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Windows Cannot Boot - corrupt system file


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Hoy polloi

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 11:28 PM

Hello,

I'm really hoping to find the answer to this issue. I've been trying to work it out on my own and have gotten to a rather thick brick wall (for me, anyway. Hopefully it's cake for someone else out there).

I recently had to evacuate due to Hurricane Ike. I grabbed my tower, luckily, and ran. The tower was secure in the vehicle, so there was no shuffling around. However, I've plugged the tower into the setup at the place that I am staying, and here is what ensued:

Booted up the computer. It booted fine, seemingly. However, once it completely booted, it immediatly shut down and began to reboot. It began to go through the system check that it goes through when the computer is shut down improperly. That is when I got the following message:
Posted Image

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

You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-Rom
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair."

Which might have worked had all of my CDs and software information not been in the house which got 5'4" of water and have been growing mold for a few weeks now. Even if I had the CD-Rom, however, it would do me no good because my CD drive stopped opening around 2 years ago. (I know it is time for a new computer, but money was tight before, and now that everything in the house has been lost, this computer being able to work for a tiny bit longer would be a godsend).

The first information that I found had me tried to boot from last known good configuration. That had no affect at all.

So I tried to find an alternative to the CD-Rom setup repair, and found at the Windows site, the floppy version, which I ran on another computer and created the 6 floppies to boot from. I was very hopeful.
Posted Image
Posted Image

Then, another snag. :thumbsup:

When the Windows Setup menu came up, I selected 'r' to repair, and entered the Recovery Console.
I put in the command chkdsk and it stated that it was having an issue finding Autochk.exe and wants me to enter the direct path to the file. I've tried alot of different paths, and it hasn't been able to find the missing file.

Posted Image

I read somewhere that this was caused by the system files being set to "hidden", but I have no idea how to change their settings when I cannot boot the computer at all, not in safe mode, not in anything that I've been able to find so far. And honestly, I can't even say for sure if that is the true cause of this.

When I use the command "DIR" on the D drive, it lists my files (which I was so releived to see where still there, even if I couldn't currently get to them),
however, when I use the same command to check the C drive, I get an error: Error occured during directory inumeration.

If anyone out there can make sense of any of this, and offer me any help at all, I would be extraordinarilly grateful.
Thank you so much for just taking the time to read.

-Hoy Polloi

Edited by Hoy polloi, 15 October 2008 - 11:30 PM.


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#2 mme

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:44 AM

where it says To Enter Set up Press Enter
press enter and you can run a full non destructive repair from there
pressing R only goes to recovery console
the recovery cant help here
heres a site to help you repair winsdows

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Edited by mme, 16 October 2008 - 12:46 AM.


#3 Hoy polloi

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:15 AM

where it says To Enter Set up Press Enter
press enter and you can run a full non destructive repair from there
pressing R only goes to recovery console
the recovery cant help here
heres a site to help you repair winsdows

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm


Hi!
Thank you for the quick response.
I was very excited to try what you said, however, when I did, I got the following message:

"Insert the CD labeled:
Windows XP Home Edition CD-Rom
into your CD-Rom drive.

Press ENTER when ready."

Unfortunatly for myself and my computer, that CD floated away in the Hurricane, and even if I could borrow a copy, my CD-Rom drive refuses to open. :thumbsup:

Is there any alternative way that would use the floppy drive? I've tried prying the CD drive open, and it absolutely refuses to budge, so even if there's a way to burn a copy of the setup CD, I still wouldn't be able to use it. :flowers:

#4 mme

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:28 AM

you can still do a repair if you can find another cd
how ever it needs to be of same version

on your cd rom is a tiny hole
use a paper clip to open it
straighten paper clip out and put in hole
push firmly
it should open

#5 Hoy polloi

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 03:19 PM

Alright, I couldn't locate the release hole, but after 2 hours of trying to remove the casing (This is a sony Vaio, and I'm not sure that it was meant to be able to be easily accessed), finally revealed it. I was able to get the CD-Rom drive open, however it does not seem to close properly, or it does not attempt to read any CD anyway.

Directly beneath it is my burner which i've been able to use as a reader in the past, before it stopped opening as well. Using the release, though, I was able to get it open.

The ony CD that I've been able to find to borrow has been one called "Reinstillation CD Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" which I think that I knew deep down wouldn't work, but I still tried it, and of course, it did nothing.

It just feels like every brick wall that I come up against, even if i'm able to get over it, there's a larger one directly behind it. Because I don't know anyone who has the Setup CD for me to borrow, and it seems that I won't be able to do anything if I don't have that CD. Is there no place that Microsoft allows a burnable copy?

#6 hamluis

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 03:53 PM

You can burn a copy from anyone with a valid CD...it's the license/key/activation that controls the licensed property, not the CD.

If you mean that you expect Microsoft to provide a downloadable version of XP...I think that's a little much too expect at this time.

CDs are issued...and users are instructed to place them in a safe place...because they will be needed, sooner or later. The flood...nothing could be done about that.

Seems to me that there are a ton of places I would go (if I didn't have one) to get a copy of a XP Home CD, assuming that I had proof of a valid license for that version.

I'd start with where I work...and I would not have to go farther than that. If I did, the next logical place would be any university environment or a local computer repair shop. Maybe even...the library.

Louis




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