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Old 15th November 2004   #1
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config/sys files missing or corrupt


OK, here's the problem. I have a Gateway laptop w/XP Home that I have networked into my wife's PC. While on the Internet surfing, I clicked on a news link and I got the "blue screen of death"! It said I had a system error and went into a memory dump. When I tried to reboot I got the message that I had a missing or corrupt file - c:\\WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM. It said I might be able to reinstall or repair said file by putting in my system CD and follow the prompts to the Recovery Console. BTW, I am now in DOS mode... Windows will not come up.

At this point it asks which Windows installation do I want to do and gives me only one option - [1.] C:\\WINNT. Now logic tells me that I should have another option since the info I want is on the CD in my D: drive. But alas, I can not get there. So I took the only option it gave me. This of course gave me the C:\\WINNT prompt. I found the list of commands available to me but I am not sure which command I should use to fix my problem. Do I use FIXBOOT, FIXDMR, or BOOTCFG? If I am to use the last command, which sub-command do I use to get the files I want off of the CD?

I also considered just reinstalling XP over the old files and hopefully the file that needs replaced will be installed. I know that when we were using WIN98 we could do that and it would work. But when I started a reinstallation of XP over the old one it informed me that I may loose the My Documents folder among other settings I may have set-up in Windows. I can not retrieve the My Documents folder and I can not risk losing it. Any thoughts?

If I have no choice but to reinstall XP, can I install over the old files? And if so, will all of the other programs and software be affected?

Thanks for whatever help you can send my way.

Rick

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Old 15th November 2004   #2
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Try booting into safe mode and using the System File Checker
Start > Run > cmd
sfc /scannow
You'll need your XP cd

sfc - system file checker, retrieves the correct version of the file from %Systemroot%\System32\Dllcache or the Windows installation source files, and then replaces the incorrect file.

If you want to see what was replaced, right click My Computer > manage, expand event viewer > system.

System File Checker (sfc)
Scans and verifies the versions of all protected system files after you restart your computer.

Repair Install
Repair XP Install

Johanna

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Old 15th November 2004   #3
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Johanna,

Thank you so much for all of this info. The links you supplied have a lot of great stuff and help. But it's pretty late now and I'm very tired (it's been a loooong night). I will give this all a shot tomorrow and see what happens. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.

Once again, thank you.

Rick

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Old 15th November 2004   #4
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Glad to help. Post back with any questions, if they come up.

Johanna

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Old 17th November 2004   #5
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Win XP Home does not come with a default Recovery Console.
It must be prepared ahead of time.
Elder Geek

I think you will find the answer you are looking for on the second page.

Johanna

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Old 17th November 2004   #6
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Here's the drill after you get back to the command prompt of the Recovery Console again:

http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;307545

Unless you have some current or even less than current backups that include the Registry hives, this is the only method.

You'll be replacing the missing or corrupt Windows\config\system file with a backup that was made when the system was first installed. It will render the system bootable again but since its an older file, the exact performance can't be know.

Good luck.


Last edited by surferdude2; 17th November 2004 at 05:29.
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Old 17th November 2004   #7
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Thank you both for the response. The link that the Surferdude furnished is the exact procedure that I have been following. However, the roadblock that I have run into involves getting back into the Recovery Console to complete Part 3 of the process. When the crash first happened I was able to get into the Windows files via the RC because it did not ask for an administrator password. But after completing the first 2 parts of the process, the RC is now asking for the password which I do not have. I explained the situation to Johanna in an email.

I appreciate the help but I guess I'm just out of luck, huh.

BTW, Johanna my XP version is the Pro, not the Home version. My error.

Rick

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Old 17th November 2004   #8
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Don't be intimidated by the fact that XP asked for an Admin password. Just leave it blank and press enter. The default administrator password is blank.

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Old 17th November 2004   #9
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The default Admin password in HOME is blank, but in PRO you must enter one at install. I can't tell you how to crack the password on the BBS (it violates the rules of the board). Since it is YOUR computer, and you have the XP cd, and you are back to your desktop- do your backups and wipe it clean. Set a new Admin password when you do, and remember to set it in services to NEVER expire (Pro XP only!)
Clean Install and then set up the Automated System Recovery for the future.

Did you read the whole Elder Geek page?

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Old 23rd November 2004   #10
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I did as you both suggested but it would not work. However, I did find a way around the problem and was able to set the password on automatic for access to the Remote Console. I am now back to running normally again. Thank you both for all of your help.

Rick

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