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\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM Missing or Corrupt


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#1
Susan9700

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My daughter has a Toshiba Laptop, WinXP, she gets a black screen with the following message:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 \CONFIG\SYSTEM

She can get to Safe Mode by using f8, she can see/view the options, but gets the same message when she tried any of the options there, so she's unable to use Safe Mode. She said it sounds like things are loading, I asked her to play a music CD and she couldn't (she blew her speakers).

Any suggestions, since she can't get to Safe Mode? And thank you, in advance, for any help. Greatly appreciate it.

While I'm on the subject, I have an old computer which I would like to get a lot of my old information from, but it opens to just a black screen, no information at all, just a blinking cursor (I think, it's been a while). I can't use Safe Mode, nothing happens. Thanks again for your help.

Susan
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#2
fleamailman

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I think the simplest thing would just be to repair the os.

http://www.geekstogo...ws-XP-t138.html
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#3
dsenette

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Part one
In part one, you start the Recovery Console, create a temporary folder, back up the existing registry files to a new location, delete the registry files at their existing location, and then copy the registry files from the repair folder to the System32\Config folder. When you have finished this procedure, a registry is created that you can use to start Windows XP. This registry was created and saved during the initial setup of Windows XP. Therefore any changes and settings that occurred after the Setup program was finished are lost.

To complete part one, follow these steps:
1. Insert the Windows XP startup disk into the floppy disk drive, or insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted to do so.
2. When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
3. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.
4. When you are prompted to do so, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
5. At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following lines, pressing ENTER after you type each line:

md tmp
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default

6. Type exit to quit Recovery Console. Your computer will restart.
Note This procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed to the C:\Windows folder. Make sure to change C:\Windows to the appropriate windows_folder if it is a different location.

If you have access to another computer, to save time, you can copy the text in step two, and then create a text file called "Regcopy1.txt" (for example). To create this file, run the following command when you start in Recovery Console:
batch regcopy1.txt
With the batch command in Recovery Console, you can process all the commands in a text file sequentially. When you use the batch command, you do not have to manually type as many commands.



Part two
To complete the procedure described in this section, you must be logged on as an administrator, or an administrative user (a user who has an account in the Administrators group). If you are using Windows XP Home Edition, you can log on as an administrative user. If you log on as an administrator, you must first start Windows XP Home Edition in Safe mode. To start the Windows XP Home Edition computer in Safe mode, follow these steps.

Note Print these instructions before you continue. You cannot view these instructions after you restart the computer in Safe Mode. If you use the NTFS file system, also print the instructions from Knowledge Base article KB309531. Step 7 contains a reference to the article.
To complete part two, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, click Shut Down (or click Turn Off Computer), click Restart, and then click OK (or click Restart).
2. Press the F8 key.

On a computer that is configured to start to multiple operating systems, you can press F8 when you see the Startup menu.

3. Use the arrow keys to select the appropriate Safe mode option, and then press ENTER.
4. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot system, use the arrow keys to select the installation that you want to access, and then press ENTER.

In part two, you copy the registry files from their backed up location by using System Restore. This folder is not available in Recovery Console and is generally not visible during typical usage. Before you start this procedure, you must change several settings to make the folder visible:

1. Start Windows Explorer.
2. On the Tools menu, click Folder options.
3. Click the View tab.
4. Under Hidden files and folders, click to select Show hidden files and folders, and then click to clear the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) check box.
5. Click Yes when the dialog box that confirms that you want to display these files appears.
6. Double-click the drive where you installed Windows XP to display a list of the folders. If is important to click the correct drive.
7. Open the System Volume Information folder. This folder is unavailable and appears dimmed because it is set as a super-hidden folder.

Note This folder contains one or more _restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".

Note You may receive the following error message:
C:\System Volume Information is not accessible. Access is denied.
If you receive this message, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article to gain access to this folder and continue with the procedure:

309531
How to gain access to the System Volume Information folder


8. Open a folder that was not created at the current time. You may have to click Details on the View menu to see when these folders were created. There may be one or more folders starting with "RPx under this folder. These are restore points.
9. Open one of these folders to locate a Snapshot subfolder. The following path is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:
C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot
10. From the Snapshot folder, copy the following files to the C:\Windows\Tmp folder:

_REGISTRY_USER_.DEFAULT
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SECURITY
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SAM


11. Rename the files in the C:\Windows\Tmp folder as follows:

Rename _REGISTRY_USER_.DEFAULT to DEFAULT
Rename _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SECURITY to SECURITY
Rename _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE to SOFTWARE
Rename _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM to SYSTEM
Rename _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SAM to SAM


These files are the backed up registry files from System Restore. Because you used the registry file that the Setup program created, this registry does not know that these restore points exist and are available. A new folder is created with a new GUID under System Volume Information and a restore point is created that includes a copy of the registry files that were copied during part one. Therefore, it is important not to use the most current folder, especially if the time stamp on the folder is the same as the current time.

The current system configuration is not aware of the previous restore points. You must have a previous copy of the registry from a previous restore point to make the previous restore points available again.

The registry files that were copied to the Tmp folder in the C:\Windows folder are moved to make sure that the files are available under Recovery Console. You must use these files to replace the registry files currently in the C:\Windows\System32\Config folder. By default, Recovery Console has limited folder access and cannot copy files from the System Volume folder.

Note The procedure described in this section assumes that you are running your computer with the FAT32 file system. For more information about how to access the System Volume Information Folder with the NTFS file system, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
309531 How to gain access to the System Volume Information folder


Part Three
In part three, you delete the existing registry files, and then copy the System Restore Registry files to the C:\Windows\System32\Config folder:

To complete part three, follow these steps:
1. Start Recovery Console.
2. At the command prompt, type the following lines, pressing ENTER after you type each line:

del c:\windows\system32\config\sam

del c:\windows\system32\config\security

del c:\windows\system32\config\software

del c:\windows\system32\config\default

del c:\windows\system32\config\system

copy c:\windows\tmp\software c:\windows\system32\config\software

copy c:\windows\tmp\system c:\windows\system32\config\system

copy c:\windows\tmp\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam

copy c:\windows\tmp\security c:\windows\system32\config\security

copy c:\windows\tmp\default c:\windows\system32\config\default

Note Some of these command lines may be wrapped for readability.
3. Type exit to quit Recovery Console. Your computer restarts.
Note This procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed to the C:\Windows folder. Make sure to change C:\Windows to the appropriate windows_folder if it is a different location.

If you have access to another computer, to save time, you can copy the text in step two, and then create a text file called "Regcopy1.txt" (for example).


Part Four

To complete part four, follow these steps:

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.

http://support.micro...kb;en-us;307545

REFERENCES
For more information about using Recovery Console, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307654 How to install and use the Recovery Console in Windows XP
216417 How to install the Windows XP Recovery Console
240831 How to copy files from Recovery Console to removable media
314058 Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console For more information about System Restore, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306084 How to restore the operating system to a previous state in Windows XP
261716 System Restore removes files during a restore procedure
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#4
Susan9700

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Yikes! I'm not that computer literate and my daughter is even worse. I can use my computer that I'm using right now to copy Part Two??? What part of Part Two? There's an awful lot of information there. I guess what I'm trying to say is can you break it down to dummy level for me? I will see my daughter tomorrow, so if there is something that I can do from my computer, ie, put something on a CD for her, then give it to her and take it home with her along with these directions. I don't understand what part of Part Two I have to copy onto CD.

I'm sorry to bother you, I really appreciate your help. Thank you.

Does the information you provided, apply to the old computer that I own? that opens to just a black screen, won't read recovery disk and can't use Safe Mode....just black screen, blinking cursor? Thanks again.
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#5
dsenette

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First problem (the instructions i posted and their vast confusion...microsoft's fault..)

in step 1 you're going to boot to the xp CD (which you would have to do to use flea's suggestion) then choose the R option for recovery console...once at the recovery console..you would type the lines in black as they appear here...line for line


after doing step 1 you SHOULD now be able to boot into safe mode at which point you would complete the steps in part 2

the only reason why i posted these steps is that sometimes the repair install as flea suggested...will not work in this situation....you should try the repair install first...as it's the easiest of these processes
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#6
peter99

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missing file windows\system32\config\system

I found this at Microsoft a few weeks ago and have used it several times, after download go to second link for info on how to use. Saves all that typing

Guided Help is available to help recover a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting. Guided Help can automatically perform the steps for you.

The actions that this Guided Help performs can be undone after Guided Help is finished. To undo the actions that this Guided Help performs and to restore the corrupted registry files, start Recovery Console, and then manually copy the Windows\Tmp\*.bak files to the Windows\System32\Config folder. Make sure to rename the files to remove the .bak extension.


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545


For more information about Guided Help, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

http://support.micro....com/kb/915092/

in step 5 i chose this option so I can use it again on different computers, its only 1mb

Note If you click Another computer, Guided Help prompts you to save the Guided_Help.exe file on a removable medium such as a USB flash drive
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#7
fleamailman

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While I'm on the subject, I have an old computer which I would like to get a lot of my old information from, but it opens to just a black screen, no information at all, just a blinking cursor (I think, it's been a while). I can't use Safe Mode, nothing happens. Thanks again for your help.


better to start another thread for this, because it isn't the same problem as your daughter's and I fear that it is a dead harddrive but how knows till we have more details in its own thread plz
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#8
Susan9700

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I think I have a better understanding of all of this information now. Just one question, will my daughter won't lose all her files on the computer? As I said, she's a college student with all of her projects on the computer. I'm assuming she won't since I'm copying her registry files.

Much thanks for all of your help. Great people with great advice.
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#9
fleamailman

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a repair with cd should not affect data, only system files, should be OK if it works
thanks
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#10
Susan9700

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:whistling: [size=2]
I have the laptop. It reads as follows: 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.

Here's the problem now...the CD ROM doesn't seem to be reading the Windows XP CD. I've shut down and restarted, to no avail. I can't test the CD ROM's working ability by inserting a music CD, as my daughter blew the speakers. Any other suggestions or help....greatly appreciate this help, as she needs many of the filese on the laptop for her final exams in college. Once again, thank you for your help.
Susan
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#11
bke0

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Hey there! I just found you guys and just used your step by step on this to fix my windows problem. It was relatively quick and easy (and painless)! Thank You!
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