System32/config files corrupted, will this work?

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bobbyd33

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On friday I was installing a wireless network in my office. I installed driver, and installed the little pci slot receiver thing and then in setup the pc froze up and crashed, and says windows/system32/config file is missing or corrupted.

The problem is that Im not sure what XP is on the system, oem or retail and I have no setup discs.

I was thinking of this and a few others say it may work but i'd like your opinion. I remove the HD from the work PC and take it home. I then install the work HD in my Home PC as a Slave. Then I copy the system 32/config file from my home pc and then paste it into the work HD, overwriting whats listed as corrupt.

You guys think that will work? I have lots of important stuff on the HD i cant really afford to lose
 
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You don't need to install the drivers most of the time. The OS will just pick up the connection (usually).

You can try replacing the file by copying the file from your home OS and if it doesn't work (sometimes you will replace a file only to discover that another is missing) you can save your HD stuff onto your home PC just in case.
 
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Try these steps first and see if it helps:

Boot into "Safe Mode", F8 when Windows starts to bootup...then at the menu screen select "Boot Using Last Known Good Configuration" and see if that helps...

As for trying the copy System32 thingy...Here's a quote from MS Knowledge base:

"Warning Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system. The system hive on OEM installations creates passwords and user accounts that did not exist previously. If you use the procedure that is described in this article, you may not be able to log back into the recovery console to restore the original registry hives."

Here's the link:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307545

You can "try" those steps as a last resort...but since your not sure if its OEM or retail you you might want to slave it to your system at home and instead of repairing it, backup your data and re-installing XP on that drive from the other system of course..

Hope this helps!
 

bobbyd33

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Yeah I read that on microsofts website to, but thats refering to XP installation disc.

Ive tried all options, last good setting that worked, safe mode etc. all give same system32 error and restarts.

Wont let me into recovery with F8 either.

Ill just have to bring it home, make it a slave and burn the info onto a disc. Then ill try the paste/overwrite thing. If it works it works if it dont it dont because its really the only option I have
 
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I don't think you can do that since the hives will be different for the two systems based on the hardware and programs for the two systems.

There is a method of fixing this if you have a Windows CD and can reach the Recovery Console, but it aint easy.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307545

Some success by others with this:

http://forums.techguy.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=195985

You may be able to get to the "recovery console" using a set of XP setup boot disks:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310994

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307654
 

bobbyd33

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The problem with that is that I have no installation discs. Ive read up on all the ways to do it with a installation disc, but its a custom built pc, and the guy never gave the discs.

Unless any XP disc can be used, but I thought that the codes wouldnt match, thus another machoines recovery discs wont work
 
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I understand that and am suggesting that you might be able to reload the orginal system hive using the recovery console. It is a lengthy procedure and after you do that you have more to do, since you really need to run System Restore.

It is my understanding that the recovery console can be accessed through the boot disks. You can create those on any computer. See the additional links I added to my previous post.
 

bobbyd33

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AHHH yes i see in that thread that its a way to recover xp, I just glanced at it quick and thought was another xp disc recovery thing.

Im gonna give that a shot first thing at work tomorrow. Should I back up the HD first?
 
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Well if you cannot boot the drive at all, I'm not sure what good that will do. Nothing you will be trying here should place any personal data in jeopardy.

By the way if this is a FAT32 installation, you don't need to use the recovery console to access the directories; you could get there with a simple fat32 boot disk.

If it is NTFS and you have slaved it to another NTFS system (as it sounds like what you were planning to do), you can get access from the other system. You just can't boot the bad drive until the "repair" hives have been copied from the "repair" folder per the instructions. Be sure to backup the ones in the system32 folder as explained in the article.

This might be your option if you have trouble using the boot disks.
 

bobbyd33

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This is what I found out today, I found out that its XP pro, and I was able to track down the Registration number. But still have no discs to access the recovery console.

So your saying that if I slave the work HD thats got corrupt windows i can simply copy the back up files already on it to the damaged files?

Is their any way at all to fix the OS, while the HD is in another PC?
 
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This kind of thing is not my strongest area, but assuming they are both NTFS drives, you should be able to access the "repair" directory on the buggered system and copy those hives to the system32\config directory. (backup the ones in system32\config first, per the article).

THEN you must put the drive back in the computer from which you got it and see if you get a successful boot.

If you do, then you must procede to "part two" in that article >> access the System Restore volume (you will have to follow the instructions to get by the "permissions" restriction) and from there copy those hives to the system32\config folder. Once you have copied recent "snapshot" hives, you will have in effect done a system restore.

You can't do a full repair while the drive is slaved because you will not be able to access the System Restore volume due to security restrictions. This restriction can only be removed when the OS actually boots on its own.
 
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If you are going to put the drive in your home computer as a slave, don't copy the files from the home computer. Copy them from the work computer, to the work computer.
 

bobbyd33

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I just slaved and and put the files i needed on a cdr, and just removed it. I dont wanna royally screw it up, anyone know for sure if copying the repair files from the corrupt OS, to the system32 file will work?

I just called dell, said another office pc we recently bought had this problem, and they said they are mailing out a OEM xp home disc. This might get me into recovery? you think?

I alsojust called aound to a few PC repair places to see what they would say, found one that would do a clean xp pro install for 80 dollars labor, since i have the registration codes.

Once I get the pc up and running can I just do a system back up, and use the floppy as the gateway to restoring the system? I still have to install teh wireless network in the office, and the installation of the driver is what crashed the pc to begin with. and zero of the pc's have installation discs
 
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You need to copy them from the \windows\repair\system directory on the work computer to the work computer.

What you don't want to do is what you said on the first post - "copy the system 32/config file from my home pc and then paste it into the work HD"
 

bobbyd33

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Well I just copied the repair files into the sys32/config folder.

before I overwrote the files with the repair folder ones I backed them up into another folder.

So geuss ill see what happens when I reinstall it tomorrow morning
 
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