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Windows could not start following file is missing or corrupt.


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#1 Orange wig

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 09:19 PM

I just got this message this afternoon from my computer that had been working fine this morning.

 

I am running Windows XP SP3 on an older pentium 4 system. This is the exact message:

 

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: c:\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.

 

So, I got out my Setup CD-ROM and it asks me to hit any key to boot from the CD - which I did.

 

It then says that it is checking my current hardware configuration...(or something close to this.)

 

Then the computer restarts and I am back with the same problem again.

 

I tried to restart so that I could write down the exact "checking my current hardware configuration" line and got the CDBOOT: Memory Overflow Error.

 

Well, I am at a loss as to what to do next. :smash:

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  And, as always, Thank you in advance! :thumbup2:



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#2 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 11:09 PM

Hi

 

C:\Windows\Config is the system directory which holds the system registry hive files. It is possible to replace the corrupt hive files from a backup copy resides in system restore points. But before doing that, we should check the system memory and hard drive for errors. Bad sectors in the HDD surface is the most common reason for missing files in Windows.

 

:step1: Memory test.

 

Please read instructions from the below tutorial to run a memory integrity test using the free tool Memtest86+.

 

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/105647-ram-test-memtest86.html

 

If there are memory errors, red lines will be shown on the screen. You should run at least seven passes for an accurate result.

 

 

 

Stop the test either when it complete seven passes or there are errors shown on the screen. Report the outcome in next reply.

 

:step2: Hard drive surface test.

 

Most of the major HDD manufacturer's have their own testing tools available to verify bad sectors on the surface. Please remove the side cover and identify the brand of your hard drive. Then run either one of the below test depending on the manufacturer.

 

 

For Seagate hard drive :

 

1. Download Seatool for DOS from the below link.

 

    http://www.seagate.com/staticfiles/support/seatools/SeaToolsDOS223ALL.ISO

 

2. Burn the ISO to a blank CD.

 

3. Boot from the CD and run a Long Test with it.

 

    seatools-2.png

 

 

For Western Digital hard drive : 

 

1. Download Western Digital  data lifeguard diagnostics from the below link.

 

    http://www.box.net/shared/gl0fifqgj4

 

2. Burn the ISO to a blank CD.

 

3. Boot from the CD and run an Extended test with it.

 

6j3hhf.jpg

 

 

Report whether there are errors detected during the test.


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 15 August 2013 - 11:10 PM.


#3 Orange wig

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:08 PM

Sorry to the long delay.  Too much going on at the end of the year.

 

Memory test came back with no errors.

 

I have a WD hard drive, so I ran the WD data lifeguard which also came back with no errors.

 

I really appreciate all the help everyone is giving me here! TY!!!



#4 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:00 AM

Hi

 

Good to hear that both RAM and HDD are okay. SO it looks like a file system corruption happened due to an improper shutdown (either a force shutdown or sudden power failure).

 

Please try the below steps.

 

:step1:  Boot from your Windows install CD and open Recovery Console.

 

       http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ss/rconsole.htm

 

:step2: Run CheckDisk.

 

CheckDisk will fix the file system corruption happened to your boot partition. To run it, simply enter CHKDSK  C: /R. Depending on the amount of data in the partition, it may take a while to complete the operation. Please wait patiently until it finishes.

 

You should run the CheckDisk before proceeding to other steps.

 

:step3: Fix the corrupted Registry Hive.

 

This step is a little bit tricky. Basically there are two ways to do this. First one is to restore a good copy of the registry hives from System Volume Information. Second method is doing a repair installation which is fairly easy.

 

a ) Method one - Registry Hive Restore.

 

Microsoft official guide using Recovery Consolehttps://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

 

Video guide (slightly different way) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOy89HEChZs

 

 

b ) Method two - Repair installation.

 

This is fairly straight forward and need your WinXP setup CD. Watch the below nice video guide for detailed steps by step instructions.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNOQ0sCYY8s

 

Btw, the error message you mentioned CDBOOT: Memory Overflow Error indicates a CD reading problem. It could be either a bad disc or a failing CD drive. First buy a blank CD and use another working machine to copy the setup CD to that ( disc to disc copy or disc cloning). 


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 09 January 2014 - 10:14 AM.


#5 Orange wig

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:55 PM

Well, I tried using one of the other Windows XP install discs I have laying around.  And I could actually get the machine started!!  I would not have thought that the CD might have been causing the problem with me getting to recovery console.

 

I had some other issues with the computer that I just finished working out now! :bananas:

 

The old machine is now up and officially running again!! TYVM!!! :thumbup2: This site ROCKS!!!






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