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