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XP Won't Boot - Corrupt Registry

by Kitz3 / May 1, 2004 1:56 AM PDT

I can't get XP Home to boot up and I'm hoping someone has some advice. I get the following message: Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

1) I can't use system restore because XP doesn't even boot.
2) I printed off the article (307545) on Microsoft's site to fix this problem which involves going into the recovery console and replacing the registry hives. However, when I get to the DOS prompt (in XP recovery console) when I try to get into the windows folder it tells me Access is Denied. I think the whole windows folder is not being recognized at all. In fact, I can't do anything here without getting a message stating Access is Denied. So this seems to be a dead end.
3) I took out the hard drive and added it as another drive on another machine I have and ran a program called GetDataBack to try to recover some docs and THAT didn't work either. And if I use the second machine to look at the problem hard drive it tells me the drive is not formatted and wants to go ahead with formatting it.

I'm out of ideas short of bringing it to a shop. Do you guys think I'm just screwed? Or have I missed trying something?

Thanks!

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Re:XP Won't Boot - Corrupt Registry
by Michael Geist / May 1, 2004 2:58 AM PDT

Is the host computer for the problem drive formatted in NTFS or FAT?

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Re:Re:XP Won't Boot - Corrupt Registry
by Kitz3 / May 1, 2004 3:29 AM PDT

The host is formatted in NTFS.

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Re:XP Won't Boot - Corrupt Registry
by Cetin Denislam / May 1, 2004 3:57 AM PDT

Well, that's a serious error. The procedure described in Q307545 is long but it should work with the condition that the corruption is in XP's software. However, the article has the following paragraph:

Warning Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system. The system hive on OEM installations creates passwords and user accounts that did not exist previously. If you use the procedure that is described in this article, you may not be able to log back into the recovery console to restore the original registry hives.

You didn't tell what kind of installation you had, but it sounds like your sick PC is in the above context class and perhaps you used another kind of the XP CD kit, for example: the retail version. You missed to tell the health PC's windows version.

So, what is your context ? What kind of CD media do you have for the sick PC ?


Good Luck,

Cetin

Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,


T. S. Eliot

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Re:Re:XP Won't Boot - Corrupt Registry
by Kitz3 / May 1, 2004 4:21 AM PDT

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, it is an OEM CD. At no point was I asked for a password or logon. In fact, I tried the logon command at the DOS prompt and nothing happened.

Recently I reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled XP and ended up having to call Microsoft to reactivate because my hardware profile changed too much since the original installation.

If I need to reinstall XP again I don't mind. I was hoping to avoid reinstalling everything else but if I have to go that route then I will. However there is a little bit of data that I've added since my last backup that I'd like to save. The Getdataback software wasn't at all successful in that regard.

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Re:Re:Re:XP Won't Boot - Corrupt Registry
by Cetin Denislam / May 1, 2004 4:56 AM PDT

Well, in this case you can try the in-place repair. For details, read the MSKB article:

Q315341 - "How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP"

After the in-place repair, before going to windows updates, install whatever firewall in order to prevent the MSBlast infection.


Good Luck,

Cetin

Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,


T. S. Eliot

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Re:Re:Re:Re:XP Won't Boot - Corrupt Registry
by dcrewchief / May 1, 2004 2:33 PM PDT

if you can boot the xp install disk it should give you the option to start a DOS session. at the prompt type (sfc /scannow). this should replace any corrupt or missing protected windows files without having to reformat. also might try (fixboot) at the command prompt.
Donald

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