How to Fix Ntoskrnl.exe Missing or Corrupt Error

Are you running Windows XP or Server 2003? Does this look familiar? Windows NT could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:<windows root=””>\System32\Ntoskrnl.exe</windows>. If so there are various ways round it:

  • Boot into the recovery console from your installation disk, if you are unsure how to do this check out the Microsoft Knowledge base article ID: 314058for a quick guide
  • Once in run chkdsk /r and once done reboot. If this doesn’t work, boot into the recovery console once again and try the following:
  • From the prompt type attrib -R C:\boot.ini followed by enter
  • Then del C:\boot.ini followed by enter
  • With the boot.ini gone, it’s time to rebuild it type bootcfg /rebuild followed by enter
  • When prompted to search for installed OS’s entery
  • When prompted for the load identifier enter the name of the installed OS, for exampleMicrosoft Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition followed by enter
  • When prompted for the load options enter type /fastdetect followed by enter
  • Next enter fixboot C: followed by enter
  • Now to give it a whirl, reboot and see if it’s fixed
  • If none of the above worked hop into the recovery console once again and enter fixmbr C: followed by enter and then reboot.

If you still have no joy at this point I’m afraid you’ll need to perform a Windows repair. To do this simply boot from the operating system install disk as per booting into the recovery console but instead of selectingR for the console select Enter to set up Windows [version] now. Press F8 to accept the Windows licensing agreement and then when it has found the installation press R to start the repair.

Note: Running a Windows repair should be relatively safe but it is worth noting that you should read around the topic if you feel a repair is necessary.

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