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Windows XP system file is corrupt...


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#1 shaseeb

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 09:45 PM

Windows XP Home Edition

Hi All,

My dad's emachine decided to crash on me. THe machine rebooted and the following message came up:

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

Hmmm... I searched for this error on google and found the Microsoft note:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

So I followed the steps of copying the files using my XP CD from the recovery console (Part 1) and then when it said to reboot in safe mode, I got the lsass.exe error:

Lsass.exe
When trying to update a password the return status indicates that the value provided as the current password is not correct


Now, I can't login in as the Administrator account because my password (actually I did not have one before) is no longer correct. So I can't even connect to the recovery console because it also asks for the administrator password. So now I am stuck and do not know what to do. I also tried to connect the hard drive to one of my other PCs but the PC did not pick it up. So I am lost now.

I would appreciate any help from you guys. You guys helped me a lot last time my laptop was infected and I really appreciated it.

Thanks.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 08:59 AM

If you did not set up a password...just hit Enter when prompted for such in the Recovery Console.

FWIW: Error message when you log on to Recovery Console in Windows XP The password is not valid - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308402 .

Louis

#3 shaseeb

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:17 AM

If you did not set up a password...just hit Enter when prompted for such in the Recovery Console.

That worked initially (before I copied over all the files: SYSTEM, SOFTWARE, SAM, etc). But after that nothing works...even just hitting 'ENTER' does not work. It gives me the same error as above.

FWIW: Error message when you log on to Recovery Console in Windows XP The password is not valid - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308402 .

I am barely able to get to the XP startup screen. As soon as it gets there, the lsass.exe error pops up and if I click 'OK', 'Cancel' or close the window it reboots again. It just keeps repeating that cycle.

Thanks.

Edited by shaseeb, 12 October 2009 - 09:18 AM.


#4 hamluis

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:45 AM

OK, try this link: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545.

Louis

#5 shaseeb

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:53 AM

Louis,

That is the same link that I posted in my opening post :thumbsup:

I did step 1 and when I went to step 2 but started having issues with the Admin password.

Thanks.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 10:40 AM

FWIW: I see no link in your initial post. If you mean that the error message you posted matches the link...that's fairly normal.

I don't think that I can suggest any more than Microsoft can...when it comes to a known problem that they have documented.

Have you tried a repair install of the O/S?

<<I also tried to connect the hard drive to one of my other PCs but the PC did not pick it up.>>

Exactly what did you do...and what were the results?

Louis

#7 shaseeb

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:46 PM

FWIW: I see no link in your initial post. If you mean that the error message you posted matches the link...that's fairly normal.


It's not an actual hyperlink...it is the second bold statement in the original post.

Have you tried a repair install of the O/S?


How would I do that?

<<I also tried to connect the hard drive to one of my other PCs but the PC did not pick it up.>>

Exactly what did you do...and what were the results?


Well I attached the drive as a secondary drive to my other PC and when it started up it was trying pick it up but it would just sit there. So when I got into XP i looked in 'My Computer' and did not see the secondary drive. I was also not able to do anything from the BIOS.

#8 hamluis

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 03:45 PM

Are we talking about PATA hard drives? If so, did you ensure that the jumper setting was correct when you attached it as a secondary drive?

I can't think of any other thing that would prevent it from being properly recognized as a secondary drive, other than the possibility that it's dead.

What model eMachine system, please?

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install - http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm. Note that these instructions pertain to use of Genuine MS install CD, not recovery/restore CDs which have been prepared by a manufacturer (Dell, Gateway, etc.) on a system sold bu retailers.

If you have recovery/restore disks...then you need to read the system documentation which covers repair/reinstall procedures covering that particular system. Should be in the owner's manual or product manual available at the eMachines website.

http://www.emachines.com/support/product_support.html

Louis

#9 AustrAlien

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 05:08 PM

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting
Warning Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system. The system hive on OEM installations creates passwords and user accounts that did not exist previously. If you use the procedure that is described in this article, you may not be able to log back into the recovery console to restore the original registry hives.

Your situation is very interesting to me, since it is the first time I have witnessed the Microsoft WARNING actually being relevant.

The first thing that you should do is to check that your hard drive is not failing.
Download the diagnostic utility from the hard drive manufacturer's website to create a bootable floppy or CD. Boot with it, and run the short/quick test and then the long/extended test. If the test shows no problem with the hard drive, then it is safe to proceed with more work to rectify the problem with the Windows system.

Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities
http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287

If, and only if, the hard drive is shown to be in perfect condition ...
The next step would be to perform a "transplant" of the appropriate registry files using files from a "restore point" in the "System Volume Information" directory on C: drive. A LIVE CD operating system such as BartPE. or one of the various Linux versions, would do the job nicely, but if you can connect the hard drive to your other computer, that would proably be the easiest and most convenient method.

After that was done, with a bit of luck, you would be right to go.
AustrAlien
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#10 shaseeb

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 09:05 AM

Ok, I was able to hookup the hard drive to my other PC as a slave. It seems like I had the jumper settings incorrect. After that I was able to grab all the files I needed and backed them up. Then I continued as the Microsoft note (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545) said and went into C:\System Volume Information\..\..\snapshot and grabbed the 5 files (system, software, sam, security, default) and moved them to the C:\windows\system32\config directory and deleted the old ones (actually I just renamed them with a .old extension). Then I booted the system and restored to a week before the problem occured. After that everything was dandy! :thumbsup:

I would like to say thank you to all of you who helped me with this issue. :flowers:

#11 hamluis

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 12:18 PM

Success...is always a win-win situation...we like it when users/OPs are happy with the results of attempts to help...happy computing :thumbsup:.

Louis




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