Invalid Boot.ini file booting from C:\windows error

December 2016

A corrupted Boot file will not allow the laptop computer to boot the operating system. An invalid boot.ini file error is shown stating that the ntoskenl.exe file is corrupt or missing. Although the error points to a invalid boot.ini, the issue could be due to bad hardware as well. A defective RAM may also be responsible for the issue. However, if the RAM is fine and the Ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt, the boot.ini will have to be repaired. It can be repaired manually by copying a correct version of the file in the directory or by using the Bootcfg utility from the Recovery Console for rebuilding the boot.ini file.




You can try to apply one of these methods if you own an original WIndows XP installation CD.
First we will try to repair boot.ini with bootcfg/rebuild.

If the problem persists, test your memory (RAM): sometimes it is a defective stick that is the cause of this type of problem.

Ntoskrnl.exe missing or corrupt

To resolve this problem, use one of the following methods:

First Solution

  • C:\Windows>cd system32 Press the Enter Key
  • C:\Windows\system32>del ntoskrnl.exe Press the Enter Key
  • C:\Windows\system32>copy d:\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ Press the Enter Key
  • C:\Windows\system32>rename ntoskrnl.ex_ ntoskrnl.exe Press the EnterKey
  • C:\Windows\system32>exit Press the Enter Key and restart your PC.


Note that: replace [ d: ] by the letter corresponding to your CD-Rom drive.

Second Solution

  • Use the Bootcfg utility from the Recovery Console to rebuild the the Boot.ini file:
  • Start up Recovery Console
  • To learn more about the Recovery Console see this item
  • At the C:\Windows> interface type the following commands:
  • C:\Windows> bootcfg /rebuild then press Enter


Once the Windows installation is located, the following instructions appear:
  • Add installation to the list of boot options? (Yes/No)
  • [Type Y in response to this message.]
  • Enter Boot Identifier:
  • [This is the name of the operating system. Type: Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home Edition. ]
  • Enter the options for loading the operating system:
  • [Leave this field blank, then press Enter].
  • After completing the procedural steps above, restart the computer, then select the first item in the boot menu. This should allow Windows XP to start normally.


Thanks to le druide for these information.

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