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Windows XP/Windows not starting up


I have an older Visio laptop running Windows XP.  I mainly use it for internet access and a occasionally use MS Word and Excel.  This laptop has been barely treading water for the last several months.  Everything is slow.  We have a high speed internet connection at home and have no problems with other our other 2 laptops.  Anyway, not sure if any of this related to the problem I'm writing about.  This morning, when I turned on my laptop, Window wouldn't start up.  I get an error message on a black background basically stating that the "ntoskrnl.exe" file  is either missing or corrupt.  I've tried powering the laptop off and back on several times and the same error displays.  The problem is that a DOS prompt doesn't even display after the error message so I can't even go and check if this file is missing or copy it from a storage device.  I'm at a loss what to do.

Irene:  good morning.  I also have one computer running XP.  It is also quite slow.  I've been pretty good at maintain it, but it just seems to get slower.  It is XP itself - somehow, it just keeps accumulating crap - no matter what I do.  The other two are running Vista - which I particularly hate - but have been too lazy to install a new OS.  Anyway, none of this helps you.

The crashed file could very well be a result of XP accumulating garbage (see above).  I did some looking and found the following article from Microsoft (  It walks you through several different fixes.  However, all fixes require you to have the XP CD-ROM.  

If you don't, then it gets a bit more dicey.  Have you tried booting into safe mode (restart then press F5)?  If you can get to a command prompt, type chkdsk /r.

If that doesn't work or can't find the XP CD, here's a how-to create a boot disk (  I've used for a number of things and like it.  This article gives you resource directly from Microsoft, which I also like.  There's a whole bunch of utilities out there, but I'm leery of downloading them.  That's why I like to get stuff directly from Microsoft.

Good luck and let me know how it turns out.  Enjoy.


Windows XP

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Thomas Mihalik


Can assist with most issues involving XP - system configuration, drivers, recovery, home network set-up/maintenance and so forth. Can also help with issues like viruses, system cleanups and peripherals such as printers, external hard drives as well as other USB devices.


Was system administrator for over 45 users at a major research university in the Chicago area for 10 years (before I finally was able to hire someone to do it). Also have owned/configured computers for over 20+ years. Also volunteer locally to fix computers for seniors.

NACUBO SCUP United Way Humane Society

B.A. Humanities, Purdue M.S. Management, Purdue

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