Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Windows could not start system32\ntoskrnl.exe

We had a dell Server that hung after the EMC message during post.  No error to google and nothing to point in the right direction.
We discovered the system was using the infamous Software Raid (Never worth it).  The system was booting from disk1, instead of disk0 because of an earlier issue.  The mirror broke 6 months ago so we couldn't very well boot the system from the other disk because all the changes would be lost.

We made a ghost of DISK1, then applied it to a fresh drive.  When we powered it on we got this message.  At the same time we tried to convert it to vmware.  They got the same message there.


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

This was an easy one from years ago.  The Dell servers come with a utility partition.  The new hard drive had only two partitions (C:, D:) instead of three.  We edited the boot.ini see below to replace the partition(2) to partition(1).  After the reboot the server came up just fine - no data lost birds sang...etc.

boot.ini =
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003, Standard" /noexecute=optout /fastdetect