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Please help with a SATA hd and System file currupt


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#1
Ben321

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Hello

My friends Dell computer has recently come up with the error message while booting, "Corrupt or missing file, Windows/config/system - You can repair this by loading the windows disk and pressing 'R' to repair" (or something along those lines.)
I Have had this same error before, and after reading up on it none of the remedies seemed to work. I could not for the life of me get my computer to access the CD drive let alone boot from it and I couldn't get into anything through the F8 safe mode options.
In the end I thought stuff this, took my hard drive out, plugged it as a slave into another computer, searched for a copy of the system.ini file, and took the most recent one and put it where it should be.
The result, one working computer.

So after already going through this, I give it all the Charlie big potatoes "Yeah, I know what to do, give it here, I'll have that working this evening for you!"

Thing is, what I didn't realise was that his hard drive was a SATA. I could plug that into my computer but once booted, even though it was recognised, I can't actually do anything to it. It just spins a lot then asks if I would like to format it!

I did a bit of searching on the internet and I think I may be right in saying that I have to install drivers for it. But I searched the Maxtor site only to find Maxblast 5, this again wants me to format the drive if I am to install it.

So, am I to take it that one SATA drive can not be re-homed into another computer as a slave with all the information on it?

Can I not just get in it to manage the files, ie put the System in the right place?

Is there anyway this problem can be resolved without formatting the HD and being sent back to Dell?

If I do need to format this Dell, SATA HD, is it going to be a case of simply booting off the windows disk as normal to re install it, or am I going to face problems? (Obviously I don't want to have to format it then say, "Sorry mate I can't install windows on it now!"

Sorry for the long message, hope you made it this far, I would be very appreciative of a good answer. My IT knowledge is usually pretty good so please don't treat me like a newbie.
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#2
Benzooor

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If you can get your computer to boot to your windows CD (maybe change boot order in BIOS), then I've foudn the following article helpful:

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

The system32/config/system is 99% of the time a corrupt registry. After the fix, some programs will act strangely but the computer should function in windows just fine.

Also, if that's unable to work, try pressing Ctrl+alt+D on the dell logo to run the built-in drive diagnostics.
Error code 7 you might be able to still salvage it; error code 3,4,5,6,8 would all mean likely a bad drive. Also, if the test doesn't complete, likely the drive is bad as well.

cheers
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#3
Ben321

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I can not get the CD drive to boot up. I have changed the bios order and pressed F12 at the Dell logo screen but nothing will get that CD drive to be the first boot device. Which is a pain because every solution I read to this says "Boot the win CD"

:whistling: GRRRRRrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!

It just all seems odd to me that this has now happend on two entirely difrent PC's to two diffrent people where both of us can not boot from the CD drive.
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#4
Benzooor

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Did you try running the HD Diagnostics?
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#5
Ben321

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I haven't had chance yet, no. My friend took it away home again last night and gave Dell a ring. They seem to think that the HD it self is broken and he will have to buy another. But we all know that is not true. Just need away of accessing it and putting the system file in the right place.
But now I think he wants to bite the bullet and have it formated, as a last resort. What ever it is in my car now and waiting to come home with me. I will try the Diagnostic tonight.

Thanks
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