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"Windows could not start...."


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#1
450Xrider

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I have a Dell 8400 series pc running XP home edition. All was great until turned pc on and got black screen that says:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\ SYSTEM
It says I could attempt repair with the original set-up cd and press "r". I did that and am not sure which of the commands I should use. I did go ahead and try the BOOTCFG and FIXBOOT but no help.
Tried safe mode, get same message.
Working off laptop so I can still communicate with the cyber world.
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#2
Ztruker

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See this Microsoft Knowledge base article for information on recovering from a corrupt registry. Not simple but not to difficult, read through it several times then ask any questions here before you begin.

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

Some of the error messages that this applies to:
  • Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
  • Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE
  • Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate
  • System error: Lsass.exe
    When trying to update a password the return status indicates that the value provided as the current password is not correct.

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#3
450Xrider

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Thanks for looking at my issue. I found the same link while searching around. Read it and tried it but not going well. When I put in line 2 of the commands it says system cannot find file specified. Tried 3 times to make sure I had no typo's and to no avail. Ialso noticed while reading several different repair utility instructions they all mention admin passwords. I never get that prompt. Is it because this is home edition and I never set up the admin side of the program?
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#4
Ztruker

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The Administrator id in XP Home has no password. You normally get to it when you boot to Safe Mode. Don't be concerned about that. As the article says:

4. When you are prompted to do so, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.


Is this the command that fails?

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

If so, continue with the rest as that file may be missing and could be what is causing your problem. The .bak files are not used again, they are strictly a safety valve that you can restore if things go down the tubes. Since it's not there you're not losing anything.
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#5
450Xrider

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Thanks again. Unfortunately I'll have to try tomorrow to see if that works. I appreciate you looking in.
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#6
Ztruker

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No problem, it's what I enjoy doing. Sort of an avocation I guess :)

Let me know how you make out.

I've used the MS procedure and it does work so don't give up.
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#7
450Xrider

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Finally getting back to this issue. I put in all of the "copy" commands and the reply on all 5 was cannot find file. Do I just keep going?
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#8
happyrock

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try a repair...it will put the files you need back...lowdown is here...
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#9
450Xrider

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Sorry, but I was reading your link instructions. I'm a little nervous about doing this, I guess because I'm usure of the partition part. I do not have a partitioned drive.

Edited by 450Xrider, 31 January 2008 - 07:14 PM.

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#10
450Xrider

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I'm lookinng at the XP home setup page and a little disturbed at what I see. I did not get a repair option for 1. In the choices box it says:
238418 MB disk 0 at ID 0on bus 0 at iastor[MBR]
C: Partition1 [NTFS] 238410MB
unpartioned space 8MB

Is this just going to install windows on the C drive and leave the rest of my files and programs or will I loose them?

Also after entering to install, next screen says I'm trying to install Xp on a partition that contains another operating system and it's not rcommended. I know it's xp but I don't think it's recognizing it.

Edited by 450Xrider, 31 January 2008 - 08:03 PM.

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#11
Ztruker

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Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair. If Repair is not one of the options, END setup immediately.

Even though this will leave your data intact, things can go wrong. You really should backup your data before proceeding.
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#12
450Xrider

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Thanx for the advise. I'm currently at work and unable to do anything here. Be home afterwhile. I cannot back up my data though. Any ideas how I should proceed from here???
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#13
Ztruker

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Proceed with hope :)

There are a couple ways you can back up your data though.

1. Remove the HD from your computer and mount it another computer as a slave drive then save your data.
2. Buy a new hard drive. Remove the current one, install the new one, install XP, do all updates. Mount your old drive as a slave and copy your data where you want it then use the old drive for backup or additional storage.
3. Same as #2 but instead of mounting it as a slave drive, buy an external enclosure and mount it there then copy your data, etc.
4. Buy a NewerTech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter (or equivalent) and connect your old drive up that way to copy your data.
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