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boot error, corrupt file any way to save it

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Adde86, Apr 25, 2006.

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  1. Adde86

    Adde86 Thread Starter

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    So this morning I left my laptop on while going to college and then work, after work I came home the laptop was off. Weird I thought I start it up and It keeps giving me an error that the "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM".
    It tells me to instert the Windows XP cd, or set up cd.

    Now I havent done it yet because I want to know is there anyway to save my stuff that I have on my harddrive? and DO NOT WANT IT TO FORMAT MY HARDDRIVE

    The reason is I have FINAL PROJECTS for my term papers and also FINALS and all information related to college. I am really worried that I dont have it anymore and I dont know what I would tell my college proffesors. Please someone if you know how to save the portion of the disk thats not windows please help.

    Thank you.

    I also tried doing a start up disk, before coming to my senses realizing that my laptop doesnt have a floppy drive.

    I think this cd that im using is not service pack 2 even thought my laptop had it on when it crashed. Any ideas what I can do thank you
     
  2. happyrck

    happyrck

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    try this first


    Start the System Restore tool at a command prompt
    1. Restart your computer, and then press F8 during the initial startup to start your computer in Safe Mode with a command prompt.


    2. Log on to your computer with an administrator account or with an account that has administrator credentials.

    3. Type the following command at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:

    %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe

    4. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to restore your computer to an earlier state.


    if that doesn't work try this

    Repair XP Installation without Clean Install:
    Configure your computer BIOS to start from the CD-ROM drive at bootup.

    Insert your Windows XP compact disc (CD) into your CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive, and then restart your computer.

    When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.

    When you see the following message displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER:

    To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

    At this point an option to press R to enter the Recovery Console is displayed.
    Do not select this option.

    On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.

    Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press the R key to repair Windows XP.

    Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup.

    This will repair XP and put everything back to as it first was.
    You will have to reinstall any Hotfixes and OS updates including SP1 and DX9, plus retweak most (but not all) things all over again.

    The advantage here is that you will not have to spend hours reinstalling all your programs again, as well as setting them up.........
     
  3. Adde86

    Adde86 Thread Starter

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    thanks alot first way didnt work, and right now I am waiting to find my cd, we 3 comps at home 2 odl ones with xp so how do I vertify that the xp version on the cd matches the one on my comp?

    i tried starting it in safe mode and got the loading I thought it was fine then.

    \windows\system\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
    \windows\system\system32\hal.dll
    \windows\system\system32\KDCOM.DLL
    \windows\system\system32\BOOTVID.DLL
    \windows\system\system32\config\system
    \windows\system\system32\config\system.alt


    but just got the same error message as before

    It keeps giving me an error that the "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM".
     
  4. happyrck

    happyrck

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    you need 5 files to boot windows
    \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
    \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SAM
    \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SECURITY
    \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE
    \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\DEFAULT

    any XP cd has those files
     
  5. happyrck

    happyrck

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    when you say the first way didn't work..could you boot into safe mode ?
     
  6. Adde86

    Adde86 Thread Starter

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    I clicked f8 came into teh option with 300million options tried starting it in safe mode. then thats what happend it loaded thoese filkes then gave me an error, i also tried restoring did the same thing
     
  7. happyrck

    happyrck

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    this way more complicated but you wont lose anything




    PC users, you all know what it is: That dreaded Blue Screen of Death. That's right, the BSOD. You've installed a seemingly innocent application, restarted your computer, and suddenly you see this horror in front of your eyes: A big blue screen with some cryptic message on it. Try restarting again, same thing. You're dead. What will you do? What WILL you do?? Well, don't let it ruin your day. Remain calm. If you're using Windows XP, I can help you fix it. Come with me, down into the bowels of Windows XP, where only the high priests go. It'll be fun!

    I'm going to show you how to bring your computer back to life, and restore it to the point where things went south. You might want to print this article and squirrel it away for that fateful day when this happens to you. Or if you don't want to print it (and who prints anything these days, anyway?), and you get a big ugly blue screen, just get on another computer somewhere and come back to this Web page for comfort and advice. I can get you out of this mess. I know, because I was in the same mess and I got myself out of it.

    Here's what to do: First, get the Windows XP CD you used to install your operating system. By the way, this routine only works with Windows XP, either Professional or XP Home Edition. If you don't have a bootable XP CD, get one and have it with you at all times, because you never know when the dreaded BSOD might strike.


    But before you do anything with that CD, try restarting your computer again. Sometimes, for some odd reason, this works. Usually not, though. If you've tried that and everything else you can think of, and you can't even boot into Safe Mode, this is the mission for you.

    Put the XP CD in the drive, and restart. When it says "press any key to boot from CD," go ahead, press any key and you're on your way to recovery. The Recovery Console, that is. If it doesn't give you a choice to boot from your CD drive, go into your computer's BIOS and make the adjustment for it to boot from CD. PCs brands and motherboards are too diverse for me to give you specifics on this, so follow the prompts and you can make that CD boot happen without too much trouble. Look at your screen when it boots up, and it always says "hit DEL for BIOS settings" or something similar. If you can't get it to boot from CD, just give up and call for support or take your computer to the nearest computer store for professional help.




    OK, troops, are you still with me? Good. It'll look like you're re-installing Windows XP, but don't worry, you're not. This is just a screen showing you that your computer is loading enough files from the CD to actually do something, anything but that awful blue screen. Now when you see the screen that asks you if you want to install Windows, don't! Just hit R for recover, and you'll see the ominous Recovery Console. Don't let that intimidate you; the Recovery Console is your ugly, black-suited friend. It will have a dark, bleak screen, with the following stuff:


    Microsoft Windows(R) Recovery Console

    The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality.
    Type EXIT to quit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.

    1: C:\WINDOWS

    Which Windows Installation would you like to log onto
    (To cancel, press ENTER)?

    Go ahead and hit the number 1 on your keyboard, or whichever number corresponds to the operating system you were using when havoc struck. Enter your administrator password, and then hit enter. You're in! Now it's time to run with the big dogs! Do not be afraid, dear reader, I am here to help you. By the way, if you don't know your administrator password, just try hitting the Enter key, and if that doesn't work, well, there's a fix for that, too. Just go to the following site and get the necessary tools to get you in: http://www.petri.co.il/forgot_administrator_password.htm.

    If you type the following commands into your computer, it will work magic, akin to going back in time. There are three parts to this process, but believe me, they take much less time than reinstalling Windows XP and all your applications. So follow along with me, and keep in mind that each command must be typed exactly as you see it here. Please note that this procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed to the C:\Windows folder. Make sure to change C:\Windows to the appropriate windows folder if it's at a different location. The copy commands will answer you with a little "file copied" message. The delete commands just move on to the next line. Because of the way your Web browser displays individual lines, a command might look to you like it's two lines, so I've separated each command by an empty line. But anyway, type the whole command in one line, and when you've finished typing that command, hit the Enter key. Be sure to include the spaces I've included between each word here:

    md tmp

    copy C:\windows\system32\config\system C:\windows\tmp\system.bak

    copy C:\windows\system32\config\software C:\windows\tmp\software.bak

    copy C:\windows\system32\config\sam C:\windows\tmp\sam.bak

    copy C:\windows\system32\config\security C:\windows\tmp\security.bak

    copy C:\windows\system32\config\default C:\windows\tmp\default.bak

    delete C:\windows\system32\config\system

    delete C:\windows\system32\config\software

    delete C:\windows\system32\config\Sam

    delete C:\windows\system32\config\security

    delete C:\windows\system32\config\default

    copy C:\windows\repair\system C:\windows\system32\config\system

    copy C:\windows\repair\software C:\windows\system32\config\software

    copy C:\windows\repair\sam C:\windows\system32\config\sam

    copy C:\windows\repair\security C:\windows\system32\config\security

    copy C:\windows\repair\default C:\windows\system32\config\default



    Now you can relax for a minute. You've made it through the first part! Way to go! Now what did you just do? I'll tell you. You first made a temporary directory called "tmp" (md tmp), and then into it, you copied all the files that boot up Windows. Then you deleted all those startup files, one of which is the stinker that got you into this mess in the first place. After that, you copied into that same place fresh startup files from a special repair directory. When you reboot, Windows will look for those files where it always does, and there won't be a stinker in the bunch. The only thing is, there won't be all your settings for all those applications you run every day, either. But not to worry. Right now, you're sitting in something like a lifeboat -- it's not the original ship, but it'll get you back to where you need to go. We'll get everything back to that comfortable place, but only after we go through steps 2 and 3.



    Now type Exit and watch your computer restart into Windows XP again. Be sure not to tell it to boot from the CD this time. But wait. That's not the way you had XP set up before this disaster struck! That's OK. We're in a lifeboat right now -- this isn't your comfy cruise ship, not just yet. Hang in there. I'm going to show you how to restore your system to the way it was the moment before you told it to install that errant application, or whatever it was you did, so follow along and we'll go to part 2.

    Part 2
    Here's where you'll copy the saved registry files from their backed up location by using System Restore. This folder is not available in Recovery Console and is normally not visible -- Microsoft is protecting you from yourself by hiding it from you and locking it away from you. But we have the keys. Before you start this procedure, you'll need to change several settings to make that folder visible:

    1. Start Windows Explorer.

    2. On the Tools menu, click Folder options.

    3. Click the View tab.

    4. Under Hidden files and folders, click to select Show hidden files and folders, and then click to clear the "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" check box.

    5. Click Yes when the dialog box is displayed that confirms that you want to display these files.

    6. Double-click the drive where you installed Windows XP to get a list of the folders. It's important to click the correct drive.

    7. Open the System Volume Information folder. This folder appears dimmed because it is set as a super-hidden folder. If you're using the FAT32 file system, this will be easy. If you're using NTFS, it won't let you open the folder, but here's how to get around that: Right-click on that system volume information folder and select Sharing and Security. Then click the Security tab. (No security tab? Skip two paragraphs.) Click Add, and then in the box that's labeled "Enter the object names to select," type the name of the user that's at the top of the Start menu -- that's probably you. [Damn it, why do they say object names when it's people's names? I guess that's Microsoft for you.]

    Anyway, make sure you type the name the way it's listed there on the Start Menu. I made the mistake of typing my first name only and it wouldn't let me in. Type first and last name if that's how it's written on the top of the Start menu. After you've typed that in, click OK a couple of times and finally that monster will let you in.

    But what if you don't see a Security tab? Try this: Click to select the checkboxes in the "Network sharing and security" area -- one is labeled "Share this folder on the network" and the other is labeled "Allow network users to change my files." Change the share name to something short, like sysinfo. Then it'll let you in. After you're done with this entire rescue operation, you might want to go back and change these back to the way they were before, for maximum security.

    OK. Now here you are, in the inner sanctum where only the high priests go. Be not afraid, all ye who enter here. As Microsoft so eloquently puts it:

    NOTE : This folder contains one or more _restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".

    8. Open a folder that was not created at the current time. You may have to click Details on the View menu to see when these folders were created. There may be one or more folders starting with "RP x under this folder. These are restore points.

    9. Open one of these folders to locate a Snapshot subfolder; the following path is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:

    C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}RP1Snapshot

    From the Snapshot folder, copy the following files to the C:\Windows\Tmp folder (you can use your mouse, you're in Windows now, remember?):
    _registry_user_.default
    _registry_machine_security
    _registry_machine_software
    _registry_machine_system
    _registry_machine_sam


    This is how Microsoft explains this: "These files are the backed up registry files from System Restore. Because you used the registry file created by Setup, this registry does not know that these restore points exist and are available. A new folder is created with a new GUID under System Volume Information and a restore point is created that includes a copy of the registry files that were copied during part one. This is why it is important not to use the most current folder, especially if the time stamp on the folder is the same as the current time."




    Anyway, you're still not done. Don't worry, the magic is about to begin. Believe me, if you do this in front of your friends, they'll start thinking you're some kind of god. So, heavenly father, get ready to dazzle 'em.

    Now it's time to place those files you just made visible to the Recovery Console where they belong. And to do that, we need to get back into the Recovery Console. So, make sure your CD is in the drive, and restart Windows, this time hitting any key when it tells you to do that if you want to boot from CD. Yes, you want to boot from CD, so you can launch your old cryptic pal, the Recovery Console. Type R after it goes through that file-reading routine that looks like an install but isn't. Then you're back into our dark-suited friend with its ominous command line. It's kinda like going into the basement to fix some broken pipe or something. But we're not scared. The command line is our flashlight and friend. Here we go:

    Part 3
    In part three, you delete the existing registry files, and then copy the System Restore Registry files to the C:\Windows\System32\Config folder:

    From within Recovery Console, type the following commands:

    Del c:\windows\system32\config\sam

    Del c:\windows\system32\config\security

    Del c:\windows\system32\config\software

    Del c:\windows\system32\config\default

    Del c:\windows\system32\config\system

    copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software

    copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system

    copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam

    copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_security c:\windows\system32\config\security

    copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_user_.default c:\windows\system32\config\default



    Now. You're done! Type exit and your computer will reboot into whichever restore file you chose. But wait. If it's not the right one, that's OK, you can now go into your System Restore area and pick a different restore point if you want. There's a whole calendar full of them in there. I bet you didn't know that Windows XP is watching just about every move you make, taking notes all the while. It can restore about any state you had on that machine. And the best part is, even when it's doing all that, it's still 10% faster than Windows 2000 according to our extensive tests here at the Midwest Test Facility. Here's how to get into that restore area if you're not happy with the current restore point:

    1. Click Start, then click All Programs.

    2. Click Accessories, and then click System Tools.

    3. Click System Restore, and then click Restore to a previous Restore Point.

    Sheesh, before this I hated the command line. Many of you probably still do. But when it saves your butt like this, you have to feel grateful. I should send out a badge of courage for all you intrepid souls who followed me into these dark gallows, the basement of Windows XP. I hope this routine was successful in bringing your computer back to life. I know how it feels to have your computer down for the count. As a wise old man once told me, "When your computer crashes, it's like your dog just died." He was so right.
     
  8. Adde86

    Adde86 Thread Starter

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    thx a lot is this way better then way you told me first? and also any idea how to match up correct versions of xp? thank a lot. Once again I dont have to cry about losing all my TERM PAPERS :(
     
  9. happyrck

    happyrck

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    either way you shouldn't lose your term papers ...the last one will get your computer back to where it was before anything had happened if restore filesa are good.....
    noone has probably said this before so I will...BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP..as johwill says any data that you don't have 2 copies of is data that you don't care about
    any version of XP will work
     
  10. Adde86

    Adde86 Thread Starter

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    it tells me to copy these

    md tmp

    copy C:\windows\system32\config\system C:\windows\tmp\system.bak

    copy C:\windows\system32\config\software C:\windows\tmp\software.bak

    copy C:\windows\system32\config\sam C:\windows\tmp\sam.bak

    copy C:\windows\system32\config\security C:\windows\tmp\security.bak

    copy C:\windows\system32\config\default C:\windows\tmp\default.bak


    but im thinking if a virus maybe delete thoese files am I f-ed then? I just wanna make sure before i Start this haha.
     
  11. Adde86

    Adde86 Thread Starter

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    copy C:\windows\system32\config\system C:\windows\tmp\system.bak

    When I write this it says the file could not be copied
     
  12. happyrck

    happyrck

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    your main concern is your data correct..take the drive out and put it in a working computer as a slave ...set the jumper on the back of the drive and then copy all your data to CD's or DVDs and as added protection ..leave a copy on that computer...if you think you may have malware ..when you slave it have the other computer scan it
     
  13. Adde86

    Adde86 Thread Starter

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    ITS ALIVE, thank you for all your help , and once again this is why im still wanting to buy a desktop
     
  14. happyrck

    happyrck

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    your welcome...please come back and mark this tab as SOLVED so if someone else has the same problem they can find what worked without having to start a new thread..it also saves time for the people that help solve the problems by not wasting time looking at something thats already solved..consider making a donation to TSG to help offset the costs of maintaining this helpful site...thanks

    BACKUP... BACKUP... BACKUP... BACKUP
     
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