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Windows Missing or Corrupt File


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#1 jgasco68

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 10:10 AM

I have posted about this problem before, but I need some further advice on this problem, so I am again pleading for your help. My daughter has a Dell Laptop, with Windows XP home edition on it, SP 3. All of sudden she was getting a message right after windows splash screen, "cannot start windows 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."
A little background: This computer has been revived from TWO pretty nasty viruses, one of them a Rootkit virus that had Windows doing the B.S.O.D. and one of the mods on this site hooked me up with REAtogo, and with that we were able to recover the config file causing the blue screen, as well as weed out the virus that was killing it. It worked fine for a long time, then she came down with another virus.. a fake security alert, and we were once again able to pull that one from the computer with minimal effort. Now we get this. I did run a disk check with windows recovery console *which was installed on this laptop after the rootkit virus issue* and it found some bad sectors, and supposedly repaired them.
I have tried starting Windows in safe mode, and have no luck. The only way I can access anything on the HD is with the REAtogo disc, but I CAN explore the hard drive, so I am guessing it is not a faulty HD. We do not have the original Windows CD that was installed on this unit.. but I have obtained a 3 disc set from my boss at work.. Windows XP home edition Operating System CD, Application Recovery CD, and Driver Recovery CD. They are SP 1a. I don't know if that will matter or not.. (the SP1 vs. SP3 installed on the computer). I booted the laptop from the Windows Operating System CD.. and it did it's thing, but the only repair option I was given was "repair install using Windows Recovery Console".. and I was advised from a mod previously on here I don't want to choose that option? I halted the setup at that point, and I am a little lost on what to do next. She really don't want to lose her files from the HD.. and seeing as how I CAN access them through the REAtogo disc I have, I CAN move them via USB keys.. however.. there is over 13 GB of files, and I can only move 2 GB at a time. Needless to say, very time consuming and frustrating. I guess ANY advice I can get I would GREATLY appreciate!!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 11:35 AM

<<...but I have obtained a 3 disc set from my boss at work.. Windows XP home edition Operating System CD, Application Recovery CD, and Driver Recovery CD. They are SP 1a. I don't know if that will matter or not...>>

I would say that it matters...since recovery/restore disks are not made for universal application to systems. Unless the system such are used on...is exactly identical to the system for which the disks were issued...I would guess that chances of success are pretty small.

Restore/recovery disks may also rely upon certain files which are stored on the system hard drive...by the system manufacturer...in a possibly hidden partition. Trying to apply the restore/recovery function to a system without those files...is not likely to lead to success, IMO.

If you have a Dell system...the best option would be to try to obtain the proper recovery/restore disks...from Dell.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 21 September 2010 - 01:03 PM.


#3 jgasco68

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 12:40 PM

I was more or less afraid of that, which is why I stopped. I guess my best shot from here is trying to retrieve what files I can from it via usb keys and either search out a new O.S. for it.. (which unfortunately needs to be no newer than XP as this old Dell wont handle Vista or 7..) or... just tell her to start saving up for a new laptop. Thanks for your advice!

#4 Eyesee

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 12:50 PM

Boot the system to the recovery console which you say is installed and then do the following:

In Recovery Console, change to the c:\Windows folder by typing cd\windows
Type cd system32\config , and then press ENTER.
The prompt should say c:\windows\system32\config
Type dir system and then press ENTER.

If you cannot run the preceding command successfully (because the file is missing), proceed to the next step. If you can run the preceding command successfully, type ren system system.bak , and then press ENTER.

Type copy c:\windows\repair\system , and then press ENTER.
You should receive a "One file copied" message.
Restart
In the beginning there was the command line.

#5 jgasco68

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:09 AM

Thanks! I'll give it a shot. At this point.. I am desperate and anything I can do or try is welcome..!

#6 jgasco68

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:23 AM

Okay.. tried to do the above.. and here are the results..

At the instruction " C:WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG>dir system
The volume in drive C has no label
The volume Serial Number is 34b0-fcbd

Directory of C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\system

8\27\10 10:42a -a------ 5505024 system
1 file(s) 5505024 bytes
17864728576 bytes free

C:WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG>ren system.bak

From there I typed in the copy/repair command line, and it copied one file as you said. I then restarted the computer, and Windows loaded, however it seems I have lost several drivers. I have no sound, and no wireless .. both of which were working before. It is also not recognizing DVDs in the dvd burner. It will read and recognize cds, but obviously not play them.

#7 jgasco68

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:35 AM

*update*
Went into the control panel, system, devices, and figured out which pieces had missing drivers, and reinstalled them. So far so good. May have to find a few drivers yet.. for dvd/rom etc... but for the most part, it is up and if not running.. at least breathing again. THANKS SO MUCH Eyesee!!

#8 hamluis

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:45 AM

A tip of the hat, sir :thumbsup:!

Louis




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