After getting to the recovery console via CD(not sure if it was the original), I chose my operating system(the only one on there), and then came the BSOD- page fault in nonpaged area, stop: 0x00000050. This happened repeatedly.
After doing some research, I ran memtest86. To clarify, the new memory is 512MB and the old is 256MB for a total of 768. I believe crucial.com told me that I could mix and match these sticks. Together, the memtest reported errors immediately, so I removed the old 256 stick, which worked perfectly fine before I came along, to test the obviously bad new one. Upon completing one time through the test, it showed no errors whatsoever. Mind you, I didn't let it run for 2 hours. Can memtest show false positives/negatives, or was your 2 hour runtime suggestion merely a high end estimate for those with alot of memory?
The old stick results were fine as well. I can't remember why I decided to run a 2nd memtest on the new stick, perhaps accidentally, but this time, the errors came early and often. Boy am I confused. At this point, I figured the new RAM was bad, and just went with the original 256MB stick.
I was going to do a HD diagnostic, but it told me to backup data first, so I canceled. Honestly, how could it possibly be the HD. And of course, I hadn't backed anything up yet.
Luckily, I was able to get into the recovery console after downloading rc.iso. Finally! I did a search for missing ...config\system on your site and followed the directions given to somebody else(I can get the exact page if you need it). I followed 8 steps:
ATTRIB -H C:\\boot.ini
ATTRIB -S C:\\boot.ini
ATRIB -R C:\\boot.ini
Everything seemed to be going great except for the CHKDSK /R, which took almost 2 hours and acted funny(I left the room at 70%, but when I came back, it was only at 53%). When it completed, it said that it found an error or two and fixed them. After running FIXBOOT, I exited and I now had a "choice" for operating systems:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition or
Windows XP Home Edition
I realize that they are the same and they are identical in BOOT.ini, but I thought I deleted the original BOOT.ini in step 5 above? Oh well, not that I have a clue what I'm doing- no big deal. The only problem was that neither worked, but still gave the missing or corrupt ...config\system file error.
I searched for 'how to restore from the RC', and did this in the snapshot directory with my 2nd to last rp:
Now the command prompt will look like this c:\system~1\_resto~1\rp9\snapshot
Type: copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system
Then type: copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software
Now I get hungup during the boot process when it gets to MUP.sys. I did a search for this on your site, and I can't believe what I'm reading. What the heck is going on here? How could I have taken a perfectly good system and rendered it useless simply by adding RAM and unchecking startup programs in msconfig? You guys do an amazing job, please help.