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


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#16 JohnC_21

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 03:48 PM

I would also check the post of BC Advisor Eyesee. You can also do a chkdsk from an install disk or Recovery Console disk if you wish.

 

Note: If you have no trouble booting your older UBCD use it as the last update on UBCD for Parted Magic is 2013. Is your UBCD older than that?



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#17 joseibarra

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 05:29 PM

Mmmmmaybe but unlikely based on experience.

 

The good part is the issue is easy to reproduce.

When you can reproduce a problem (I always make an effort to) then you can test your idea about how to fix it and keep adjusting your idea until the idea works every time on all systems.  Then you write it up nicely like what I posted which is not something I made up today just for BC - I have pasted those instructions many hundreds of times.  That solution will also work for several common XP boot problems (hal.dll missing or corrupt, etc.).

 

To reproduce power up your XP system on AC power (desktop or laptop) and while it is running pull the plug on it.  Start it up again and repeat.  After about 3-5 times you will have your error:

 

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

 

Or a stop error like:

 

STOP:  0x000000ED (0x8A91A628, 0xC000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

 

See this link:

 

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-system/safe-mode-loop/37791777-543e-478e-b81d-e5f8a62422fc

 

Why doesn't somebody reproduce the problem and see how some of those replace the registry ideas go when there is no bootable XP media handy?

 

I like to post ideas that are hopefully going to work for all systems all the time, not some systems some of the time.

 

Ideas like "should work with pro if the system file exists"...  Should work?  Well what if the file doesn't exist - on lots of systems it doesn't - then what?

 

Suggesting the XP Recovery Console might work if you have a genuine bootable XP installation CD (most people don't) and if your system has a working CD/DVD drive (some systems don't) and if your system is not using SATA drives and if your system has no admin password assigned.  But you will not be copying any data off your HDD to an external drive unless you have set that option up in XP in advance (nobody does that but me).

 

The Hiren's CD gets past all that and it will not prompt you for an admin password like some systems will using the Recovery Console - then what are you going to do if XP can't find the registry file because the file system is corrupted?

 

Boot Hiren's on CD or USB and you can forget about all those potential issues or having a Linux learning curve because the interface is XP like.

 

JohnC_21 says Hiren's won't work on a GPT disk and that may be true but nobody has asked you that question and I have no way to test that (too primitive over here).  I guess that means JohnC_21 has tested that.

 

So you still haven't' got any bootable media yet and now you need to print a guide/info?


Edited by joseibarra, 26 September 2017 - 05:31 PM.

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#18 JohnC_21

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 05:50 PM

joseibarra, I wasn't clear enough, sorry. Hirens will work fine on XP. Because semicodon has XP the disk is not GPT but MBR.

 

Hirens minixp would be easier to work with than PartedMagic on UBCD.

 

Edit: joseibarra, I am sorry. I stand corrected. If I boot Hirens on a UEFI/GPT disk computer it will work if I set it to Legacy Mode/CSM boot.

 

Edit Edit: I was able to access the disk using Legacy Boot on a UEFI Windows 7 computer but this person seemed to have issues when booting Hirens on his Windows 8.1 computer.


Edited by JohnC_21, 26 September 2017 - 06:27 PM.


#19 semicodin

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 04:22 PM

Hi everyone ... well I was digging through my utilities and completely forgot that I have Symantec's Norton GHOST 10. I've been such a wreck over this *&!#!*!! program I haven't been thinking clearly.

 

Say what you will about Symantec's portfolio of utilities, they work. They'll recognize your old SCSI drive when no one else will, they'll spot your partition experiments, they'll pluck out the missing kernels -- the dead bytes you should have been cleaning up, now causing endless mischief while they play with your hard drive -- and just fix it.  

 

I had booted to my original GHOST 10 CD and went into deep Analyze over the night. Got in earlier today!  :bananas:

 

Right now I'm doing a Windows backup -- including the sensitive "System State" where my license lives -- and expect it to run for the next 6 hours.  When that's completed I'm going to install Symantec's Backup Executive System Recovery (which I likewise own) and -- again -- perform a backup with BESR. This way if XP gives me grief I'll have Symantec's 3rd party program as a fail safe option.

 

Sorry to be leaping around but I'm at the library (as per).


Edited by semicodin, 28 September 2017 - 05:02 PM.


#20 semicodin

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 04:53 PM

(SNIP) . . . To reproduce power up your XP system on AC power (desktop or laptop) and while it is running pull the plug on it.

 

You can't be serious josei! while it is running ??  I regularly use the Press your chassis's power button and hold it in until the machine turns off when the OS is grinding away for some reason. It's a clean, reliable hack to shut Windows down (whether it wants to or not heh) but this . . . ?



#21 joseibarra

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 05:05 PM

It is a very reliable way to reproduce the error you are having. 

 

You never did say if prior to this incident if your system has a power failure, power interruption, plug pulling, power button, reset button, aborted restart, ungraceful shutdown, etc. as that is usually the cause of this problem.

 

If you can reproduce it at will then you can learn how to fix it without trying things that might work sometimes maybe.l.

 

That also lets you see if any of the other ideas you can read about will work or not.  I've been through all the registry replacement, system system restore, copying registry files from Restore Point ideas.

 

After a while you understand what the problem is, ideas that will not work and ideas that will work.

 

It could be considered living dangerously but I have reproduced just about ever non boot scenario I have ever seen with XP - then I can learn how to fix them.

 

My poor XP has been installed for about 14 years, many various kinds of boot failures but never a reinstall. 

 

I have never even suggested a reinstall of XP to fix any boot problem.


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#22 semicodin

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 05:06 PM

Well I've gone and done it now. :blush:  I think I might know the source of the problem (USB thumb drives totally confusing the CMOS?) but whatever I've done I'm in it now. 

 

So I get into XP, complete my work (phew!), rip the documents to PDF, and copy the data files to 2 different USB thumb drives.

 

Having manually copied the %!@!##* out of anything even remotely associated with this program-and-the-documents-I-generated-from-it I proceed to do a Windows "System-State" backup.  This is XP Pro again so we don't confuse anybody.  So I backup C:\ (in its entirety) + the drive & folder in which this nightmare program lives -- along with System State -- to a standard Windows *.bkf file. Confident, I power down.  To make sure everything is there, I boot up.  Ah! still there.  No matter what else XP does to my files I have them backed up na na na na na na.

 

Load my kit and head down to the library to print these files out. Plug my first USB thumb drive in and . . . wtf? Where are the files I just saved not one hour earlier?! Okay, I try the other thumb drive: likewise empty.  Now think: I'll bet this is a policy restriction the library has implemented. I head to a shop with print facilities where I can print out my PDF files for a fee. Nothing. Not a folder. Not a file. Empty. And here's where things get scary:

 

I get home, power up, and get

"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."

 

Obviously it didn't worTo sum up, I have tried everything, including a CMOS reset. In UCBF I looked to see if the files were there and there is nothing. No, I mean nothing. If 10 minutes earlier I had data of some sort -- in what looked like my correct partitions -- my frantic meddling with (everything) has compounded the problem. I don't have an operating system.  I'll pause here and supply hardware & software assets.

 

OSs

I have the licensed Retail version of Windows XP Pro installed, and the source of this thread

I have a licensed Retail version of Windows 7 Pro not installed

I've never used Linux before (and this is a hell of a way to learn it) but my window of opportunity is shrinking by the hour and I'll try anything. Tell me what, where and how complicated it would be for a novice such as myself to just get to my files . . . if I still have any

 

HDDs and the bundled free DRIVE UTILITIES they come with:
Acronis/SEAGATE SCSI (the subject of this thread)

Acronis/WESTERN DIGITAL IDE (currently unplugged)

IBM Drive Fitness/HITACHI SATA (currently unplugged)

 

Additional SOFTWARE UTILITIES I own that might help:

Symantec Ghost

Symantec Partition Magic

Spinrite

UCBD (an older version)

 

I'm not touching a thing without your advice friends! Just remember, I have to do this at the library (groan). There may be delays.



#23 semicodin

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 05:09 PM

I almost forgot one of the most important things:  I restored a saved CMOS setting and it was around this time that everything evaporated. Please merge this mods. Apologies.



#24 JohnC_21

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 05:51 PM

You have the older version of UBCD. Boot and select Parted Magic in the Menu. Can you get to the desktop of Parted Magic?

 

See this guide on mounting your hard drives. Can you see the contents of your drives?

 

https://fixit.litten.com/linuxfilecopy.html



#25 semicodin

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:19 PM

John, I ripped the newer version of UBCD, but don't forget I'm doing this at the library. None of my attempts boot. I have powerful boot utilities at home so this really pisses me off!! Roxio? Insert smiley vomiting.



#26 semicodin

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:26 PM

I tried to locate their last free version without adware but dead.



#27 JohnC_21

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:35 PM

As far as I know there is no adware on UBCD. I gave the direct link. If you still can't get UBCD to boot then burn an iso of Hirens as joseibarra suggested.

 

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

 

or burn the iso of only Parted Magic and not UBCD. Hirens is probably the best way to go because of XP.

 

http://www.afterdawn.com/software/system_tools/partitioning/parted_magic_cd.cfm



#28 semicodin

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:39 PM

Everyone brave enough to have helped me with this nightmare — JohnC_21, hamluis (I never acknowledged your participation in the thread, thanks man), joseibarra, & Eyesee — and anyone who may yet, I really appreciate your hanging in there with me. If/When I get this nightmare resolved I'm going to edit my lead post with the solution(s). 

 

While the nice men in white jackets prepare me for the rubber room and measure me for my straightjacket . . . No, I haven't fixed anything. I am in the very same position I was in three weeks ago when I started this thread.

 

The cheat sheet thus far:

  1. I'm posting from the LIBRARY because I have no functioning computer at home.

  2. The LIBRARY limits my internet access so my responses may be delayed.

  3. The LIBRARY has exactly one optical utility for burning a bootable disc; the brand is Roxio; and not one of my clean, new, blank DVD+ media burn sessions using Roxio will boot (even using their Wizard). So far I’ve burned 7 coasters and that’s the limit of my patience with Roxio. If there are portable boot utilities that I can run from my USB thumb drive — or any other workaround — I’d appreciate your suggestions.

  4. I tried a double CTRL+ALT+DEL hack that didn't work.

  5. I zero-filled a new partition on a different hard drive and installed a fresh Windows XP Pro.

  6. Windows booted but at the Welcome screen I was presented with one login option: The User Name I took during install + an empty password field. WTF? I have never seen anything like this — a new, squeaky clean OS, on its own hard drive, inaccessible; entire partitions gone; files, gone

  7. There is also a net user hack which I just found an hour ago. The jury's still out but I will report.

 

This install had become such a nightmare that I located a separate public facility with internet access not on a timer. It was at some point during this focused, narrow, 6-hour Google session of researching other people's solutions to the issues I was experiencing that the phrase Jack the Ripper kept popping up.  I never even contemplated that the inexplicable series of emptied partitions, disappearing files and login errors could be a VIRUS.  

I'll try .7 but my money's on malware (Jack or some other). What is particularly ominous about this is it is happening at DOS level, obliging whatever malware cleaner to likewise operate at DOS level.

I have found two sites that rate the FREE DOS-level AV utilities and there are probably more:

https://geckoandfly.com/2682/fix-an-unbootable-windows-xp-or-vista-remove-boot-virus-from-startup/

https://lifewire.com/free-bootable-antivirus-tools-2625785

I'll leave it there and continue in a day or two after thinking about how I'm going to burn a bootable CD when the only utility on offer is Roxio. Thanks for thinking about it with me.

semicodin



#29 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:03 PM

Depending on the age of the computer, it may not boot a USB flash drive. I posted the link to the Hirens iso. I think this would be your first thing to download at the library.  Second would be a portable version of Imgburn or iso burner. Use a burn speed no faster than 4x if possible.

 

http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?/topic/61-how-to-write-an-image-file-to-a-disc-using-imgburn/

 

Edit. The Portable version of Imgburn is a self extracting zip file. Unzip the contents to the desktop on the library computer. It may not allow a burn if the account is not admin.


Edited by JohnC_21, 12 October 2017 - 08:05 PM.


#30 joseibarra

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:22 AM

I hope you are not getting sidetracked - I would still pursue running the chkdsk with error correction but you still have to boot on something to do that.

 

Somebody asked you for your system make and model and if you tell us that we might find a manual that tells you how to get your system to boot from CD and:

 

if a Dell what is the Service Tag Number?

If an HP what is the Serial Number?

 

On my MSI motherboard there is a brief prompt on power up to press F11 to get a boot options menu and from there I can choose to boot from CD or USB, or I can press the Del key (not the Delete key) to get into the BIOS and move the CD ROM or USB as the fist in the boot order.  It is easiest for me to just press F11 and I don't need to make any BIOS adjustments but your system may be different.

 

I never used Roxio and am not installing it but keep in mind that you can't just burn the ISO to the CD and have it work.  If you do that you will just have a copy of the ISO on the CD and that will never boot.  You have to do something different to make the CD bootable and Roxio seems to have a tutorial that tells you how to do that (don't know what version of Roxio):

 

[attachment=198762:Untitled.jpg]

 


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