It's so rare to fix this without the XP CD as well as being so difficult that I don't do that anymore. I guess I had to learn first hand how difficult it was.
Since the XP CD can be copied onto a nickel CDR, I'm left to guess why folk don't.
So with that out of the way, Google "XP REPAIR INSTALL" to see the usual fix that works most of the time.
Just like changing a car tire, nearly impossible without the lug wrench.
Spec' : Dell 5000 series desktop, Winxp, 1G (I think), Not currently on the network.
Error message: missing or corrupt file: \Windows\System32\ Config\ System further: it states that using the install disk will not fix the problem.
Recently, total reinstall. as i remember we left it with a virus before we brought it back from retirement.
Well, (please don't cringe) I LOANED IT TO A FRIEND! So it's mine to fix...and their's to use! ugh...
I didn't install a virus protector as they were hasseling me for the loan. ugh.. I thought a stern waring would do. Well here I am again! Thank God for these forums and the wonderful people on them.