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problem reinstalling Windows XP Home system32 error


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#1 helaman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:20 AM

1. Receieved following message when starting up computer:

"windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \windows\system32\config\system" and
"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."

2. Inserted re-installation CD and rebooted. Got same message as above.

3. Tried F2. Selected Boot sequence and changed to 1. IDE CD-Rom Device. 2. HArd-Disk Drive C: 3. Diskette Drive. Then rebooted and got same message.

4. Tried F8. Selected "Last Known Good Configuration. Got same message as above.

5. Tried F12. Selected IDE CD-ROM Device. Got same message as above.

Arrrgghhh! What am I doing wrong? How can I get to the CD to reinstall?

thanks for help.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 01:29 AM

Hi Helaman, and welcome to BleepingComputer.

If you have changed the boot order in the BIOS so that the CD-ROM is the first device, the computer should boot from the CD when it is restarted.

Most re-installation CD will revert your computer to the way it came out of the box. You will lose all of your data, pictures, videos, documents, e-mail, etc. If you don't mind this, then this can work as a solution for you. In order to provide you with more detailed options we will need the make and model of this computer.

Do you have or have access to a retail copy of XP? It will need to be the same version as the copy installed on this computer, eg. Home or Professional.

If you have a copy of this disk you can perform a repair installation which will not effect your data.

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#3 Allan

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 07:40 AM

An alternative to dc3's suggestion is to replace the corrupt registry hive. You either need to obtain an XP CD (any version) or download the recovery console iso (http://forums.pcpitstop.com/index.php?/topic/150212-boot-to-recovery-console-wo-xp-cd/), burn it to disk, and boot to the recovery console. Once there, do the following:


At the command prompt type:

ren c:\windows\system32\config\system system.old
copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config

Reboot

#4 helaman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:05 AM

dc3 and Allan,

Thank you for replying! I'm still at it. Please see my reply to your questions:


DC3,

If you have changed the boot order in the BIOS so that the CD-ROM is the first device----

Yes, I changed the boot order as mentioned in my first post, but still get the same error message.

Most re-installation CD will revert your computer to the way it came out of the box. You will lose all of your data, pictures, videos, documents, e-mail, etc. If you don't mind this, then this can work as a solution for you----

I've backed up my files, photos, etc. onto another computer and onto a separate flash drive.


In order to provide you with more detailed options we will need the make and model of this computer.
My computer is a Dell Dimension 8300 Bios revision A05, running Microsoft XP Home Edition.


Do you have or have access to a retail copy of XP? It will need to be the same version as the copy installed on this computer, eg. Home or Professional.
Yes, I have the Dell reinstallation CD. It's Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2.

If you have a copy of this disk you can perform a repair installation which will not effect your data.
I've tried this but without success. HOpe you can help (see my first post).


Allan,

I'd like to use the installation CD, but as I've mentioned I can't get to the CD drive. When booting up I get the error message as mentioned in my first post.

#5 Allan

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:07 AM

If you are getting that message then you are not booting to the cd. This can only be for one of the following reasons:

1) The cd drive is not the first device list in bios boot order (please check again)
2) The cd drive is not working properly
3) The cd is not bootable or is damaged (you can check by inserting a KNOWN bootable disk, or by trying to boot to this same disk in another system)

Edited by Allan, 04 February 2011 - 11:09 AM.


#6 helaman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:29 AM

Allan,

Thanks for the reply.

1) yes, I've set the order with CD first device. I have separate DVD and CD drives; I tried the CD in both.
2) Sadly, this may be the case. But when insert the CD the indicater light comes on green, and I can hear the whirl of the CD, then after maybe 10 seconds I get the error message as mentioned before.
3) I tried booting up the CD on another computer; yes it works.


Any other options?

#7 Allan

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:33 AM

If you have two optical drives, move the other ahead of the hd in the boot order. It's unlikely they are both broken.

#8 helaman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:14 PM

Allan,

Frustrating. There are only three options for the boot sequence. I've got it set at:
1) IDE CD-ROM Device
2) Hard-Disk Drive C:
3) Diskette Drive

I've tried booting the reinstall disk in both the CD and DVD drives. Still get same error message. For some really frustrating reason I can't get it to boot up.

#9 Allan

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:21 PM

Are both optical drives original equipment or did you add the dvd drive? Is sata enabled in bios?

#10 helaman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:31 PM

Thx for going through this w/ me.

under Drive Configuration:

Diskette Drive A: yes
SATA Primary Drive: Hard Drive
SATA Secondary Drive: OFF
Primary Master Drive: OFF
Primary Slave Drive: OFF
Secondary Master Drive: CD-ROM Device
Secondary Slave Drive: CD-ROM Device
IDE Drive UDMA: ON

#11 helaman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:33 PM

under Boot Sequence all three are enabled:

1. IDE CD-ROM Device
2. Hard-Disk Drive C:
3. Diskette Drive

#12 Allan

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:33 PM

Again, are both drives original equipment or did you install the DVD drive yourself?

#13 helaman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:36 PM

Yes, both are original.

#14 Allan

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:39 PM

Please set primary master and primary slave to on and see if you can boot to the optical drives.

#15 Allan

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:40 PM

If not, set them back to OFF




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