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Ok. We have a Sony Vaio laptop and tonight it did a windows update and it restarted. Only it didn't finish restarting it just stopped with a black screen. Now if you try to restart you get \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM file missing or corrupt. We dont have any recovery cds or installation cds with the Sony. My husband's college work is on it, all our kids' photos and videos. How do we fix this? It won't do anything at all. If you try to restart it even in safe mode it starts to, then pops up with the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM file missing or corrupt then goes blank. We tried pressing F8 to see if we could into the system restore but it isnt even allowing us to do that. Is there a way to fix this? A file to download from my laptop, and transfer it to cd? :)
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Blood Elemental

Blood Elemental


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Not having the Vista CD really limits what you can do. Perhaps you can borrow one from a friend?

That being said, I know a few ways to get the data off the drive without the Vista CD but it requires some work.

1. You can open up the laptop and take out the hard drive and then attach it to another computer with an adapter.

2. You can boot up your laptop with a desktop version of Linux (http://www.slax.org/get_slax.php) and then copy the data onto a cd or usb drive.

Unfortunately I can't guarantee that any of these solutions will work for you for sure. :)
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I thought this Topic was rather interesting, over 1500 views and only one reply.

Well this will make two.

The first suggestion to remove the laptop drive attach, it to a working system
recover the files is possible.

Watch this video first.
Shows how to remove a drive from a Vaio laptop.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather not go through that.

The Second Suggestion to load a Linux live CD and recover the files, won't work
cause the file system on the PC is NTFS. Linux won't be able to see it.


1. Worry about the OS (Vista) Later. Get your important data off first.
There are lots of data retrieval tools out. Some you have to install on a
working system. They don't supply a method for creating a boot CD with the
software on the CD. They won't help you. There are others that you install on
a working system then you create a Boot CD.
R-Studio is my favorite. http://www.r-studio.com/

Make Sure you have a USB drive, plugged into the dead system before you
boot from the CD. This will be your destination.

2. Now that your important data is safe, plug a flash drive into a working Vista system.
Copy the file SYSTEM from the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG folder to the flash drive.

Plug it into the dead system, boot from R-Studio CD.
Now all you have to do is on the same idea as recovering your data, but backwards.

Your now looking to recover the SYSTEM file on the flash drive, and put it back
(the destination) to the C drive in the folder. \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG

Note: you could just do Step 2, but, I like to CMA, cause I have made few mistakes
along the way.

Sub Note: I run into this all the time. May be it's just me or maybe I've seen this way too
many times. PLEASE to all who Read this, Invest in a Good Backup Solution.
I run Acronis Backup. There are plenty of them out there. Pick one and schedule
it to run every day.

You have to look at it like car Insurance.
It's Best to have it, Before you Total the New car.

Edited by isimaster, 22 February 2009 - 09:59 PM.

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    Kraków my love :)

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Oooops,,,I didn't notice, it's 2 months old topic...

Edited by Broni, 23 February 2009 - 12:11 AM.

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