I restarted my Dell XPS 400 with XP media center edition a few hours ago. As soon as windows started running, I got:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
You can attempt to repair this file using the original setup CD-Rom. Select R at the first screen to start repair.
Prior to this message appearing, I have had zero problems, no errors, bsod's, etc, for months and months. I work from home a couple of days a week and have a separate system owned by my employer. I use a VPN, which was having problems today. I was frustrated and opted to restart everything on my end (computers, modem, router). Now of course, the work computer and VPN are fine. I actually restarted everything more than once, twice I think, but maybe 3 times. Windows loaded as usual until the last restart. I'm afraid I was very frustrated and think I turned it off the last time by pressing the button in, instead of telling it to shut down.
I have the original installation CD sent by Dell with the system and had no trouble getting it to run. It goes to the Welcome to Set Up screen and gives the proper options. I selected "setup windows xp" and agreed to the licensing info, but the option to "repair the selected windows xp installation" does not appear. Instead of a line item for microsoft windows xp, I get 3 line items, each a different partition.
-: Partition 1 [FAT] - 47 mb - 39 mb free
C: Partition 2 [NTFS] - 233,609 mb - 188,508 free
F: Partition 3 [FAT32] - 4754 mb - 458 mb free
Unpartitioned space - 8 mb
I HAVE had problems with the system before, less than a year ago. A couple of wonderful people here at gtg helped me through it. Basically, I was out of warranty with Dell, started receiving BSODs with no specific codes, paid Dell to help service it by phone, and got several different answers from them as to the source of the problem. Hard drive, motherboard, memory, and video card were all included. I backed up my data and eventually did a system restore with the Dell tech. It did not fix it. After working with gtg, I eventually replaced the nvidia card with a new ATI one, did another system restore with gtg, and have not experienced any problems, at all, none, since. It was a long process to determine that the video card was the problem. The link to the post follows, but is quite long, and I hope not related.
Are the 3 partitions related to / the result of the past system restores?
I did run chkdsk /r, and when it completed it said it found and fixed one or more errors on the volume. But restarting gets the same \WINDOWS\system32\config\system missing or corrupt message.
Can anyone offer any suggestions?
Thank you very much, Kristi