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Windows Couldn't Start Because the Following Files and Missing or Corrupt


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#1 akatonbo

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 11:51 PM

Hi -- PLEASE HELP

This is my system:
HP d4100y 3GB PC2-4200 RAM
Win XP Home SP3
Phoenix Bios
Samsung SP1614 160GB HD
Sony DVD-RW

The HD has the recovery files on partition D
and I ordered some recovery CDs several months ago, but the disks
say "wrong model number" and won't do anything.


I was looking into finding more info on another problem, like
Black Screen Hang -- actually the screen would remain black after
the Windows XP screen shows up, but I could
hear the PC booting up properly otherwise.

Now whenever I boot up I get the Following message:

Windows Couldn't Start Because the Following Files and Missing or Corrupt

and then names

\windows\system32\config\system

I think the needed files are on the D Partition, and in the recovery
console I think I can get to a DOS prompt, but how do I search for and replace the
corrupted files? A disk scan says the HD is good, and I know it is not a virus.


Please help fix this thing!! Thanks!! :thumbsup:

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#2 Stang777

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:02 AM

I do not know the answer to your question about what to do to find that file on your system, but when I got that same message a while back I was able to use a rescue disk (boot disk) from the Fix-It-Utilities 9 disk to go in and use System Restore to restore my computer to a previous date and that fixed it like nothing had ever been wrong wtih the computer.

All I had to do was put in that disk, start the computer, and select use System Restore. It let me choose a restore point and in a very short amount of time, all was well.

I bought the disk for about 30 bucks at Walmart and it comes with a bunch of other utilities as well as one year of virus protection

#3 AustrAlien

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 01:22 AM

A disk scan says the HD is good

akatonbo
G'day there, once again!

Please elaborate on what you have done to confirm that the hard disk drive "is good".
Have you run the manufacturer's diagnostic utility?
Were there any errors at all?
What about the S.M.A.R.T. attributes?
---------------
What is the last thing you see happening on your screen before it stops? The XP logo or loading bars moving .... ?
Do you have a movable mouse pointer on your "black screen"?
What were the circumstances in which the problem first occurred?
Are you aware of any sign of malware on the system?

You said: "I could hear the PC booting up properly otherwise"
Was this before or after it "black screened"?

Have you tried to boot into Safe Mode? Try this please. What happens?
When you choose Safe Mode, are you offered the chance to choose to log in to either the "Administrator" account or your own account?
Have you tried "Last known good configuration"? Try this 10 times please.
Have you tried "Safe Mode with command prompt"?

Edited by AustrAlien, 03 November 2009 - 01:36 AM.

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#4 akatonbo

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:02 AM

Thanks for the replies....


I think the solution is on my HD if I can just access it.

When I tried running the Recovery Console one of the options was the Check Disk, and when
I tried it I got a message saying it looked OK and asked if I wanted to run it anyway. Actually
when I was suffering with the black screen hang the computer would just go black after
the WinXP logo came on and the bottom scroll bar was moving. I could still see the HD light moving
and hear it booting up. After it finally stopped I had to do a (few) forced restarts but after that it would
boot fine and operate perfectly until I powered it down for the day.

Now it won't boot up at all. I can't get into safe mode either, nor does the last good configuration
option work.

When I try to get into safe mode I get the same error message "windows couldn't start...."
but when I tried entering safe mode the PC listed a group of files,

multi(0)disk(0)partition(2)\windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
multi(0)disk(0)partition(2)\windows\system32\hal.dll
multi(0)disk(0)partition(2)\windows\system32\KDCOM.dll
multi(0)disk(0)partition(2)\windows\system32\config\system
multi(0)disk(0)partition(2)\windows\system32\config\system.alt


before the message. Perhaps these are the missing/corrupt files?



There is no mouse pointer when the screen goes black. I usually have the system scanned on auto
daily for malware and nothing was found just before the trouble.


PLEASE HELP! THANKS!

#5 AustrAlien

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:32 AM

When I tried running the Recovery Console one of the options was the Check Disk, and when
I tried it I got a message saying it looked OK and asked if I wanted to run it anyway.

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, and check the S.M.A.R.T. attributes. If the hard drive tests show no problems with the hard drive, then it is safe to proceed with more work to rectify the problem with the Windows system.

Firstly, you need to find the brand name of your hard drive. You will find this info on the label of the hard drive (most likely you will have to remove the hard drive from the box to read the label). You will also find sufficient info to identify the drive (the model number) by looking in the BIOS Setup Menu. Another alternative is to use something like Everest or Belarc Advisor.

EVEREST Free Edition 2.20
http://majorgeeks.com/download4181.html

Belarc Advisor - Free Personal PC Audit (Version 8.1b)
http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

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

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 09:45 AM

FWIW: Corrupted Registry, Config.sys Missing or Corrupt - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545 AND Corrupted Registry - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/205375/unable-to-use-recovery-console-bsod/

Louis

#7 joseibarra

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:15 AM

Was the issue preceded by a power interruption, aborted restart, or improper shutdown? These can cause corruption in the file system which must be fixed before you do anything else.

If any of those events have occurred, you should boot into the Windows Recovery Console using a bootable XP installation CD, or create on a bootable XP Recovery Console CD. This is not the same as any recovery disks that came with your system.

For each of your hard disks, you should then run:

chkdsk /r

You can make a bootable Recovery Console CD by downloading an ISO file and burning it to a CD.

The bootable ISO image file you need to download is called:

xp_rec_con.iso

Download the ISO file from here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?ueyyzfymmig

Use this free and easy program to create your bootable CD:

http://www.imgburn.com/

It would be a good idea to test your bootable CD on the computer that is working.

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#8 akatonbo

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:49 AM

Hi all --


Thanks for all the replies. Well there is some stuff to report:


I don't feel like become a raging alcoholic anymore. I ran chkdsk /r
and after it took all day it said it fixed an error (or errors).

So now I am out of the fire and back in the frying pan....I just get
a blank screen hang. I have tried to go into the last known good configuration
but it did not work.

But I now can get into safe mode, and have moved some important photos
and text stuff off my system.

I also can get into the system recovery console if need be, so I don't need to
download a program and burn a disk.

So what next? Try re-installing the video card drivers and seeing if that fixes it?
Some other suggestions?

Many thanks again!!

Edited by akatonbo, 04 November 2009 - 01:53 AM.


#9 hamluis

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 09:08 AM

Well...it seems that you don't have the typical problem producing your original error message, if you actually got into safe mode.

Which makes no sense to me...typically, when XP says that system files are missing/corrupt...they need to be replaced/installed.

Unless something else is making XP kick out inappropriate error messages.

Louis

#10 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:27 PM

Guys:
Recovery console with a boot disk is not the same as access to the recovery partition on a hp laptop or desktop.


There is a wide variety of recovery disks made for this model number since it is a CTO varient.
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwar...981&lang=en

This will tell you what do do if the computer does not recognize the recovery disks:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/documen...ct=500981#N1568



This one seems unhelpful but included for completeness:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/documen...228&lang=en

How to get to the recovery partition if it is not damaged:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/documen...ocname=bph07143

Edited by Ken-in-West-Seattle, 04 November 2009 - 01:27 PM.


#11 hamluis

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:38 PM

I guess it would help if we get some definition from the OP...what the "system recovery console" is and what commands are available for repair.

Since chkdsk is an XP command for repair, my comments stand...and the original error message is well-documented by the KB I previously linked to...my comments stand.

Louis

#12 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 08:22 PM

Hamluis:
I did not mean to denigrate your replies. My apologies if it was taken as such.
You are correct in your statements and if the OP does indeed have a virus or malware (especially the blank screen one mentioned in other threads) you're doing a heroic job with not enough information


If on the other hand, he is no longer attached to the data on the drive and would rather nuke and reload, I am pointing him to the correct path for that.

from the top post:
------------
>>>The HD has the recovery files on partition D
>>>and I ordered some recovery CDs several months ago, but the disks
>>>say "wrong model number" and won't do anything.
-------------

I don't feel we are working at cross purposes. The goal is to get the OP a usable clean system so he can go on with his life.

The above thread does not point reliably in either direction but the info I posted may be useful for the future in any conceivable case.

I have several laptops and a dozen desktops and rackmounts here, both my own and those I am fixing. Dell (4), Toshiba(2), Sony(1) and HP(2) from various times in the last 8 years. I have repaired hundreds over the years.

I am new to BC as a poster and I will not intrude on the malware or virus threads but I know hardware and can't resist the urge to get pedantic either in the virtual world or in real life. Bear with me as I learn how to give constructive comments without giving offense at the same time.

#13 hamluis

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 08:34 PM

No problem...the OP has received any number of different suggestions...and I just concentrate on the initial error message and how to solve it.

But the fact that the OP has found a way of overcoming what usually is a very troublesome message...without following the procedures suggested for solving that situation...leaves me somewhat mystified.

<<Windows Couldn't Start Because the Following Files and Missing or Corrupt and then names \windows\system32\config\system>>

Chkdsk /r should not have been a viable solution to get beyond where he was...yet it seems to have allowed that.

I'll leave this to someone who understands how/why that happened :thumbsup:.

Louis

#14 akatonbo

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 01:17 AM

Hi,

Well it looks like I have found a partial workaround...
When I first boot up and press F8, there was one option
"Enable VGA Mode" and since I am hooked up to a CRT, I
tried it and --voila-- it booted up into normal windows. But
it starts in 640x480 and I have to adjust it to a higher resolution.

Since I got into normal Windows, I tried downloading the newest
ATI drivers and installed them. But when I reboot the same problem
exists -- it won't boot up into Windows on its own with the screen
working...I have to hit F8 all over again and this will drive me
crazy over time. The video card is also sluggish when I tried a
game.

And yes -- I don't want to destroy all my data if I don't have to.
BTW, re the HP Restore Disks - I looked at the links above and one thing it said
was they may not work if a different motherboard was put in -- and since
my old PSU and motherboard blew out, they both have been replaced a ways back.
Obviously I am not going to replace it again with an OEM type like
they say...if one even exists now.


I suppose I can try to go back to an older Restore Point from a
few weeks ago, but any ideas on the problem here?

Thanks!

Edited by akatonbo, 05 November 2009 - 01:19 AM.


#15 joseibarra

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:52 AM

My .02:

The original problem was \windows\system32\config\system... You know the one.

The first question I always ask is was the issue preceded by a power interruption, aborted restart, ungraceful shutdown... and so far, when the question is answered, it is always in the affirmative. I have pulled the plug on many systems many times here just to recreate this problem in my own back yard so I can know how to fix it.

I would always advise booting into RC somehow (usually having to make a CD), run chkdsk /r and see what is left to fix when it completes. Sometimes, chkdsk /r will fix this problem right up. It is not always a missing or corrupt file - Windows starts to load (obviously) and then can't find the file. Sometimes you can't even get to the folder when you boot RC - until you run chkdsk /r.

If chkdsk /r doesn't work, continue troubleshooting, but only after you know the file system is not compromised. Often, the KB307545 is suggested straight away, but this does not make much sense to me if the file system is compromised, so always start with chkdsk /r first.

You still need to boot RC anyway, so go ahead and run chkdsk /r. It will not hurt anything and then you will know what it is not. Copying a bunch of files around with a suspicious file system does not make sense to me. Verify the file system, then if files need to be copied, copy away.

It doesn't make any difference if it is an OEM system or not. chkdsk is chkdsk and when you boot on RC, chkdsk does not care where the system came from - it is just an NTFS file system to check/fix.

akatonbo never answered the question about the power interruption, but did eventually run chkdsk /r which "fixed an error (or errors)" and then the system could boot into Safe Mode.

We don't know if the system could boot Safe Mode before the chkdsk /r, but I think it would not have been able to get that far - without running chkdsk /r and the fixing of the "error (or errors)".

It sounds like the original problem is resolved and I think chkdsk /r is responsible for fixing that part. I think with the original issue, always ask the power question and always run chkdsk /r from RC first. Always, always, always :thumbsup: Then fix what needs fixin'.

Now there is a new problem. The system will only boot in Safe or VGA mode!

Hamluis, I am not following your message :trumpet: :

Chkdsk /r should not have been a viable solution to get beyond where he was...yet it seems to have allowed that.


Why do you know think that chkdsk /r is not a viable solution to resolve the original issue? Do you not think it should be done first and why not? I think chkdsk /r is what allowed the boot in Safe Mode. I think it is the first thing to do with this issue and I think without it, Safe Mode would not have been possible :flowers:

Edited by joseibarra, 05 November 2009 - 10:02 AM.

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