Solved: Laptop System32 file is missing

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crunch41

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Dec 10, 2006
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I'm using Windows XP and my laptop no longer boots - I recieve the following message:

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

I'm able on startup to get to the system setup area. I know this is not much to go on yet; but could use help getting the system booted and then determining what is causing the problem.

Thank You.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
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51,988
When do you see this message and how far does it boot?

Any history of problems or changes before this?
 

crunch41

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Dec 10, 2006
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I see the message after the Dell startup page when you are allowed to hit F2 and jump to the system configuration pages. There are no history of system changes but did noticed Windows was extremely slow opening and closing (maybe a virus?). I do notice at startup that the system's hard drive is in full use for awhile until the message ntoskrnl.exe is missing is received.
 

crunch41

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Dec 10, 2006
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I have a Dell Reinstallation CD that wants to reinstall XP or repair XP via a recovery console - will this work?
 

crunch41

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Dec 10, 2006
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The hard disk is not full - I checked earlier when Windows was very slow - Thank you
 
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Load a recovery console from your CD that will allow you to type in commands.

While in command prompt... type the following.

cd c:\windows\system32

copy "..\driver cache\i386\ntoskrnl.exe"

OR... if that doesn't work

cd "c:\windows\driver cache\i386"

expand sp1.cab -F:ntoskrnl.exe c:\windows\system32


If prompted to overwrite, just say yes, but you said the file is missing so it shouldn't.
 

crunch41

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Dec 10, 2006
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I'm currently downloading UBCD and will build a bootable CD; I could not get the recovery console operational. I will then do the task both of you described and report back - Thanks!
 

crunch41

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Dec 10, 2006
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I have not been able to successful create a bootable CD and I still can not get the recovery console operational. Any suggestions on how I can boot my machine?
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
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Do you have a floppy drive? Create a floppy boot disk with NTFS support and copy the file like I explained in a prior post in this thread.

If not, name the other bootable devices so we may know what we are working with or simply obtain a bootable CD with dos and NTFS support.
 
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If you have been able to make the bootable CD, then copy the missing file from that CD to your installation.
 

crunch41

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Dec 10, 2006
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13
I was able to get my machine booted and I'm currently running chkdsk /r I will update you after this is complete. Thank you both for all of your help.
 
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