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Windows XP System32\DRIVERS\pci.sys Missing or Corrupt

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Gunmonkeys, Jun 9, 2014.

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  1. Gunmonkeys

    Gunmonkeys Thread Starter

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    I have an old Dell Dimension DIMC521 desktop running Windows XP with service pack 3. Recently my brother was using the computer and accidentally opened up a bunch of instances of the same game. It was going really slow so he tried to turn off the computer normally, but he eventually just held the power button down to turn it off. When he tried turning it back on he got a blue screen with the error:

    Stop: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
    The Session manager initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc000026c (0×00000000 0×00000000).
    The system has been shut down.


    (The numbers in parenthesis may have been a little different). After looking around on the internet he decided to try the recovery console using the XP installation disk. He did a chkdisk r on the c drive and then restarted the computer. This time we got a different error:

    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    System32\DRIVERS\pci.sys
    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.

    After looking around some more he found out you could copy this file using:

    copy c:\windows\ServicePackFiles\i386\pci.sys c:\windows\system32\drivers
    (or)
    copy c:\windows\system32\dllcache\pci.sys c:\windows\system32\drivers

    But when we tried these we got the message "Access denied". We also tried something like:

    expand <CD-ROM DRIVE:>\i386\system32\drivers\pci.sy_c:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers

    to which we got the same message. We then tried:

    set AllowAllPaths = true

    to which we got the message:

    The SET command is currently disabled. The SET command is only an option Recovery Console command that can only be enabled by using the the Security Configuration and Analysis snap-in

    So now we don't really know what to do. We can't start the computer in any of the safe modes. We've run chkdisk r and p a couple of times but it's still giving us that same error. I've seen that the problem might be related to the hardware drivers? If anyone knows how to fix this please let me know. Thanks.
     
  2. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Try this from the recovery console.
    Type
    expand D:\i386\pci.sy_ c:\Windows\System32\drivers

    [D being the Cd drive letter - if different change it]
    You will be asked do you want to make the change.
    Say - Yes.

    Once that is done
    Type
    Exit.
    Remove the Cd and restart our pc.

    If the above does not work.
    Try
    expand D:\i386\dllcache\pci.sy_ c:\Windows\System32\drivers
    ======
    chkdisk r
    Should be chkdsk /r
     
  3. Gunmonkeys

    Gunmonkeys Thread Starter

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    I tried both of those, but to both I got the message:
    Access is denied.
    I'm not sure what to try next. Thanks.

    Yeah I know, I just typed it in wrong when I made my first post.
     
  4. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You are using the correct drive letter for your Cd Rom?
    Try
    expand D:\i386\pci.sy_ c:\Windows\System32\drivers /y

    [Change D - if yours is different]
     
  5. Gunmonkeys

    Gunmonkeys Thread Starter

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    Yeah I used the MAP command to check the CD drive. It was D. I tried the expand command you mentioned but I got the Access is denied message again.

    I'm not sure why access is denied on everything, but I did see this while looking around at other posts by people who had the same problem:
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=330181
    Do you think the problem could be caused by PCI devices? If so I could try the fix discussed on that page. Thanks.
     
  6. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Try
    expand D:\i386\dllcache\pci.sy_ c:\Windows\System32\drivers /y

    If that does not work, try it without the _ between sy_c
    But leave a space between sy c
    Note too the space after drivers \drivers /y

    Yes it relates the PCI Devices and or the drivers etc.
    And removing them one at a time as suggested and then restarting your pc, may isolate the damaged, faulty hardware.

    http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/p/pci.htm
     
  7. Gunmonkeys

    Gunmonkeys Thread Starter

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    I tried both of those but still got the Access is denied. message.

    So I tried this as well and unfortunately it still didn't work. I removed all of the cards and both of the RAM modules, one at a time, but I always got the same message about System32\DRIVERS\pci.sys being missing or corrupt. I guess both of the RAM modules could be damaged but I can't take them both out at the same time to test that.

    By the way, I don't know if this would be useful to know, but I was able to use a flash drive with Ubuntu on it and start up that operating system. Thanks.
     
  8. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Although Ubuntu is a different operating system, it will still need to use Windows hardware to run.
    Run a Mem Test.
    http://www.memtest.org/
    Scroll down to 'Download (Pre-built & ISOs)'
    Then - 'Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)'

    Download the ISO file above to your desktop.
    Then burn the ISO to a Cd.
    Start the Pc using the Cd and run the memory test overnight or for at least 8 passes.

    It is best to run a full scan on individual Ram sticks if you can.
    Or run the test but if any errors are shown - then remove all sticks of Ram and test each Ram stick one at a time.

    Guide to using Memtest86+
    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic207910.html
    -----
    You can also run the Mem test from a USB stick
    http://www.memtest.org/#downiso
    Scroll down to [ Download (Pre-built & ISOs]
    Download -Auto-installer for USB Key (Win 9x/2k/xp/7) *NEW!*

    Download to desktop - unzip it there.
    Put the USB stick into your Pc USB slot.

    Click on the Install icon on your desktop - it will then have a box appear asking you to name the USB drive letter.
    Put the drive letter in the box and click on install.

    But first to check the correct USB drive letter - with the USB stick in the USB slot of your PC, right click My Computer > click on Open.
    Your USB stick will be listed with the drive letter.
     
  9. Gunmonkeys

    Gunmonkeys Thread Starter

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    Ok so I put it on a USB drive and ran it. When I stopped it it was on pass 13 and there were 0 errors. So I guess the problem isn't being caused by the RAM. Thanks.
     
  10. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I'm out of ideas here - I would backup all needed data and files and try a Repair Install.
    But a Repair install does not always work
    Read the warnings here.
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

    How to use Linux live Cd to backup files from a dead Pc

    XP-Repair install.
    Insert the XP cd in the CD ROM Drive then switch on the computer.

    You will receive the following message:

    This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer:

    To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.
    To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.
    To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    DO NOT at this point select R.... DO NOT SELECT R

    Select ENTER
    ----------------
    On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen
    Press F8 to agree to the license agreement

    Select current installation of Windows XP.and then

    Press R to repair Windows XP.
    -----------------------------------
    Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to repair Windows.
    After you repair Windows , you may have to reactivate your copy of Windows XP
    And install all Windows updates.

    A repair install should leave all of your programs and data in place.

    Read all info and warnings - as a Repair Install does not always work
    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
    ======
    ======
    End of support of Windows Xp.
    http://forums.techguy.org/windows-xp/1119493-end-support-windows-xp.html
    http://www.malwareremoval.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=62384#.UssBpPvXvs9
     
  11. Gunmonkeys

    Gunmonkeys Thread Starter

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    Ok I will probably try doing a repair install, but before I try that, do you think something like this would work?:
    http://healyourchurchwebsite.com/20...top-c000021a-fatal-system-error-with-knoppix/
    That post is for fixing the original error and uses knoppix, but what I was thinking is kind of similar. Basically I start Ubuntu, then access the windows folder and basically do one of these commands (except just press "copy" and then "paste"):

    copy c:\windows\ServicePackFiles\i386\pci.sys c:\windows\system32\drivers
    (or)
    copy c:\windows\system32\dllcache\pci.sys c:\windows\system32\drivers

    Then hopefully I wouldn't get the access denied message and maybe that would fix it. I could backup my files before I tried it, as well. Let me know if you think that would work and if it's not too risky to try. If not I'll probably just try the repair install. Thanks.
     
  12. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I have never used Knoppix but use Linux Mint as a dual boot with an old Xp system.
    But using a Linux live Cd does not show the Windows folder and does not always work and I do not know if Knoppix will work also.

    I do not think that the above is correct.
    You have to give the command expand D: - to open the files on the Cd.
    Usually the _ is the command to copy over files from the Cd.

    expand D:\i386\pci.sy_ c:\Windows\System32\drivers /y
    Or
    expand D:\i386\dllcache\pci.sy_ c:\Windows\System32\drivers /y

    expand D:\i386\pci.sy c:\Windows\System32\drivers /y
    Or
    expand D:\i386\dllcache\pci.sy c:\Windows\System32\drivers /y


    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/termse/p/expand.htm

    What ever you decide backup all data etc, first.
    http://www.datarecoverytutorial.com/how-to-recover-files-from-laptop-with-crashed-windows/
     
  13. Gunmonkeys

    Gunmonkeys Thread Starter

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    Alright, so I backed up all of my files and was trying the repair install. When I got to the part where you go to the current selection of windows, however, none of the partitions had the option to press r to repair (I also didn't know which partition windows was installed in). I guess the setup doesn't even recognize that windows is installed on the hard drive.

    On the link you posted, under warning #2, he has some suggestions using the recovery console to fix this problem. Should I try one of those? Thanks.

    By the way, at first I was going to try copying the pci.sys file using ubuntu, but when I was looking for c:\windows\system32\drivers, there was no drivers folder. I guess it got deleted somehow, along with pci.sys.
     
  14. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    If Xp will not start up because the Boot.ini files have been corrupted/damaged in some way - then bootcfg from the recovery console will attempt to rebuild a new Boot.ini file.
    But that does not relate to your pci.sys missing or corrupt problem.

    If you have now backed up your data and have the full Xp Cd, you could re-install Xp.
    But remember that Xp is no longer supported by Microsoft.

    End of support of Windows Xp.
    http://forums.techguy.org/windows-xp/1119493-end-support-windows-xp.html
    http://www.malwareremoval.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=62384#.UssBpPvXvs9
     
  15. Gunmonkeys

    Gunmonkeys Thread Starter

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    So because the computer was already very old and slow, and we were going to have to reinstall xp, and xp is no longer supported by microsoft, we decided to just stop using the computer. Thanks a lot for all the help though, I appreciate it.
     
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