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Start up help

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 12, 2010 8:44:53 PM

Alright so I've got windows xp sp2 and it starts to start up the computer when all of a sudden this screen comes up saying

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\WINDOWS2\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

is there something I can do about it please help me if you can. I appreciate it.

More about : start

January 12, 2010 9:56:55 PM

Boot off your OS disc. At the first set of options, hit enter to choose your partition. At the second screen, use the R option to repair your install.
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January 13, 2010 11:11:38 PM

I'm sorry but by os do you mean original start up or what?
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January 14, 2010 12:20:51 AM

Sorry. By OS, I mean Operating System. Your OS disc = your version of windows install disc.
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January 15, 2010 7:18:14 PM

Alright that is kind of what I meant and I tried that but it just said cannot proceed with this because windows system is already on your computer.
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January 15, 2010 7:30:06 PM

That sounds like a windows message. You'll want to boot off the disc. To do this:

Restart and enter the BIOS (tap delete key on startup)
Change the first boot device to be your cd or dvd drive
Press f10 to save and exit
When it restarts, you should see a message to 'press any key'.....press a key at this time
You will boot up to a blue screen
Follow the steps listed in my first post to repair the install
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January 16, 2010 1:58:40 PM

alright then it brings me to the recovery console which I've already seen and tried but i dont really know what to do on this
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January 16, 2010 2:45:03 PM

If you're in the recovery console, you used the first R option. Instead of using R, at that menu, hit enter to continue. Then accept the license agreement. Then you'll see a screen listing your partition, with an R option. That's where you want to use the R option to repair your install.

Here's a good guide. Look at the screen shots near the bottom of the page.
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm
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January 16, 2010 4:19:12 PM

Alright went to that site and my computer did not give me the option to do a fresh re-install or a repair more twords the bottom of the page where it says I can, my computer says Setup could not read the CD you inserted, or the CD is not a valid Windows CD. but it is a valid one and this is really irritating me. I bought a new graphics card for it about a month before it started this and I cant really just go out and buy a new comp because I'm 16 and I dont have the money or a job, maybe getting the job soon though.
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January 16, 2010 6:35:01 PM

It's not a manufacturer's (Dell, HP, Gateway...etc) recovery disc is it?
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January 16, 2010 8:23:03 PM

Could have him go into recovery console (since he's been there already)... run bootcfg /rebuild to add in the repair option... if that's what's happening.
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January 16, 2010 8:28:33 PM

The disc is a Windows xp Home Edition sp2 is that now what I should be putting in, I also have recovery discs for the computer but they do not work because there was someone who repaired the computer and there is different recovery discs for the computer but I have no idea were those are. I'm guessing those are the only hope I have for my computer?
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January 16, 2010 9:16:14 PM

The retail XP disc should work.

The bootcfg command will just rebuild the boot.ini file. It won't repair the system file.

Here's a guide to fix the file from the repair console
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
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January 17, 2010 12:16:57 AM

aford10 said:
The retail XP disc should work.

The bootcfg command will just rebuild the boot.ini file. It won't repair the system file.

Here's a guide to fix the file from the repair console
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

Ok this is not making sense when I get to here
Part two
To complete the procedure described in this section, you must be logged on as an administrator, or an administrative user (a user who has an account in the Administrators group). If you are using Windows XP Home Edition, you can log on as an administrative user. If you log on as an administrator, you must first start Windows XP Home Edition in Safe mode. To start the Windows XP Home Edition computer in Safe mode, follow these steps.

Note Print these instructions before you continue. You cannot view these instructions after you restart the computer in Safe Mode. If you use the NTFS file system, also print the instructions from Knowledge Base article KB309531. Step 7 contains a reference to the article.

1. Click Start, click Shut Down (or click Turn Off Computer), click Restart, and then click OK (or click Restart).
2. Press the F8 key. it is telling me to start my computer. but I cannot which is why I am doing this. I am so confused.
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January 17, 2010 1:25:39 AM

Part 1 is copying the files off of the disc. Part 2 is repairing your registry.

After part 1 is done, you should be able to boot into safe mode. That's where you'll log on as the administrator, and proceed on.
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January 17, 2010 7:37:21 PM

aford10 said:
Part 1 is copying the files off of the disc. Part 2 is repairing your registry.

After part 1 is done, you should be able to boot into safe mode. That's where you'll log on as the administrator, and proceed on.


It is not letting me into safemode.
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January 17, 2010 7:44:04 PM

Where is it stopping?
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January 17, 2010 7:52:57 PM

aford10 said:
Where is it stopping?

right where it did before where it says that one file is corrupt or missing.
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January 17, 2010 7:57:16 PM

It sounds like step 1 didn't complete correctly. Did you get any errors on step 1?
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January 17, 2010 8:02:48 PM

aford10 said:
It sounds like step 1 didn't complete correctly. Did you get any errors on step 1?


no but I will retry it since i have multiple things i can do it in.
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January 17, 2010 8:52:57 PM

I re-tried it multiple times and it is not working and I know I did it right the first time.
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January 17, 2010 11:16:42 PM

aford10 said:
If it's not going to copy the files, then you can try doing a system restore through the repair console. Check out the second solution to guide you through the restore.
http://forums.techguy.org/windows-xp/555547-windows-sys...


alright when I type CD C:\system~1\_resto~1
Access is denied why is this, it did not tell me to enter a password.
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January 17, 2010 11:59:33 PM

Try typing these commands in the repair console.

set AllowWildCards = true
set AllowAllPaths = true
set allowremovablemedia = true
set NoCopyPrompt = true
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January 18, 2010 12:21:13 AM

aford10 said:
Try typing these commands in the repair console.

set AllowWildCards = true
set AllowAllPaths = true
set allowremovablemedia = true
set NoCopyPrompt = true


Ok those were very helpfull but now im stuck at this part
C:\system~1\_resto~1\rp23\snapshot>copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system (read below3)
i dont get what it means by read below 3, sorry im stupid
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January 18, 2010 5:03:25 AM

It's just saying, that command line should bring up a message prompt, asking if you want to overwrite the system or not (the next line). I think the 3 was a typeO.

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January 18, 2010 5:41:24 PM

Well this is a downer, it still did not let me get onto windows like it said it would on that site, and I cannot do the third option because I am talking to you on a Laptop that is using vista.
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January 18, 2010 7:27:09 PM

I'm not sure what else can be done to repair that hard drive. I'm starting to think the issue may be the hard drive itself. If I were you, my next step would be to replace the hard drive. After that, you can use a few different methods to try and recover some of the data on the hard drive.
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January 18, 2010 7:35:27 PM

aford10 said:
I'm not sure what else can be done to repair that hard drive. I'm starting to think the issue may be the hard drive itself. If I were you, my next step would be to replace the hard drive. After that, you can use a few different methods to try and recover some of the data on the hard drive.


how much does one cost?
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Best solution

January 18, 2010 7:40:50 PM

They can be anywhere from ~$40 - $200. It all depends on what you want.

This samsung is one of the best price/performance drives available. It's out of stock at the moment on newegg, but there are other sites you can order from.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 18, 2010 7:58:43 PM

aford10 said:
They can be anywhere from ~$40 - $200. It all depends on what you want.

This samsung is one of the best price/performance drives available. It's out of stock at the moment on newegg, but there are other sites you can order from.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


yes like tiger direct and such.
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January 18, 2010 8:11:05 PM

aford10 said:
They can be anywhere from ~$40 - $200. It all depends on what you want.

This samsung is one of the best price/performance drives available. It's out of stock at the moment on newegg, but there are other sites you can order from.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

well thank you so much for the help even thought it did not work.
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January 18, 2010 8:34:45 PM

You're welcome. Wish I could've been more help with your current drive. I'm just not sure what else to suggest.

Good luck.
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January 18, 2010 8:48:14 PM

aford10 said:
You're welcome. Wish I could've been more help with your current drive. I'm just not sure what else to suggest.

Good luck.


I know, I wish you could have too, if you figure anything else out send me a message.
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January 18, 2010 9:55:30 PM

aford10 said:
You're welcome. Wish I could've been more help with your current drive. I'm just not sure what else to suggest.

Good luck.


oh hey also with a new harddrive I would have to re-install everything I have wouldnt I, so like a new windows and all.
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January 18, 2010 11:54:54 PM

Yes, you'll have to reinstall everything from scratch. Since you already had a legal copy of windows installed on the other drive, you can use that same license key to install windows again.

Once you have the new hard drive installed and running, you can slave drive the current hard drive, and try to access the data on it.
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January 19, 2010 10:32:19 AM

aford10 said:
Yes, you'll have to reinstall everything from scratch. Since you already had a legal copy of windows installed on the other drive, you can use that same license key to install windows again.

Once you have the new hard drive installed and running, you can slave drive the current hard drive, and try to access the data on it.

alright. haha it might be better to just re-install things, there was alot of random stuff on my current one. If i get the chance i may order that one you linked to me.
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January 19, 2010 11:08:13 AM

If you need anything else, just let us know....
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January 29, 2010 6:45:30 PM

Best answer selected by Cxp83.
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