windows cannot start because the following file is missing or corrupt %systemroot%\system32\ntoskrnl.exe

Posted on 2007-10-21
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hello All!

I have a bit of a problem.. running Windows 2003 Server SBS w/ Exchange.  When the server was rebooted due to a power outage i get this messafe on the screen:

windows cannot start because the following file is missing or corrupt

Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?

Question by:alfred-bsp
    LVL 48

    Accepted Solution

    i would also add that chances are you will break windows, doing a repair on a Domain controller and exchange box, is not reccomended and i have only ever seen it end in pain...
    There is this for XP which might still be relevant to you


    Author Comment

    Jay Jay70:  I saw the same thing on the microsoft website.  I will be traveling into Maryland tomorrrow to fix this issue.  I am going to give it a try and see if that helps.  Hopefully it should work.  Makes sense in theory.  I will le tyou know what happens.  Thanks!
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Malli Boppe
    Very much similar to MS artcile from Jay_Jay.But did try changing the key board as mentioned in the below article
    LVL 25

    Expert Comment

    by:Fred Marshall
    Boot from the OS CD
    Run the console.
    Run chkdsk with appropriate options.

    This is relatively harmless and often works after a power failure and the type of problem you have.
    LVL 74

    Expert Comment

    by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
    First... many of the above recommendations can indeed be harmful to the server.  If you do not have a complete backup of this machine please attempt to make one before proceeding.

    If you have a valid backup, then the proper method for recovering the server is to restore it per the official documentation at

    If you do not have a valid backup then both the article linked by Jay as well as the one from mboppe may be your only option.  I would first try booting into Directory Services Restore Mode accessible by pressing F8 during the boot process.


    Author Comment

    Thanks Guys for your input...  It seems that the problem was a corrupt boot.ini file.  Well actually it seems that the boot.ini was looking at the wrong partition. I went into Recovery Console (R booting with the SBS CD) and used BOOTCFG and reconfigured the boot.ini file.  After that I was able to boot into Windows.
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    nice work :)

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