In the Windows systems, the 'isapnp.sys' file is one of the system files required for the good health of the system. This file is used to manage plug-and-play for old ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) type expansion slots and, thus, is very critical. When this file is damaged or corrupt, then you would not be able to start the system. Such situations can arise due to virus infections, abrupt or improper system shutdown, power outages, etc. You should copy the damaged file using the Windows XP CD failing which you should use a third-party Windows data recovery software to recover Windows files.
Consider a scenario wherein you are starting your Windows XP system but unable to do so. In such cases, the following error message is getting displayed:
“Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
The primary cause of this erroneous situation is that the 'isapnp.sys' file is missing, damaged, or is not present in the path mentioned in the error message.
To overcome this situation, you would need to replace the damaged file with a fresh file in the Recovery Console. You can do this using the following steps:
Modify the booting preferences in the BIOS section so that you can start the system using a Windows XP Setup CD.
Insert the CD and start the system.
When the 'Welcome to Setup' screen is displayed, press R to start the system in the Recovery Console.
In the Recovery Console prompt, type the following command and press Enter to rename the 'isapnp.sys' file:
ren c:\windows\system32\drivers\isapnp.sys isapnp.old
Now, type the following command and press Enter:
expand cd-romdrive:\i386\isapnp.sy_ c:\windows\system32\drivers\isapnp.sys
Type 'exit' and press Enter to exit the Recovery Console.
Restart the computer to check if the problem is solved or not.
However, if the problem is not solved then you would need to reinstall the operating system. This would involve taking the backup of the system, which is not possible as the system in inaccessible. In such circumstances, you should recover Windows files with the help of a third-party Windows data recovery software. These read-only file recovery tools have rich user interface that enable safe and easy data recovery.
Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is an effective Windows data recovery software that helps in extracting deleted, lost, or formatted data from various types of storage media including hard drives, memory cards, iPods, etc. Able to recover Windows files of more than 185 different file types, this Windows data recovery tool recovers deleted emails from Outlook Express and MS Outlook. In addition, it is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, 2000, and NT4(SP6).