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[XP] Missing or corrupt File! Please help!

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October 4, 2007 10:41:51 PM

Hello,

Yesterday I was playing FarCry--I downloaded it about 3 weeks ago. The game, and my entire system froze solid. My only choice was to hold in the power button to shut it down.

I re-started the system and got a completely different wallpaper on my desktop, the wrong resolution, and missing icons. I used the Start button to do a Restart. Everything was peachy again.

My wife ended up shutting down the computer last night. All I know is that the monitors displayed "No Input" but the fans & lights on my case were still running this morning. Nothing would "wake" it or get it to do anything, so again I held in the power button to shut it down. I then went to work.

I started the computer this afternoon and got a black screen, and a message to this affect:

"There is a mising or corrupt file on your computer, and will not start:
C:\Windows\System32\Config\System
You may use the original Windows disk and press R at Windows setup to repaire the file"

So I put the disk in the dvd drive, then hit the space bar. The system gave me the Gigabyte splash screen, then the same message as above. The second time the same thing. The third it started normally. So here I am.

I've never attempted a repair, and I don't know how to go about it.

Or should I do a system restore??

Your timely help would be most appreciated. I will leave it running. I don't want to shutdown/reboot and loose what I have. Something like this has never happpened with this rig (I built it about 6-8 months ago). It has run perfectly. I mentioned the freeze up with Farcry because I see no other correlation.

PS I've already done a backup of EVERYTHING!!

Thanks for your help.

Don
150gb Raptor
Win XP Pro SP2
Gigabyte 965-DS3 mobo
2 gbs Corsair XMS2 DDR2800 ram
Silverstone TJ-09 case
EVGA 8800GTS 640mb vid Card
Intel E6600 cpu
XION Supernova 600w PSU
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More about : missing corrupt file

October 4, 2007 10:57:38 PM

A repair installation may work... i have had mild success with it in the past.

However I would recommend a full reinstallation of windows.. you already have everything backed up...
October 4, 2007 11:05:58 PM

Thank you for the quick reply. I've never done one. Can you walk me thru a repair?

Thank you,
Don
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October 4, 2007 11:17:25 PM

I'd also recommend a full re-install. It takes a couple of hours with all the updates, but is well worth it. I usually do it every six months, so by my reckoning you're due:)  Just pop the xp cd in and restart - press a key when instructed.
I'd recommend you partition a 20gb space when the partition screen appears and installing xp on that (make sure it's called C). This means you can do an install next time without losing the data on the rest of the hdd.
October 4, 2007 11:41:17 PM

The "System" file is actually the System Hive of your registry.
It mainly contains information about installed hardware, services, and the guts of the Windows installation.

Before anything else, your file system might have just been tweaked or corrupted. 80% of the time, you can fix errors like you have just by doing a check disk and repairing the file system.

Otherwise:

Boot from a "Live CD" that natively understands NTFS and has a GUI.
MiniPE/WinCE based ones are generally pretty good.

Rename C:\Windows\System32\Config\System to System.old

Copy C:\Windows\Repair\System to C:\Windows\System32\Config\

Reboot and cross your fingers.

Even if it doesn't boot into Windows normally, you still enable the ability to do a repair again.

A missing System Hive of the registry will NOT allow you to repair at ALL.

Unless you did a proper system backup with a proper utility, the only things accessible would be raw files, like Word documents, pictures, etc. Anything saved in a program or your profile would be lost if you did a full reinstall.

To do a repair, you will need your Windows XP install CD, boot from that and follow the prompts to a repair. Do not format the drive.
October 5, 2007 4:13:56 AM

I've had some success going into the Repair using command console option then running chkdsk /r from the command prompt.

That's the first repair option you get when boot from the Windows XP Cd.
October 5, 2007 4:31:00 AM

Am working on a PC that will not boot into Windows because of a corrupt file, even after chkdsk /r multiple times, and reinstalling Windows. I even reformatted and completely erased the drive when I reinstalled, and I got the same error message. Just RMAing the drive.
October 5, 2007 4:40:38 AM

San Pedro said:
Am working on a PC that will not boot into Windows because of a corrupt file, even after chkdsk /r multiple times, and reinstalling Windows. I even reformatted and completely erased the drive when I reinstalled, and I got the same error message. Just RMAing the drive.
Before you RMA the drive download the HDD software from the appropriate manufacturer, or use the disk that came with the HDD, and test the drive. If it passes, then use the zero write option to write zeros to the whole drive. This may take some time depending on the drive size. After that do a full format and install Windows again. The full format runs ChKdsk and marks any bad sectors so that they won't be used.
October 5, 2007 2:50:48 PM

Thanks to all that replied.

If I have to do a cmplete re-install, how does the multiple Partition thing work? Do I put XP only on the C drive? Or XP and all programs (MS Office, etc), and save every thing else to the D Drive?

Thanks again,
Don
October 5, 2007 4:08:38 PM

XP and programs go on the C partition and saved files go on the D partition. I personally think that 20G is too small for the C partition. I would go more like 40-60G. If you fill the C partition you will have problems. A full load of XP and Office (all the extra crap) is around 15G all by itself. If I was you, I would leave the Raptor with one partition and drop $100-200 on a large second drive for storage. If you miscalculate, you can always by some partitioning software and repartition without wiping the drive.
October 5, 2007 5:52:05 PM

Wait, you DOWNLOADED FarCry?
October 7, 2007 2:05:19 PM

Yes. From Ubisoft. Problem?
!