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Computer Will Not Start Up - Need HELP

Hi, I have a HP Pavillion dv2000 laptop that runs on Windows XP. The other day I went to turn it on and got a message about a hard disk error and to press ctrl+alt+delete. I did so, but kept ending up with the same message. Today, I went to start it up again and got the following message:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-ROM.
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair."

I do not have the original Windows CD-ROM. I tried pressing 'r' upon startup and got to the same message again.

Is there anything I can do to get my computer back up and running if I do not have this CD-ROM? Is there some place that offers a free download where I could possibly download Windows and burn it onto a disk to use to try to get my computer started again? If so, where can I find it and how would I burn Windows onto a CD as I have only burnt music on CD's?

Any help would be appreciated as I am desperate to get this running again.

Thanks.

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Comments
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I had to use the

Just last year I had to fix one like this. I had to use the restore media. But WAIT. We have a way to get our files out if we forgot.

Read http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6142_102-0.html?threadID=390323&tag=forums06;forum-threads where we use The LaCie Miracle data recovery method and they got their files out.

Now about the missing restore CDs. Go to hp.com and see if you can order them. For the price this is the cheap fix. If not, go price out what Windows 7 will cost.
Bob

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For a little clarification

Ok, so to be able to recover my data I just have to use the LaCie Miracle data recovery method? I do not know computers very well aside from their basic uses so I need something simple haha.

So to verify, I basically need to download UBUNTU on another computer and burn it to a disk? I do have a few CD-R disks so that shouldn't be a problem. How do I go about burning the UBUNTU to a CD though as I've never burnt a program to a disk before?

I assume I can set the computer to boot from the CD under the Boot Order in the PhoenixBIOS? The choices I have for that are USB Floppy, ATAPI CD/DVD Rom Drive, Notebook Hard Drive, USB Diskette, USB Hard Drive and Network Adapter. I would assume again that the ATAPI CD/DVD Rom Drive should be at the top of that order?

After that is it simply load the CD and it gives you access to your drives so you can transfer files onto a USB?

Thank you all for the information. Once I get (or attempt to get) my files off, I will try to install Windows again.

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Read that link about that.

The member had the same trepidations and got past it, saved the files and then is on the road to recovery.

Hope it helps,
Bob

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One more question before I begin....

I will be using someone else's computer so I just want to be sure that this UBUNTU won't replace Windows Vista or anything on their computer, correct?

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Only if you don't install Ubuntu

The noted discussion used the Live CD and did not install Ubuntu. I can't write that someone won't go ahead and install it but that is their choice to click install, answer yes to many questions so to install it by mistake is unlikely.

If all this is too much then get a price for recovery at http://www.drivesavers.com
Bob

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So Close!!!

Ok, I'm excited as I feel I must be getting close to recovering my files. I have UBUNTU on a CD and inserted it and got it the UBUNTU page showing up! I have been left with the following choices to choose from:

Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer
Install Ubuntu
Check disk for defects
Test memory
Boot from first hard drive.

Should I be selecting the 1st option?

I'm excited I should be able to get my files soon.

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Yes.

The Try without change is the best choice here. This way we can look around and hope to find your files like the other member. It won't bring back a dead drive but I've lost count how many times I was able to "get the files out."
Bob

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Ubuntu is started!

Ok, I have made it to the desktop page on Ubuntu. I noticed that Internet seems to work with this but I looked at the Documents, Music and Pictures folders and they are all empty. Does a person have to go through some other areas to possibly find prior documents to recover?

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The hard disk name

May differ in Ubuntu. But once you find the old c drive you look in Documents and Settings under each user name to see if there are files there.

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No luck

I've looked around on Ubuntu for a couple hours but have came up with nothing. That's not to say that nothing is there but I have just ran out of ideas. Thanks for all the help though.

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I wonder if they wiped the drive?

If anyone did any repairs before this, the files can be erased. At least you looked for them.
Bob

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No free XP OS

There is no free XP OS discs, anything you find is bound to the EULA agreement. While you can buy replacements, check eBAy, Craigslist and local soucres. I have found http://www.restoredisks.com may help. The cost is far cheaper if HP doesn't offer restore discs. These are OEM discs in most cases not retail ones. This could be a good time to step-up to win7 install if your system is ready for such.

The end result is you had a chance early in the laptop history to create recovery or request OS discs, but that time is past. Thus, the final lesson is back-up and back-up and so it goes. I also suggest besides a possible corruption of data if the system can't recover even after a reload, a HD replacement maybe required due to physical damage.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Basically

Basically your hard drive has failed. If it's under warranty, get HP to send you a new one. Otherwise, you're going to need to talk to HP about getting that restore media. Might cost a little, but it'll be a bargain compared to buying a new copy of Windows.

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