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Windows XP serious system crash... tough cookie

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hello gurus of the windows platform!

I can not stress enough how much I like this forum. I was able to find answers to most of the problems by searching this forum, but this one is a lot harder and I have to ask you for some help.

After following some solutions to the "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM" problem, I got the system to the point that I can not do much.

I installed a new copy of XP professional on the same partition that y old system was, to be able to check the content of my old WINDOWS/SYSTEM32 folder and update it with missing HAL.DLL

After several other hints I tried using the Recovery Console, but when I choose the C:\windows to repair, the system asks me for the Administrator Password (something I didn't even set up). Pressing enter doesn't get me anywhere because I get the message that the password is not valid and after 3 attempts it reboots again.

I really wouldn't mind to reformat the drive and just retrieve the files and documents from my user folder (using a new installed XP), but I lost all my Outlook Express mail and some of the Adobe Lightroom library files are empty.

Is there anything I can do to restore these files and hopefully the previous version of XP?

How can I go around the administrator password?

All help would be much appreciated.


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