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How to fix error “Error loading kernel. You must reinstall Windows (due to missing file)”?

This error might come up on startup when the Kernel32.dll file is missing. When this happens, Windows will fail to load.

The solution to the problem

Follow the instructions to resolve error “Error loading kernel. You must reinstall Windows (due to missing file)”:

  1. 1

    Click ‘Start’ on the Windows taskbar.

  2. 2

    Select ‘Run’.

  3. 3

    Type ‘SFC.EXE.’ in the ‘Open’ box and click ‘OK’.

  4. 4

    Select the ‘Extract one file from installation disk’ radio button.

  5. 5

    Insert the Windows 98 installation CD or disk into the appropriate drive.

  6. 6

    Type ‘KERNEL32.DLL’ in the ‘Specify the system file you would like to restore’ text box.

  7. 7

    Click ‘Start’.

  8. 8

    Type the complete path of the desired .cab file in the ‘Restore from’ text box.

  9. 9

    Type the following in the ‘Save file in’ text box:

  10. 10


  11. 11

    (where is the drive on which Windows 98 resides, typically C).

  12. 12

    Click ‘OK’ to extract the file.

  13. 13

    Click ‘Close’ to exit the System File Checker.


You should extract a new copy of the Kernel32.dll file from the Windows 98 CD-ROM for loading kernel.

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