A. There are various flavors of this Blue Screen of Death but all will have the text:
The dynamic link library <file name> could not be found in the specified<br>
path Default Load Path."
The <file name> could be a number of different DLL files, a common one is WINSRV.DLL.
There are a number of causes for this error:
- File_name.dll is missing from the %SystemRoot%\system32 directory.
- Your laptop is loading the Sermouse.sys file.
- If <file name>.dll does exists, the software hive may be corrupted and, therefore, cannot load.
If you Windows NT installation is FAT you can just boot from a floppy disk and change that the DLL it is listing as the error cause is there and if in doubt replace with the latest service pack version. If its NTFS you can either use something like ERD Commander to access the NTFS drive (http://www.winternals.com) or install a parallel copy of Windows NT.
If after checking the DLL you still have problems it is likely a registry hive corruption and if WINSRV.DLL is listed as the missing DLL it is always the software hive. The way to test this is to again use a parallel copy of Windows NT and try to load each hive from your original NT installation:
- Start REGEDT32.EXE
- Select the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE on Local Machine window
- Select the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key in the left pane of the window.
- On the menu bar, click Registry, and then click Load Hive.
- Browse to %SystemRoot%\System32\config, where %SystemRoot% is the original installation of Windows NT that you want to check.
- Click the file software. This will be the software file with the generic Windows icon next to it, not the file with the Notepad icon
- The system will prompt for a key-name to use in loading the hive. You can type whatever you prefer in the dialogue box, for example probsoft.
- The hive is corrupted if you receive the following error message:
'Registry Editor could not load the key. The file is not a valid Registry file.'
The only course of action now is to replace the problem registry hive with the most recent backup which is your emergency repair disk:
- Start the system with the Windows NT Setup disks.
- At the first screen, press R for repair.
- Use the arrow keys to move the cursor to Inspect Registry Files, and then press ENTER to select that option. Next, move the cursor to Continue (Perform Selected Tasks) and press ENTER.
- Let Windows NT perform the mass storage detection. When prompted, select S to specify additional drivers if your computer requires OEM drivers.
- When prompted to do so, insert the emergency repair disk that was originally created for this computer, or press ESC to let Windows NT search for repair information.
- Setup will then ask which registry files should be replaced. Using the arrow keys, move the cursor to Software (Software Information) and press ENTER. Next, move the cursor to Continue (Perform Selected Tasks) and press ENTER.
- When finished, restart your computer when Setup prompts you to do so.