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System restarts on booht up


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#1 domhurley

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 10:19 AM

Hi, I'm sure this has been asked a million times and I'm sure I know the answer (my hard drive has died) but is thny other reason why my system gets to the dell logo screen with options of F2 and F12 then restats itself?

Thanks

Dom

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#2 SeftonCR

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 10:42 AM

If you suspect it's the drive then unplug it & see what happens :thumbsup: Ideally, the machine should just wait, saying it can't see a boot device.

Is it not starting Windows at all? Normally what happens is that you'll get the Windows splash screen for a second or two & then the system will restart - often due to a driver problem. So I'm wondering if it is actually trying to start Windows but fails very quickly?

So let's see...

Hit F8 during boot (keep tapping it like crazy), will it let you do that? Does it give you the Windows XP F8 menu? If so, we're looking for an option to disable the automatic system restart when an error is detected (I forget the exact wording but it's self evident),

if so, select it and then it should halt rather than restarting and then we can see what we're dealing with.

Cheers - Dunc.

#3 domhurley

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:25 AM

Hi Dunc.

Yeah it let me disable restart, then the system restarting then I get a window saying

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

What now?

Cheers

Dom

#4 SeftonCR

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:30 AM

Ok, that's part of the system registry that's been damaged - not unusual & we should be able to recover from this.

As a first step, it wouldn't be a bad idea to see if we can just check the disk itself.

Restart, tapping F8 as before. When you get the menu, see if you can go into safe mode, command prompt.

If it'll let you, then at the command prompt type chkdsk c: /r <enter>

That'll scan the drive for damaged areas. Once complete, move on to my next post for restoring the registry...

#5 SeftonCR

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:42 AM

Ok, hopefully you've now done the chkdsk. If that didn't work - have you got an XP CD you can boot from, we can do the chkdsk another way.

But on the assumption it did.

Go to the F8 menu at start up. Select the 'last known good' option and let it restart. This may sort it out.

If so, great, we're done. (Other than suggesting you scan your drive for errors and backup regularly)

But if not, we need to restore that file manually.

Boot from a WIndows CD and select the recovery console option

# Insert the Windows XP CD into your CD drive and restart your computer. If you are prompted, select any options required to start (boot) from the CD.
# When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts. Select the repair or recover option by pressing R.
# If you have a dual-boot or multiboot system, select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.
# When you are prompted, type the Administrator password. (this might just be a case of hitting enter if you haven't set one)

You should now have a command prompt.

- type cd \ then enter
- then cd system~1\_resto~1 then enter
- type dir then enter
when you hit <Enter> it will list all the restore points folders like rp1,rp2........ we have to see the last restore point to copy
the file from a recent backup. if the restore points have more than one page then you have keep on hitting the <Enter> key to view the
last restore point folder. You will have to choose the second to the last option, if it has more than 2 RP's.

- type cd rp {the second to the last restore point no. } (Note : Example : cd rp9, if rp9 is the second to the last restore point,)


This sounds harder than it is, it'll make sense when you see it - or shout for help if you get stuck!

- then type cd snapshot <enter>

Now the command Prompt will look like this c:\system~1\_resto~1\rp9\snapshot>

- type: copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system <enter>

- then type exit

That should be it, we've copied the system part of the registry back to it's normal location from a recent backup. Restart & it should work.


NOTE: if you get ACCESS DENIED on the system~1 folder, type the FULL name using quotes
cd "System Volume Information"

#6 domhurley

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 09:13 AM

Hi, sorry it's took so long to get back to you, but I tried all that. It said it found and fixed a damaged file, then I restarted in last known good config, and now whatever I do, I get to a window saying:
Windows could not start because ..................................... \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

You can attempt to repair the file by starting windows set up using the original Sertup CD-Rom
Select 'r' at the first screen to repair

Whatever I do, I get back to this screen, pressing 'r' going to safe mode, booting from a CD-Rom - XP came already installed. I've only got a re-installation disk

Whatever I do and spent all day yesterday trying I get this !!!!!

Any ideas?

Cheers

Dom

#7 SeftonCR

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 09:27 AM

It's just a recovery disk from the PC manufacturer is it? The ones that just dump an image onto the drive? That's no good I'm afraid & is one of the biggest problems when it comes to repairing machines where the manufacturer used recovery CDs rather than providing the proper one.

The problem isn't too severe, you just need to be able to get into the recovery console so you can manually copy a replacement for the damaged file over.

You need to get hold of an XP CD I'm afraid & then you can get into the recovery console to do the repair I outlined above to replace the damaged system file.

There are ways round it if you have a floppy drive http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000635.htm but by far the simplest would be to grab an XP CD (home or pro) from a friend. You're not going to use it to reinstall so there's no problems there, you just need it so you can boot to the recovery console.

Any chance of you getting an XP CD on loan? Or downloading an ISO & creating a CD on another machine?

#8 domhurley

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 10:06 AM

Found an olser XP disc, booted from it, went to repai then tried:

type cd \ then enter


cd \ = the path or file is not valid
tried just cd enter

v- then cd system~1\_resto~1 then enter

thats not valid either !!!!

#9 SeftonCR

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 10:10 AM

Type...

cd c:\ <enter>

And the prompt should change to show just c:\>, then you can go to the rest of it (hopefully!)

#10 domhurley

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 10:38 AM

Still saying not valid.

is it:

cd (space) system (then does it matter if ~ is high as in level with the top line as my PC is not showing ~ (in the middle)

Cheers

#11 SeftonCR

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 11:09 AM

yes, the ~ symbol appears at the top.

#12 SeftonCR

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 11:10 AM

More info on the procedure at http://2pure.net/index.php?session=0&a...icle=1150238652

#13 domhurley

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 11:21 AM

Everything is not valid !!!!

#14 SeftonCR

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 11:44 AM

Ok, let's take this a step at a time & see what's going on.

You've got the recovery console open, (white writing on black background) yes?

You should have a long prompt ending in a flashing curser. What does that long prompt say at the moment?

If you type dir <enter> do you get a list of files?

If you type help <enter> do you get a list of commands?

#15 domhurley

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 04:07 PM

OK, I get to the recovery console, it loads up and says Microsoft Windows XP™ recovery console

The recovery console ....................

Type exit to quit ...................

C:\>

When i type in dir it says:

Directory of C:\

An error occured during directory enumeration.

C:\>

When I type help I get the commands

Thanks




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