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Xp Pro Will Not Boot


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#1 skypilot007

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 09:25 PM

Hi all,

My main computer will not boot suddenly. Its running XP-Pro with all the latest updates. When it gets to the point in boot up where the windows xp pro logo is on the screen with the bar going back and forth it goes blank after that then nothing.

If I F8, at the screen where I can select safe mode it displays the following message if I select boot in normal mode.
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: C:\Windows\system32\config\SYSTEM"

On the same screen it suggests using the original setup CD-ROM selecting "R" at the first screen to start repair. At the repair/recovery console it asks which windows installation I would like to log onto. I am unsure what to enter here.

I have also tried to F8 and go into safe mode but when I hit enter to procede it scrolls a bunch of text across the screen and locks up. It does this for any of the safe mode slections.

Is there something in the repair/recover console that can help. I'm a bit stumpted now. I have not added or removed any applications recently. Not sure how to procede. Any advise would be much appreciated. Please advise if any more information is needed.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 09:48 PM

Have you tried doing a last known good configuration?

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#3 skypilot007

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 10:25 PM

Yes I tried that also. It just goes to a blank screen after the windows xp pro logo is displayed during boot up..

#4 usasma

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 05:54 AM

On the same screen it suggests using the original setup CD-ROM selecting "R" at the first screen to start repair. At the repair/recovery console it asks which windows installation I would like to log onto. I am unsure what to enter here.

What choices are you offered here? Generally there'll be only 1 choice offered - so the selection is easy. If there's more than one, try the one on the C:\ drive to see if you can log into it. If not, then try the next one, etc.

Once into the Recovery Console, type "fixmbr" (without the quotes) and press Enter - select Y or yes to rewrite the Master Boot Record.
Then type "fixboot" (without the quotes) and press Enter to fix the boot sector - select Y or yes to repair it.

If you still can't boot after this, then I'd have to suggest that you download a bootable diagnostic utility from the manufacturer of your hard drive (they're usually free) and use it to test your hard drive.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#5 petewills

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:21 AM

I have XP Home

Had EXACTLY the same message 2 weeks ago ( the big 7.75 ish mb file called SYSTEM was stuffed )

Could not get in anywhere, other than setup, so changed bootup sequence and used recovery disk to get to repair console
Ignored request for password, just pressed enter
arrived at C:\Windows

typed chkdsk /r (space before the / )

chkdsk took one hour to do 4 passes and then reported that it had found and fixed one or more errors on the volume

typed EXIT to restart, selected option to go back to setup,
reset bootup sequence, saved changes and exited
Success, started up normally

defragged my disc and it has been running OK ever since; may be a little slower for a short while, but I have 2.5GB Ram so can't say I've noticed

any difference

Note: I got the BSOD on a restart, but the advice was to reinstall any very recent program installation ( and I had been in the middle of installing

my WinTV Nova Stick, when I had the problem ) - did that and all was fine again

the only other quirk was that I lost my external USB burner; checked in Device Manager, sure enough, yellow exclamation - chose uninstall and

rebooted, back it came, no problem. Worked for me, anyway.

#6 skypilot007

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:02 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried both and still nothing. When I try to boot normally I get the missing or corrupt file message for
C:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM

When I ran chkdsk /r it took over an hour and said it found and repaired 1 file on the volume. It didn't diplay the file fixed. It didn't work for me though.

When I ran fixmbr it stated it rewrote the boot sector. But still nothing.

My hard drive is a western digital, I'm going to run their disk tools and see what is says.

Anything else I can try or do I have to re-install XP.

#7 frankblourtango

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:35 PM

Sounds to me like your hard drive is dying or dead.

#8 petewills

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 09:34 AM

Sorry chkdsk did not help.

See this link - maybe chkdsk /p can shed some light with a full report.

#9 tswsl1989

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 10:05 AM

chkdsk /r includes the chkdsk /p option (i.e chkdsk /r = chkdsk /p /r), so probably won't through any extra light on the situation.

The last PC I saw this message on that didn't respond to chkdsk needed a replacement hard drive.

You may be able to use a Linux LiveCD, BartPE or Windows PE bootable CD to recover your files though.
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#10 Digital Brian

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 03:32 PM

It happened to me once, I had to delete all partitions on the hd then re create them and install windows all over, that does not save any of your data, but of course you have a backup right? :thumbsup:

Another thing that happened to me is that Win xp sometimes stop at the logo, then if you do a CTRL-TAB you might get a window saying that your password will expire soon and if you want to create a new one, I dont know why it does that but try because this window does not pop into the foreground by itself, and it wont boot until you answered the question. (It will do this even if you have no password installed on win xp)

SO try hitting CTRL+TAB when it stops You'll never know

Edited by Digital Brian, 19 October 2007 - 03:38 PM.


#11 skypilot007

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:11 PM

Another message I'm getting now in the recovery console. After selecting #1, just XP installed I get the following message before it comes to the c:\windows prompt.

"The system registry does not appear to have an active ControlSet key"
"The system registry may be damaged"

Doesn't sound good...?

If this is not salvagable as far as getting it going again short of a re-partition and re-install of windows is there any chance of recovering some of my files from this drive? I can't get into it at all.

Thanks for all the help. Much appreciated.

#12 hamluis

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:30 PM

FWIW: Chkdsk /r runs five passes normally, with the 5th being space verification.

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#13 usasma

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 07:12 AM

The purpose of running the hard drive diagnostic from the manufacturer is to see if there's a physical problem with the disk. No amount of tinkering will fix a dead/dying hard drive. CHKDSK will check the file structure on the disk - it will fix it if it can. These errors can be generated by the file structure or by the failing of the hard drive (which brings us back to the hard drive diagnostic)

If the disk passes the diagnostics, then there's steps to take to attempt to recover the XP installation - which may or may not be successful. If it fails the diagnostics, further tinkering with the disk will decrease the chance of recovering your data.

So, in that vein, you'll have to consider your options:
1) Do you want to attempt to recover your data?
2) Do you want to attempt to repair the installation (this may take a long while and still may not be successful)
3) Or, do you want to "bite the bullet" and reinstall Windows?

Edited by usasma, 20 October 2007 - 08:07 AM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#14 tswsl1989

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 07:14 AM

If you can get a new hard drive, or borrow a blank one, install that and try copying your files to it in recovery console.
This might not work, depending on the security settings in place.
Alternatively, put your hard drive in a working XP machine, and copy your data files to CD\DVD\Memory stick. Don't copy anything from the Windows folder or Program files unless it's irreplacable. It's far easier to reinstall the programs after you've reinstalled XP.
Tom

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#15 skypilot007

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 05:56 PM

I ran the western digital diagnostics on the drive and it came back with zero errors found. At this point I would just like to recover some of my files from the drive. It doesn't appear that this windows installation is recoverable. I'm going to pick up another hard drive tomorrow. This hole system is less than a year old. Very fustrating....




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