Error Code 4, File \i386\kdcom.dll cannot load . . .exiting setup

Posted on 2004-10-31
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
My Windows XPSP1a suddenly will not boot up.  So I put in my Installation CD to try and correct the problem.  The message came: "Error Code 4.  File \i386\KDCOM.DLL will not load . . .exiting setup."

Suspected cause: I'm at a friends house and I tried to use his monitor, thinking XP would adlapt to it.  

Some background: The Installation CD is my own, the OS and computer are my own and have never been anyone elses. I did recently have a virus, but got it out of my system  and have been working OK for a few days.  I have reinstalled XP several times without problems over the last 2 years.  My last reinstall was a few days ago,and for the first time I did it online, which gave me "new setup files".  Following setup, my dialup ISP software  could not access my modem, even though the modem is working.  Everything else worked OK.  I do have a complete set of Windows updates loaded.  In fact I was getting ready to install Service Pace 2, of which I have a complete download.

My computer is a Small Form Factor with Pentium III.

There are two NTFS Partitions on my disk.  I'm not willing to format the whole disk, because of the Logical Partition that has all my data backed up on it.  But I'd be will ing format the Primary partition, becaue, as I said, I'm ready to do a SP2 Install once I can boot up.
In fact I tried to run FDISK on it but for some reason that didn't work either.  Itried rewiring the Book sector, hoping to get Partition Magic on the disk and reformat the offending Partition, but it won't work -- it says "can't save the original boot sector, operation unsuccessful"

I don't have a boot disk, but perhaps could download one.  I'm on another computer right now -- obviously not on my own.  Please answer quickly while I can still do somethiing.

What in heaven's name is giong on? I've never been so boxed in with a computer problem in 8 years of fiddling with these things.

Moby Lee
Question by:mobylee
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    <<But I'd be will ing format the Primary partition, becaue, as I said, I'm ready to do a SP2 Install once I can boot up.>>

    Hi moby lee,
    -the first thing i would do is reset cmos via the motherboard jumper, then at restart when you're prompted, go to setup, and load default values

    then, as far as doing a clean sp2 install on your partition, here's how i would approach it:
    -goto and download a Win98 boot disk and make a WIN98 bootable disk.  The boot disk will contain fdisk.
    -Boot from the floppy.
    -fdisk /mbr   (to fix the Master Boot Record, even if you already tried this)
    -fdisk (partition the drive)
    -format the partition using the boot disk, or partition magic or xp setup cd, etc
    -reboot with windows xp cd and continue

    Author Comment

    OK thanks for these tips which "helped  me thru the night".  I was on a day-trip to a friends home, and I felt really boxed in by this problem. In the end, ere's what I did . . . then I still have some questions.
    I got an older version of Partition Magic to re-format the partition.  I reset my BIOS to default values (good advice, for which I thank you), swallowed hard, and did the deed.  I knew I was going to reformat within a few days anaway, but wasn't quite ready, so I had to sacrifice a few things.  I never touched the Master Boot Record.
    Then when I reinstalled from my XP CD, I noticed something: even after reformating and disk checking with the venerable Partition Magic, Windows still would not recognize my work, and wanted to do another reformat itself.  OK fine, I want Windows tgo be happy where it lives, bur it really makes me wonder.  Even after reinstalling over a new format (NTFS is what I've always used) Windows still seems to "know something" about my earlier configuration.
    So here's my new questions: What is KDCOM.DLL anyway?  One comment on the web said that this indicates Microsoft susspected I was installing a pirated copy.  Not true, and all of my equipment has never belonged to anyone but me, but there was a time when I let Drive Mapper makeso may changes that I had to get an acknowledgement from Microsoft to continue using the software. And maybe all this is logged in the MBR?
    So should I attempt to repair the MBR after all?
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    i once again unsuccessfully tried to search for kdcom.dll and what it is. as far as the master boot record, it couldn't hurt, but i can't say for sure if this will help the issue with windows setup not recognizing what you did with partition magic. if you want to be extra sure and do it all over, is there a convenient way to backup all your data residing on the other partition? this way you could start fresh and not worry about it because as long as your hard drives are good, this should be a quality fix.
    if you want to try the master boot record, please do not follow what i said above, it refers to win98 and i wasn't being careful. to fix the mbr in xp, boot from the xp cd, proceed to recovery console and type the FIXMBR command. good luck
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    i just re-read your original post
    <<can't save the original boot sector, operation unsuccessful">>
    yes, i would definitely recommend repairing your master boot record, as described in my previous post!

    Expert Comment

    i am having the same problem, i followed the above recs but it still say error code 4096, kdcom.dll could not  be loded. please advice.

    how do i proceed to recovery console

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