NTOSKRNL missing error during WIN XP SP3 install RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi folks

    Can anybody help me with a tricky installation problem I have?

    I'm trying to set up a machine so that it can allow me to verify different backups I've made - the idea being that I use the backup and restore program installed in the Windows installation on the first partition to do a test restore of various backups into the unallocated space on the hard drive, with the aim of ending up with a dual boot or triple boot system, with one or more Windows XP partitions restored into the unallocated space from an external drive. The backup program maintains that it can reconfigure Windows to run on the new machine.

    Everything appears in order for the first restore process into the second partitition. I can carry out a new install of Win XP into a new second partition, then restore a backup which includes the Win installation from a source computer elsewhere on the network, and then modify the restored OS using the backup program to boot on the new computer. In other words creating a dual boot computer by restoring the Win installation from the other computer.

    The problem I have concerns the creation of a third partition and installation on top of this system, using the same process, but to make a triple boot system by restoring the Win installation from a different computer. I get a show stopper problem almost straightaway when running the Win XP3 install from my slipstreamed boot CD, in that although I can create a third partition, and commence the first part of the installation, on the reboot to complete the installation, I get the infamous NTOSKRNL.EXE missing or corrupt error, and the installation of course halts.

    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    <Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
    Please reinstall a copy of the above file.

    Given that the install process must have only just copied over the OS files, I'm guessing the error itself might be misleading, and that the problem is more to do with the way Ntldr looks for the new partition. Interestingly I get exactly the same problem if I bypass the vanilla installation, and let the backup program create the partition during the restore process, although of course it only becomes evident the first time I try to boot from the third partition.

    I've checked all the obvious things, like checking boot.ini paths, ensuring I have only one active partition, and rebuilding the MBR and boot sectors, but nothing I've tried makes any difference. What is it that should make the difference about a third partition, when I'm just repeating the same process as for the successful restore into the second partition? Is it possibly some sort of BIOS limitation that prevents Ntldr from finding the third partition?

    Does anybody have an idea where I could be going wrong?

    Thanks very much for any suggestions.

    Friday, March 5, 2010 3:03 PM

All replies

  • No suggestions at all? Oh dear ... did I choose the wrong forum for this sort of problem?


    Monday, March 15, 2010 7:33 PM