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Windows XP Home corrupted registry


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#1
suzi_sunshine

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Hello,

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?

Thank you!

~suzi sunshine~
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#2
arou402

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Hi
Might I suggest Ccleaner,Reg Cure or one of the other registry 'fixers' on the market.
Have you tried changing the attributes of the file, eg: -R-A-S-H, before copying? :whistling:

Edited by arou402, 29 August 2007 - 06:41 PM.

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#3
don77

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If they can't even get windows to boot how do you propose to download CCleaner ?

Hello and welcome Suzi
A Tech will be by to look in on your topic soon enough :whistling:
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#4
suzi_sunshine

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Thank you Don77. I look forward to working with someone.

:whistling:

~Suzi~
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#5
wannabe1

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Hello suzi sunshine...

Try this REPAIR to your installation of XP. This procedure will not damage or change your current files or settings...it will just repair or replace damaged system files. You will be asked for your Installation CD and may be asked for your product key. Follow the instructions carefully...print them out if you can. Note: This option is not always available on OEM Recovery Cd's

Once this repair has completed, you will have to download all Windows Updates again.

This option IS available on Dell cd's. Your product key will be located on a sticker at the bottom rear of the left side panel. This will look like a new installation, but it's actually repairing and replacing system files...including the registry hives.

If you have any questions or problems, let me know.

wannabe1
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#6
suzi_sunshine

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Hi Wannabe1,

I am not being offered the option to repair from the Setup screen. I suppose that means my registry is too corrupted to repair. :whistling:

Is a new installation my only option now?

I'm just curious. How would it have become too corrupted?

-Malware? We run AVG Anti-Virus, SpyBot, Spyware Blaster, SUPERAntiSpyware, ZoneAlarm, Spyware Guard, and Spyware Doctor.

-New software installation? We recently installed Everest.

Thank you for your help,

~Suzi~
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#7
wannabe1

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Do you have data on the machine? We still have some options available, but if there is data we need to save, we'll do that first.
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#8
suzi_sunshine

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Yes. There is data we would like to save, if possible, but not a lot.

btw, there is no CD burner or floppy drive on that machine.

~Suzi~

Edited by suzi_sunshine, 29 August 2007 - 07:56 PM.

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#9
arou402

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Don77
I do beleive that it's the second pc that has the problem ! Also not being able to copy files implies that there is a boot. Therefore downloading a reg fixer isn't out of the question. IMHO :whistling:
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#10
wannabe1

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Without being able to load the system hive, this machine is no where near a boot.

Just in case this is a memory address corruption, let's try one check before we go after the data. This will in no way affect your files...we're going to be working strictly on the file system.

Boot to the cd again. When you get to the "Welcome to Setup" screen, press R to repair. You'll be asked to choose the operating system to repair...there should be only one. Select it by number (usually 1). When you are asked for the password, leave it blank and press "Enter".

You'll get to a command prompt (C:\WINDOWS>). At that prompt, type chkdsk /r (note the space before /r) and press "Enter". It should begin a very thorough check of the file system and attempt to recover any corrupt data blocks it encounters. This will take quite a while and may appear to hang or even back up at times...this is normal behavior, let it finish.

At the end of the check, if you end up back at the prompt, type exit and press "Enter". Let the machine attempt to boot normally. If this brings no joy, we'll get it running another way and gather your files up.
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#11
suzi_sunshine

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Guess what?! I am typing this message on the formerly-afflicted computer. We have joy! :help: :blink: :whistling:

One error was found and fixed. Do we need to do anything else to make sure all is well?

Thanks so much!

~Suzi~
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#12
wannabe1

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Great news!

Must have been a memory corruption that got it. Just keep an eye on the machine for any strange behavior for a while...memory corruptions can be indicative of an impending hard drive failure. Usually, though, this will straighten the machine out for the long term. You should be good to go. :whistling:
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#13
suzi_sunshine

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Wannabe1,

We very much appreciate your help. You are right about the hard drive. When we turned on the computer this morning, the screen that allows you to select starting in Safe Mode popped up. Before we touched anything, Windows started trying to load. Then, that same "Safe Mode" option screen popped up again. It did that three times, then Windows successfully started. Strange. Then we got a message that the computer had suffered a failure. After we submitted the error report, Mozilla came up with a message from Microsoft regarding the hard drive.

This computer was struck by lightning several months ago. Two capacitors that affect the hard drive function were damaged. A local computer tech friend replaced the hard drive and said it should be okay. Apparently not. I wondered if replacing the motherboard would fix the problem. If so, please let me know and direct me to the forum that can assist me with this project. I have some experience. I have replaced everything except a motherboard.

We have saved data to a memory stick and will just leave the computer on until it crashes again. It might last for several days.

Thank you so much again for your help! :whistling:

~Suzi Sunshine~
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#14
wannabe1

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Sorry to hear about the problems. :whistling:

Are these capacitors sitting alongside the processor? Do they appear swollen or look like they've been oozing toxic waste?
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#15
suzi_sunshine

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The capacitors are 2 larger ones sitting between one of the RAM sticks and where the hard drive plugs into the motherboard. The tops are puffed up a bit, so they do look a little swollen. No toxic waste, though.

~Suzi Sunshine~
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