ACTIVE ISSUE: \system32\ntoskrnl.exe missing or corrupt

Posted on 2007-10-09
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
This issue is getting all of my live attention right now, so I thought I would post it and get some suggestions as I try to troubleshoot.

I tried to install a SCSI DAT72 tape drive on my Dell PowerEdge 2800 tonight. I powered the machine down and  then attached device and powered the machine back on. When I did, I got the following error:

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 powered the machine back down, disconnected the DAT72 drive (to eliminate it as a variable) and powered the machine back on. Same issue.

Right now I am running chkdsk from the recovery console, but I'm worried because it keeps cycling from 70% complete back to 50% complete. It's been going for about an hour now, but I don't know if that is normal or not.

Any thoughts?
Question by:brainbolt
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    From the recovery console is the ntoskrnl.exe file there?
    Review the boot.ini file and ensure it correct.
    Any hidden diagnostic partitions on the drive?
    LVL 2

    Author Comment


    chkdsk finished, and it reported finding an error and fixing it. I rebooted the machine, and the OS booted up. It looks like chkdsk addressed the issue, but now I am concerned. Could this issue be an indication of something that needs to be further addressed, or is it likely in this case that all is well that ends well?
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    Run Drive Fitness test standalone boot CD, make sure you drive is not going bad.

    If the drive is fine, run a repair install. Detailed instructions on how to do a repair install are located below.

    If this doesn't work, or your windows setup CD does not recognize your installation, there are further steps you can take in the recovery console. Until then, let me know what you find.

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    I forgot to give the repair install link:
    LVL 66

    Assisted Solution

    You should also filter your event logs for errors under the System category, relating to NTFS, DISK, and ATAPI. If you see those, pay close attention to what they are, as they might have ben there for a while, trying to warn of a HDD problem....

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