Invalid Boot.INI corrupt: <Windows 2000 Root>\sys32\NTOSKRNL.EXE

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Mike, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Dell SX 270 PC w/ oneG RAM, W2K Pro SP4 will not boot.

    Error message:
    Invalid boot.ini
    booting from c:\winnt
    Windows 2000 could not start because the following file is missing or
    corrupt: <Windows 2000 Root>\sys32\NTOSKRNL.EXE
    Please re-install a copy of the above file.

    Googled error message but only found boot from cd then run RC. Ran Dell
    diagnostics and hardware appears to be fine. Booted from the CD then went
    to recovery console but could not maneuver
    to replace the file. I believe a duplicate file is stored in dllcache.
    Could change directories.

    Is the error message caused by a corrupt boot.ini? If so, how can I fix
    If I need to replace ntoskrnl.exe how to a replace w/ a current version?

    How can I make ERDs for W2K Pro, XP Pro and Win Server 2003?
    I don't want to get stuck like this again.


    Mike, Oct 18, 2006
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  2. Mike

    Mike Guest

    should read could not change directories
    Mike, Oct 18, 2006
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  3. Mike

    Alfred Falk Guest

    Whenever I have had this message it was actually because it was trying
    to boot from a different disk or partition . It gets tricky. Check
    your BIOS settings, compare with contents of boot.ini. Might involve
    device driver for disk if SATA or SCSI.

    A L B E R T A Alfred Falk
    R E S E A R C H Information Systems Dept (780)450-5185
    C O U N C I L 250 Karl Clark Road
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6N 1E4
    Alfred Falk, Oct 18, 2006
  4. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Not sure but I believe it's an IDE HDD drive. Are boot.ini's generic? IHow
    can I view the current boot.ini?
    The user told me he was attempting to install software then it wouldn't
    Mike, Oct 18, 2006
  5. Mike

    Meat Plow Guest

    Means the entry in boot.ini that points to the location of ntoskrnl.exe is
    invalid. Either it's pointing to the wrong directory, or that directory or
    the ntoskrnl.exe files is missing or corrupt.
    Meat Plow, Oct 18, 2006
  6. Mike

    John John Guest

    You can make a Windows 2000 floppy boot disk and boot the machine with
    it. Once booted and logged on it's easy to fix the boot.ini file. For
    the purpose of fixing the boot files I find it faster and easier to use
    a floppy boot disk than it is to use the Recovery Console. See here for

    You have to make the disk on a Windows NT/2000/XP machine. The disk
    will fail if you make it on a Windows 9x machine! Pay attention to the
    comments about the Windows installation folder, on Windows 2000 by
    default it's WINNT, so the file would look like this:

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="First harddisk, first
    partition" /sos
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="First harddisk, second
    partition" /sos
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINNT="First harddisk, third
    partition" /sos
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINNT="First harddisk, fourth
    partition" /sos
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINNT="Second harddisk, first
    partition" /sos
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINNT="Second harddisk, second
    partition" /sos
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(3)\WINNT="Second harddisk, third
    partition" /sos
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(4)\WINNT="Second harddisk, fourth
    partition" /sos
    C:\="Previous Operating System on C:\"

    You don't need the /sos switch, you could use the /fastdetect switch

    John John, Oct 18, 2006
  7. Mike

    Alfred Falk Guest

    boot.ini is not generic. It's described in the Resource Kit
    documentation. However, IDE boot usually is pretty much generic. You
    might take the drive out and connect it as a secondary on another
    computer. Then you can look at it and maybe find out what's going on.

    A L B E R T A Alfred Falk
    R E S E A R C H Information Systems Dept (780)450-5185
    C O U N C I L 250 Karl Clark Road
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6N 1E4
    Alfred Falk, Oct 18, 2006
  8. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Just realized it doesn't have a FDD.

    Can I burn the files to a CD then boot from the CD?

    Mike, Oct 19, 2006
  9. Mike

    Mike Guest

    W2K is in C:\WINNT so shoulod the line read C:\=windows2000 on C:\

    Mike, Oct 19, 2006
  10. Mike

    John John Guest

    No, that line is to boot earlier DOS, Windows 95/98/ME operating
    systems. It's not needed for NT systems, you can remove it if you want.
    But I did make a mistake in the first (default=) line, I didn't change
    the WINDOWS folder to WINNT. The line should read:


    John John, Oct 19, 2006
  11. Mike

    John John Guest

    No, I don't think so. At least not that I know of, I suppose if someone
    tried to burn it to a bootable cd it might work but I have never heard
    or read on anyone doing it with just these 3 files. Boot cd's are
    usually a bit more elaborate.

    You could use something like this: or
    this: or a Linus live cd. These are a
    bit more involved than making a boot diskette, big images to download
    and burn. If the pc can boot from a USB diskette you can use that.
    Otherwise you will have to use the Recovery Console or the repair
    process and the ERD.

    You can also use a Windows 9x boot cd providing that you have an ntfs
    editor like EditBINI to edit the file if it's on an NTFS partition.

    John John, Oct 19, 2006
  12. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Thanks, I believe it has only one HDD and one partition.

    Mike, Oct 19, 2006
  13. Mike

    Mike Guest

    It also needs whatever files are needed to allow me to move around to
    different directories
    and copy files. I've got a W2K Dell repair CD that I've booted from but I
    could move around to
    different directories so I can copy files.

    Mike, Oct 19, 2006
  14. Mike

    John John Guest

    I'm not sure what you mean. Did you make a typo in your reply, is it
    "could" or "couldn't" move around? In the Recovery Console your access
    to directories is restricted to hard disk roots, the %systemroot%
    (\winnt) folder and the %systemroot%\system32 folder. That is a
    security feature by design. To repair a "standard" Windows 2000
    installation these are the only folders that you would or should need to
    access from the Recovery Console. If you are trying to do it from a
    Windows 9x/DOS boot all you need to edit the boot.ini file is the
    EditBINI utility. From a DOS/Windows 9x boot obviously you won't be
    able to access an NTFS drive but that is beside the point here, unless
    there is more than the boot.ini file involved.

    Is this a laptop? Or is it a desktop/tower? If the latter then you can
    just stick a floppy disk drive in the machine, even if only temporarilly
    to try to boot the machine. Borrow a diskette drive from another
    machine, or better yet fit a new one to the box! They only cost about
    ten to fifteen dollars!

    John John, Oct 19, 2006
  15. Mike enlightened us 24hoursupport.helpdesk-(ab)users with:

    You can our you cannot?
    What you surely can do with a RD, is to chkdsk. Do that first.
    Next time when you are lucky and back up, use gpedit.msc - security
    settings and allow what you need for the RC next time.
    Or torrent one of the nice winPE cds which contain a lot of useful
    recovery programs. Sometime you get them with a computer magazine as
    well, without the non-free programs.
    Walter Mautner, Oct 19, 2006
  16. Mike

    Keme Guest


    Is the error message caused by a corrupt boot.ini? If so, how can I fix
    The message indicates a search for an executable kernel at the correct
    location, so boot.ini is probably OK. If it isn't, you have ample advice
    from others concerning that.

    Windows installation will normally leave the install source in a hidden
    directory on your system partition: C:\i386. From there you can extract
    what you're missing. you will probably find a large number of files
    where the last character of the file name is an underscore. The
    underscore indicates that it is a compressed version of the file.

    Boot from your system CD and use the Recovery Console. (Note that while
    RC looks just like the usual command line shell, it isn't quite the same.)

    Not sure if "expand" is available in Win2k. In case not, "extract" will
    do the job. To replace a defective ntoskrnl.exe, you need one of the
    following commands to work (depending on the contents of \i386):
    expand c:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ winnt\sys32
    extract c:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ winnt\sys32
    copy c:\i386\ntoskrnl.exe winnt\sys32
    Keme, Oct 19, 2006
  17. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I wonder if I'll need to update the expanded ntoskrnl.ex_ to SP4?
    Mike, Oct 20, 2006
  18. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I should have typed ". . . I could not move around to. . . ."
    I believe subdirectory dllcache contains an uptodate verison of ntoskrnl.exe
    that I'd like to move to system32 subdirectory.

    In the Recovery Console your access
    Mike, Oct 20, 2006
  19. Mike

    John John Guest

    The %sytemroot% folder and subfolders should be accessible from the
    Recovery Console. If you can't navigate these folders the drive might
    be corrupt.

    John John, Oct 20, 2006
  20. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I couldn't figure out how to navigate to the different directories after I
    was in RC.

    I installed XP SP2 on the PC.
    Mike, Oct 22, 2006
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