How to Replace NTOSKRNL.EXE

By Contributing Writer

Ntoskrnl.exe is an important system file for the Windows operating system. It contains the basic code needed to start and load the operating system. If this file gets deleted or becomes corrupted, a user will not be able to boot his computer until this file is replaced.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows recovery CD or DVD.

Step 1

Insert the Windows Recovery CD into the disk drive and reboot the computer.

Step 2

Check the computer's boot order. This must be done from the BIOS set-up before boot begins. Pressing "F2" will start the BIOS set up on most PCs. (This is not always the case, and the boot screens will tell you which button will take you to the system set-up.) Make sure that your CD drive comes before your hard disk in the boot order.

Step 3

Select the drive with the Windows installation you wish to repair when you see the menu to select a hard disk drives. If you have mistakenly swapped a Windows Installation CD for the recovery disk, enter the automated system recovery and place the recovery disk in the drive when prompted to do so.

Step 4

Select the drive that needs to be prepared. You will be asked for the administrator password. Enter the administrator account password if one has been set up.

Step 5

Type "expand d:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ c:\windows\system32." Windows is not case sensitive, but you must spell the commands correctly. This copies the ntoskernel.exe file to the approrpriate directory.

Step 6

Press "Y" when the program asks if you want to proceed.

Step 7

Enter the exit command and the reboot the system. Take the CD out of the drive and Windows should load correctly.

References & Resources