May 21, 2008
Tip and Trick Editorial

Windows Vista Failed to Start with ntkrnlpa.exe or ntoskrnl.exe 0xc0000428 Error Status

When booting up Windows Vista system, the startup process may stop halt on a black background screen with the following error message:

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.

File: \Windows\system32\ntkrnlpa.exe (or ntoskrnl.exe and other files)
Status: 0xc0000428
Info: Windows cannot verify the digital signature of this file

The error keeps coming back and cannot be solved even after system restarts or trying to go into Safe Mode. When user tries to disable driver signature enforcement (If disable forced driver signing requirement fix the issue, check out ReadyDriver Plus that automates disabling of driver signature enforcement, used normally when user installs third-party unsigned driver as in the case of patched tcpip.sys), Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) occurs and computer normally reboots automatically. Trying to boot via last known good configuration from Boot Manager bootloader menu also doesn’t help to fix the error. In many worst cases, reformat the computer to reinstall Window Vista doesn’t fix or recover from the 0xc0000428 error too.

There are 2 common reasons or causes for the 0xc0000428 stop error. One of the main reason is the system file in the Windows Vista kernel has been corrupted or modified by third party applications, which can possibly by virus too. To resolve the the problem of this nature, insert the Windows Vista installation DVD into DVD-ROM disc tray, and then boot up the computer from DVD drive. Select the Startup Repair option to have the Recovery Environment automatically scans and replaces corrupted or invalid system files.

Another possible cause for Windows failed to boot with 0xc0000428 error is hardware failure which corrupt, conflict or interfere with integrity of system files. The problematic and spoilt hardware can be RAM memory module, motherboard, chipset, CPU, display adapter and other components. User can use diagnostic tools to help identifying the possibly failing hardware part, such as Windows Memory Diagnostic can be used to test the system’s memory. Once the problematic hardware component is isolated and identified, repair the error or replace the hardware component.

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