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Microsoft KB Archive/103673

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Knowledge Base

Err Msg: Windows Could Not Start...(Missing Ntoskrnl.exe)

Article ID: 103673

Article Last Modified on 2/20/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server 2000 Service Pack 1

This article was previously published under Q103673


When you try to start Windows on a system with IBM OS/2 version 2.x, the following error message is displayed:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <winnt root>\System32\ Ntoskrnl.exe.


OS/2 Boot Manager creates another primary hard disk partition that is enumerated before any extended partitions.


Edit your Boot.ini file and change the partition information by performing the following steps:

  1. Remove the Read Only and System File attributes from the Boot.ini file by typing the following command at an MS-DOS or OS/2 command line:

    Attrib -S -R C:\Boot.ini

  2. Edit the Boot.ini file and change the partition number for Windows. In most cases, you need to increase the partition number by one. A typical Windows line in the Boot.ini file looks similar to the following, where x is the partition number and <ntdir> is the name of the folder into which Windows is installed:

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(x)\<ntdir>="Windows NT Workstation Version 4.00"

For additional information about the Boot.ini file, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

102873 BOOT.INI and ARC Path Naming Conventions and Usag

Additional query words: sbs

Keywords: kbsetup KB103673