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XP won't Load System32 missing


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#1
TheAesthetic

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Uploading photos from a job I had today. Loaded fine. Computer was sluggish so rebooted. Message says "windows could not start because of the following file is missing or corrupt" file is system32 i believe. I have tried booting from disk/diagnostics/safemode/advanced menu options, but nothing seems to be working and I don't want to attempt anything I'm unsure about because its very important I don't lose these photos or my client will be upset to say the least. Any help is greatly excepted and thank you for your time in advance.
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#2
jrom727

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This happens more than you imagine...

You can repair XP > http://www.michaelst...rinstall.htm#RI

But what I did is install XP on a seperate IDE drive (you can also install on an external hard drive, depends on your BIOS, if its fairly updated, should be ok)
-after installing the new XP on a diff drive, i replaced the missing/corrupt files (copy and paste)

If you are familiar with Linux, you could use a live CD then replace the missing/corrupt files. get the files missing from a working XP system.
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#3
The Skeptic

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Could you be more specific about what files are missing? We need the exact path. The fix can be as easy as running chkdsk, or can be more complicated. Don't rush to perform XP repair because very often this ends with lots of problems.

Please report if you have XP installation CD. If you don't have the original, try to borrow one with the same version as yours.
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#4
joedee

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hi
i posted re a similar prob titled "xp won't boot" :--

hi
my pc refuses to boot

it stops at this message: "windows could not start because the following file is corrupt or missing:
<windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
please reinstall a copy of the above file"

i tried booting from the xp cd [ after confguring the bios ] but the result is the same
i tried to get into safe mode- it won't let me
any ideas please?---

i have an original xp cd but as i said the pc just ignores it

after reading this string i'd like to ask how do you copy and paste a missing file when the pc won't boot?
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#5
TheAesthetic

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Thank you for the fast replies! Really appreciated.
The exact path is:
windows\system32\config\system
I believe the disk i was trying to boot from is the xp reinstall, but like the member above me, I have been unable to boot from disk and have been getting stuck at the load screen. Thanks for the prompt help everyone!
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#6
The Skeptic

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joedee, please open your own topic. It's very confusing to work with two people at the same time.


TheAesthetic.

1: Boot the computer in Safe Mode. This is usually done by tapping the F8 key immediately after switching on. A menu with several boot options should open. Choose to "boot to last known good configuration". If the problem is not solved:

2: for this you will need XP installation CD. Either yours or a borrowed one of the same version. Try to repair the problem by using Recovery Console.

To get to Recovery Console insert the disk into the cd drive and reboot the computer. Setup Windows screen will show up. If it doesn't, enter BIOS and set the cd drive to be first priority boot device.

Let Setup run until three setup options are shown. Choose Recovery Console by pressing R. When asked for XP installation type 1 (assuming you have only one operating system installed). When asked for password type your password or press Enter if you don't have a passwoed. A black DOS-like screen will show up.

At the prompt type chkdsk /r (please note the space in the command) and press Enter. Let the process run to the end.
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#7
joedee

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many thanx for that TheAesthetic
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#8
TheAesthetic

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OKay, tried both, but neither seem to be getting me anywhere. Everytime i try booting the install disk, it doesn't load or won't read the disk. The screen will go blank and after about 5-10 minutes of failed loading, I get the same error message as before.
Again, thanks for all the help thus far.
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#9
The Skeptic

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Is your BIOS set to make your CD drive first priority boot device?

This Cd that you have: is it a full version of XP or is it some sort of recovery disk supplied with the computer.
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#10
jrom727

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Yes, try what Skeptic suggested, check your boot priority.

I agree that repairing the OS will result to several other issues, but these issues can be fix later on.

Another reason why I added another way: I installed XP on a different hard drive, it could be an external USB or IDE/SATA. After installing the new OS, boot into it (configure the BIOS to boot on the 2nd hard drive). On My Computer, you should see your original installation of XP (could be named drive E - local disk now). First, copy the new files by browsing on the newly installed XP then go to the original XP installation and replace the files. You could perform a test by configuring the BIOS again to boot on the first hard drive/original XP.

Important Note: When the XP installation prompt you to select which partition you would like to install XP, MAKE SURE YOU ACTUALLY SELECT THE SECOND ONE, a good way is check the free space/size of each partition.
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#11
TheAesthetic

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please excuse my ignorance, but i'm not quite sure what or how to set the BIOS. The disk is labeled operating system at the top and says "reinstallaion DVD" and below that it says Microsoft windows XP media cejter version 2005 with update rollup 2. The color of the DVD is orange and white.
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#12
jrom727

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here's a guide... http://www.cyberwalker.com/article/28

You will see some sort of boot sequence settings... make sure your system will try to boot from the CD first, then HD (hard drive)

Once you've set that up, you should see a text saying "Press any key to boot from CD"

Just let us know if you need to clarify anything else.

Edited by jrom727, 14 July 2008 - 08:42 AM.

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#13
TheAesthetic

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alright! big thanks to the skeptic and jrom thus far. I am running chkdsk now and will let you know how it turns out. You have both been a big help so far and I hope this works out for the better!
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#14
TheAesthetic

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0kay....finished scan and it said it fixed some errors. It is still in ms-dos and has the c:/windows> prompt blinking. where should i go from here?

EDIT: quick update for everyone. After i did the fix i decided to restart and see where i was. I am still getting the same message as before and windows will not load :-(

Is it possible that I am being affected by some type of malware? If this is the case, is there any other path to take?

Edited by TheAesthetic, 14 July 2008 - 10:38 AM.

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#15
The Skeptic

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Before you go any further, and because the data is so important, I would back it up to another storage device. I am sure that the data is safe and can be easily recovered by a trained technician. This can be done in a number of ways:

1: Move your hard disk to another computer. You can rig it as slave and use the other computer to backup the data to the other computer's disk or to another storage device.

2: You can spend about 25$ (what it cost where I live) to buy an IDE/SATA to USB adapter. This little adapters are extremely useful and can simplify back-ups tremendously. You can buy it in any computer shop. Consult the seller. Very simple to use.

3: Download Puppy Linux from my list of links below. Download "puppy 2.16.1 seamonkey fulldrivers.ISO". Burn the ISO file to create a bootable CD. For this purpose you can download BurnCDCC from the links below. It's a very simple tool, used exclusively to burn ISO files.

Insert the disk into the CD/DVD drive and boot the computer. If it doesn't boot, please set boot order in the BIOS so that the CD drive is first priority boot device.


There are several options to repair your computer:

1: You can run XP repair. A good repair guide, written by G2G's admin, can be viewed by using the link in my list. Please note: XP repair does not always succeed.

2: There is a long and complex method of repairing registry hives. I don't write the process here because I don't think it's suitable for most users. If you wish, I will write it down. Don't even think about running this process before backing up your data to another disk.

3: Clean format
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