[SOLUTIONS] load needed DLLs for kernel

Here is the error message:

Windows could not start because of an error in the software. Please report this problem as: load needed DLLs for kernel. Please contact your support person to report this problem.

What programmer wrote these lines of code??  Could it be any LESS helpful.  I’ll try to shed some light to help.  This post is for professionals and experts, so I didn’t find an easy solution and some methods here are beyond a normal home user.

Some results on Google suggest messing with the MBR and Boot Record, but I suggest waiting to do that until other troubleshooting is completed.

Here is my own troubleshooting method for this problem after dealing with it:

1. Check the motherboard for bad capacitors.  Some reports of users replacing the hard drive, reinstalling Windows and still having the problem (no it’s not a scratched CD!).

a. The best case scenario would be to put swap hard drives with a working second identical computer to see if the problem is something other than the hard drive.

2. Run a chkdsk on the problem computer.  Sorry, I will leave that to you to look up.

3. Hook up the bad hard drive to another computer (or use something like the Ultimate Boot CD) to check the WINDOWS\SYSTEM32  directory for these files plus check their size and version against other computer with the identical OS and Service Pack:

bootvid.dll    (source)  — this was the source of my problem

kdcom.dll      (source)

hal.dll             (source)

ntoskrnl.exe  (source)

Sadly for me, this wasn’t the only missing files, so it was indicative of a loss of a group of files.  This may indicate that you have a failing hard drive. When I replaced bootvid.dll, my computer did boot.

4. Now to more extreme measures.  Microsoft suggests doing an in-place reinstall, which I never liked.  Here are a few links for the things I tried, but wasn’t my root cause:

a. http://www.computing.net/answers/windows-xp/load-needed-dlls-for-kernel/133655.html

b. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061112202439AAwbirg

Please help others by commenting here on what worked for you or other advice I can add.