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\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM missing or corrupt

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by retiredlearner, 2008/02/09.

  1. 2008/02/09
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member Thread Starter

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    I have a real problem. I have successfully unistalled NAV from 2 of our Computers running XP Home SP2 using Posted info from Mike Flynn. I set out to do the third PC and C Cleaner removed the above file! I tried using the XP CD to repair and ended up with a second install of XP OS. (I think I boobed somewhere). My question is can I uninstall this second OS? I've gone into "msconfig" and BOOT.INI and it shows : multi(o)disk(o)rdisk(o)partition(1)\WINDOWSC= "Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect under operating systems (highlighted in blue) then another line immediately below shows : multi(o)disk(o)rdisk(o)partition(1)\WINDOWS= "Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /tutaq=q5xujl /noexecute=optin.
    The new install has nothing in the ADD/REMOVE Programs in Control Panel, but if I Right Click on MY COMPUTER>Left Click on Local Disk C: it opens with all the files and programs on the PC originally. How can I sort this out without losing all the info stored on the disk??? :eek::confused::eek:
     
  2. 2008/02/09
    surferdude2

    surferdude2 Inactive

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    It's logical to presume that something that CrapCleaner did caused this problem of unbootability. Let's see if it can assist in the reversal of it.

    Boot to the new parallel install that you have made. In My Computer or Windows Explorer, open the C:\Program Files\CCleaner folder. Look for a file with a .reg extension. Double click on it and allow it to add the data to your Registry.

    Then reboot and when presented with the boot menu screen, select the old system and see if it will now boot properly.

    Post back your findings. Once you get the old system booting, we can easily dump the parallel install.
     

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  4. 2008/02/09
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the info suferdude2. I will try this later on today as I have a golf match in an hour and a half time. Neil.
     
  5. 2008/02/09
    mflynn

    mflynn Inactive

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    Hi Neil and Dude

    I doubt it was CCleaner directly itself. I had this recently on 2 seperate installs of NIS. And it was Norton s32evt that had to be restored.

    I put it back and it booted ok, removed it again with regedit this time and it did the same thing. Some kind of cra* Symantec is doing.

    I always have erunt running and PE boot disks to restore with.

    Perchance Neil you have such??? I hope I hope I hope.......

    The restore of the registry item will not work anyway, well it will but it will restore to the new installs registry and not the original which is not in use now.

    Neil do you have 2 windows folders perhaps a Windows and a Winnt or WindowsC ??? I Hope I hope I hope....

    Mike
     
    Last edited: 2008/02/09
  6. 2008/02/09
    surferdude2

    surferdude2 Inactive

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    Hi Mike,

    Right you are of course, the active Registry won't be the flawed one so the .reg would not address the proper target. I should have thought that through instead of doing the hip shot. :)

    Perhaps renaming the c:\windows\system32\config\system file to system.old and then copying the new version at c:\windowsC\system32\config\system to replace it would be a fix.

    Another point of information that might be helpful, can you boot the flawed system by using Safe Mode?

    Mike, As to your reference to Norton s32evt did you mean Norton s32evnt? I could see where that might cause boot problems due to driver issues but I wonder if it would render the " \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM missing or corrupt " error that is being issued. hmm.. Have you had that to happen?

    IMHO: CrapCleaner is dangerous. Use with great care and ample backups. When it deletes a file, it's gone forever!!! It can make registry backups but that is of little value when you can't boot the system.
     
    Last edited: 2008/02/09
  7. 2008/02/09
    mflynn

    mflynn Inactive

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    Yeah!

    I just spelt it wrong u kno how bad a speler I am!:D

    No it is definately something in Norton. As after it happened I was actually using Regseeker not CCleaner to search and clean and I finally narrowed it down by cleaning a little and rebooting until it broke.

    UBCD4Win restore Erunt registry backup, back up then tried cleaning the same item with regedit and it did it again.

    Had to clean all but the problem issue then do a repair install to to allow me to then clean it without issue.

    The main problem here is untangling his windows installations, I think.

    Your process should be the answer if we can be sure to direct him to copy the right backup to the right curupt file.

    Perhaps have him go into Repair console and make sure he logs into his first windows installation and do a system restore.

    Mike

    EDIT: it would be better to get his original System Restore as it has all his installed program and driver info and the new registry would be generic HAL ok but he would have to do a lot of fixing when he did get it back up!
     
    Last edited: 2008/02/09
  8. 2008/02/09
    surferdude2

    surferdude2 Inactive

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    OK, I gotcha Mike.

    RetiredLearner, when you get back I'd like you to try something that MS has recently offered for fixing systems with your malady. It is apparently a self executing program that does the details without you having to type all the commands. I must confess that I have not tried it but it sounds so too good to pass up. Download Guided Help and install it. It would seem to be the answer to your prayers.

    EDIT: I downloaded the Guided_Help program and tested it. It works well. It uses a two-step approach to restore your Registry from the available backups. The first step renames and backs up your existing Registry hives and then copies the versions found in the Windows\repair folder to replace them. Then you boot to Windows (hopefully). Then you run the program again and it copies the latest successful Registry hives from a snapshot created by System Restore when it last ran. That should be the end of the issue and things should be back to normal.

    However (here's the bad part), in the event that you did not have System Restore running when the drive crashed, you will not be able to complete that second step to update the hives to a normal version. The drill then is to get your data files backed up and re-install Windows cleanly.
     
    Last edited: 2008/02/09
  9. 2008/02/09
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member Thread Starter

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    Hi Mike and surferdude, my golf was lousy but the good news is I enlisted the help of my son (who is much more computer savvy than his old man) and we followed your instruction to download Guided_Help and I'm posting on the corrected computer now. We had to reinstall M/B 3Com Network drivers from the M/B CD and all seems to be back to normal. Surferdude, you said in your first reply that "we can easily dump the parallel install" once we got the old system booting. I'm now awaiting your further instructions. Many thanks once again for your expertise and guidance in getting me sorted. Neil.:D
     
  10. 2008/02/09
    surferdude2

    surferdude2 Inactive

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    Sounds good so far Neil! Now I want to verify which version of Windows you are actually booting so we don't delete the wrong folder.

    Go to Start > Run > and type %systemroot% (press enter)

    Verify that the folder it goes to is named plain old Windows.

    Post back your finding.
     
  11. 2008/02/10
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member Thread Starter

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    surferdude it's running WINDOWS. Sorry about delay in getting back to you as I had to Download and reinstall SP2 and all the updates as I haven't got it slipstreamed as I've seen mentioned here previously. It was also a case of have dinner or face divorce. I also found that AVG won't activate and it seems Threatfire is not working. First things first lets do away with the parallel install of XP. Neil. :eek:
     
  12. 2008/02/10
    surferdude2

    surferdude2 Inactive

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    No problem Neil. I often get the same problems when everyone want to use the front burner at the same time. :)

    As for the removal of the parallel install, you should delete the old WindowsC folder entirely. I think that's the name you gave it but verify that.

    Then you will need to edit the boot.ini file to get rid of the line that contains WindowsC in it. The boot.ini is a hidden, read-only file so you will need to set your view to show hidden files and then change the read-only attribute to allow editing.

    To change the view settings:
    Open Windows Explorer or My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View >

    Check the box labeled "Show hidden files and folders "

    Uncheck the boxes labeled "Hide file extensions for known file types" and "Hide protected operation system files "

    OK out of there.


    To change the file attributes:
    Right-click the file and select "Properties ". Untag the box labeled "Read-only" and click OK.

    You will likely have to reinstall any software that isn't working properly but it sounds like you're on the way to recovery.

    This wasn't the way I intended it to go, I had hoped we could save your old system by gaining access to the System Recovery applet after getting it to boot but we must not cry about that now. Perhaps that option wasn't available so we'll have to defer to your son's best judgement. He did well so give him a pat on the back from me as well.

    Dude
     
  13. 2008/02/10
    mflynn

    mflynn Inactive

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    Hi Neil and Dude

    Looks like you are coming back OK, in the good care of the Dude!

    First off don't be gun shy of CCleaner, as I for sure know this issue is some wierd Symantec stuff. I have seen the exact problem and regseeker and even regedit could not clean it.

    Second go here get erunt http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/

    It will make a registy backup on boot and keep them by day so you can go back days or months to get a registry back.

    Neil I don't know how many computers you deal with in all, 3 here.

    You seem very capable so may I make a couple of suggestions. Oh well I'm a gonna do it anyways!:D

    Get a Slipstreamed sp2 cd. You need it for sfc etc and to keep from having to download sp2 and others updates after a repair like this.

    Go here get Autostreamer http://www.simplyguides.net/guides/using_autostreamer/using_autostreamer.shtml

    Makes it easy.

    This site also has good instructions and the full SP2 download. It is pretty simple.

    Once you have your slipstreamed CD.

    Go to http://www.ubcd4win.com/downloads.htm get it and make you a WinPE boot disk. This alone would have save much time and heartache on the current situation.

    Had you had these things this last issue would have been a cakewalk!

    These to things are very easy to do.

    Next time you need to restore registy and windows won't boot. Boot from the UBCD4Win load My Computer browse to c:\windows\erd\

    pick the date of the registry you want restore and reboot.

    UBCD4Win will also allow you to run your System Restore from your broken non bootable windows.

    Mike
     
  14. 2008/02/11
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member Thread Starter

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    Hi Dude and Mike, sorry about delay in reporting actions. Dude I followed your instructions with a little help from my PC whiz - all operating on ONE Windows XP now. I've downloaded AVG again and it's functioning AOK. It seems that I will have to check the software one by one to see if everything is working as it was. I have lost Adobe completely - no sign in Control Panel>Add/Remove. I shut the computer down after removing WindowsC and the message came up saying Turn Off as it was going to install 42 updates! That's done and I'm Posting now and the system seems stable again. Mike thanks for your Post. I do have Erunt installed and operating, but as I couldn't boot into Windows I couldn't get at it. I have taken your advice and downloaded Autostreamer and ubcd4win and will take a little time to set them up for future protection. BTW I had followed a tutorial by Marc Liron (UK MVP) on copying i386 folder into C:\ and had been able to run sfc /scannow on a weekly basis without any problems. I run Comodo and Threatfire and Spybot-search and destroy. Once again guys many thanks for all your help with this problem. Neil and son Mike.:D
     
  15. 2008/02/11
    mflynn

    mflynn Inactive

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    Good morning Neil

    Great!

    The i386 folder you were using was at a lower sp level and will in some cases reverse a system that is at a higher sp level like SP2.

    As soon as you get a slipstreamed SP2 disk replace your i386 folder on HD with the SP2 one from the SP2 slipstream, or delete it and use the SP2 disk.

    I would also not run sfc on a weekly basis, sfc is a repair function, this is normally only run for repair and not for maintenance. Probably will not cause a serious problem but could at very least reverse some MS updates and cause them to have to be reinstalled. Which Win update would do automatically most likely.

    Do you agree with this Dude?

    You will be ready next time!

    Mike
     
  16. 2008/02/11
    surferdude2

    surferdude2 Inactive

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    Hi Neil & Mike!

    Yes, I agree that SFC is not for regular maintenance use. I look on it as a Stilson wrench in an age of box-end rachets. Frankly, I have never had it save my bacon in any circumstance. The Windows File Protection System works pretty well and it will be once in a blue moon that SFC will find any fault.

    Neil, Mike has you lined out with the tool you can use to recover a crashed system next time around. It's nice to be able to understand these tools and wield them properly when needed.

    There is another approach that works for those who don't really care to learn the ins-and-outs of these one-eyed monsters. That is to perform regular compressed backup images of your system drive and store those images on separate media. Recovery to any stored image date is fast and easy and as in your case this time, you would not be having to re-install all of your software and updates. Give that some thought. The good software for doing this is either Acronis True image or Norton Ghost. I prefer Acronis, but to each his own. It allows me to schedule a daily incremental backup which takes less than 4 minutes at boot. I store the last 90 days of those so it makes a good safety net. It also allows browsing these images for files and retrieving things that I have since thrown away.

    All the best, Dude
     
  17. 2008/02/17
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member Thread Starter

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    Hi guys, Dude I'm finding (as you suggested) that I have to re-install my Software as the odd file is missing. Mike, I'm working on the Slipstream job, but due to the problems with the Software (especially Nero) I'll let you know when it's all complete. I had to download Windows Install Cleanup as Add/Remove would not uninstall some programs. We'll get there yet. Neil.:D
     
  18. 2008/02/17
    mflynn

    mflynn Inactive

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    Hi Neil

    You don't need a full fleged Burning program to do this.

    Imgburn is the best at burning and making ISO images.
    http://www.imgburn.com/

    For writing copying CD DVD's.

    Here are some free ones

    http://rapidshare.com/files/42810852/SCDWriter.exe My favorite completely stand alone no install

    http://www.nch.com.au/burn/

    http://filehippo.com/download_cdburnerxp/

    http://www.burn4free.com/

    http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/M...rner_FREE.html

    SCDWriter is fully standalone and need no install.

    Mike
     
  19. 2008/03/09
    retiredlearner

    retiredlearner SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member Thread Starter

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    Mike, I've finally managed to carry out your recommendations. I had quite a bit of fun downloading both WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe. and UBCD4Win. It took me three days of trying to get the SP2 correct as Autostreamer wouldn't accept any other SP2 build. I now have XPStreamer and BartPE Builder CD's. I'm all set for any major stuff up now - many thanks for your assistance.
    If Dude reads this post - thanks once again I think I now have all my software programs set up and running AOK. I think we can close this post and I hope if anyone else has the same problem that they follow your posts fully and correctly. Neil :D:cool:
     

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