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SBS 2003 Error - Windows could not start because of an error in the software. Please report this problem as : load needed DLLs for kernel.

Posted on 2008-06-19
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Last Modified: 2009-02-13
There is a major problem we need help with.
Our building had multiple power outages. On a reboot of the main SBS 2003 server, we received the following error:

"Windows could not start because of an error in the software. Please report this problem as : load needed DLLs for kernel."

I have already researched the following articles but I am not sure that they exactly apply.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/914049
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/164448 (I read somewhere that this may still apply)
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/Q_23183384.html

I'm looking for more feedback as to what to do here.
We are completely down at this point.

Also I understand a in place upgrade is possible here, I think. I am hoping to hear from someone who has faced this and understand exactly what they did.

Thanks in advance.
Cepolly
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Question by:cepolly
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
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Well, I fixed a problem like this and it did have to do with boot files.

The boot.ini was a bit out of wack. I had to go in and edit the boot.ini file.

First thing we should determine is if you have a couple different operating systems to choose from when attempting to boot the PC. When booting up, you should be prompted for one of two operating systems. If so, choose the non-default option and after logging on, edit the boot.ini to default to that second choice.

Example: It would be something like:
1) Windows Default
2) 2003 server

Here is an example of what the boot.ini should look like:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /usepmtimer /pae /NoExecute=OptIn
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by:cepolly
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Hi Chief. Thanks for the reply.

This is a server running SCSI RAID 5. There are no other OS's on the server.
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
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You might try to log into safemode and see if that works. If you can get into safe mode. Stop right there and let me know. From there we can do a lot to fix the computer.

If not, you might be able to get to the command prompt through recovery console, you might try SFC.exe /scannow. This reviews and fixes many boot file problems.

If this doesn't work, you may have to do a in place upgrade, as recommended above in one of the articles.

The problem does occure if HAL and NTOSKernel don't match.
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by:cepolly
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Assuming that safe mode works, do I need to copy Hal.dll and Ntoskrnl.exe from the CD and replace them on the server?
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
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No, from safemode, we need to do a bit more troubleshooting.
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by:cepolly
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we just tried it and safe mode is not an option.
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by:ChiefIT
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Go to the recovery console, that should drop you down into a command prompt. Then, run SFC.exe /scannnow.
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by:cepolly
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We have no boot choices and I'm not sure if rconsole was installed.

Going to check that shortly.

I'm assuming if rconsole is not installed an in place upgrade is the only option?
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by:ChiefIT
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I believe so.

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by:cepolly
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We're able to get the option of the rconsole by running through the cd setup and selecting R for repair through the recovery console.

However we get the same error message as above when trying to run the repair. This seems to apply to the upgrade as well as it is the same step needed to be taken.

Not sure what it could be now.
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by:cepolly
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ok we are in the recovery console. We needed to load the RAID drivers 1st.

We are in recovery console and cannot run sfc /scannow. I get: The command is not recognized


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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
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from the command console type:
edit boot.ini

let me know that that says.
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by:ChiefIT
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boot.ini is at the C:\ prompt.
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by:ChiefIT
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For DOS commands they will not run unless you are in the right folder. On my computer, I have two instances of SFC.exe. One is in the C:\i386 folder and the other is in the C:\Windows\system32 folder.
For SFC, you might have to navigate to the C:\i386 file folder. To do this at the command prompt, type:

CD \
(and at the C:\ prompt type)
CD i386
sfc /scannow

or
CD \
(And at the C:\ prompt type)
CD Windows
CD System32
sfc /scannow
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by:cepolly
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cannot use edit.
this is not the recovery console from the start up choices. this is recovery console when you run setup and hit R.
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by:cepolly
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I can see sfc.exe in windows/system32. however, i cannot run it as a supported command.
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by:ChiefIT
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Unfortunately, I am leaning towards the in place upgrade.
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by:cepolly
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same here.

i am not looking forward to this.
am i correct in assuming that i will lose my associations in ISA and Exchange?
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ChiefIT earned 500 total points
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An upgrade, probably not.

A repair installation, probably.
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by:cepolly
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well the funny thing is they are the same for some reason. or at least written the same.
reference this article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816579

so yes we are now in the process of an in-place upgrade/Repair.

btw i was able to expand the hal.dl_ and ntoskrnl.ex_ from the cd and copy them to windows\system32. but after reboot we had the same error.
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by:cepolly
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Thanks Chief for trying. We had to repair/upgrade.
We are planning a total rebuild and restore for this coming weekend.
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