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Repair Windows XP trouble


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#1
sheppardwk

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I have a three (3) year old Dell that already had Windows XP loaded.
Received the following error message:

Windows XP could not start because the
following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM error.

Went to find help and found http://support.micro....com/?id=307545

Used the XP disk that came with my Dell. Changed the boot sequence and
pressed R at the recovery console. Prompted for admin password, don't have
one, so just pressed enter. C:\Windows is now the prompt.
Followed these instructions:

md tmp
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

copy c:\windows\repair\system.bak c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default

When it rebooted, it went to the Windows startup and indicated that there were errors the last time I tried to shutdown the computer. I chose - Last Known Configuration.

The computer went to Windows and then a light blue screen appeared and the Checking File on C:
File System is NTFS
Volume is dirty

CHKDSK is verifying files (Stage 1 of 3)
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (Stage 2 of 3)
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (Stage 3 of 3)
CHKDSK is verifying USN journal

Then reboot and loop back into this same chkdsk.
After several loops, I interrupted it and pressed F8 - clicked on Safe Mode.
While starting up in Safe Mode, an error box appeared that stated
While trying to update a password, there was a problem as current value is not correct.
Loop back to CHKDSK.

Now when I try and use the Recovery console, it asks for the administrator password. Prior, I have just pressed enter and it accepted it. Now it won't. How do I find out the password?

Went back to boot disk, and selected Windows Setup instead of Recovery Console. It indicated that it found a previous installation of Windows. Previous to this, it only presented the three (3) partitions. I was now presented with the option to install Windows or Repair Windows. I chose Repair. After it copied the new files and rebooted, I received an error that indicated that While attempting to use the password, the current value is not correct.

I am so close to resolving this, but apparently a new administrator password has been generated which is not allowing the "Repaired" version of Windows to start. Please help me resolve this as I have been attempting all sorts of solutions since Friday.

If I am forced to reinstall Windows XP over itself on the C:\ drive, what will I lose? We have four (4) logons, will they be affected? My Documents, will it be affected? Other programs? etc.

Thanks in advance.
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#2
The Skeptic

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Basically you have to backup all the valuable data, of all users accounts, and keep it in another storage device or in another partition of the same disk, if you have another partition (it would be safer to keep in another storage device to avoid accidental deletion).

Since you ran out of options, including XP repair, you have to format the disk. Following this you will have to install windows and all window updates, hardware drivers and all your applications. You will also have to recreate the 4 users accounts and re-install the saved data in each of these accounts (if you want to keep all of them).

If it sounds awful, it's not. If you have the materials you need (drivers, programs etc.) it's not too complicated. If you decide to go for that ,scan the saved data with an antivirus and some antispyware programs to make sure you do not re-introduce malware into your computer (if there was any in the backed-up data).
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#3
sheppardwk

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How do I back up the data? I am not able to access Windows - either through Safe Mode or the command prompt. Can I not just install Windows over the existing Windows without having to Format the drive?
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#4
The Skeptic

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Went back to boot disk, and selected Windows Setup instead of Recovery Console. It indicated that it found a previous installation of Windows. Previous to this, it only presented the three (3) partitions. I was now presented with the option to install Windows or Repair Windows. I chose Repair. After it copied the new files and rebooted, I received an error that indicated that While attempting to use the password, the current value is not correct.


There is no such term as installing XP on top of a previous installation. Doing this is Windows Repair which you tried already unsuccessfully as shown in the quote.

There are few option which can be used to backup data:

1: Connect the hard disk to another working computer and use the good computer's operating system to reach your data and move it to another location. The easiest way is to disconnect the CD drive and place the broken disk instead (you don't have to mount it. Leave it outside the box but support it by something). Usually you will not have to change any jumper settings. If the disk is not recognized by the new computer change the jumper of the broken disk to SLAVE position.

2: You can spend about 25$ and buy an adapter of the type shown here. There are many brands and I would recommend everyone who does computer repair to keep this device. It's an extremely useful, simple to use adapter that enable the connection of any IDE and SATA drive to a USB port.

3: Download Puppy Linux from my list of links below. Puppy Linux is a very small operating system that works entirely from the RAM of the computer. 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. Upon bootup you will have to choose a mode of working. If one doesn't work Choose the other. When loaded, click the icon that looks like a thumb memory. This will open the file system and will enable a backup to another storage device.
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#5
sheppardwk

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During my search of the issues relating to my problem and all of the suggestions, I discovered that Dell has a PC System Restore function that essentially resets the computer to the factory conditions when it was delivered to me. Realizing all that would be associated with the various options, I chose to use the PC System Restore function (Ctrl + F11 at Windows splash screen).

The computer is working fine - I've downloaded Windows XP SP3 and reinstalled avast! AntiVirus. Interestingly, while it did a memory check on reboot, it found one indication of Adware in a portion of the registry. Not sure exactly how that occurred so quickly, but I'm also planning on downloading ZoneAlarm Firewall. Anything else you can recommend would be appreciated.

Thanks again.
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