Knowledge Base Glossary       Exit
(how to) Search  

Browse by Category
Knowledge Base > Operating Systems > Windows > NT/2K/XP/2003 > Message "Windows Could not Start Because the Following File is Missing or Corrupt" (NTOSKRNL.EXE or HAL.DLL)

Message "Windows Could not Start Because the Following File is Missing or Corrupt" (NTOSKRNL.EXE or HAL.DLL)

This article addresses the case where you receive the following message when attempting to start Windows NT/2000/XP/2003:

Windows NT could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows directory>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

Or:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows directory>\system32\hal.dll
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

This problem can have a number of causes, but if it began occurring after performing some operation with BootIt BM, the most likely cause is that the BOOT.INI file does not point to the correct partition number where the Windows directory is located.


 To resolve this issue, you need to do one of these two things:

  1. Correct the partition(x) entry in the BOOT.INI file to make it agree with the current contents of the MBR Details in BootIt BM.

  2. Use BootIt BM to reorder the partitions in the MBR Details section to make it agree with the current contents of BOOT.INI.

You will need to choose method (1) above if the partition(w) entry in BOOT.INI references an invalid partition number (e.g. if it points to partition(3), but you only have 2 partitions).  In other cases, you can choose either method.

If you choose to edit BOOT.INI and leave the contents of MBR Details as-is, proceed as follows:

  1. Refer to the article How Partition Numbers are Assigned in BOOT.INI for information on how to determine the correct partition(w) number to use in BOOT.INI.

  2. Edit BOOT.INI and change the partition(w) value as needed.  To edit BOOT.INI:

If you choose to edit the MBR Details and leave BOOT.INI as-is, proceed as follows:

  1. Examine the contents of BOOT.INI to determine what the value of partition(w) is for the applicable entry.  To view BOOT.INI:
      
  2. Click the Boot Edit icon on the BootIt BM desktop to open the Boot Menu window.

  3. In the Boot Menu window, select the applicable menu entry and then click the Edit button.

  4. In the MBR Details section of the Edit Menu Item window, select the applicable MBR entry and move it to the MBR slot that coincides with the value of partition(w) in BOOT.INI (as explained in the article How Partition Numbers are Assigned in BOOT.INI).  Please note that the two numbers (i.e. partition(w) and the MBR slot number) may not be equivalent.

Also refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

Error Message: Windows Could Not Start Because of a Computer Disk Hardware Configuration Problem

"Windows NT Could Not Start...Ntoskrnl.exe" error message

Error message: "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem"


How helpful was this article to you?


powered by Lore