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Corrupted Windows XP Pro ... 'R' Repair won't work ... Have Disk


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#1 semicodin

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 06:37 PM

I can't get my XP Pro to load:

  1. I have the original [Retail] MS XP PRO install disk
  2. This is a stable Seagate Cheetah SCSI drive
  3. The drive (and my other drives) are there in the BIOS
  4. I've got the BIOS set to force a boot-to-optical (CD Drive) because XP was such a pita
  5. As you can guess, I didn't create one of those 'rescue disks'

 

So far I've been able to boot into an Acronis/Seagate clone/etc. disk utility I had.

 

:bowdown: Thank you so much for anyone helping me with this. I'm kinda desperate as you can imagine!!



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 06:49 PM

Are you talking about the XP Recovery Console iso?

 

http://surftopctech.com/Programs/Windows-XP-SP3-Recovery-Console-CD-ISO/

 

Are you trying to recover data off the drive? Does this XP CD boot in other computers? If it does then possibly your optical drive is bad unless you can boot other CDs.

Does the computer allow booting from USB flash drives?



#3 hamluis

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 08:07 PM

If you have a valid Win XP install disk:

 

1.  Place disk in optical drive.

2/  Turn computer off.

3.  Power computer up.  The install disk should boot.  Proceed as if you are going to install XP.  Do NOT elect the Recovery Console option.

4.  Elect the option to repair your existing install.  See Step 6 of http://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Windows-XP-%22Repair-Install%22 .

5/  Follow the prompts.

 

A Good Set Of Instructions

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 22 September 2017 - 08:10 PM.


#4 semicodin

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 04:23 PM

Are you talking about the XP Recovery Console iso?

 

http://surftopctech.com/Programs/Windows-XP-SP3-Recovery-Console-CD-ISO/

 

Are you trying to recover data off the drive? Does this XP CD boot in other computers? If it does then possibly your optical drive is bad unless you can boot other CDs.

Does the computer allow booting from USB flash drives?

 

WOW JohnC_21 what a great link!! I'm here at the LIBRARY of course but (cross your fingers) I think their pos Roxio actually burned a bootable disc.  :busy:  Let me reply to your and hamluis replies.



#5 semicodin

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 04:47 PM

Hi everyone. I'm sorry for these delays but I'm at the LIBRARY doing this and it's a miserable experience let me tell you. 

 

 

Are you talking about the XP Recovery Console ISO?

 

Unfortunately it didn't work.

 

 

Are you trying to recover data off the drive?

 

Okay let me pause for a moment and give you the technical detail:

 

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

\windows\system32\config\system

 

 . . . is the error message I keep getting. Here's what I'm trying to accomplish:

 

I’m trying to resuscitate the most recent (and operable) state my Windows XP Pro was in before it triggered a BSOD and crashed.

 

It isn’t a file that I need to recover, it is the restricted license of one specific program:

 

  1. this is commercial software that I purchased

  2. the software license I purchased allows for one installation

  3. the program’s license activates by my online submission of its serial number

  4. the program may not be reinstalled

Let me post this before my library session expires.  :busy:



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 04:57 PM

Your problem is indicative of a corrupt registry hive. If you have System Restore enabled you can recover the backup registry hives and copy them to the config folder.

 

You can do this either with a linux distro called knoppix according to this guide.

 

http://j.barrettcoats.com/blog/2013/02/18/windows-xp-repairing-registry-hives-from-a-system-restore-point/

 

Or you can use Parted Magic part of UBCD. Personally, I think Parted Magic is easier to work with than Knoppix. Boot UBCD and at the menu screen select Parted Magic. Browse to the Windows/system32/config folder and add a .bak extension to each of the five registry hives. Then copy the hives from the restore points to the config folder.

 

When downloading UBCD click the hard drive icon and not the mirror link. Edit: Add UBCD link. http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

 

Parted Magic guide on mounting your drive.


Edited by JohnC_21, 25 September 2017 - 05:05 PM.


#7 semicodin

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 05:07 PM

Your problem is indicative of a corrupt registry hive. If you have System Restore enabled you can recover the backup registry hives and copy them to the config folder.

 

You can do this either with a linux distro called knoppix according to this guide.

 

http://j.barrettcoats.com/blog/2013/02/18/windows-xp-repairing-registry-hives-from-a-system-restore-point/

 

Or you can use Parted Magic part of UBCD. Personally, I think Parted Magic is easier to work with than Knoppix. Boot UBCD and at the menu screen select Parted Magic. Browse to the Windows/system32/config folder and add a .bak extension to each of the five registry hives. Then copy the hives from the restore points to the config folder.

 

When downloading UBCD click the hard drive icon and not the mirror link.

 

Parted Magic guide on mounting your drive.

 

I have UBCD . . . but it's an older version. I'll hop on over and get their latest and please dear God  :bowdown: let it work!



#8 semicodin

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 05:13 PM

Good to go, I had to download the ISO from a 3rd party site. wml

 

John . . . either I'm dense or why can't I download their ISO??  I keep getting Google ad bleep, wtf?


Edited by semicodin, 25 September 2017 - 05:16 PM.


#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 05:22 PM

If you have an older version of UBCD it will work as long as Parted Magic can see your disk. Parted Magic dates to 2013 on the UBCD disk.

 

Here is the direct link. Sorry, I forgot to mention to click the hard drive icon and not the mirror link.

 

http://cdn.removed.us/ubcd/ubcd537.iso


Edited by JohnC_21, 25 September 2017 - 05:22 PM.


#10 joseibarra

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 05:46 AM

That message usually indicates some (hopefully) minor corruption in the NT File System (NTFS).

 

I have NEVER seen a case where the problem is actually a corrupted registry but that is always the first thing that is pursued when it should be the absolute last thing pursued (next to a reinstall).

 

The problem is more likely that Windows just can't find one of the 5 registry files.

 

This file system corruption can occur because of power failures, power interruptions, plug pulling, using the reset button or power switch, aborted restarts, ungraceful shutdowns, etc.

 

Have any of those events occurred prior to this incident?

 

What you need to do is run a chkdsk with error correction (chkdsk  /r) but you are going to have to boot on something in order to do that.

 

Make yourself a Hiren's Boot CD (or USB thumb drive) because it does not have some of the limitations and restrictions you will run into if you use the XP Recovery Conole - and you can use it to copy off your data to an external device if you feel the need. You will be glad you have a Hiren's Boot CD if you have future problems.

 

Here are some of my old XP instructions that should still work for you.  If there is something that doesn't work let me know and I will adjust.

 

 

Make yourself a Hiren's Boot CD which you can download from here:

http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

The ZIP file is large, so the download will probably take a little while to complete bit it is worth it.  Then unzip the download to extract the Hirens.BootCD.ISO file that will be used to create your new bootable CD.

Creating a bootable CD from a .ISO file is not the same as just copying the .ISO file to a blank CD.  You have to use software that understands how to burn a .ISO file to a CD to create a bootable CD.

In the Hiren's ZIP file are the BurnToCD.cmd file that you can double click to launch it, but I have never used it and prefer to use ImgBurn.

If you need a free and easy CD burning software package, here is a popular free program:

http://www.imgburn.com/

Like many third party programs you might install, the ImgBurn installation defaults to installing things you probably don't want installed on your system in the form of extra Internet browser toolbars or may make other adjustments to your browser.  You don't want to install any of that so you have to pay attention during the installation.

When clicking through the installation screens be sure to pay attention to the screens and always choose a Custom install and UNcheck the following (or any other things like it):

UNcheck:

Install the AVG toolbar and set AVG Secure Search as my default search provider
Set AVG Secure Search as my homepage and newly opened tabs

Choose custom installation again and UNcheck the following:

Uncheck:
Install QuickShare

There could be other things too.

Here are some instructions for ImgBurn:

http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?showtopic=61

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

You may need to adjust the computer BIOS settings to use the CD ROM drive as the first boot device instead of the hard disk. 

These adjustments are  made before Windows tries to load.  If you miss it, you will have to reboot the system again.

When booting on the Hiren's CD you will see a menu of options.  Choose the Mini XP option.  Then it will appear that Windows is being loaded and you will be presented with a desktop that has the look and feel of the Windows Explorer interface you are already used to using.

Remember:  You did not boot on your hard disk - you booted into the Hiren's desktop.

One way to check the disk for errors is to open My Computer and right click your afflicted drive and choose Properties, Tools, Error-checking, Check Now... put a check mark in both the boxes and then Start.

Sometimes that doesn't work, so you can also click Start, Run and in the box enter:

cmd

Click OK to open a Command Prompt window and enter the following command (assuming XP is installed on your C drive)

chkdsk  c:  /r

This disk checking can take a long time (perhaps several to many hours) depending on the size of the volume, the amount of data on the volume and what the disk checking finds to do.
 

Let chkdsk finish and correct any problems it might find. 

 

Depending on the the speed of your system, the size of the volume, the amount of data on the volume and what chkdsk finds to do, it may take a long time for chkdsk with error correction to complete (several to many hours) or it may appear to be 'stuck'.  Be patient.  If the HDD light is still flashing, chkdsk is doing something so don't interrupt it.  It will finish eventually one way or the other.  Keep an eye on the percentage amount to be sure it is still making progress.  It may even appear to go backwards sometimes.

 

You may have to run the chkdsk  /r  it more than once.

When the chkdsk runs clean, remove the CD and restart your system.


Edited by joseibarra, 26 September 2017 - 06:18 AM.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 07:42 AM

Personally, I think chkdsk is the last thing one should do if the file system is severely corrupted. Running chkdsk on a system that is corrupted has the possibility of making file recovery using tools like Testdisk or PhotoRec that much harder.

 

Why should replacing the registry hives in the System Restore Points be the absolute last thing when it's the safest. Rename the Registry Hives in config and replace with the ones in the Restore Point. If the problem isn't resolved simply delete the ones copied and rename the original hives. 

 

As we know, CHKDSK examines disk space and disk use by testing the File Allocation Table (FAT) or the New Technology File System (NTFS) for broken, missing or corrupt files that impact your computer's ability to function properly. Once errors are found, it will fix them if we specify /f or /r command-line option. Nevertheless, repairs usually change a volume's file allocation table (for FAT partition) or master file table (for NTFS partition). If the repairing process is interrupted or affected by any other change, information on FAT or MFT might be lost or even corrupted, which could lead to data loss. Please see But luckily, for this kind of lost files, we might be able to recover them. As to the specific recovery method, we will introduce it later. 

 

http://www.minitool.com/data-recovery/recover-data-after-chkdsk.html

 

If I was going to run chkdsk on a computer that doesn't boot I would pull all data from the drive using a live linux disk. Note, Hirens is good but useless on a GPT disk as it uses miniXP and XP cannot read a GPT disk, only MBR.

 

In Summary: Always backup your data before running a chkdsk.


Edited by JohnC_21, 26 September 2017 - 08:38 AM.


#12 joseibarra

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 09:16 AM

You can read and see for yourself.

 

Go to the Microsoft XP community on this link:

 

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-performance/

 

In the search box enter the error message Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

 

Attached File  Untitled.jpg   41.7KB   0 downloads

 

Read through some of the the scores (perhaps hundreds) of cases and find ONE case where pursing a corrupted registry file was the solution.  You will have to skip those that did not come to successful resolution because of time wasting wild goose chases like fixboot. fixmbr, system restore and KB307545.

 

Find one case where any of those ideas where things like KB307545 solved the problem.

 

Then you can find every topic where the problem WAS resolved without time wasting wild goose chases and the solution is always chkdsk with error correction:

 

Thank you kindly to all three of you for the replies.  Chkdsk did precisely what was needed.

 

I was able to recover a PC that produced the error with the "chkdsk c:/ r" command without any problems at all.

 

Thank God I found this topic.  I have wasted hours of time trying other things and was really worried.  Nothing was working.  The chkdsk worked the first time.

 

 

You can't run chkdsk from a Linux CD and you don't need that to "pull the data".  You can do all that with Hiren's and if you decide you want to mess with copying registry files to make things worse you will find that easier with Hirens' too.

 

And at the moment there is no success in even creating a UBCD.

 

And what if the afflicted system has no CD/DVD drive - will UBCD work from a USB thumb drive?

 

Thinks like KB307545 or other methods do have their place if a registry file does get corrupted accidentally from tampering.

 

But in this case we don't know what happened prior to the incident - was it somebody's bad registry edit or something that corrupted the file system?


Edited by joseibarra, 26 September 2017 - 09:22 AM.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 09:22 AM

I understand this is an XP thread and I should have stated as such but you will never be able to pull data from a GPT disk using HIRENS. We can agree to disagree but I would never run chkdsk until I backed up my data first.



#14 Eyesee

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 12:50 PM

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

\windows\system32\config\system

 

Boot to an XP cd

Type R when prompted to enter the Recovery Console

In Recovery Console, change to the c:\Windows folder.
Type cd system32\config , and then press ENTER.
Type dir system , and then press ENTER.

If you cannot run the preceding command successfully (because the file is missing), skip to step 3. If you can run the preceding command successfully, type ren system system.bak , and then press ENTER.

NOTE : If the message that you received referred to the software file, replace "system" with "software" in the preceding command. For example, you would type ren software software.bak (instead of ren system system.bak ), and then press ENTER.

Type copy c:\windows\repair\system , and then press ENTER.

NOTE : If the message that you received referred to the software file, replace "system" with "software" in the preceding command. For example, you would type copy c:\windows\repair\software (instead of copy c:\windows\repair\system ), and then press ENTER.
You should receive a "One file copied" informational message.

 

Reboot and the system should start successfully. This works with XP home and should work with pro if the system file exists in the c:\windows\repair folder


In the beginning there was the command line.

#15 semicodin

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 03:29 PM

Josei . . . Thanks. Great information.  See this is what makes this so frustrating: I know it's some little devil -- boot.ini ... NTLDR ... or (my personal favorite) HAL. Just to restate: there is no problem with my optical drive (I had/have no trouble booting to my older UBCD, or the Acronis/Seagate utility).

 

 

John, the ISO I got from a a 3rd party site didn't work so I've come back to the library to burn your link. Also to print guide/info on the partition utility you recommend.


Edited by hamluis, 26 September 2017 - 04:00 PM.
Removed unnecessary quotebox - Hamluis.





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