Computer Help forum


winxp won't boot : missing or corrupt file

by gflash128 / November 5, 2012 2:07 AM PST

Hi everyone!
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.

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Clarification Request
Remember that such repairs need the XP CD.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 5, 2012 2:12 AM PST

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.

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I Remember doing the restore from protected files
by gflash128 / November 6, 2012 12:57 AM PST

Hi Bob, It's nice to hear from you again,
As I said, The recent re-install was I believe, was from protected files, Without the ability to boot I don't if I can accomplish this again. As you have already figured out I don't have the disks. This was an original purchase by me, but it was many years ago and I believe you actually needed to create disks (which I didn't do)
I do have Unbuntu (Linyx) would this be of any use to me?
I will try Google and get back to you!
Thanks again Bob!

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Ubuntu, the LiveCD is useful.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 6, 2012 1:05 AM PST

I use it a lot to get files out for folk. I can use it to look around for glaring issues but if you google "Error message: missing or corrupt file: \Windows\System32\ Config\ System" you discover some thousand causes and a repeating cure of a repair or full install.

There is another reason that I didn't mention and that is XP and SATA hard drives but I can't tell if that applies.

In short, to install XP on newer machines we would set the BIOS to IDE EMULATION (and yes, again the industry has dozens of names for this BIOS setting) and install XP.

Since the BIOS default is not to emulate IDE an old CMOS battery or something flipping that back can cause the owner issues. But XP is rather long in the tooth and the owners I know that do this are quite aware of the XP SATA issue.

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