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Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt


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#1 Big_Ick

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 06:17 PM

Greetings fellow users,

I get the error:

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

I have gone to the Microsoft site - "http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545/en-us" and was unable to attempt the instructions listed because I get an message that reads "Access is denied." As far as I know I don't have an administrator password or require one so I moved on.

I have another computer that runs Vista and hooked the HD to my other computer and I am able to view all the data on the other HD that contains XP. Is there any way I can repair this HD from my existing computer? I am currently running scans checking far viruses, spyware, malware and all that other good stuff.

I am just hoping I can save the HD without formatting.

Thank-you.

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#2 Budapest

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 06:26 PM

These commands are given on the Microsoft page you linked to:

copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default


In Vista you should use Windows Explorer to achieve these same commands on that hard drive. Basically you make a backup copy of these 5 files:

c:\windows\system32\config\system
c:\windows\system32\config\software
c:\windows\system32\config\sam
c:\windows\system32\config\security
c:\windows\system32\config\default

Then you delete the 5 files from the c:\windows\system32\config directory.

Then you copy those 5 files from the c:\windows\repair\system directory and put the back into the c:\windows\system32\config directory.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#3 Big_Ick

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 07:47 PM

I am able to explore the drive, it is now me E:\ drive. When I attempted to open the windows directory an error message is given and reads:

"E:\Windows is not Accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable."

Am I doomed?!?!

#4 Budapest

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 07:53 PM

Try running chkdsk on that drive.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#5 Big_Ick

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:49 AM

I ran the dskchk and it stalled out at 10%, it said it was recovering the errors, I think it was working on the 5 out of 5 errors then just stops. I ran it three times with the same results. Sorry, at this time I don't have the message that was up on the screen but I can post it again this evening.

#6 Budapest

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 04:51 PM

Your hard drive may have failed. Try running a diagnostic test on the drive. Do you know what make of drive it is?
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#7 Big_Ick

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 05:48 PM

The hard drive is a Seagate - Barracuda 7200.7 160GB.

Any recommendations for a diagnostic test?

#8 Budapest

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 05:53 PM

You can get the Seagate diagnostic here:

http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools/

Run the long test.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#9 Big_Ick

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 09:16 PM

Just to let you know the diagnostic exam failed, I am guessing the HD is toast.

Thanks for all your help! Greatly appreciated.




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