Win XP installation

Posted on 2011-10-21
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I was downgrading from Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit to Windows XP. I get 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
Question by:RU2084
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment



    You can make some processes in order to repair this installation. But... because it is new

    You can just start the Windows XP installation, at the beginning delelete the actual partition of Windows and delete also the isolated partition created for Windows 7 and them install a fresh Windows XP installation

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    How did you downgrade? Did you just create a 2nd partition and install XP on that, not removing Win'7 on the other partition?

    Author Comment

    @Andrew Cz I followed these instructions :
    First of all, you need to find out if your computer supports Windows XP, which means, are there drivers available for components in it?
    How to downgrade from Windows 7 to Vista or XP - Technocrate

    Steps to downgrade windows 7 to xp

    STEP 1. Open your Windows 7 drive (generally C drive) and make sure that you haven’t removed the Windows.old folder, which was created by Windows while installing Windows 7 on XP drive. Remember, without this folder you won’t be able to proceed further.

    STEP 2. Now, check the size of Windows.old folder by right-clicking and then selecting properties. You need to make sure that Windows.old folder must be less than two times the amount of free hard drive space available on Windows 7 system drive (C drive). If the Windows.old folder size is two times larger, disable system restore utility and also use disk cleanup tool to get some free space.

    STEP 3. Insert your Windows 7 installation disc into DVD-ROM and restart your system. Press any key when prompted to boot from DVD.

    STEP 4. Choose your language, time, keyboard type and then click on Next button to continue.

    STEP 5. In the Install Windows screen, click Repair your computer option to get System Recovery Options.

    STEP 6. Now select your Windows 7 OS and note down your Windows 7 Drive letter before clicking on Next.

    STEP 7. In the next window, click Command Prompt to start downgrading from Windows 7 to XP.

    STEP 8. At first you need to transfer all the data of your Windows 7 drive to a folder. So type the following commands one by one and then press enter after each command (here we’re assuming that “D” is your Windows 7 drive letter).


    Md Win7

    Move Windows Win7\Windows

    Move “Program Files” “Win7\Program Files”

    Move Users Win7\Users

    Attrib –h –s –r ProgramData

    Move ProgramData Win7\ProgramData

    Rd “Documents and Settings”

    STEP 9. Next, you need to copy all the contents of Windows.old folder to the drive. Again, follow all the commands given below one by one and then press enter after each command.

    move /y d:\Windows.old\Windows d:\

    move /y “d:\Windows.old\Program Files” d:\

    move /y “d:\Windows.old\Documents and Settings” d:\

    STEP 10. Next, you need to restore the boot sector by typing the following command:

    E:\boot\bootsect /nt52 d:

    STEP 11. At last restore the boot.ini file by entering the following commands:

    Attrib –h –s –r boot.ini.saved

    Copy boot.ini.saved boot.ini

    STEP 12. Now type Exit and restart your system to get back to Windows XP again.
    Another option is to dual boot your computer with Windows XP, this is the easiest option:
    EASYBCD Dual boot

    Author Comment

    @schnellsolutions what type of disc should I use for the fresh Windows XP installation will I need an original Win XP cd?
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment


    In this case that it was not a fresh install. Here you are keeping all the previous configurations. Try this to restore the ntoskrnl file:

    1.Start the computer by using your Windows XP CD-ROM. Press any key to boot from the CD.

    2.After the setup files are finished loading press R to repair using Recovery Console.

    3.When you are in the recovery console, select the installation to log on to (usually number 1), and then press ENTER.

    4.Login to the Administrator account by typing the password for this account, and then press ENTER.

    5.At the recovery console command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    expand <cd-drive>:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ <hd-drive>:\Windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe

    Note In these two commands, the <cd-drive> placeholder represents the drive letter of your CD drive, and the <hd-drive> placeholder represents the drive letter of the hard disk on which windows is installed.

    6.If you receive a prompt to overwrite the file, press Y.

    7.Type exit, and press ENTER at the command prompt.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Yes, you'll need the original XP cd to do a full install (not the upgrade disc)..

    Easiest thing at this point would be to just install a fresh copy of Win'XP.  If you want to be able to boot Win'7 again then you'll need to run the Win'7 disc and do a repair.  But I suspect that's not what you want.

    What I normally do is decrease the size of the partition to give me about 50 GB of space.  Then, create a new partition and install your OS to that.  This way you still have the full Win'7 partition and be able to easily copy any files/folders from it to your XP.  Once that's done you can delete the Win'7 partition.  I use Acronis Disk Director for these types of tasks...or you can use Partition Magic too.  Be sure to make the new partition your first partition, so create it in front of your Win'7 partition.

    Accepted Solution

    I ran HDD Self Test  and I get the following message Test 1 (Quick) Error: Read failure. I am not able to load as it displays the following error :Setup did not find any  hard disk drives installed in your computer. Make sure any hard disk drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that  Setup did not find any  hard disk drives installed in your computer and the option F3 quit.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    How did you run the self test? Is this from the bios or did you boot up with some 3rd party utility that specifically tests your hard drive?

    What motherboard model (or laptop model) do you have? If the error you gave us is from when you're installing XP using the cd then you may need to load a SATA/RAID driver from your manufacturer first otherwise it won't find your hard'll need to press F6 when prompted during the XP installation and load the driver from your floppy.

    Also, you can use a boot cd like Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) which has a lot of free utilities on it that you can boot your system with and run tests on your ram, hdd etc.

    One other thing you can do before that is boot with the XP cd again and select R for repair when prompted.  When at the command prompt, type chkdsk c: /fix in case there's just some minor errors on the partition that's being detected as a hdd read error. It'll fix them.

    Author Closing Comment

    HDD was replaced due to the error mentioned in the problem.

    Author Comment

    The HDD was replaced and the laptop is working again.

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