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cant get windows to start: missing/corrupt \windows\system32


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#1
imatrublue

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howdy!

ive had this problem on my laptop for some time now but have put it off hoping that it would miraculously start to work one day. ive finally given up hope and decided to bite the bullet and DO SOMETHING with it. sooo.. here I am.

I have a compaq presario c302NR, windows xp home edition, sp 3 (i think), 512 mb ram, cdburner\dvdplayer (no floppy).

My puter didnt come with disks but i did order the recovery disk from hp and have received it.

I would rather repair than reinstall if possible.

I have tried to start in safemode and i can get to that screen but no matter what i choose it always comes back to the WINDOWS COULD NOT START BECAUSE THE FOLLOWING FILE IS MISSING OR CORRUPT: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

I found this thread ( http://www.geekstogo...ot-t263191.html ) and did the steps in post #15 (made the "puppy linux" cd) and ran it and was able to save all my pics and stuff to my external harddrive. i tested that it was all there using this machine so now i can proceed.

I have done other stuff before i did the above mention "save". i downloaded and copied rc.iso using imgburn (i got that from a post i read here but cant remember which one it was but i remember brunio (?) was the one giving the advice). anyway.. i did restarted the puter and booted to the cd and it gave me the "welcome to setup" blue screen. I took the 2nd option - to repair a windows xp installation using recovery console, press R and got the following message:

setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer.
make sure any hard disk srives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware congifuation is correct. this may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program.
setup cannot continue. to quit setup, press F3.

i wasnt sure if the recover disk was the same as a "windows" disk so i tried that. but it came up with the whole going to wipe the harddrive and put windows back on. i killed the power on that. so im back to where i started.

Sooo... here i am - asking for help.
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#2
imatrublue

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hmmm... its been 6/7 days since i posted and havent gotten a response back yet... i know someone will get to me but im buried back on page 4/5 now and just wanted to remind someone that im still here....

thanks - blue
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#3
happyrock

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its been 6/7 days since i posted and havent gotten a response back yet... i know someone will get to me but im buried back on page 4/5 now and just wanted to remind someone that im still here....

sorry...it happens sometimes... :)


If you do not have a windows xp disk, download the following file: rc.iso....from here..then run chkdsk /r... from the cd...be sure the bios is set to boot from the cd drive first...

go here and get burncdcc ..a small FAST no frills iso burning program...

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC by clicking on BurnCDCC.exe
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its rc.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....put the cd in the cd drive..boot your computer....when you get to the screen that gives you the option to install or repair ...select r...then when you get to the prompt...type in chkdsk /r..press enter

NOTE THE SINGLE SPACE BEFORE THE /
While chkdsk is running you will see a light blue window with a dark blue band at the top and bottom. or a black dos box depending on on which cd you use... a Chkdsk will display the specific stage it is checking as well as the percentage of completion of the stage....
there are 5 stages...it may appear to hang at a certain % for a hour or more...it even will sometimes go back over a area...this is normal...
DO NOT SHUT DOWN THE COMPUTER OR YOU CAN HAVE SERIOUS PROBLEMS...it can take a long time depending on how large the drive is...
You cannot do anything else on your computer while chkdsk is running. When chkdsk is finished, it will automatically reboot your computer....


then Go to Start...Run and type: eventvwr.msc press enter
When Event Viewer opens, click on Applications... then scroll down to Winlogon and double-click on it. This is the log created after running Checkdisk...copy and paste the log back here

Edited by happyrock, 10 January 2010 - 09:55 AM.

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#4
imatrublue

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hi!

no problem... i knew i would eventually someone would get back to me.

i did as instructed but it did the same thing as before.... i copied the iso file using the burner program suggested, changed the boot drive and got the install screen took an "r" and this is what came back:

setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer.
make sure any hard disk srives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware congifuation is correct. this may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program.
setup cannot continue. to quit setup, press F3.


i took the F3 and am back were i started.

i await your next command.

thanks - blue
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#5
The Skeptic

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Presently you cannot do anything with windows. No repair, no format, nothing. This can happen because of a faulty hard disk or disk related hardware. The fact that you managed to run Linux exclude such options. I think that the problem is that the HD's MBR is corrupted and windows does not even know it exist. The solution is to reformat, out of windows environment if necessay, and reinstall windows.

Try to use the recovery disks that you have to perform clean installation (reformat + XP installation). If that doesnt work download and create a bootable CD of GParted. Boot with GParted, pressing Enter whenever asked to chose an option. When the hard disk is recognized (hopefuly) click Partition > format to > ntfs. let the program reformat and when finished try to reinstall windows from the recovery disks.
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#6
imatrublue

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wellll..... freak-a-duck... i was really hoping there would be another solution....

oh well.... i bit the bullet and did the recovery... however instead of using the recovery disk i ordered from hp .. i went ahead and tried using the "D - partition" recovery option... f11..... well...

i first took the recovery and keep data option and after it did its thing and restartred.. i got the same freaking error message.... argghh..

so i took the f11 advanced destructive option and wahoooo.... success...

so... now... i have a clean "perfect" copy of windows... (well as perfect as microsoft can be).. so... now what??

how do i prevent this problem from happening again?? this all started because i have a really bad habit of just shutting the lid to my laptop when im done working for the moment and then after days of this ill shut down... well lesson learned...

i havent installed anything on it yet.. but i have removed nortons trial, vongo, ms office trial etc... is there other stuff i can get off of it now to keep it running "fast"?? should i head over to the virus,malware,spy etc forumn and try and get a jump on all that before i install the virus detector?? im on att dsl and it comes with free mcafee (i really dont like it becasue it just takes up SO MUCH of the system resources).

anyway.... what to do next?? suggestions welcome!

Thanks for all your help! :) Blue
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#7
The Skeptic

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Regarding applications: It's up to you to decide what you want to have on your computer. Install only those things that you consider a must.

Regarding Antivirus: My personal choice is Avast Free. In my opinion this is by far the best AV available. I prefer it much better to Kaspersky and seince it's free you get a double benefit.

Another two programs that I think you should keep is Malwarebytes free and Erunt. The first is one of the best spyware removal tools (it doesn't run automatically. You have to update and run manual scans once, say, every two weeks). The next (Erunt) is used to backup the registry. You don't have to run it on a regular basis just run it after you install your applications, when the computer is in perfect condition.
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#8
imatrublue

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ok.... go to the forums and get those 2 programs now and then find the virus detector!

thanks for all the help....

i guess we are done!

GEEKS TO GO ROCK!!


BLUE has left the forum with working, functioning laptop :)
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#9
rshaffer61

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Please download Avast from my signature below. Please make sure you do the registration as it is good for a year or more. When it is due simply just reregister it.
Avast in my opinion is better because:
It's FREE to the Home User
It Updates it's Definitions daily
You can scan Individual Files, Folders and Drives
No buying new versions every year

http://www.avast.com...avast-home.html

Download Malwarebyte's from my signature below


ERUNT (Emergency Recovery Utility NT) allows you to keep a complete backup of your registry and restore it when needed.
The standard registry backup options that come with Windows back up most of the registry but not all of it. ERUNT however creates a complete backup set,
including the Security hive and user related sections. ERUNT is easy to use and since it creates a full backup, There are no options or choices other than to select the location of the backup files.
The backup set includes a small executable that will launch the registry restore if needed.
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