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how to format my computer?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Drew R, Oct 6, 2008.

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  1. Drew R

    Drew R Thread Starter

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    i don't have any windows disc's and i can't format from DOS apparently, so..?
     
  2. bbearren

    bbearren

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    If you have no Windows CD, what do you intend to install if you manage to format your hard drive?

    And why are you needing to format?
     
  3. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    Is the Missing and Corrupt you are getting (from your other post) this message?

    Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

    (assuming that you had System Restore active)

    If so, download and burn BartPE and use that to boot with.

    Then use this as a very loose guide as to how you are going to recover.

    In brief,
    1. Boot with BartPe
    2. Use it's File Manager to open the System Volume Information folder
    3. Open the latest RPnnn folder, then the Snapshot folder
    4. The SAM, Security, Software, System, .Default are the registry hives backed up in that Restore point
    5. The Active (and now corrpt hives) live in \windows\system32\config and should now be renamed
    6. Move the ones from the RP folder to \Config and Rename them appropriately

    READ the Help2Go article first. If goes into a lot more detail, BUT does not reference the use of BartPE.

    AND, prior to starting any moves of the hives, take a copy of the SystemProfile folder under \Config.
    Then, run a CHKDSK and allow it to fix errors.

    When I had this issue, after the chkdsk my entire \Config folder was corrupted. But I recreated \Config, copied in my backup of SystemProfile, moved the hives, crossed my fingers, rebooted, and all was well!
     
  4. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    If you want to install Linux, you just boot from the installation disk you create from the ISO file you download.
     
  5. Drew R

    Drew R Thread Starter

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    thanks, because that IS the error.
    but.. no clue what to download there, haha.

    mind linking me personally? :D
     
  6. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    Under download either the zip or self installer, whichever you prefer.
     
  7. Drew R

    Drew R Thread Starter

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    Okay, I get it now.
    Umm, the computer I am on now is a Vista.. does it matter?
     
  8. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    From the getting started you will need to create the ISO on an XP box OR have your XP install CD handy.

    Unless you want to go ahead with your Linux option and boot up with it and do all the file maniplulation from there. (given it can see a NTFS drive)
     
  9. Drew R

    Drew R Thread Starter

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    well if i don't have to format to fix my computer, i'd like to not do that so i'm going to go to the neighbors soon and use BPE there and we're good.
     
  10. Drew R

    Drew R Thread Starter

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    i went on a windows computer and it said that there were 0 valid sources found.

    uhh..?
     
  11. Antiapplekid

    Antiapplekid

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    You can always use Fdisk to format it
     
  12. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    Was this after the message that said "Searching Windows installation files"??

    If so, insert the Windows CD in the drive and try the run again.
     
  13. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    Drew, you have to provide more information so people can offer good suggestions.

    You do not need to download any special boot disk or format a hard drive before installing an operating system. Windows XP, Windows Vista, and all popular Linux distributions come with their own built-in routines for formatting and preparing a hard drive for installation. If you just download a boot disk and format the hard drive, what do you plan to do with it?

    If you're encountering error messages, be specific as to what actions you took that led up to the error and what exactly the error is.
     
  14. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    In Post#5 above, he confirms that the error he is getting is "Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM "

    Thus, if he can get a bootable CD, he can get to the System Restore files and replace the damaged registry hives.
     
  15. Drew R

    Drew R Thread Starter

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    My power flickered on and off, and my computer gave me this error when i try to start up:

    Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

    Now I need to format and install linux.. or fix this some other way. BartPE didn't work on my neighbors xp, so i don't know what else to do now other than format the computer and install linux,

    Oh, and I don't have the XP CD

    so.. i can just install Linux while I have my F'd up Windows XP still installed?

    but yeah.. i'd really like to know if there's another way for me to fix this before i really have to format.. and worst of all, have to install linux.
     
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