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Cannot repair OR re-load Windows XP


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#1
tanamarie

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The other day my computer was running very slow so I restarted it. I also back dated it to another date and it seemed to be working fine. Right when I had gotten it to work better I installed the windows updates that it was telling me needed to be installed. I had also STARTED defraging it because it usually says 31% and it was at 8% and all of the files looked scattered... I stopped the defrag so that I could restart my computer from the windows update installation. Thats when my problems started.

Now, I cannot do anything and even the windows XP installation cd is not helping. The screen says:

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 set up using the original CD-ROM.
Seklect 'r' at the first screen to start repair.

I have a Copaq MV540 and it did not come with a CD, it was all loaded on there already but I did try to use my brother in laws XP cd and the same thing keeps coming up on my screen. The wierd thing is that when I had backdated it, it worked fine....then when I downloaded that update which just automatically came up down there by my clock... it does not work anymore....

Any suggestions besides buying a new computer? I can use the recovery CD and everything its just that I am not wanting to loose all of my pictures that I have not copied.....
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#2
Retired Tech

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Try this first

Items in blue which are underlined are clickable to give more information about the process

Start the System Restore Utility at a command prompt

1. Restart your computer, and keep tapping F8 during the initial start-up until you get options, select Safe Mode with a Command Prompt then press enter.

2. Log on to your computer with an administrator account or with an account that has administrator credentials.

3. Type the following command at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:

%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe

4. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to restore your computer to an earlier state.

Look for the most recent system checkpoint created before the errors to restore from

For additional information about the Safe mode with a command prompt, click 315222 to see a description of the Safe Mode Boot Options in Windows XP


If it will not restore from the command prompt, did you run the repair like this, is the borrowed CD the same version as is installed, you need to use your product key, not the one for the borrowed disc

You can use this guide to repair XP

Possibly, you will need to press the start button and keep tapping the delete key, (possibly F2) until the PC enters set up. Change the boot order to CD ROM Drive then hard drive, press F10 then press enter, load the XP CD then type Y then press enter, as it reboots, look for press any key to load from CD, press enter

You will need your XP product key to complete this

The XP Product Key is a 25 character alpha numerical code, which does not include the sequence OEM


If you have audio / video files which are subject to DRM you should check with the provider for known issues with performing an XP repair install

Click this to view the XP Repair Install Guide

Windows XP repair feature won't delete your data, installed programs, personal information, or settings. It just repairs the operating system

The XP repair install will look and run as a normal install, however, you must not see a request to format the drive


After running XP Repair you will need to install all Windows Updates

Microsoft Update
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#3
tanamarie

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I got as far as the safe mode with a command prompt and then as it started going through everything the screen showed 4 lines of stuff and stopped at "windows\system32\config\system.. it sat there for a while and then gave me the same screen about "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.... windows\system32\config\system... then gave me the same spill about "you can attempt to repair this file by starting windows set up bla bla bla.. It looked the exact same as before.

I appreciate the suggestion though... VERY MUCH.... Any more?
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#4
tanamarie

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I am about to retry the borrowed CD as you said in the second half of your response....... Hes on his way over with it...
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#5
Retired Tech

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Hopefully this is why it just loaded what it had been

Possibly, you will need to press the start button and keep tapping the delete key, (possibly F2) until the PC enters set up. Change the boot order to CD ROM Drive then hard drive, press F10 then press enter, load the XP CD then type Y then press enter, as it reboots, look for press any key to load from CD, press enter
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#6
tanamarie

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We got as far as putting the cd back in after changing the boot order (We couldnt get to it the way you described but somehow got to set up) Anyway, it gives us the status line and everythihg but sits there for a very long time but gives us that same paragraph about using the set up cd to repair bla bla bla.

Is the set up cd the Widows XP cd? or the recovery cd? We noticed that when we tried to use the cd that the computer tried the CD part but then went to the hard drive... we could tell from the lights but then it gave us that paragraph... everything seems to lead right back to it.....

Any more suggestion, if not I might just use the recovery cd as much as I dont want to but I wonder if it will install windows....It seems like it would since that is how I bought it.....

ARGH!!!!!
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#7
Retired Tech

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The model you put in post one is a monitor according to HP

Is there a number on the case
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#8
tanamarie

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oops its a presario 5300 US 5000 series Intel celeron processor 1.1Ghz
I had just given up while waiting on your response and put the recovery cd in but can you believe this? Its that same friggin paragraph as before.....

I think Im doomed!
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#9
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I'll send for Tonto
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#10
tanamarie

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k :whistling: i will be here....
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#11
tanamarie

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I think the XP disk didnt work because I have sp2 on my computer, right?

I wonder if thats why the recovery cd wont work...it seems like it would work no matter what....
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#12
wannabe1

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Hi tanamarie...

Weird problem... :whistling:

First off, let's take a look at what we have to work with. Boot to the XP cd (not the recovery cd) as you did before. At the first screen (Welcome to Setup), press R for Recovery Console...you should be presented with a screen showing installed operating systems to choose from.

Post the information you see on that screen here for me.

wannabe1
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#13
tanamarie

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We dont ever get a welcome to set up screen....THis is what Keith said to do also....so we've been there before... all we get is the status bar for a while at the bottom and then we get the same paragraph as before.

Do you think that the xp cd is not working because I have sp2 on my computer? The cd does not have sp2 on it?
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#14
wannabe1

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Nope...SP2 shouldn't make any difference at all with Recovery Console.

Remove the cd and try booting to the Safe Mode options screen by tapping the F8 key during bootup. Once at that screen, try the options to start using the "Last known good configuration". What happens?
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#15
tanamarie

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You are telling me to do the same thing Keith has told me? Have you by any chance read our replies to eachother...? I am asking because here is the problem....

No matter what we do we get the same paragraph... can you look at the prior conversation? so that I dont have to repeat it? Just wondering....

I have even put the recovery cd in....same thing happens....we get the paragraph about
Windows cannot start because the following file is missing or corrupt and that whole thing... we have tried the xp cd same thing.....
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