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Solved: Laptop HD in an external case, need to fix OS.

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by OneLuv, Mar 13, 2007.

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  1. OneLuv

    OneLuv Thread Starter

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    Got an error 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 setup CD-ROM.

    plop in the xp cd and i get nothing. I hear the drive spinning, the light for my harddrive is on..but i cannot get to the setup screen. I got there once before, pressed any key to continue...then back to the black screen with the cursor blinking in the upper left hand corner.

    I have tried to search for an answer, but none of the kb articles on microsoft address the problem if you CANNOT get to windows setup.

    Yes my bios is set to boot from cd:)
     
  2. Wolfeymole

    Wolfeymole

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    Are you really sure you set the first boot option in the bios to cdrom One Luv?
     
  3. OneLuv

    OneLuv Thread Starter

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    Yes sir, infact i have an external cd player switched to removable devices in bios to see if that would work. Switched it back. Went so far as to plop in the system restore disk got another error message...might be disk related:

    i386\system32\biosinfo.inf could not be loaded
    error code 32786
    setup cannot continue

    Another question. mom wasted coffee in this laptop, so the enter, up/down arrow keys dont work. I had to buy an adapter so that I could use another keyboard, its usb..could that be related? While im waiting, I'm going to unplug the usb keyboard and try to get to the windows setup again. BTW, sometimes I can hit F8 get the safe mode screen. When I choose safe mode, instead of getting all those mulit(0)disk(0) lines rolling up the screen, I only get one: the ending ntoskrnl.exe none of the rest of them. Tried last known good configuration, when something appears its the message that is in my original post. At this point, I don't care to save anything on it (perils of not backing up my stuff, eh?) I purchased another copy of xp pro sp2 and that disk does nothing. So I cant restore (bought the lappy used, and the m6811 emachines restore disk was a copy...so could be something corrupt on the disc) Can't install xp (original was XP home, I upgraded to xp pro) I did purchase, and I am waiting for an external case to put this hard drive in. I can get a copy of the missing file. Should I try burning it to cd, and putting that cd in the drive?
     
  4. OneLuv

    OneLuv Thread Starter

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    I was wondering, i have an external cd drive, but it's usb. I tried to switch the boot order to the removable device and put the xp disk in, but it didnt do anything either. What else can I try.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  5. srhoades

    srhoades

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    2,298
    Two things. First of all, your BIOS must support booting to USB devices. Second, read this article on how to correct your problem.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
    I have fixed this problem numerous times by copying intact registries from the restore point (system volume directory)
     
  6. OneLuv

    OneLuv Thread Starter

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    Question. Is booting to USB devices...and Removable Devices one in the same? Secondly, those steps would be easy and such a relief for me, but I cannot get to the recovery console. I get the press "r" screen, when I reboot, I get a blinking cursor in the upper left hand corner.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  7. OneLuv

    OneLuv Thread Starter

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    Need to close this thread, problem on a totally different stage.
     
  8. OneLuv

    OneLuv Thread Starter

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    In the laptop I could do nothing to access the recovery console. I bought an external case, plugged it up to my desktop, and now I can see the contents of the drive. I need to know can I copy the corrupt config\system file from an xp disk to the drive? If I can, and reboot should I see two operating systems? And if so, am I cool to put it back in the laptop..meaning it should work then right?

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.
     
  9. Byteman

    Byteman Gone but Never Forgotten

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    Hi, I see you have started a new thread for the same issue....you do want to Close this one but there is a lot of information in it...I think the best thing to do, would be to Merge the two threads into one. Please make all your replies here in your thread and do not start any new threads for this same issue please.
     
  10. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    "I need to know can I copy the corrupt config\system file from an xp disk to the drive?"
    Are you asking if you can copy Config\system from a working computer to your problem computer? Yes, you can, but it won't fix your problem & may really mess things up.

    I think this article addresses your problem, but without knowing the exact error message you have received, I can only guess.
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=307545

    1 way to repair / re-install Windows XP on top of itself
    http://www.informationweek.com/windows/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=189400897


    RF123
     
  11. OneLuv

    OneLuv Thread Starter

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    "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.

    That above was the error message i received. ALL the articles point to the recovery console...which i could NOT access. In addition, I could NOT perform a fresh install. I thought putting the drive in an external case and connecting it to my desktop could somehow circumvent the problems I was having. Now that it's there, I could see the contents of the laptop's drive.

    If copying the corrupt file from a working computer could mess things up, and the article referenced above cannot help me, what can i do, now that it's connected to my desktop? If it's possible to wipe the drive clean, how can I do that? In addition, will it be possible to do a clean install: 1. now that it's attached to my desktop (couldnt do it while it was in the laptop) 2. After wiping the drive clean (if that is at all possible)

    Thanks again for all your assistance.
     
  12. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    1L:
    Please read http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=307545
    Go to the "Manual steps to recover a corrupted registry" section.

    Let us assume that, with your laptop's HDD connected to a different computer, your laptop's HDD is now the "L:" drive

    start > run
    type: cmd
    click ok

    type: cd\
    press "enter".
    You should now be at C:\ , or C:\>
    type L:
    press enter
    You should now be at L:\ , or L:\>

    type cd windows
    press enter

    You should now be at L:\windows or something similar

    type md
    press enter

    Type each line
    after typing each line, press enter
    copy L:\windows\system32\config\system L:\windows\tmp\system.bak
    copy L:\windows\system32\config\software L:\windows\tmp\software.bak
    copy L:\windows\system32\config\sam L:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
    copy L:\windows\system32\config\security L:\windows\tmp\security.bak
    copy L:\windows\system32\config\default L:\windows\tmp\default.bak

    delete L:\windows\system32\config\system
    delete L:\windows\system32\config\software
    delete L:\windows\system32\config\sam
    delete L:\windows\system32\config\security
    delete L:\windows\system32\config\default


    copy L:\windows\repair\system L:\windows\system32\config\system
    copy L:\windows\repair\software L:\windows\system32\config\software
    copy L:\windows\repair\sam L:\windows\system32\config\sam
    copy L:\windows\repair\security L:\windows\system32\config\security
    copy L:\windows\repair\default L:\windows\system32\config\default


    type exit
    press enter

    Turn off the computer to which you have connected your laptop's HDD

    Put the Laptop's HDD into your laptop & turn it on.

    Best of success.

    Let us know your results.

    Sincerely,
    RF123
     
  13. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    1L:
    I understand your concerns.

    Your computer's problem is probably caused by registry corruption [ virus, poorly written program or driver, just because ]; although I have seen it caused by a failing HDD.

    The fix described above is designed to repair the registry to the point where you can access your data. After performing the steps noted in # 12, or in any number of repair installation instruction sets, your computer will usually NOT be "as good as new".

    The only way to make it "as good as new" is to:
    harvest your data - while your laptop's HDD is connected to the other computer, I suggest that you use that opportunity to copy the data to CD / DVD / or a folder on the HDD of the computer to which you have connected your laptop's HDD.

    re-format

    re-install.

    In post #1 of this thread, you note that you are unable to boot from the CD drive.
    Are you using a real Windows XP CD?
    If yes, is it scratched or dirty?

    If not, what are you using?

    Put any relatively new CD with a program on it in the laptop's CD drive.
    You may have to do this while the laptop is on. You may need to reboot the laptop, using the ctrl alt del keyboard combination.
    MOST likely, the laptop will pause during the boot process.
    Look for a message such as "press any key to boot from CD". At that point, press the spacebar key.

    In #3, you note a "system restore disk".

    What brand & model laptop do you have? I am 95% certain that the Dell Dimension 4700 you note in your signature is a desktop computer.

    Are you certain about the "error code 32786"? I searched that string at google & yahoo & found no hits.

    Have you contacted the Laptop manufacturer about your problem booting to the "system restore disk"?

    Did the "system restore disk" come with the laptop, or from the laptop manufacturer at a later time, or is the "system restore disk" designed for use with a different computer [ different manufacturer OR same manufacturer, but different model ]?

    RF123
     
  14. OneLuv

    OneLuv Thread Starter

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    Thanks so very much for your help. The restore disk that came with my "used" laptop was a copy, and a bad one. I have a program, Im going to see if I can make a better copy. Although I tried to get to the recovery console, it was to no avail. So while it was still attached to the desktop, I reformatted. Plopped it back in the laptop and did a fresh install. As we speak I am finally downloading sp2. That was an experience i'll tell ya. Thanks again, we can call this one solved. On to my next problem....a dell that had a stop error x024 (ntfs) I'm almost willing to do the same thing. Imagine my surprise when I took it out, and it was the same exact hd as in my emachines....wow.

    Thanks mucho!
     
  15. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    Dec 28, 2004
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    Congratulations!

    Thanks for posting your solution & marking this thread solved.

    RF123
     
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