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XP boot help please

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Anonymous
May 26, 2012 2:39:49 PM

I have a "Mesh" windows XP sp3 pc That has got a boot problem.
I have two internal disk drives fitted. with via raid v8237 software ( this was how the pc was set up as new)

Last year I had the same problem . when I try and boot it gives me a message saying that windows config systems file is missing or damaged.
As windows was pre loaded the only way I could get round the problem with out professional help from a computer repair shop was to purchase a fresh copy of windows XP and load it on to the second drive. this worked ok and I was able to use my pc by booting from the second drive.

Well a few weeks ago the same thing happened to the second windows XP installation.
I have managed to gain the use of my pc by partitioning the second drive and reloading windows on to there.
Now I can use the pc again, but how can I repair the damaged boots and get back to one copy of windows and also access all the files on both drives .
I have done a scan with AVG latest version and that found a few problems which I have quarantined.
I have Avast and Comado on one of the drives and need to find and access them (unless I just download new versions)
I have created an XP boot floppy but I am unsure how to use it.
I also tried the Windows repair from the cd, but I am unsure how to fix the boot without wrecking things further.

Any help will be greatfully received.

John

More about : boot

May 28, 2012 5:23:08 AM

To repair the original windows XP (on the old Hard Drive):
My guess is that by;
Quote:
when I try and boot it gives me a message saying that windows config systems file is missing or damaged
.. You meant: "C:\windows\system32\config\system"?.. If so, that means you had a corrupted registry problem. The system file saves the Registry settings... so maybe loging on to the old/original Windows XP in Safe Mode and restoring the system to a previous date can help. If you can't logon in Safe Mode, access the route (C:\windows\system32\config\system) to see if the "system" file is present and if not, the "system.bak" file can be renamed to "system" to replace the missing file. Also do the same on the second installed XP if the problem was exactly the same... do this from your newly installed XP and next see if you can log on to the Old/Original and second Windows XPs. If you can't access the "Config" folder, take ownership of the C:\ drive according to the Support.Microsoft KB308421 instructions.

How to take ownership of a file or a folder in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421


This is the Microsoft KB307545 method to recover from the "system" file missing problem.. but it's rather complicated and probably innecessary if the "system.bak" file is from a date that's close to the onset of the problem.

How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545


How to use the floppy boot disk:
If you already have the NTDETECT.COM, ntldr and boot.ini files in the floppy disk, just edit the boot.ini according to the following text that includes three lines, each line for each installed XP. If you don't have the 3 necessary boot files, download them from the www.bootdisk.com/. Download the "xpquick" file in .exe or .zip format... execute the .exe to install on a formatted floppy disk, or open the .zip and extract to the floppy disk, and then edit the Boot.ini file with the text between the lines... copy and paste for quick edition of the Boot.ini file.

Download the "xpquick" file from the line that reads:
"XP Quick Boot Diskette xpquick.zip | xpquick.exe | Read.1st"
http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm


------------COPY THE NEXT 7 LINES--------------
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
-----------COPY THE PREVIOUS 7 LINES-----------

BOOT.INI EXPLAINED:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS (THIRD AND LAST WINDOWS XP INSTALLATION)
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional THIRD AND DEFAULT XP HDD2"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional ORIGINALLY INSTALLED XP HDD1"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional SECOND XP INSTALLATION HDD2"

You can add a copy of the edited Boot.ini file to each Windows XP to repair the boot sector on each OS and logon without the floppy disk. e.g. add a copy of boot.ini on each system drive: C:\boot.ini on the old/original XP, X:\boot.ini on second installed XP, and X:\boot.ini on the last installed XP
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Anonymous
June 8, 2012 12:33:44 AM

Thanks for the replies so far.

I have however decided to tackle the problem from a different angle.
Why do I need to repair these copies of windows when I have one good copy anyway, I asked myself.
The answer is I don't.

So here is what I intend to do.
A fair number of the folders on drive C just contain programmes which I can afford to either loose because I no longer use them or re-install any that I do use. The photos and any word pro or excel files I will save and reload these onto a re-formatted drive.

It is e-mail addresses that I am most keen to recover. My e-mail client is Thunderbird. how do I recover e-mail addresses from Thunderbird.
I can see the folder, can access the folder, but cannot open Thunderbird on drive C only my latest copy on drive D.
Once I have recovered and saved all the files I require from C drive, I then intend to re-format drive C and re-install windows on to there.

I shall then have to delete the partition on drive D in order to access the old information off that drive.

So it is the email addresses that I am most keen to try and access and transfer to the re-formatted drive.

I have a memory stick and also floppy drive A: to save things to.
I can also save to the working part of drive D:
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Related resources
June 8, 2012 2:20:28 AM


Why do you need to repair these copies of windows? Because these are not repair but simple fixes I recommend. The first one implies a simple renaming of the "system.bak" file to "system". The second one is a simple creation of a floppy bootdisk...

About the Thunderbird e-mails, I am not familiar with the application so I would not know what to recommend, but you could repair-reinstall your windows installation and from a working OS back-up the Thunderbird information following the instructions at:

How to backup Thunderbird Email
Copy the Thunderbird profile folder
http://www.iopus.com/guides/thunderbird-backup.htm

See first if the copy & paste method works from the newly installed OS
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Anonymous
June 8, 2012 3:26:43 PM

Chicano I accept what you say.
But how do I get into the registry to to change system.bak to system
The operating system on drive C: is an OEM version install by the computer manufacturer so I dont have the windows disk for it.

I am all for the easiest method.
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June 9, 2012 7:12:27 AM

Anonymous said:
Chicano I accept what you say.
But how do I get into the registry to to change system.bak to system
The operating system on drive C: is an OEM version install by the computer manufacturer so I dont have the windows disk for it.

I am all for the easiest method.


You don't have to go into the registry... but from the newly installed OS, go to *X:\WINDOWS\System32\Config\... and look for the file named system.bak and rename it to "system" (without an extension).
First check if the "system" file is present and if it is, it's probably damaged so rename it to "system.old" and next rename system.bak to system.

The "system" file saves the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM hive settings, and the "system.bak" file date will probably be from a much earlier date... this means that by using this file to replace the "system" file, some system registry settings will be lost.. but since the system doesn't go though many changes, the noticeable difference should be slight.


*where X represents the unbootable system drive letter
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Anonymous
June 9, 2012 9:07:15 AM

I have Done that but cannot see a system.bak file. There is system without any extension there.

Here are some log files if they might help.

This one says system log.

regf* * n£Ô ?Í \ W I N D O W S \ s y s t e m 3 2 \ c o n f i g \ s y s t e m fé3³DIRTÿpjá\ D e v i c e \ H a r d d i s k V o l u m e 3 \ W I N D O W S \ s y s t e m 3 2 \ c o n f i g \ s y s t em

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Software log

regf ¤Œ)aË °ã e m R o o t \ S y s t e m 3 2 \ C o n f i g \ S O F T W A R E áLDIRTÿ
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Default log

regf— — ö †¬ù`Ë
t e m R o o t \ S y s t e m 3 2 \ C o n f i g \ D E F A U L T ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ ð à ÿÿÿÿ N PersistentHandler èÿÿÿvk N Ѐ ¨ÿÿÿ{ 0 9 8 f 2 4 7 0 - b a e 0 - 1 1 c d - b 5 7 9 - 0 8 0 0 2 b 3 0 b f e b } ðÿÿÿlh P€ 7:ɪ¨ÿÿÿnk ¦zJ‡Ä °  „ ÿÿÿÿ ‚ à ÿÿÿÿ" .snd Øÿÿÿvk
¸ ŠPerceivedType ðÿÿÿa u d i o Øÿÿÿvk ð Content Type àÿÿÿa u d i ¬2ÞiDIRTÿ ÿ ÿÿ ÿ ÿÿÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿ ÿÿ ÿÿ
ÿ

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It is not allowing me to copy and paste all the files and folders shown.

As well as a system file there is a system.sav file
Does this information help you.





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June 9, 2012 2:20:11 PM

Anonymous said:
I have Done that but cannot see a system.bak file. There is system without any extension there.

Here are some log files if they might help.

This one says system log.

It is not allowing me to copy and paste all the files and folders shown.

As well as a system file there is a system.sav file
Does this information help you.


System.sav may help instead of system.bak.. also you may have a system.regresbak1 or system.regresbak2 which may be from a System Restoration.. any of them may help to replace the corrupted "system" file.

To begin, save a copy of each of the files named system with different extensions including the one without an extension. Create a new folder and rename it SYSTEMBACKUP and next right click on an empty space and select "arrange icons by > name", select the files named system with all extensions including the one without an extension, right click and select copy, open the SYSTEMBACKUP folder and paste them to save copies.

Next go back to the Config folder, and rename the system file to system.cpy and rename system.sav to system. Restart the computer and see if the unbootable OS now boots. If it doesn't boot, reboot from the working OS and rename the system file back to system.sav and see if you have a system file with another extension... if you have a file named system.regresbak1, rename it to system and reboot the system on the unbootable OS. If it doesn't work, try again with a system.regresbak2 file if available, and if none of the files works helping the OS boot, you last resource will have to be a repair-reinstallation, or the solution you had (quote:)  "decided to tackle from a different angle"

If my suggestions seem confusing, follow the instructions in the link instead.. (it's for Windows Vista but should work as well for Windows XP).

WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM file missing or corrupt




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