The Windows operating system consists of a large number of files and programs. Some of them run constantly, while others are only called occasionally by the operating system.
Almost all the main files of the Windows operating system are stored in the C: Windows System and C: Windows System32 folders (the drive letter may be different on your computer). The Windows folder itself also contains a number of important files.
All programs installed on your computer usually have executable and associated files stored in C: Program Files or C: Program Files (x86).
In general, you will never want to modify, delete or move any Windows system files located in any of these directories. However, there are a few files that are key to the function of the operating system. If these files are deleted or otherwise damaged, you will need to restore the Windows operating system.
This executable is a kernel image. This means that it is the core (executive) code that makes the operating system work properly.
This code handles hardware, system process, and memory management. It is also the code that determines which applications have access to the system processor and how much memory (and memory addresses) they allocate for use.
This executable file appears in Task Manager under the name System and Registry. This is a well protected file, so it is difficult for any application, such as malware, to damage or delete the file.
In older versions of Windows, if you opened a large number of applications, Ntoskrnl.exe would start using a lot of memory. Starting with Windows 10, Ntoskrnl.exe now compresses unused pages rather than storing them in memory. This reduces memory consumption, but can increase CPU utilization if you are running many applications at the same time.
This process is the main software component of the Microsoft Windows kernel and system code. The name stands for New Technology Kernel Process Allocator. Along with Ntoskrnl.exe, it controls scheduling and memory management.
It also prevents non-core applications and services from accessing the core areas of the operating system, allowing the OS to operate safely in a protected area of ??system memory.
Since Ntkrnlpa.exe is responsible for blocking application access to protected system memory, many users often think that it is Ntkrnlpa.exe that is causing the Windows system to crash. This is because Ntkrnlpa.exe is the process that returns the error.
This is usually caused by some form of malware that tries to invoke the protected system memory, causing Ntkrnlpa.exe errors.
Another kernel file related to the system kernel and the underlying system is Hal.dll. The name of this DLL file stands for Hardware Abstraction Layer.
This file contains basic code that allows applications to interact with computer hardware using simple programming functions rather than complex machine code.
Aptly named, it removes the abstraction from interacting with and controlling computer hardware.
This executable file runs inside RAM and is located in the System32 directory.
Hal.dll usually does not cause problems with your computer, however, some malicious applications try to hide their executable files by giving them the same name. However, you can identify it as a fake application if it is located in a folder other than System32.
Never stop Hal.dll task, as this will render your system non-functional and may force you to restore the Windows operating system.
This file is known as a Win32 multi-user driver file, originally released as part of the Windows XP operating system. It has been updated with every new release of Windows, including Windows 10.
It is a graphics driver interface that controls how graphics are sent to monitors and other output devices. The code runs gdi32.dll on Windows 10.
Unfortunately, since Win32k.sys has long been a staple of the Windows operating system and because it is located in the (Program Files) folder, which is usually not as well protected as the System32 folder, malware often targets this file. for corruption.
In addition, this is the common name that malware chooses for its files so that users do not suspect that the file is part of a computer infection.
This file is located in the System and System32 directories. Description of the file – NT Layer DLL. Basically, it is a DLL file that contains the basic functions of the NT kernel.
This means that it contains the machine code that allows the underlying operating system to function properly. The kernel program accesses the functions contained in Ntdll.dll, and this file processes these machine-level functions.
If you see any error messages coming from the Ntdll.dll process, it is usually caused by either a corrupt Ntdll.dll file or hardware issues on your computer that are causing the process to crash.
Usually, reinstalling the hardware driver that is causing the error will usually resolve it. If the Ntdll.dll file is corrupted, your antivirus software may be able to fix the problem. Otherwise, Windows recovery may be required.
This DLL file is another component of the Windows operating system kernel. It manages memory, including memory interrupts. It also manages all input and output operations.
Kernel32.dll is another file that is loaded into a protected memory space where normal user applications cannot run.
If you’ve ever encountered an error related to Kernel32.dll, it’s usually because malware or corrupted hardware drivers (or faulty hardware) are trying to write to the protected memory where Kernel32.dll resides. Usually these errors are resolved by reinstalling hardware drivers or new hardware.
This DLL file is another major component of the Windows operating system. Its name stands for Advanced Application Programming Interface or Advanced API. It handles security calls and registry accesses.
This DLL manages Windows startup and shutdown, manages the Windows registry, manages user accounts and account security, and manages Windows services.
While this file is not required for Windows to boot properly, it is required for most applications and hardware to function properly. If this Windows system file is deleted or corrupted, any application API calls to access the system registry or security will fail and you will see multiple error messages.
Another core DLL, this Windows system file contains most of the core Windows API for interacting user applications with the operating system. It handles most of the built-in windows and controls displayed by Windows applications.
Any GUI application usually uses the components provided by the User32.dll file.
However, in most cases, Windows applications use libraries built into the Windows .NET framework, which in turn handles communication with User32.dll.
In either case, User32.dll translates common, easy-to-understand application code into machine-level commands that are required by the Windows operating system.
Like User32.dll, Gdi32.dll contains functions that allow applications to create graphical user interfaces on the monitor.
Gdi32.dll contains functions that allow applications to create 2D objects on the screen. It takes code from a Windows application or service and executes the necessary native code to display visual objects on the monitor.
Although the Windows operating system may load even if this DLL is damaged or deleted, the operating system mapping will not work as expected.
Other important Windows system files
While these are the core Windows system files and executable files that are required for the proper functioning of the Windows operating system, there are several additional files that are required for non-critical functions of the computer system to function properly.
- Pagefile.sys: Helps the operating system manage RAM space and improve system performance.
- Swapfile.sys: This is a new system file that helps move modern Windows applications to the hard drive when they are in hibernation state.
- Crss.exe: This is a client-server runtime process that handles console windows and the Windows shutdown process.
- Shell32.dll: Contains Windows Shell API functions that enable web browsers and other applications to properly display operating system elements such as the taskbar, desktop, and start menu.
- Smss.exe: The Session Manager subsystem handles user sessions, including Windows logon and user system preferences.
- Sxs.dll: This is an essential component of the Windows operating system that processes the manifest. files. These are the files that tell Windows how to work with the software application when it starts up.
Although there are many more less important system files in the Windows operating system, the ones listed above are some of the most common. Because of this, they often fall prey to malware in order to trick users into thinking the malicious files are legitimate.
Most antivirus applications are capable of identifying a fake Windows system file and will usually remove it from your system before you ever know it exists.