How to replace the kernel32.dll file

Written by susan reynolds
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How to replace the kernel32.dll file
A blue screen indicates a problem with the Kernel32.dll file. (laptop computer image by patrimonio designs from

The Kernel32.dll is an important file that is part of your Windows Operating System. If there is a corruption of this file, you may not be able to access your computer files. Frequently, you will get a "blue screen" with an error message pertaining to the Kernel32.dll file. The remedy in this case is to replace the file by reinstalling the operating system. If your computer merely gets an error message that pops up repeatedly, then simply reinstalling the file may fix the problem.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Windows OS installation CD

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    Reinstall Windows--For System Crashes

  1. 1

    Obtain a Windows installation CD that is the same exact type as your current system; for example, Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, etc. Place it into your disc drive. If your system is corrupted, you will have to manually install the program.

  2. 2

    Type "FORMAT C:" and hit "Enter." This will turn your PC back to its factory settings, thereby erasing all of your data, software, and upgrades.

  3. 3

    Press "Y" when asked if you want to install the program. Wait for the program to install.

  4. 4

    Type "D:" and hit "Enter." This tells your computer to read the CD in the disc drive. The "D" drive is the default letter for your disc drive.

  5. 5

    Type "CD\Win98 (or whatever your operating system is) and press "Enter."

  6. 6

    Type "Setup" and press "Enter."

  7. 7

    Follow the installation prompts from the CD.

    Reinstalling the Kernel32.dll File Only--For a Working PC

  1. 1

    Download and install a registry cleaner to your computer.

  2. 2

    Run the program and fix any ".dll" errors specified in the log report.

  3. 3

    Download the Kernel32.dll file from a website with a clean copy of this file.

  4. 4

    Press "Start", then "Run" and type in "system32."

  5. 5

    Copy the Kernel32.dll file to this directory (or drag and drop it into the window). Close the window. You should no longer receive the ".dll" error message after this point.

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