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\windows\system32\config\system is missing or corrupt

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by ltdortch, Oct 25, 2007.

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  1. ltdortch

    ltdortch Thread Starter

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    Hello,

    I turned on my laptop and got 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 Setup CD-ROM. Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair."

    My problem is that I'm unable to location the original Setup CD-ROM. Can this CD be ordered from the manufacturer? Also, whenever this Setup CD is required to repair, will My Documents be effected?

    :eek:
    Thanks!
     
  2. ltdortch

    ltdortch Thread Starter

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    pls help
     
  3. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    If you get the error:
    Windows could not start because the following files is missing or corrupt
    \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM or \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE

    1. Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.
    2. At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
    3. Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
    Typically this will be #1
    4. Enter in the administrator password when requested
    5. cd \windows\system32\config
    6. Depending on which section was corrupted:
    ren software software.bad or ren system system.bad
    7. Depending on which section was corrupted
    copy \windows\repair\system
    copy \windows\repair\software
    8. Take out the CD ROM and type exit

    Now since you won't be installing from it, any bootable XP CD should work for you. If you can get one from the manufacturer all the better.
     
  4. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    Bob:

    I have seen that solution posted on the web, but to me it is incomplete.

    The files in \Repair are from the original install, so by copying them over as the live registry, it "should" allow the PC to now boot, at least.
    BUT, you will have lost system settings, software settings, etc.

    So, the next step after getting the machine up, (to me) should be to run System Restore and restore to the last check point, which will now update the registry as well. Then, you should be back on the air, with a system state, as of the last checkpoint taken.

    The MS Solution is here
     
  5. ltdortch

    ltdortch Thread Starter

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    Thanks!
     
  6. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Yep. Glad the link to Microsoft's site gives pretty much the same instructions
     
  7. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Well that's the right link but hardly what you wrote I'm afraid Bob!
     
  8. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    The two sets of instructions aren't even close, Bob!
     
  9. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    I didn't write the Microsoft one. Nor did I copy it. So yes I would expect there to be differences. For starters there is a lot in there that isn't completely necessary. They do that sometimes.
     
  10. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    No, that's not true.

    The procedure you posted results in the registry hives that live under \Repair being swapped in as the live hives. And, then, that's the end. The PC is now running on (portions) of the originally installed registry. IE Program won't run, system settings are all back to default, etc, etc.

    The MS procedure swaps in those hives to get the PC running and THEN gives instructions on how to recover the last backed up version from System Restore, into live mode. Then, after booting the PC is at the state it was when the last checkpoint was taken.

    Those are two dramatically different results!
     
  11. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Yes you can do a system restore at the end. Sometimes they even work.
     
  12. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    At the end of what???

    The MS procedures don't do a System Restore and neither do yours. BUT, in order for the ones that you posted to be complete, the user has to "try" a System Restore. If this does not work, your procedures have left them up the proverbial creek. And, without attempting the SR, the procedures also leave them up the proverbial!
     
  13. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    "They do that sometimes." What do you mean BOB? Are you saying Microsoft writes things in their Knowledge Base solutions that are not necessary to the fix? Do you really believe that?
    Expect others to?
     
  14. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Gosh no. Would never do that.

    Also the MS procedures to mention trying to do a system restore. To quote from that same link:

    "Part Four
    1. Click Start, and then click All Programs.
    2. Click Accessories, and then click System Tools.
    3. Click System Restore, and then click Restore to a previous RestorePoint."
     
  15. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    My apologies and at least I will admit I missed something ...

    At Part Four, the user will have a running system BUT since there is more in a System Restore Checkpoint than Registry Hives, MS is recommending a SR to get everything synched again.
    But, for any user that uses Reg Backup software such as Erunt, if they were to restore from a Registry backup, they would be at the same stage as just before Part Four.
    IE a restored registry, but the chance of other mismatches that a full SR to a previous checkpoint would correct.
     
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