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Windows Could Not Start Because The Following File...


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#1
mrbojos

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I have a Dell desktop that is running Windows XP. I rarely use it, because I have a laptop, but it has been giving me problems lately. Last week I posted a problem with it not shutting properly because of gtb.exe was missing. Someone posted that I should reinstall the Google Tool bar. I did and it seemed to do the trick for several days. This morning I went to turn it and I got a terrific message:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<windows root>\system32\hal.dll
Please re-install a copy of the above file

My problem is that I do not any kind of installation disks. I re-formatted this computer recently. I found that dell has hidden the neccessary installion objects on the hard drive. Therefore there are no installation disks. So what do I do?
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#2
FNP

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mrbojos-

Hi and welcome to Geeks to Go! :)

This will allow you to create a recovery console from which you can boot and repair your computer.
  • Please download ARCDC from Artellos.com.
  • Double-click ARCDC.exe to run the program.
  • Follow the dialog until you see 6 options. Please pick: Windows Professional SP2 & SP3.
  • Accept the Terms of Use.
  • You will see a few DOS screens flash by- this is normal.
  • Next you will be able to choose to add extra files. Select the Default Files.
  • The last window will allow you to burn the disk using BurnCDCC.

#######################

If you have Windows CD...

1. Insert your Windows XP CD into your CD and assure that your CD-ROM drive is capable of booting the CD.
2. Once you have booted from CD, do NOT select the option that states: Press F2 to initiate the Automated System Recovery (ASR) tool.
You’re going to proceed until you see the following screen, at which point you will press the “R” key to enter the recovery console:

Posted Image

3. After you have selected the appropriate option from step two, you will be prompted to select a valid Windows installation (typically number “1").
Select the installation number, and hit Enter.
If there is an administrator password for the administrator account, enter it and hit Enter (if asked for the password, and you don't know it, you're out of luck).
You will be greeted with this screen, which indicates a recovery console at the ready:

Posted Image

4. There are eight commands you must enter in sequence to repair any of the issues I noted in the opening of this guide.
I will introduce them here, and then show the results graphically in the next six steps.
NOTE. Make sure, you press Enter after each command. Make sure, all commands are exact, including "spaces".
These commands are as follows:

CD..
ATTRIB -H C:\boot.ini
ATTRIB -S C:\boot.ini
ATTRIB -R C:\boot.ini
del boot.ini
BOOTCFG /Rebuild


Note about the above command.
BOOTCFG /REBUILD command which searches for pre-existing installations of Windows XP and rebuilds sundry essential components of the Windows operating system, recompiles the BOOT.INI file and corrects a litany of common Windows errors.
It is very important that you do one or both of the following two things:
A.) Every Windows XP owner must use /FASTDETECT as OS Load Option when the rebuild process is finalizing.
B.) If you are the owner of a CPU featuring Intel’s XD or AMD’s NX buffer overflow protection, you must also use /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN as an OS Load Option.
For the Enter Load Identifier portion of this command, you should enter the name of the operating system you have installed.
If, for example, you are using Windows XP Home, you could type Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition for the identifier (it's not crucial, however what the name is, as long, as it's meaningful).
Here is your computer screen:

Posted Image

5. Following command verifies the integrity of the hard drive containing the Windows XP installation. While this step is not an essential function in our process, it’s still good to be sure that the drive is physically capable of running windows, in that it contains no bad sectors or other corruptions that might be the culprit:

CHKDSK /R

6. This last command writes a new boot sector to the hard drive and cleans up all the loose ends we created by rebuilding the BOOT.INI file and the system files. When the Windows Recovery Console asks you if you are Sure you want to write a new bootsector to the partition C: ? just hit “Y”, then Enter to confirm your decision:

FIXBOOT

7. It’s time to reboot your PC by typing
EXIT
and pressing Enter.

With any luck, your PC will boot successfully into Windows XP as if your various DLL, Hive, EXE and NTLDR errors never existed.




Thanks To Broni For The Instructions
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#3
mrbojos

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Ok I havent gotten to step 4. I am at the Windows Recovery Screen. It never did ask for valid windows installation so therefore I do have a "C:\WINDOWS" path as shown. All I have is a "C:/" prompt. When I attempt to enter the first command "CD.." I am told that it is not valid. What am I doing wrong?
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#4
FNP

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Try typing C: and continuing from there. We want your cursor next to C:\>.
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#5
mrbojos

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Ok. I have tried to do the first command and it says "the command is not recognized".

Next to the C:\> I typed CD... Is that correct? When I do that, I get the "command is not recognized". Any suggestions?



Thanks for helping by the way
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#6
FNP

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The CD.. tells the console to move 'up' one level in the directory. For example, if you were in C:\Windows, typing CD.. would move you up out of the directory to C:\.

It sounds like you're telling me that you're already in C:\, which is where we want to be. Proceed from there. Let me know if you have any problems. I will be back around 10:00 tomorrow.
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#7
mrbojos

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Ok I found a installation disk for XP from another computer. I figured this might help me a little better. It hasn't. I entered "ATTRIB - H C:\boot.ini" and it told me that the file could not be found. Is this normal? Also last night I was trying some other suggestions and I ran a "chkdsk" it got to 25% and said there was something bad. I wished I had paid attention to exactly what it said but I was disgusted and shut the computer off.
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#8
123Runner

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It never did ask for valid windows installation so therefore I do have a "C:\WINDOWS" path as shown. All I have is a "C:/" prompt.

Did you mean "I do not have a "C:\WINDOWS" ?

If its not showing a windows installation, then there is a problem. Most likely the hard drive.

I ran a "chkdsk" it got to 25% and said there was something bad

This might mean that there are too many errors on the drive.
We need to run the manufacturers diagnostics.
================================================================================
===============

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use Burncdcc Link is in my signature below

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


NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, unfortunately, you're out of luck, because Toshiba doesn't provide any diagnostic tool. If you are unsure of the drive manufacturer then you can try seagate diagnostics It sometimes works on other manufacturers.
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#9
mrbojos

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I ran this program. I did a short test and a long test. I failed with about 100 errors. Seagate gave me the option of repairing and choose to fix them. It showed that the long test passed. What do i do now?
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#10
123Runner

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Generally I would not trust a disk that had that many errors.
Re-run the drive diagnostics till there are no errors.
Then try to run chkdsk again. If successful, run it till there are no errors.
Try to boot the computer. If no luck and you get the same error as your 1st post I would then attempt what FNP suggested in post 2.
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#11
mrbojos

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Ok I have ran the drive diagnostic several times. It goes through and finds 100 errors and asks me if I want to repair them which I do. Then it runs a short test and passes. Just for measure I run the long test again and it fails with exactly 100 errors. I repeat the repair process which passes. Is this diagnostic actually doing anything or is my drive actually that fried?

Is there anyway I can get my data off this hard drive or is it too late?
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#12
123Runner

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It does not sound like the drive is mechanically dead so there is hope to retrieve the data.
There are a couple ways that can be attempted.

1. Place the drive in a USB enclosure and plug it into another computer.
2. Plug the drive in as a slave drive to a desktop. If this is a laptop, then you need an adapter.
3. Use a live linux CD. This runs in memory from the CD and will allow access to the files.

Any of these are options provided the computer can see the drive.
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#13
davrod

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Can anyone PLEASE??help me? I have 2 comps, Gateway desktop(not working) and a Compac Presario desktop(working). I got a “windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt windows/system32/config/system” message on my Gateway pc. I couldn’t get pass this so I took the hard drive out and put it as a master on my Compac. It wouldn’t read their own Gateway Restoration System Cd so I use an old EMachines recovery disks(1,2 & 3) as a last option and when I put the hard drive back into the Gateway it promps me to press F11 to start recovery after I do The Emachines screen comes on with the recovery options -Non-Destructive System Restore(recommended) or
Full System restore(destructive). When I press the Non-destructive option it goes through the phases of transferring or restoring Windows XP. It then asks me to restart. When I do I get the same “press F11 to start recovery”. Can anyone tell me how to properly install my Gateway restoration cd
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#14
rshaffer61

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Direct to: davrod

Please start your own topic
Although your issue may seem similar there can be other factors that may need to be resolved.
By bumping on someone's topic it makes it confusing for the tech to understand who they are helping. This can in turn cause the wrong support to be given and can cause instability or worse to happen to your system.
Thank you for your cooperation.
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#15
davrod

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Direct to: davrod

Please start your own topic
Although your issue may seem similar there can be other factors that may need to be resolved.
By bumping on someone's topic it makes it confusing for the tech to understand who they are helping. This can in turn cause the wrong support to be given and can cause instability or worse to happen to your system.
Thank you for your cooperation.


OK sorry about that and thanks:)
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