When turning on our second computer, a Dell desktop, yesterday, we received the message that the \windows\system32\config\system file is missing or corrupted. My fiance restarted the computer with the Windows XP OS Reinstallation CD that came with the computer and booted from the CD. The disc was not even recognized. Then he tried the Drivers and Utilities Dell Dimension Resource CD in the CD drive and selected R for repair when asked and Windows mysteriously started up normally.
When he turned on the computer today, he got the same message about the missing file. He followed the same steps as yesterday, but Windows did not start up. We tried booting from the CD with my Windows XP Startup Disc and followed the procedures in the "How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting" article on the Microsoft site. When I type "copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak" as instructed, it says that the file could not be copied. All of the other files could be copied.
What should I do next?