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Urgent! I Think My Computer Just Crashed, Please Help


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#1
2020Lemon

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my brother was using the computer and this popped up after he turned off the computer and turned it back on.
this is really important and i don't know where to put this but i need help from someone.
this popped up, and i need a way to fix it to get our files back.
my dad's a teacher and i really need help so he can get all his files back

Posted Image

if the picture doesn't show it says this at the bottom of the screen

Windows could not start because the following file is missing
or corrupt:
\WINDOWS\system32\config\SYSTEM

You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup
Using the original Setup CD-ROM

Edited by 2020Lemon, 11 July 2008 - 08:39 PM.

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#2
wannabe1

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Hello 2020Lemon...

The first thing to try is the "Last known good configuration" option from the Safe Mode options screen. (Note: On some Dell machines, pressing F8 will bring up a boot order options screen. If this happens, press the Esc key once and continue to tap the F8 key to access the safe mode options.)

Start the machine and tap the F8 key until you see a black screen with Safe Mode, Safe Mode with command prompt, Last known good configuration, etc. Use the arrow keys to select "Last known good configuration" and press "Enter".

Let us know if your machine starts this way. If not we'll have to use another means to get it started.

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#3
2020Lemon

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hitting F8 gets me to a screen that gives me these choices

Start Windows Normally
Reboot
Return to OS Choices

Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Command Prompt

I tried safe mode but that didnt work, led me to the same screen that says the file is corrupted, and i can't find safe mode > last good known configuration

Edited by 2020Lemon, 12 July 2008 - 01:48 AM.

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#4
wannabe1

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Do you have the XP installation cd for your machine? We're going to need to get into Recovery Console to roll back the registry.

It's odd that "Last known good configuration" is not listed among the Safe Mode options.
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#5
2020Lemon

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theres no installation cd, we bought the computer from bestbuy i think, and it already had xp installed into it.
if there's anything else i need to know to fix the computer, i'll show this thread to the guys fixing it so they don't completely wipe out all the memory

thanks for all the help

Edited by 2020Lemon, 12 July 2008 - 03:51 PM.

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#6
wannabe1

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Download RC.iso and burn it to a cd as an ISO image. You may need a burning tool like ISO Recorder to do this...be sure to get the version for the operating system you'll be creating the disk on.

This must be burned as an ISO image. ISO Recorder will add an option to the right click context menu to accomplish this. Right click on the downloaded RC.ISO file and choose "Copy Image to CD" from the menu...this will start the ISO Recorder application. You can burn the disk using the default settings.

Boot from the RC.ISO CD...it will eventually display the "Welcome to Setup" screen where you will be given a choice to choose "Enter" to install Windows or R for Recovery Console...press the R key. You will then be asked to log in. Choose the installation to be repaired by number (usually 1) and press "Enter". When you are asked for the Administrator password, leave it blank and press "Enter".

When you get to the recovery console prompt:
  • Type cd \ and press "Enter".
  • Type cd system~1\_resto~1 and press "Enter".
  • Type dir and press "Enter".
After you press enter you will see a list of folders (like rp1, rp2) If the list of restore points has more than one page then press the "Enter" key until you reach the end of the list
  • Type cd rp {number of the second to last folder in the list} and press "Enter". (Example: Type cd rp9 if rp10 is the last restore point.)
  • Type cd snapshot and press "Enter".
  • Type copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system and press "Enter".
  • Type copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software and press "Enter".
  • Type exit and press "Enter".
Your PC will reboot. Let it try to boot normally.

If you get an access denied error when doing the above, then do the following at the recovery console:
  • Type cd \ and press "Enter".
  • Type cd windows\system32\config and press "Enter".
  • Type ren system system.bak and press "Enter".
  • Type exit and press "Enter".
Your PC will reboot, go back into the Recovery Console and start from the beginning.
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#7
2020Lemon

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i'll try it out, but if i do the steps above, is there any chance to recover all my memory?
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#8
wannabe1

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This is a system restore...just like the one you can do in Windows. When Windows won't start, you have to do it manually using Recovery Console (RC.ISO). This should put your machine right back the way it was before it crashed.
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#9
2020Lemon

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i tried the rc.iso cd but it didn't work, it keeps going back to the original picture that i sent you. i found the windows xp cd and tried looking for the setup screen where i could start the recovery but it didn't work, brought me to the same screen, is there anything different i can do now since i found the xp cd?
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#10
wannabe1

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Do you have the cd-rom drive set as first boot device in the BIOS Setup?

BIOS Setup is usually accessed by pressing the F1 or Delete key on one of the first screens you see as your machine starts. You should see some text at the bottom of the screen to "Press [key] to enter Setup. Press the key it prompts you to press.

Once in BIOS Setup, look for a heading named "Boot" or a variation thereof. Your boot priority should be under that heading or otherwise pretty clearly identified if you have to look around a bit for it. BIOS versions are all a little different, so I can't get much cleared then that without knowing the version of BIOS that's on your machine. Boot order should be set 1)CD drive...2)HDD...3)floppy or other. Save the settings (usually by pressing F10) when you exit Setup.

If you change this setting, see if the machine will boot to either of the disks you have after the change. If your boot priority was set correctly, let me know that, too.
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#11
2020Lemon

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after i type "copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system and press "Enter"."

it says "Overwrite system? (Yes/No/All):"

i dont know what to answer, scared i might do something wrong

Edited by 2020Lemon, 14 July 2008 - 11:32 PM.

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#12
wannabe1

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Yes......

We want to overwrite the old (corrupt) hives with the backup hives.... :)
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#13
2020Lemon

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ok after

C:\system~1\_resto~1\rp622\snapshots>copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system

Overwrite system? (Yes/No/All): y
1 file(s) copied.

C:\system~1\_resto~1\rp622\snapshot>copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software

Overwrite software? (Yes/No/All): _______


should say yes or no?
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#14
wannabe1

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Yes....we need to replace both of these registry hives.
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#15
2020Lemon

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i didnt get a chance to replace the software, now when i take the steps to replace it, the computer asks me for a password after i enter the recovery console and press R. i leave it blank but still wont let me in. if i choose not to boot the computer, it takes me to the home page but theres a window that says username and password, if i log onto an account it says saving your settings and brings me back to the window waiting for a command
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