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Corrupt Registry?


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#1
janlawther

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Is ther anyone who can help a complete novice with some hand-holding to solve a problem please? I really don't want to have to re-install the system if I can possibly avoid it as I have some important ffiles baout to be lost for ever!

It seems the computer has a corrupt registry from various visits to websites. It started with a screen saying it was a Windows Installer which never seemed to complete whatever it was doing and from there things have got worse. Now it won't boot up and won't go into safe mode etc etc. This evening I've been trying to get it into System Restore through the XP disk. I found info on several websites and religiously copied the various lines in through the repair screen. This is what I put in:

md tmp
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default


It does everything all the way down except for the one which says copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system which it says it can't find. When I try to run it, it says the windows\system32\config\system file is missing or corrupt (obviously because it won't copy it).

I can't think of anything else to do because I can't even get into system restore. Also I'm definitely not an expert and am very wary of poking around in areas where I can't back out easily.

I'm sure this is easy-peasy for the majority of people on this forum but I would really appreciate some help - preferably in words of one syllable for computer babies!

Thanks in advance
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#2
djgotee

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Hello Im steve. Im not sure you know this, but, youve entered into a proceedure that tells the computer to use the registry entries(system state) in the "repair" folder. This will back up the registry to a previous configuration from the repair folder registry entries at the date they were last altered. The next step would be to boot into windows with these system state entries and proceed with the rest of the proceedure. If you are having a problem with one of these "repair" system state entries (system), you might be stuck with a copy of a bad "system" entry.
Have you tryed booting with all the repair entries execpt the system entry?
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#3
djgotee

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What i mean is, try booting with all the system state folders you just transferred from the c:\windows\repair\ to the c:\windows\system32\config\
Except the system folder. Youll have to put the original system state folder back into the c:\windows\system32\config\
If you are not familair with dos syntax, this might be difficult for you. If you are familiar with doing this, try to boot this way and hope that your problem is not in the system folder.
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#4
janlawther

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Thanks Steve. I realised from the website I picked this info up from that I was creating a temporary folder to let me actually get into the repair area. I did try doing what you mentioned but it doesn't run without that folder. Sorry to be exceedingly dim but how do I go about carrying out that last procedure you mentioned? I understand what I'm trying to do but am very wary of making things worse! I'm really not too familiar with DOS sysntax so couldn't really face doing this "on the fly" as it were! Would this be too complex for a spot of hand-holding through the procedure?

My son (unfortunately living several thousand miles from me) has suggested reinstalling the operating system into another folder (the computer has plenty of space for this) and copying files across. Would this be an option?

Thanks for the help!
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#5
austin_o

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can you boot into safe mode? You could try doing a system restore if you can get into safe mode:

To run System Restore in safe mode
Access System Restore through Help and Support.
Follow the instructions on your screen.
Notes

To access the System Restore Wizard, click Start, and then click Help and Support. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Using System Restore to undo changes, and then click Run the System Restore Wizard.
While the computer is in safe mode, System Restore does not create any restore points. Therefore, you cannot undo a restoration that you performed when the computer was in safe mode.
You can use System Restore to restore your computer to any restore point while in safe mode. If you cannot start the computer in standard mode, you can use System Restore to restore to a time when you could start the computer without errors.
To restore to a time when your computer started without errors, select a restore point as close to the time you remember it last started without errors.
If System Restore is suspended because of insufficient disk space, you cannot enable it by making more disk space available while in safe mode. You must restart the computer in standard mode and make more disk space available.
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#6
janlawther

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No, can't get into safe mode either.
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#7
austin_o

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Do you have a windows install cd? You could try running repair. See the link at the top of this forum for a guide:

http://www.geekstogo...ws_XP-t138.html
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#8
janlawther

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Thanks for that info. I couldn't actually get it to respond in the way the help page suggested. I did however come up with something which seems to work, definitely more by luck than judgement too. I actually installed XP Pro in a new folder which I called Windows2. Once this was done and I opened up the computer I discovered I can access all my files through the "old" Windows folder too. I know this is probably a very unconventional way out but it seems I can find all the files I was concerned about losing and move them over into the new system.

No glitches so far - does anyone know of any I might find? Can I delete the Windows folder eventually and rename Windows2 without creating more problems or should I now leave well alone?

Thank you all for your help - you have no idea what it's like to be stuck out on a limb with no-one to help. We live in southern Spain and the chances of finding a repair shop who can deal with problems in an English based computer are few and far between. And I really don't want to have a Spanish OS either - too confusing, even with a reasonable understanding of the language!
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#9
djgotee

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Hello, this is steve again after a break for work and such. So you installed windows to another folder and named it windows2? And the system booted off the newly installed OS? Great! And I see you now have access to all your data, folders and files from the old defunct OS? Very good janlawther.
My only input would be in answer to your question about "Can I rename Windows2 without creating more problems or should I now leave well alone?"......I dont think so janlawther, dont forget that all the references in your registry are now directed to windows2. and there would be other problems also, like if you installed any programs. These will now direct to the windows folder also. It probably can be done, but not without substantial botherson and time consuming configurations.
One suggestion, if you can obtain another hard drive, move all your data, folders and files that you want to save to it into one folder and then install the windows OS clean on the new hard drive. First make a copy on cdrw (of all data to be saved) b4 you attemp this proceedure. Ive done this and did not loose any saved data, however a word to the wise, anytime you install an OS, you can be liable to lose the data that exists on the hard drive....steve
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