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boot problem: c:/windows/system32/config/system missing?


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#1
beantownmp

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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.
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair.



this isn't on my computer, it's on a friends gateway notebook. this happens just after the beginning screen where you can chage boot settings etc. and right before the windows loading screen should pop up. any ideas how to fix htis problem w/o reinstalling windows? there is a lot of valuable work(ARMY) information on there that he doesn't exactly want to lose.


ps this is my first post, so hello everyone!

tim
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#2
mrmilacron

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Start by doing what the error suggests, put in the OEM CD and select "r" for repair when prompted.
The problem is more than likely your boot.ini or ntldr file.

We still need to establish root cause of the problem, have you installed anything new recently? Tried an OS upgrade?
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#3
beantownmp

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Start by doing what the error suggests, put in the OEM CD and select "r" for repair when prompted.
The problem is more than likely your boot.ini or ntldr file.

We still need to establish root cause of the problem, have you installed anything new recently? Tried an OS upgrade?


i did that and it sent me to the c: prompt to fix the problem. i have not clue what im doing when it comes to dos so i was kinda stuck. the owner of the laptop said that he deleted some word documents. that was the most recent thing he has done.
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#4
mrmilacron

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o.k.- it may be possible that one of the documents he deleted was in fact his boot.ini file.... Windows usually
hides needed operating system files but that setting is easily changed. And the icon does look like a text file. Regardless, you need to get back to that "C:" prompt and copy a new boot.ini file from the OEM CD. Getting the syntax correct in DOS can be a bit hairy so be patient, you'll get it.

I know that the boot.ini file that you may need is in the "D:\i386\" folder. ( where "D" is your CD rom, this
might be different on your p.c.)

So the command will look something like this:

copy D:\i386\boot.ini C:\boot.ini

It should then answer affirmatively if the syntax was right. If the copy works, reboot and try it. If that doesn't work try the whole thing again (boot back into repair mode) and do a similar command for the ntldr file.

copy D:\i386\ntldr C:\ntldr
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#5
ahulett

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I don't think it exists on the install media anyway, but boot.ini is specific to your hard drive layout and what partition(s) are set to boot. Do not copy boot.ini from the CD, even if it exists.

It sounds like the registry has become damaged or corrupt. Try this KB article.

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 307545
How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting
http://support.micro...kb/307545/en-us

Thanks,

Aaron

Edited by ahulett, 19 March 2006 - 12:43 AM.

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#6
beantownmp

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I don't think it exists on the install media anyway, but boot.ini is specific to your hard drive layout and what partition(s) are set to boot. Do not copy boot.ini from the CD, even if it exists.

It sounds like the registry has become damaged or corrupt. Try this KB article.

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 307545
How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting
http://support.micro...kb/307545/en-us

Thanks,

Aaron


ok here is where it stands. i followed that link, thank you, but when i try to copy the files from the \config folder it wont let me saying the specified file cannot be found. i tried looking at the contents of the \config folder using the dir command but an error happened. i pretty much can't access any file in that folder. i even tried deleting the system file in that folder but that wouldn't happen either. any thoughts now?
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#7
ahulett

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If you can access the system restore folder from the recovery console, try performing part 2. If that works, then perform the steps in part 4.

If that doesn't work, or if you encounter difficulty, you/he may want to call support for this. If he purchased Windows directly from Microsoft, he's entitled to 2 support requests at no charge. If he's in the US, the number for that is (866) 234-6020. If it was included with the notebook, then he'd need to call Gateway at (800) 846-2301. Just mention that KB article 307545 is what you're trying to do.

The key here is getting the registry recovered. If that isn't successful, then I think he'll be looking at a reinstall, but not necessarily one that needs a format. If this is an OEM install disk, hopefully it offers the option of just reinstalling things without requiring a format or other form of data loss. If this is a disk from Microsoft, then I believe you can reinstall Windows on top of itself (an in-place upgrade). That KB is here:

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 315341
How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
http://support.micro...kb/315341/en-us

Hope that helps.

Aaron
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#8
beantownmp

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If you can access the system restore folder from the recovery console, try performing part 2. If that works, then perform the steps in part 4.

If that doesn't work, or if you encounter difficulty, you/he may want to call support for this. If he purchased Windows directly from Microsoft, he's entitled to 2 support requests at no charge. If he's in the US, the number for that is (866) 234-6020. If it was included with the notebook, then he'd need to call Gateway at (800) 846-2301. Just mention that KB article 307545 is what you're trying to do.

The key here is getting the registry recovered. If that isn't successful, then I think he'll be looking at a reinstall, but not necessarily one that needs a format. If this is an OEM install disk, hopefully it offers the option of just reinstalling things without requiring a format or other form of data loss. If this is a disk from Microsoft, then I believe you can reinstall Windows on top of itself (an in-place upgrade). That KB is here:

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 315341
How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
http://support.micro...kb/315341/en-us

Hope that helps.

Aaron



ok i went along with in place upgrade but this came up during the setup process

"Setup cannot create the folder:
\windows\system32\dhcp"

i tried retrying it, but no luck? any more ideas?
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