Problem booting Windows XP

I’m running XP (version 2002, service pack 2) on my home computer, and I get an error message every time I boot: “…the following file is missing or corrupt: system32

However, if I boot without a mouse plugged in to the USB port, it boots fine, no message. So I’m working around the problem by unplugging my mouse before booting every time.

I thought it might be related to the mouse (seemed intuitively obvious) so I downloaded new mouse drivers. Didn’t help.

I found the referenced file on my work computer (which is also running XP), and copied it to the same location on my home computer – it turned out that there was such a file in Windows\system32, so I overwrote it. Didn’t help.

Just for grins, I tried executing ntoskrnl.exe. Got this message: “the windows\system32
toskrnl.exe application cannot be run in Win32 mode.” I’m guessing that this is what’s causing my problems booting, but I have no clue how to fix it.

Any ideas?


This link mentions a bad keyboard. Have you tried a different mouse? I’ll just hang around and wait for someone more knowledgeable than I to show up.

I like how there are 7 possible problems in that link (thanks, btw), only one of which is remotely similar to the error message. I’ll rustle up a mouse and see what happens.