work may be unGoogleable. If you must replace key system files, the best place is from the XP CD used to install the Windows on the system in the first place.
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#3
inspectordoppler

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Thanks very much for your advice, Neil. I hope it was a one-off and I've had no problem with it booting today. I'll follow your instructions if it occurs again and in the meantime I'll back up recent work to an external drive.

Edited by inspectordoppler, 12 October 2007 - 04:34 AM.

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