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Microsoft KB Archive/173518

From BetaArchive Wiki

Article ID: 173518

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q173518


You may receive the following error message as your computer restarts:


The specified image file did not have the correct format, it did not have an initial MZ.

This error may also occur following installation of new drivers to the system, such as adding a new video driver, or is often seen during either an upgrade or new installation of Windows NT.


This error is caused by the system being unable to load a needed file because of the file being corrupted. This usually occurs during the file copy process, and is often because of a hardware malfunction. It may be a one-time occurrence, but often is a signal for the user to do a through examination of system hardware to determine what is causing the corruption.

NOTE: The parameter 0xc000012f may also be seen in conjunction with other Trap Codes such as 0x0000006b and is usually shown as the first parameter following the trap:

STOP 0x0000006b (0xc000012f, 0xxxxxxxxx, 0xxxxxxxxx,0xxxxxxxxx)


Because this trap code is caused by a corrupted file required to load Windows NT, and the trap screen does not always reference which specific file caused the problem, the best solution is usually basic trouble shooting.

It is recommended to have a good back up of anything on the computer that the user considers valuable before proceeding with the different procedures.

Windows NT was Already Installed and Running

If the stop error occurred following a change in hardware drivers, press the space bar to select the Last Known Good option during startup, and then change the necessary components when the computer comes up.

Try selecting [VGA MODE] option from the boot menu, this will display the Windows NT system files on the screen as they are loaded and may give you a clue about which file is corrupt.

Use the Emergency Repair Disk to replace the missing or damaged driver file on the partition by following the procedure outlined in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

ARTICLE-ID: 103280
TITLE : Using an Emergency Repair Disk Created by Windows NT

ARTICLE-ID: 164471
TITLE : Replacing System Files Using a Modified Emergency Repair Disk

This will allow you to perform a system repair to replace the corrupted Windows NT system file.

If Performing an Initial Windows NT Installation or Upgrade

If the computer has MS-DOS or another operating system installed, copy the i386 directory from the Windows NT installation CD to C:\i386, and at a command prompt carry out the following command:

This often allows the installation to proceed, but if Windows NT will not install in this manner, you may want to consider the following options:

  • When installing on a new computer with little or nothing else on it, reformat the hard drive and install using the three setup disks, or booting with DOS, copying the i386 directory, and carry out a WINNT /b command as above. If you are using the three setup disks, consider making a new set using the WINNT /ox switch to help eliminate the possibility of a bad floppy disk.
  • Disable caching options and BIOS shadowing.
  • Removing all possible hardware to take the computer down to a bare box with only one hard drive and controller in order to eliminate possible hardware conflicts.
  • Ask the computers' manufacturer if a newer System BIOS is available, if so, flash the BIOS using the manufacturers instructions.

Because this error is usually associated with hardware, it is recommended to troubleshoot the computer from that stand point, including the motherboard, controller, memory, hard drive, and CD-ROM drive.

Additional query words: file corruption

Keywords: kbprb kbsetup KB173518