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


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#1 Fat2000

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:27 AM

Hi,

Recently my daughters computer had a virus that totally disrupted everything almost to the point of in operability. I managed to remove the virus but the damage came down to a serious error that I have not been able to remove or fix. It all started when I did a recovery of the system. After the recovery the following error came up right after trying to reboot; :trumpet:

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.


Now, here are the specs for this computer; :thumbsup:

Compaq Presario sr1913wm
  • Processor: Athlon 64 (V) 3500+ 2.2 GHz 2000 MT/s (mega transfers/second) Socket 939
  • Chipset: GeForce 6150 LE
  • Motherboard: Asus A8N-LA
  • 512 mb DDR 400 PC3200 184 pin RAM
  • Hard drive: 120 GB SATA 3G (3.0 Gb/sec) 7200 rpm
  • 16X DVD(+/-)R/RW (+/-)R DL LightScribe drive
It had the hard drive parttioned with Windows XP Media Center and the installation files in a separate partition instead of them providing us will installation disks. Can't say that I like that but what can I say? Anywho, I tried the simple approach and re-installed a new copy of the file and it still came up the same way. I then decided to look into the boot.ini and that didn't change anything. Now, those two procedures were recomended by HP's customer support site on this particular product. They finally recomended that I do a recovery install by formating the main drive and then recovering it or should I say and re-install. Did that and nothing same error again. I tried and created a pair of recovery DVD's for this computer and removed the recovery drive and totally formatted the HD. For a moment it ran fine and I was setting all the software up and then it decided to reboot in order for all the settings to finallize and wouldn't you know it, I got that error again. I am now to my last straw and I can't seem to figure out what to do next. Any help would be greatly appreciated because my daughter is now driving me crazy about this. :flowers:

Thank you

"I wear my TUX to LAN parties!"


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#2 gareth_f

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:13 AM

I read that this could oddly be caused by a short in the keyboard cable, so try unplugging the keyboard to see if it boots. Is is possible that any of the software you installed could be malicious? Lastly, it could be a bad hard drive or cable. Good luck and let us know!

#3 Romeo29

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:31 AM

This may happen if keyboard cable's ground is shorted with other wires. You may try replacing keyboard with a spare one. Or a gareth has suggested try removing keyboard and boooting up. But some computers do not proceed beyond BIOS POST if there is no keyboard present.

Another problem may be missing or corrupt boot.ini. You may have to repair it from the recovery console.
In the recovery console type:
Attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini
DEL C:\Boot.ini
BootCfg /Rebuild
Fixboot


Finally, ntoskrnl.exe itself maybe damaged. You can replace it from the recovery console.
In the recovery console type:
expand d:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ c:\windows\system32

where d: is the assumed CD drive letter with WinXP CD inside.

How to access recovery console: http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp....very%20Console:

#4 Fat2000

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 03:09 AM

This may happen if keyboard cable's ground is shorted with other wires. You may try replacing keyboard with a spare one. Or a gareth has suggested try removing keyboard and boooting up. But some computers do not proceed beyond BIOS POST if there is no keyboard present.

Another problem may be missing or corrupt boot.ini. You may have to repair it from the recovery console.
In the recovery console type:
Attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini
DEL C:\Boot.ini
BootCfg /Rebuild
Fixboot


Finally, ntoskrnl.exe itself maybe damaged. You can replace it from the recovery console.
In the recovery console type:
expand d:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ c:\windows\system32

where d: is the assumed CD drive letter with WinXP CD inside.


Thanks for the response, now I did check the Keyboards and I mean keyboards because I have 3 of them that I was able to exchange and went back to the original keyboard because I have determined that there was nothing wrong with either keyboard; however, I have determined that the PS2 port for the mouse was not working at all. but somehow if I try booting with the USB connection of the mouse it still will not boot at all. In order for me to run the Recovery console I had to plug the mouse to the PS2 port even though it did not work on it and when I got the screens that I need to be at. I had to change to the USB mouse in order to be able to use the mouse. Funny huh? :trumpet: Anywho I did a rebuild of the Boot.ini file and then I did a recovery of the ntoskrnl.exe file such as you pointed out and I still get the same error. Now I have determined that I might need to change the motherboard of this computer because the PS2 port does not work for the mouse and the USB plugs are broken do to my daughter's rough handling of the computer when she plugs her Ipod to the computer she pulls the Ipod cable from the cable not the plug and she broke both USB plugs in the front and one in the back so I have one left to use for the mouse, "KIDS!" :inlove: Now, I was able to boot into the Windows when I unplugged both the keyboard and mouse just once but when it rebooted after the initial setup I did it went back to the same error without the keyboard and mouse. So again I went and decided that I need to replace the motherboard. I found a replacement for it and I am waiting for it to get to me in order to make the change. But in the meantime I am with this dilema here and I don't know if there is anything else that can be done other than what you guys recomended. :flowers: Thank you so much for your help on this situation but I find that my only solution is to replace the board. However I will let you know if and when I receive the new board if I have managed to walk myself into another battle of the wares. Thank you again. :thumbsup:

"I wear my TUX to LAN parties!"


#5 Fat2000

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:15 AM

Hi again,

I have received the "NEW" :flowers: motherboard for my daughter's computer and I installed it have plugged everything as it was. Now when I run the computer, if I leave the keyboard plugged in and do not plug in the mouse either PS2 or USB. I get Windows running like normal error free but I still have to plug the mouse back in after it loads. Here is my continuing problem, I have a new motherboard mind you. everything is plugged in as normal and when I run the computer with the mouse and keyboard plugged in to the PS2 port I still get the same error message, however, I plug in the USB mouse and it still gets that error back. Like I mentioned before I have to unplug the mouse and leave it unplugged until after windows loads. What could be happening here. Since this computer came with a preinstalled copy of Windows XP Media Center Edition which I just updated with SP3. I have replaced the Boot.ini per your recomendation and I have replaced the ntoskrnl.exe file per your recommendation and still I have the same issue. Now the ntoskrnl.exe came from my Windows XP CD which is a slipstreamed version of my Media Center edition with SP3. I was wondering, could this be causing the problem or is there no difference? I can try it again with my original XP CD but again, this is a preisntalled version on my daughter's computer. She had that error on her computer before and a whole lot of other things wrong with it then before I got my hands on it. Since I fixed all the other problems now the only hurdle for me has been this issue, once that is solved then my daughter can have her computer back. Any other suggestions, I have used your many recommendations for my other computers and have not failed until now. Please any help would be greatly and humbly appreciated. :thumbsup:

Edited by Fat2000, 07 May 2009 - 12:18 AM.

"I wear my TUX to LAN parties!"


#6 CRSMICRO

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 12:10 AM

Don't know if there has been any resolution to this issue.* System32\ntoskrnl.exe error)


I have a Compaq presario sn1820 with the same error message and similar characteristics as FAT 2000 and discovered it was cause by a non working media card reader. Unplugged card reader from mother board and I am now able to error free start the computer with the usb mouse plugged in.


Hope this helps someone out there, This forum has been a God Send for me many many times.

Edited by CRSMICRO, 02 September 2009 - 12:11 AM.


#7 Fat2000

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 10:17 PM

Don't know if there has been any resolution to this issue.* System32\ntoskrnl.exe error)


I have a Compaq presario sn1820 with the same error message and similar characteristics as FAT 2000 and discovered it was cause by a non working media card reader. Unplugged card reader from mother board and I am now able to error free start the computer with the usb mouse plugged in.


Hope this helps someone out there, This forum has been a God Send for me many many times.


Sorry, it's been a while since I last responded. I have also discovered that media reader on my daughters' computer was in-operable in fact she damaged the connections from the outside. So, I removed it and installed a replacement unit and now it has been working error free since I last posted on this. I want to thank you all for your help and hope that we can continue to solve these kinds of problems in the future.

"I wear my TUX to LAN parties!"


#8 palusami

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:59 PM

I want to thank CRSMICRO and Fat2000 for posting their solution to the

windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt <windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe

My HP Pavillion a1430n computer started giving this message when I tried to troubleshoot its non-functioning PS/2 mouse. I experienced the same quirky behavior whereby this corrupt file message would appear if the PS/2 mouse was not plugged in when booting or if the PS/2 mouse was plugged in as well as a USB mouse.

To no avail, I tried the following to fix the problem and after each action the error persisted:
(1) Wiped the hard drive and re-installed the factory installation of the OS using the HP recovery CDs
(2) replaced the hard drive
(3) replaced the RAM
(4) replaced the power supply unit

After these four actions failed, I concluded that it must be the Motherboard and was poised to order the only replacement I could find which was a refurbished Asus A8N-LA (Nagami) motherboard for $85. I decided to do one last search to see if others had experienced these bizarre PS/2 & USB mouse behaviors and came upon this thread!

And, you guessed it, step 5

(5) detach the media card reader cable from the motherboard

worked! The PS/2 mouse port now works fine (as well as the USB mouse). All the time, effort, and $$$, and the solution was simply unplugging the media card cable!

Lesson learned:
When troubleshooting a computer problem that appears to be hardware related, the first step should be to:

remove all unnecessary - for booting - cards (e.g. Ethernet, sound) and detach unnecessary cables (media card reader, front USB/audio panel) and see if the problem disappears. If so, then step by step re-seat/re-attach cards/cables to identify the offending component.

Thanks again!

Edited by palusami, 19 July 2010 - 12:03 AM.


#9 Fat2000

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 12:03 AM

I want to thank CRSMICRO and Fat2000 for posting their solution to the windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt <windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe


I am so glad that this thread helped you and it is unfortunate that you had to spend so much money and time to find out that it was something as simple as this. I fell your pain and joy which is bittersweet considering that you have resolved your problem. If I have any other problems with solutions I will make sure to post them here. Bleepingcomputer.com has always been a very helpful site for me. I have tried other forums and none could me the help that I have gotten here in the past. So, I'd like to say you are very welcome and hope that you continue to use this wonderful and informative resource for any problems or questions that may arise from time to time.

Frank aka Fat2000

"I wear my TUX to LAN parties!"





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