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Missing or Corrupt file


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#1
nameless-fallen-angel

nameless-fallen-angel

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Hi there, hopefully I can get some assistance on this. My mother's PC is a Compaq Presario, about 6 to 7 years old with 160Gb HD, 512Mb RAM with Windows XP Professional (if I remember that correctly). All of it within reason is pretty much standard factory, except the video card which was installed probably about 2 to 4 years ago. We'd run into a few problems over the years, but had it pretty much cleaned up and maintained since then. Sometime last year it started running into some issues. First it'd start to load up then start restarting. Afterwards, it then stopped booting up saying that the specified file was missing or corrupt.

\Windows\System32\Config\System

Now, I've done what I could, using the Master/Slave set up to try and find a working hard drive to see about what was officially wrong. I finally got one with XP (a 40Gb HD with XP Professional) and opened up the 160 HD to see if the file was still there (my mother has a slew of photos, music and text files she wants to keep). With this, I've went ahead and moved the files over to another, partially empty hard drive that was being used as a slave previously (holding files, no operating system). All in all, I'm looking at repairing the 160 Gb hard drive to get it working again. We (my mother and myself) believe it to be a viral problem, but from one or two other posts I've read it's not surprising it if was related to blackout/restarts. Still, any information to help get this along will be immensely helpful.

I do not have a system disc (recovery or O.S. disc), but I did read up on another post (link here: http://www.geekstogo...ing-or-corrupt/) of the steps to 're-create' the Recovery Console. Now I'm currently missing a blank disc to do this (which will be fixed momentarily) but before I followed through the motions on this, I wanted to make sure and see if someone has come across this issue and to make sure that this just might fix the issue. If not, what other means that might be necessary in case an unsuspecting problems have befallen someone else (i.e. not working out, another file going corrupt or missing, etc.)

I do have a program to burn the .iso to an image (I found out the hard way when trying to use a separate OS to check into the HD, this was before I found the other hard drive with XP Professional), I'm just double checking if I should follow the instructions upon that link there to make sure that my problem is similar if not identical to the original poster of that thread.

Thank you for your time.
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#2
nameless-fallen-angel

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Update: I've tried running the same way that was provided with the link on the previous issues. Here's what I ran into:

CD.. (unrecognized command or command not recognized)
ATTRIB -H C:\\BOOT.INI ----\
ATTRIB -S C:\\BOOT.INI | (Files could not be opened)
ATTRIB -R C:\\BOOT.INI ----/
DEL BOOT.INI (Error occurred during directory enumeration)
BOOTCFG \REBUILD *(this was the longest, attatching that below the other two)
\FASTDETECT and \NOEXECUTE=OPTIN (both of these had 'command not recognized')

*This was the error message I got for trying BOOTCFG \REBUILD

ERROR: Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations.
This error may be caused by a corrupt file system, which would
prevent BootCFG from successfully scanning. Use CHKDSK to
O detect any disk errors
Note: This operation must complete successfully in order for the
/add or /rebuild commands to be utilized.


This message was received after I'd done the BOOTCFG \REBUILD command. Oddly enough, what was odd was the O next to the detect any disk errors sentence...

Now, ultimately I'm starting to feel that this is pretty much a lost cause without having to break down and search around for an XP disc or something...

Any ideas?
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#3
Ztruker

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Missing \Windows\System32\Config\System indicates a corrupted registry and most likely a corrupted file system. You need to run chkdsk first and see if that fixes the problem.

You are going to have to get into BIOS Setup on your computer to set the CD/DVD drive as the first bootable device, so you can then boot your XP CD, unless it provides the ability to press a Fn key at boot time to bring up the boot selection menu. If it does, use that.

Since you don't have an XP CD, download and run ARCDC by Artellos. It will download the required files from the Microsoft Web site and create a .iso file. It will also offer to burn the iso image to a CD for you. If you don't do it then, there is a good freeware burner called ImgBurn which will do it at a later time. If you're unsure how to do this, you can follow the tutorial here: How to Burn an ISO File. This can be done from any computer.

Boot the CD and at the first opportunity, enter R to start the Recovery Console.

Next, choose which XP installation you want to login to. Normally this will be 1.
Lastly you will be asked for the Administrator password. Just press the Enter key as the Administrator does not have a password (unless you gave it one, then you would enter it).

If you don't get any of these prompts, continue anyway.

From the command prompt, type chkdsk /r and press Enter.
Allow it to complete undisturbed. It can take an hour or more depending on the size of the hard drive.

Remove the CD, type exit and the computer will reboot. Hopefully that will have fixed the problem (corrupted file system).
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#4
Ztruker

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Do the chkdsk first. It's quite possible that will resolve the problem and you will not have to go through the gyrations of copying registry files from a System Restore point to replace the corrupted one/ones.

You need to get the file system clean before you go messing with any files on it.

If that doesn't fix it then the Microsoft site accessprogram pointed you to is a good one for fixing this. It looks a bit daunting when you first read it but if you work through it step by step it's not too bad. You just need to be patient and precise in the steps you take and what you type.

I have another method which also usualy works and is quite a bit simpler:

How to recover from:
File is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
File is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE

  • Insert and boot from your Windows XP CD or Recovery Console CD.
  • At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
  • Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair. Typically this will be #1
  • Enter in the administrator password when requested (usually just press Enter unless you added a password for Administrator).
  • Enter cd \windows\system32\config
  • Depending on which section was corrupted, enter:
    ren software software.bak
    copy \windows\repair\software
    or
    ren system system.bak
    copy \windows\repair\system
  • Take out the CD ROM and type exit
  • Press F8 to get to the Windows Advanced Options Menu.
  • Select Safe Mode
If the system boots to Safe mode then run System Restore to go back to a date and time before the error occurred. You get to System Restore as follows:

Click on Start then Programs (or All Programs). Click on Accessories then System Tools and finally System Restore.

Most of the above taken from: Fix for \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM missing or corrupted


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#5
nameless-fallen-angel

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Bad news: I've run everything step by step, crossed t's and dotted i's, the works.

Nothin. I still get the same set up. \windows\system32\config\system is missing or corrupted.

I'm kinda at my wits end on this one...because no matter what I've done it's always been the same thing. I've went to the link, went step to step with everything they had. Did the suggestion here...and not a thing is working. I don't have the money for a new operating system (window's that is, and I sure as nil can't find a new 'XP' for my mother so to speak. This Desktop isn't supportive enough for 7, let alone Vista. My mother would only prefer XP or 7...she detests Vista (I partially don't blame her.)

I'm out of ideas, unless someone else has something to run on?
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#6
Ztruker

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Were you able to boot to Safe Mode and run System Restore?

Please list exactly what you were able to do. If you were able to copy system from the repair folder then boot to Safe Mode, a System Restore to before this happened should have fixed it, so I need more info on exactly what you were able to do.
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#7
nameless-fallen-angel

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After everything I had done, I'd F8'ed and brought up the boot menu (safe mode, safe mode with command prompt, etc.) But when I went in to boot in just regular safe mode without networking or command prompt, It came up with the same thing of the missing or corrupt file that I've had issues with.

Note: The disc that I'm using for the recovery console was an .iso that I'd picked up from before, which I did do the img burn on to the disc. Now, I don't know if it has any worth in weight (such as any XP files or what not, like a system boot disc), but it does prompt for the loading of Windows XP installation, the system console and what not. Even so, as I explained before, I'm not sure what in the nil to do really.

For a lack of better words, I'm stumped, especially on following step by step. Is there something more serious going on that I don't know about?

Edited by nameless-fallen-angel, 08 January 2012 - 11:48 AM.

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#8
Ztruker

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Try following the long version that accessprogram pointed you to then: How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting
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#9
nameless-fallen-angel

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That was the first one that I'd had done first. When it didn't follow through, I'd tried the other, shorter way that you'd posted up and still had the same issue. I'm not sure what else to do.
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#10
Ztruker

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Did you run chkdsk?
Do you have a XP install CD or is there a Recovery Partition on your hard drive?
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#11
nameless-fallen-angel

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Chkdsk was actually the first thing I ran, per your suggestion. Then I followed step to step of the Microsoft way, then yours.

As stated before, I do not have an XP Disc. The only thing I have is a disc that helps me bring up the Recovery Console (which I'd downloaded and burned the .iso into a imgburn, as suggested before.)

As for a Recovery Partition, to be wholly honest I don't believe there was one created. I'm not doubting that XP -had- the recovery partitions, but I don't believe this particular computer ever had one. See this PC had broken down before in the past, was reloaded with another XP that I believe is something similar to the Windows 7 Enterprise edition. Long story short, the person that worked on it had a Multi-User key. Thing is, I don't remember if that was the last time it was touched, or if it had broken down in between then and had to be redone again.
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#12
Ztruker

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I think you are going to have to borrow a XP Pro CD from someone and do a Repair Install.

An alternative would be to see what's available at Recovery-Discs.com. They may have the recovery disc for your Compaq Presario. What is the complete model number? I can look and see what I can find. I've ordered two recovery discs from them so far and both have worked correctly. One XP Home for a HP Pavilion and the other a Vista Home Premium X64 for a Dell Dimension.
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#13
nameless-fallen-angel

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I could look into it, yeah. As for the complete model number, not exactly sure. Face plate was misplaced somewhere along the 'repair' process it seems. This should be it though: Presario S6500NX

I'd have to have a look at the specs of it before I'd get it, because I remember what the majority of the specs are when we first got it, but there is a tower that looks exactly like my mother's here that actually had lower RAM and HDD space. It should be a 516Mb RAM with an 160Gb HDD if I remember correctly....

Edited by nameless-fallen-angel, 12 January 2012 - 06:28 AM.

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#14
Ztruker

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Didn't find anything at Recovery-discs.com but Restorediscs.com does have Windows XP Home (not Pro - computer came with Home originally).

restoredisc.jpg

Free shipping via USPS, 5-7 day delivery.

Edit: Just checked and I ordered a XP Media Center recovery disk from them on 9/28/2011 and it worked fine.
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#15
nameless-fallen-angel

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Hrm...In theory there shouldn't be an issue, right? This one does have Professional, not Home Edition (one of the things that got changed the first time my mother's PC broke down).
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