Dell 4600 not booting Windows XP help

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carguyonpc

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Dec 29, 2012
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PC Config: DELL 4600 Desktop, P4, running Windows XP Home, 80 GB Western Digital HD

Scenario: PC was functioning fine until a recent attempt to install iTunes 11.1 (which required a sytem reboot after install). While rebooting a black screen came up with the following message:
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 set up CDROM.

Repair attempts (a software attempt and a hardware attempt):
1. I tried installing the original WINDOWS XP CD ROM and follow the steps to repair the system file. I tried to follow the steps but could not get the repair function to work for me (likely some user error).

2. I tried removing the hard drive and puting it into an external drive enclosure (I have another PC running Windows XP). When I powered up the external drive enclosure through a USB port on the functioning computer (using a "My Computer" window) the drive did spin up and was recognized as an external device. I tried to access the drive but it only gave me an error message: Device not ready.

Questions:
If the hard drive is spinning and was working fine before the iTunes software install, why can't I view the drive contents when using the external device enclosure (I confirmed the external enclosure was working correctly) ?
Can anyone offer step by step instructions for repairing a corrupt system file using the original Windows XP CD ROM?

Thanks for any assistance!
 

Laz123

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Aug 31, 2012
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Have you tapped F8 on bootup and selected 'last known good configuration'?
 

carguyonpc

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 29, 2012
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2
Thanks for the idea. I am still getting the original error message(missing or corrupt system file).
 

Laz123

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Aug 31, 2012
Messages
204
You tried a 'repair' install from the xp cd? What wouldn't work?

Your hd may be corrupt or the boot loader may need fixing.
 

flavallee

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