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Solved: Win XP Pro, system32\config\system is corrupt

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by rainforest123, Oct 9, 2008.

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  1. rainforest123

    rainforest123 Thread Starter

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    Messages:
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    Hello.

    Win XP Pro, unknown SP

    The computer belongs to a friend, Jo. Someone cloned Pat's HDD to an identical HDD, IDE, Western Digital. Upon boot, Jo was greeted with c:\windows\system32\config\system is corrupt

    Problem onset after someone the cloning.

    As far as Jo knows, the source / original HDD was working fine prior to the clone.

    I tried to fix the problem by using the steps at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
    Firstly, I ran chkdsk /r.
    Reboot > same error message.
    At the Repair Console, I ran
    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

    Reboot > same problem.

    The HDD is Western Digital, IDE, 250 GB. I didn't have the WD diag disk, so I ran IBM's
    / Hitachi's HDD diag; advanced / full diag. No errors.

    Please suggest steps I can take.

    Thanks for your help.

    RF123
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    51,988
    (I'm assuming in all this that the clone was made correctly, and that it has the same drive letter as the original. If you have any doubts about that, you should investigate that first. How was the clone made?)

    Find a way to examine the drive from another OS. Using another machine will do it, but a bootable CD like UBCD4Win will work, too.

    Open up the System Volume Information folder at the root of the drive and drill down to the restore points inside the snapshot folder. They will be named RP1, RP2, etc. Find the file that is named something like REGISTRY_MACHINE-SYSTEM... and rename it just "system" with no file ending. Make sure it is not 0 bytes and put it in the Windows\system32\config folder, replacing the one there.

    It would be a good idea to do the same with the other hives, but if System is the only one giving the error, it may be unnecessary.

    The higher the RP number, the newer the restore point and the more recent the point, so choose the highest one.
     
  3. mothergoose729

    mothergoose729

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    I got that error several times myself, every time I was able to pin it down to two causes. The first time it was my disk... kind of. The sata port on my motherboard was bad. I unplugged that sata cable and plugged it into another port and I haven't had that problem since. Another problem was my memory. When I had an unstable overclock my RAM would have an error in the boot config. Underclock them and try that. Make sure to run memtest to make sure the memory is good (if your bios supports it).

    If you transfered all the files from one hard drive to another with all new hardware, without reinstalling a windows operating system, then you should not be suprised when windows does not boot for your friend. It will lock you out when you do that much radical change to the hardware. It is a piracy thing. Buy a legitimate copy of windows and try that. You friends files will not be lost.
     
  4. Claymore

    Claymore

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    2,548
    I gather the cloned hard drive image is being installed into a different drive in different computer. As you have seen this leads to difficulties with the registry.
    You could try a repair re-installation to attempt to fix it, since simply replacing the Registry with a previous Registry from the same hard drive doesn't work.
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    A repair installation can not be done if the system hive is not valid. It will not even appear as an option. My understanding is same computer, new drive, so a registry replacement should work fine.
     
  6. rainforest123

    rainforest123 Thread Starter

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    E:
    Thanks for your replies.

    Unfortunately, the most of the specifics of the cloning procedure are unknown. A 3rd party performed the cloning. It is my understanding that the cloning was done, on the PC, from HDD #1 to HDD #2.

    This, "Using another machine will do it, but a bootable CD like UBCD4Win will work, too.
    Open up the System Volume Information folder at the root of the drive and drill down to the restore points inside the snapshot folder." can be done.

    This is also MY understanding.
    "My understanding is same computer, new drive, so a registry replacement should work fine."

    MG:
    Memtest 86 x 9 passes, all OK.

    C:
    Thanks. I apologize for not supplying more information.

    RF123
     
  7. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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  8. rainforest123

    rainforest123 Thread Starter

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    E:
    Thanks for the advice.

    Will do.

    x fingers.
    :)

    RF123
     
  9. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Any possibility that another clone could be made if the one you have is no good? A good clone should boot just like the original.
     
  10. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Find out what program was used for clone and if a clone or the total copying of one drive to the other included the mbr as that sounds like what is missing.
     
  11. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    It appears that the boot process progresses well past the MBR if the error being experienced is a registry load error.
     
  12. rainforest123

    rainforest123 Thread Starter

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    R-M:
    That information is not available to me.

    E, et al:
    Thanks.

    Reformat
    Re-install.

    RF123
     
  13. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    :( Oh, well. At least you have a nice, clean machine. After you get it all set up, make periodic images of the drive so it can be restroed at any time later, even if the hard drive fails.

    Macrium Reflect
     
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