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system32 folder missing


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#1
mooseye

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I think I really screwed up this time.
I was doing a test so I could help someone else.
What happened was I was checking how to get into the system recovery and clicked the wrong button, the "next" and boom, there it went saving user settings. I panicked and since nothing else got a response, I hit the power off button. Big mistake. Now, when trying to boot, I get the Hal.dll message.
This unit, a HP laptop with amd athalon, was running XP media edition. I only have an XP Home disc but the laptop did boot up using it. I went ahead and did an install in a new folder. The new install is working and all files and folders from previous windows are intact except the system32 folder is missing. I was wondering if it would work or be safe to copy the system32 folder from the new windows to the old one?
Also, I cannot access my documents from the existing OS. I at least need to be able to copy important data from there before I do much more. The Home version is in Fat32 and the Media is ntfs. Is that going to be the problem, and if so can I just change the Fat to ntfs and change the file permissions? I am stumped.
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#2
Kniht

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Try This:

Start>>Run. In Run type "cmd" without the quotes and click OK.

In Command Prompt type this:

attrib -a -h -r -s c:\windows\system32

Hit enter.
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#3
mooseye

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Okay, I was finally able to get the permissions reset so I can view and save all my personal files and photos and such, but I would still like to know if I can salvage the original OS. What will happen if I copy the system32 folder from the new install to the old one?
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#4
mooseye

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Try This:

Start>>Run. In Run type "cmd" without the quotes and click OK.

In Command Prompt type this:

attrib -a -h -r -s c:\windows\system32

Hit enter.



this is not a case of the folder not being visible, it is gone.
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#5
mooseye

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One other thing, this unit had a recovery partition, D:\HP_RECOVERY, which appears to be intact. I can choose after choosing the R option and get to it when booting from the cd and get to a command prompt. I would assume that the system32 folder or the information to create it is somewhere in this partiton but how can I use it to restore the system32 folder?
I do see the system32 in the D:\MiniNT.
What is the method to use this partition to restore my original OS? Or at least the system32 folder. I can't get to the c:\ prompt from where the D:\ shows up and with xp booted I can't get into the D:\ from a command prompt so I don't think I can just copy.
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#6
mooseye

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After doing a lot of searching and a hellofa lot of thinking, A light came on.
Since I installed the Home version of XP I am able to boot into the computer and since I figured out how to take permission for all files and folders, I went in this morning and clicked through the C:\ drive and found the short cut to the built in System Recovery. This is the same short cut that I clicked yesterday that started the whole problem. It is now in the process of the recovery. This is the same thing it was doing when I hit the power off which corrupted the files in the first place. I will let it run its course this time.
Fingers crossed, I will post the results and hope that no one else falls into this mess if they happen to see this post.
I know I will lose any and all programs that I have installed since new and I will have to spend all day doing Windows updates, but that is much better than the alternative.
I used a combination of several other peoples problems from several help forums to arrive at this solution. So, there is another fair amount of time posting results and thanks.
There is nothing like a computer and all the PtoP help forums on the internet for fixing a busted "puter".
I think it is ironic that you can get much more help from other peoples problems than you can from Microsoft or Manufactures.
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#7
Ztruker

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I didn't see you mention it. Did you ever boot your XP CD, and start the Recovery Console then run chkdsk c: /f /r ?

Sounds to me like the NTFS file system was corrupted when you powered off and chkdsk can fix it most of the time.
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#8
mooseye

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I was not able to get to the c:\ drive from the recovry screen. It would only show D:\.
I typed in everything I could think of to try and get C:\ to show up but it would not.
The unit is now working properly, (I am typing this on it now) after finally getting another copy of windows installed. That copy is still on the drive but the computer does not try to boot from it.
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#9
mooseye

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This has turned out to be much less painful than I had anticipated.
Everything is now back to normal. I didn't have to spend a great deal of time on the windows updates. I am thinking that they were saved somewhere as my personal files and data were. There was quite a bit of updating but nowhere near what I had expected. I was still in SP2 before any update.
I still have the other copy of windows xp in a separate file. I have not decided if I want to delete it or just leave it in case of a future problem. I do now have a copy of the restore discs burned now. Seems I had lost the one chance that Microsoft gives you to burn them. Since restoring my system I regained the ability and took advantage of it.
I didn't receive any direct help on this from any of the 7 or 8 forums I posted on but I still credit them for helping me fix this really bad situation since I used the search feature and found enough information to gain access and do the repair myself.
So thanks to everyone who posts here to help others.
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