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XP Reinstall Gone Awry - \i386\ntkrnlmp.exe Error

I tried to reinstall XP on my Inspiron 8600 and all I succeeded in doing was nuking my computer.

I'm currently at the point where I insert the XP disc and it goes to windows setup, but then immediately shows a blue screen with the phrase "File \i386\ntkrnlmp.exe could not be loaded. The Error Code is 7. Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit." From there the comp just reboots and the cycle continues.

So, the old install is gone and I continually get this error message when I get to Windows Setup and try to reinstall.

Other info: The initial reinstall stalled when some files couldn't be loaded. I reformatted the HD in NTFS and I'm using a SP2 XP disc.

Any help you can provide to get me out of this purgatory of errors and rebooting would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Ok, let me share my way.

1. I never format the drive ahead of the reinstall. What I do is use the XP SP2 CD to boot with and it's offer to delete, create partitions. I delete the old one, create it anew and then it will format it for me.

2. I always unplug any USB devices since XP can be sorely confused by such new hardware since drivers have yet to be installed.

This should get you back to square one.


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Thanks for the quick replies:

I tried the Microsoft advice, but no go. I updated the bios. I can't imagine the ram is faulty, because it was working fine prior to my ill advised decision.

I actually did just popped the CD in and deleted and created partitions with the XP SP2 CD. I'm in a rough spot now, where I can't get XP to boot or install. It just gives me that same error over and over when I try to boot from the CD.

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It just gives me that same error over and over when I try to

"It just gives me that same error over and over when I try to boot from the CD."

OK, now what is that error? (in "quotes" please.)

I've never had it do that unless it was some "OEM" XP CD. I'm working under the assumption you have the real bona fide XP SP2 CD that Microsoft made. Other CDs can do odd things. Even "copies" vary so be exact here.


PS> We can see wipe the drive clean with DBAN (see google.)

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This is the error I receive:

"File \i386\ntkrnlmp.exe could not be loaded. The Error Code is 7. Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit."

The CD is branded with Dell's logo and says "Reinstallation CD, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Including Service Pack."

Other notes on the cd: "Support for these products provided by dell" and "for distribution only with a new dell computer."

Thanks again for your help.

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Yes. Same conclusion.

It's either bad ram, bad board, bad CPU, etc. I already wrote what to unplug so no repeating of that.

Now it's time to load the BIOS defaults, clean the CPU heatsinks, check the fans, try again then rip out all but one stick of RAM (two if it's RDRAM) and try one last time.


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So, after checking the RAM and hard drive, it turned out to be a faulty CD-ROM drive. I hooked up an external CD-ROM and XP loaded fine.

Thanks for your help.

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