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Windows system file missing after hooking up projector


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#1 applesauce1234

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 12:59 PM

I just bought a Digital Galaxy 737 projector, and tried hooking it up to my PC via VGA inputs. I first turned off my PC, then plugged the projector in with a VGA cable, turned on my projector, then turned on my PC.

As my PC was loading, i received a message saying "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."

I dont even think i have the CD anymore. I bought my computer about 6 years ago... What are some options? I am not able to access safe mode, because this message pops up before that option comes up.

I am running Windows XP Home Edition.

Thanks for any ideas!

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#2 keyboardNinja

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 01:01 PM

Have you tried unplugging the cable?

You probably will have to install drivers for it whilst inside Windows before it will work properly.

Edited by keyboardNinja, 02 April 2010 - 01:01 PM.

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#3 applesauce1234

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 03:04 PM

hey thanks for the reply...

yeah, i unplugged the projector cable, and plugged the monitor back in, and it still does the same thing

the projector didnt come with any drivers... do they usually? at this point, how would i even install them? i cant access anything on my computer...

thanks

#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 03:39 PM

Hmm....try pressing F8 on boot repeatedly (right after BIOS screen flashes), and try to get into Safe Mode.
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#5 applesauce1234

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 11:19 PM

hey...
neither 'safe mode' nor 'last good configuration that worked' produced a different result... still get the missing or corrupt file prompt.

#6 keyboardNinja

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 11:36 PM

Well, to quote a well-respected member of this forum...

There's only one way to cure damaged files...you replace them.

If the OP doesn't have the capability to replace possibly damaged system files...he needs to be directed as to how to obtain that capability. And then he has to act on such.

No matter how much I might want to run sfc /scannow or do a repair install of XP...it ain't gonna happen without an XP CD or some alternative tool.

Louis

To summarize, there isn't much we can do without an XP disk.

Edited by keyboardNinja, 03 April 2010 - 11:44 PM.

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#7 applesauce1234

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 11:54 PM

hmm ok... well i figured that would be the case... thanks

it just seems a little odd that all this happened when i tried to hook up my projector... there wouldnt be any connection would there? i didnt (have to) install any drivers or any software of any kind... just plugged in the vga cable...

so i would just insert the disk into the drive, boot up, and start the recovery wizard or whatever its called?

i was also wondering how i would go about (legally) getting an XP disk... ive lost my copy (or never even had one, im not sure), but my copy is genuine... does anyone know if its possible Microsoft offers copies of XP without validation codes, so people who already have genuine copies can reinstall them? do i have to just buy a new copy?

#8 keyboardNinja

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 12:22 AM

Yes, that is pretty much your only option.

Well, it was the last thing you did before it went kaput....so we can only assume that is what is causing the problem.

You would do what the error message is telling you:

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.

Once you get to a command prompt, you could run the sfc /scannow command to check for missing/corrupted system files. But without a disk, that is impossible.

If you could provide proof of purchase to Microsoft (after 6+ years...good luck), they might be willing to send you a disk (might being the key word). But if worse comes to worse, you would have to buy a new one. If you do, make sure it is the same edition and service pack as what you have installed (Home and whatever service pack you have...I can only assume SP3). You can buy a disc with no product key for cheaper than a regular disc, but it wouldn't be from Microsoft. I've seen ones on eBay before. Once again, make sure it is the same edition and service pack as what you have installed.
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#9 Stang777

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 01:25 PM

When I got a similar message a while back, I did not have an XP disk so I used a rescue 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 with 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. Took less than 30 minutes from putting the disk in to being up and running again.

I bought the disk at Wal-Mart for about 30 bucks and it has a lot of other utilities on it too, including one year of anti-virus protection. I found it well worth the 30 bucks.

Edited by Stang777, 04 April 2010 - 01:25 PM.


#10 keyboardNinja

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 01:45 PM

Yes, I have used Fix-It since version 8 (now using version 10). It has saved my butt more than once when I screwed something up. That would be helpful only if the OP has a recent System Restore point. It's a legitimate option, still...

But, I have come across a tutorial I didn't know existed.

How to Create a Bootable XP Recovery Console CD
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#11 applesauce1234

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:19 PM

thanks for all the tips guys.

So I went into the tutorial that keyboardNinja linked to, and followed all the instructions. After it booted to the windows repair console cd, I got to the blue Windows Setup screen, and hit 'r' to continue.

At that point, the tutorial says: "The prompt should show that you are in the C:\WINDOWS folder. This is the same as the C:\WINDOWS folder you see when using Windows Explorer. Follow the guidance you receive to help restore your system to working order."

However, I was instead in the "C:\" folder, and there were in fact no guidelines whatsoever. If i typed in HELP, it gave me a series of commands. I probably shouldnt have selected any of them, but FIXBOOT seemed to make the most sense. After I entered in FIXBOOT, it said something like "FIXBOOT successful"... But then when I restarted the computer, and set the boot to hard drive instead of CD-ROM, I received an error message:

"NTLDR is missing. Press any key to continue." And then it just keeps repeating that message.

Any ideas? Thanks a lot for all the feedback so far...

#12 hamluis

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:05 PM

Try running the chkdsk /r command from the Recovery Console.

NTLDR is missing - http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000465.htm

How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545. Note the warning about OEM systems using this procedure.

Louis

#13 applesauce1234

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 11:32 AM

hey thanks for the help

i ran chkdsk and it said the volume label was 0000-0000, and that it seemed to be running perfectly... i ran chkdsk /r and it said there was one or more irreparable errors.

i looked at that tutorial about NTLDR issues... i tried the one that said "Corrupt NTLDR and/or NTDETECT.COM file." It advised me to copy over:

copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\
copy e:\i386\ntdetect.com c:\

I successfully copied over the second one, but the first one could not be located for some reason... im using the XP recovery .iso file that keyboardNinja suggested i use... that file just doesnt seem to be on it...

im not really sure if my system is OEM or not... i purchased in online from Dell, and i have a genuine copy of windows XP... how would i determine for sure if it is OEM?

#14 hamluis

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 12:36 PM

By definition...Dell systems are OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Dell, HP, eMachines, et alia.

But Dell has not been consistent in what they have provided to customers as repair/recovery options, IMO. Some systems have restore/recovery CDs, some have restore/recovery partitions, some have XP CDs which are the same as Microsoft XP CDs...and so on.

My premise is...when you are in trouble and something may help get you out of such...there's nothing lost by trying it.

The chkdsk /r report indicates that you have either file system or hard drive problems...which need to be addressed. Did the chkdsk /r complete? What was the exact error message?

A failing hard drive or a scrambled file system...could result in the other error messages you have noted.

Louis

#15 applesauce1234

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 06:37 PM

Hey thanks for that...

When i hit chkdsk /r the entire message reads as follows:

"The Volume Serial Number is 0000-0000.

The volume appears to have one or more unrecoverable problems.

10344 kilobytes total disk space.
10244 kilobytes are available.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
2586 total allocation units on disk.
2561 allocation units available on disk."

Now, Im not using an official XP recovery disk... Im using the one that keyboardNinja offered from www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic276527.html

Should I try to acquire a copy from Dell? Do you think it is likely that they would provide me with one? I bought a computer from them six years ago without an XP disk...

Any ideas at this point? Thanks again for your input...




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