Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt



I need some help. I'm getting this message on another user's PC. Some other
posts related to this suggest going to and
following the directions. The problem I have is that I don't have the option
of pressing the "R" key to access the recovery console. I've tried booting up
in safe mode and safe mode with command prompt. I continue to get the same
message. Surely I don't have to format and reload Windows?! The XP disc that
I have is an older one from the SP1 days. That probably explains why I don't
have the option of pressing the "R" key. Service pack 2 has been installed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Gerry Cornell


Disable automatic restart on system failure. This should help by
allowing time to write down the STOP code properly. Keep pressing the
F8 key during StartUp and select option - Disable automatic restart on
system failure.

Please post copies of all Error and Warning Reports appearing in the
System and Application logs in Event Viewer for the last boot. No
Information Reports please.

You can access Event Viewer by selecting Start, Control Panel,
Administrative Tools, and Event Viewer. When researching the meaning
of the error, information regarding Event ID, Source and Description
are important.

HOW TO: View and Manage Event Logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP

Part of the Description of the error will include a link, which you
should double click for further information. You can copy using copy
and paste. Often the link will, however, say there is no further
(Please note the hyperlink above is for illustration purposes only)

A tip for posting copies of Error Reports! Run Event Viewer and double
click on the error you want to copy. In the window, which appears is a
button resembling two pages. Click the button and close Event
Viewer.Now start your message (email) and do a paste into the body of
the message. Make sure this is the first paste after exiting from
Event Viewer.


Hope this helps.

Stourport, England
Enquire, plan and execute


I rebooted the machine and continuously pressed the F8 key until I got the
advanced startup menu. I selected "disable automatic restart on system
failure" as suggested. After doing so, system automatically restarted. After
a blank screen for about 5-10 minutes, I got the following message that I
have been getting:

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 don't even get to the Windows XP Professional screen that displays during
startup, let alone get to a desktop screen.

If I could just get to a command prompt like back in the old days, I think I
could fix it.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.


Adding to the good advice of Gerry, you have a Hardware problem try to
unattach any hardware to the Computer and start with the CD and go through
the setup and select Repair or try the command prompt.
You have a hardware problem, or your boot loader is missing.
Also the path for windows installation may be missing or not set correctly
in the Boot.ini.
In your case some people get the famous hal.dll is missing or corrupt but
you have the ntoskrnl.exe.
You can copy a new copy for the ntoskrnl.exe from a working computer or from
the CD to that path:
C:\Windows\System32\<folder here>.
or try the recovery console by reading this article:
Let us know.


Adding to the below:
If you need to do a repair/reinstall try to slipstream the SP2.
Try this instruction here and download either or both Nlie or Autostreamer,
then see if you could use either to remove the Hotfixes instaled with the SP1
on your Gateway or if you lucky it will do it without removing the Hotfixes
on the CD.
Beaware that you have the Right XP operating system CD not the second one
for Drivers and Extra Softwares:
Instructions on how to perform Slipstream SP2 to your XP CD:

Instructions and download of Nlite application to use to remove the Hotfixes
installed etra with SP1 on Gateway

Please let us know.


NTOSKRNL file is very important because it contains so many important files like the kernel and the cache manager. The error NTOSKRNL Missing or NTOSKRNL Corrupt may occur due to corrupt or missing boot.ini file or your hard-disk drive may need repair.

Perform the steps to fix this problem

Harden Thicke

Are you simply just stupid or an Egghead HoopleHead, replying to a post
froom 2007? And you changed the subject. Do you really think the OP is
coming back after all these years to look for an answer? And, if he were,
how would he know where to look since you changed the subject line? Stay off
the internet until you learn how to use it.

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