Why does Windows say “ntoskrnl.exe” is missing when it tries to start?

john doe November 20, 2011
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I am running Windows Vista 64-bit. My tower fell a couple days ago, and froze up. When I restarted it, I receive the error that ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt. Now when I boot my computer it goes to a selection screen asking what mode I want to run in, but no matter what I choose, I get that error message. I need help trying to find a way to grab data from my hard drive, please help!

  1. Sonny Bass
    November 21, 2011 at 6:13 am

    If you have use of another computer download linuxMint, burn to dvd or make bootable USB. Once this has booted and running you could move or copy your data,after you have done that open menu click all applications,scroll to Disk Utility open it. Select each partition individually and click Check and repair file system. 
      I have had several successes with this utility.    

  2. Anonymous
    November 20, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Well possible that something wrong with the CD, is it Windows Vista OEM?

    ALternatively you can try to boot from Bartpe
    http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
    In that cd once you boot on it (assuming no BSOD screen will appear) ther is Registry Restore Wizard should be under tools-registry, use that and choose a registry backup with a date when everything was fine so the Registry Restore Wizard will reload this parameters and hope that you can have something to start with.

  3. Randomguysayshi
    November 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    ---
    I'm gonna try changing the boot order and running my CD (and looking at whatever links you guys have provided me with) but I already tried F12 and booting from the CD-drive and i got BSOD. Will this make a difference?---

    Bsod

  4. Randomguysayshi
    November 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I'm using a OS reinstillation DVD windows vista home premium 64bit sp1.
    Is this different from the repair disk?

    last known configuration doesn't work, it just goes to the error message.

    I'm gonna try changing the boot order and running my CD (and looking at whatever links you guys have provided me with) but I already tried F12 and booting from the CD-drive and i got BSOD. Will this make a difference?

    • FIDELIS
      November 21, 2011 at 2:41 am

      Hello, if you have the vista installation disk, you can run the repair from there.  You do not need to get the repair disk.  Just make sure to start from disk and if it runs, select the repair option. 

  5. FIDELIS
    November 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Hello, do you get the same error when using the Last Known configuration option in the advanced page?  If you haven't tried, on the page it takes you to, highlight last known configuration and press enter.  Once that is finish, computer will restart.  If you haven't tried it, try it and see what happens.

    If the above steps don't help, you could download the vista repair disk.  This disk will help you repair the vista installation.  Once disk is downloaded you will have to start up computer from cd/dvd.  To do so, you will have to enter BIOS and change boot order there.  The next link will show you an example of how to change boot device start up:

    http://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/change-boot-order-xp-vista/

    This is the link for the repair disk for Vista.  Download the correct version for your vista installation and burn it to a cd/dvd.  Once burned, startup computer from disk:

    http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/

    Also, now that you have the repair disk, you could do the following:  

    -- start computer from cd/dvd repair disk
    -- follow the instructions for repair
    -- select the advanced options
    -- click on command prompt
    -- type the following commands and press enter after each one"

    bootrec.exe /fixmbr

    bootrec.exe /fixboot

    -- once that if fineshed, exit command prompt and restart computer.  This should fix your problem, if it doesn't, let us know because there are other things you could try.

    Bootrec command explanation:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

  6. Anonymous
    November 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Hi
    in order to boot from windows cd
    Change the boot order in BIOS so the CD, DVD, or BD drive is listed first. Some computers are already configured this way but many are not. or when you insert the cd and boot, most show what the boot up key is right at start up.. f2 or f8 or something

    1. Boot the XP CD and select the first repair option (R) which will take you to the Recovery Console. Now copy the missing/corrupt file from the CD to your hard disk by typing ‘copy D:i386ntoskrnl.exe C:Windowssystem32ntoskrnl.exe’ (not the quotes but the two spaces) and press Enter.

    2. If you can only find ntoskrnl.ex_ on the CD then the file needs to be expanded by typing ‘expand D:i386ntoskrnl.ex_ C:Windowssystem32ntoskrnl.exe’ (not the quotes but the two spaces) and press Enter.

    If 1 and 2 above do not work, rename the file by typing ‘ren C:Windowssystem32ntoskrnl.exe C:Windowssystem32ntoskrnl.old’ (not the quotes but the two spaces) and press Enter. Then try again.

    youtube tutorial
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j69K9H87j2s

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314477

    repair windows
    http://www.windowsxpprofessional.windowsreinstall.com/sp2sp3installxpcdrepair/indexfullpage.htm

  7. Randomguysayshi
    November 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    i get a blue screen of death whenever i try to load up my windows cd.

    where do i do the boot.ini and type the "expand blahblahblah" stuff?

  8. Anonymous
    November 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    check all cables are well plugged and also check from Bios that your primary hard drive is the one hosting windows os

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