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Windows 2003 target fails to boot with error indicating missing or corrupt 'ntoskrnl.exe'

This document (7012913) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


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Windows 2003 source workload
At-least one partition on target physical machine gets preserved


Moving or copying a Windows OS machine with more than three primary partitions to a
physical machine where a Windows OS has been installed with minimum 3 primary partitions. At least
one primary partition is preserved in the target machine.

The following error occurs when Windows Server 2003 machine is converted to Physical

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


1. Boot the target machine with take control ISO (bootofxx2p.iso).
2. Press 'Alt + F7' to get to the console.
3. Type 'echo -e "x\nf\nw\n" | fdisk /dev/sda' and press Enter.
4. Type 'reboot' and press Enter.
When the target machine reboots, it will load the native Windows OS fine.


Partition order gets changed in the partition table of target machine due to which Windows boot config could not point correctly to the system drive.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for NetIQ/Novell/SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7012913
  • Creation Date:19-JUL-13
  • Modified Date:28-APR-16
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