Win XP won't start....

Discussion in 'Hardware - PCs, Consoles, Gadgets' started by Recce19, Jan 27, 2011.

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  1. OK, here's the problem:

    My g/f's PC decided to throw a wobbly last night and refuses to boot into windows. It gets past the Post and then comes up with the following error,

    "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    \ Windows \ system32 \ config \ System "

    It goes on to say to repair, using the original CD and press 'R' at the 1st screen.

    Also, I cannot get into Safe Mode!...I am guessing this is something like a corrupt sys file and/or the Registry!

    My question is two-fold. The 1st, how easy is this to sort and the 2nd, as the drive (NTFS) is partitioned, will she lose any data stored on other partitions during any repair process?

    I have a feeling, that a clean reinstall is on the cards, but need to save her data first!

    Any tech gurus out there that can help????
  2. Your repair disc should ask you where the version of XP is that needs repairing before it does anything and if you are lucky it will just repair the problem without overwriting anything.

    Of course if you are concerned then use something like Ghost boot or whatever to copy the data onto a USB drive before playing about.

    This lot should help

    Repair Windows XP - How To Perform a Repair Installation of Windows XP - Part 1 of 2
  3. If you run the repair utility from the installation disk it'll only repair the specific Windows section of the drive; Simply by scanning for mismatches between the files on the disk and the ones on the HD then it'll replace damaged/modified files. Only problem is the repair utility won't always work depending if the MBR is totally screwed up which would require a reformat.

    Is the HD partitioned into two? So OS & Data partitions, if so you can kill the OS (Boot) partition, re-create it, re-install the OS and still keep the Data if not you'll have a sticky situation recovering the data if the repair fails.

  4. Follow the above tips first (the site Steven pointed to looks promising), but if all else fails you can always open up the machine, take out the hard disk, connect it up to another machine and then copy the data from the data partition.

    But that's definitely a last-resort solution -- fixing Windows in situ is by far the better way to go if at all possible.
  5. Hmm...thanks for both of your replies. I think the 1st thing I will do, is stick her drive (as a slave) into my system and see if I can get her data off it and save it to my drive and then do a clean reinstall....Well, this is the plan! :grin:
  6. Flaggie, at the moment, it's the data that I need to save. I can rebuild her Windows later and usually, a clean install is better than a repair. I may be and usually am wrong though!
  7. Nah, I only hesitated to recommend the slave/save/rebuild route because I didn't know how comfortable you were with screwdrivers, drives and plugs ;-)

    In any case, I've often seen the recommendation that you should do a low-level format and rebuild from scratch about every two years (preceded by a backup, perhaps) to clear out all the data crap that accumulates. This looks like as good a time to do that as any.
  8. I'd be tempted to replace the hard-drive, although it may repair a corrupt start up can be a classic sign that a HD is giving up the ghost.
  9. You could boot from a dos disk or bootable cd such as hirens, run chkdsk /r. Should repair the filesystem and restore system boot. You might want to save any data first, use boot disk or linux live cd and dump onto a usb drive.
  10. Just run repair from the disk, you will not lose your data, there's an idiots guide here in plain english: Help2Go Forums - C:\windows\system32\config\system missing or corrupt It will involve a bit of command line but its fairly simple providing you have not turned off the Windows restore feature, if you have it's just as simple but a slightly longer process.

    edited to add, step above is also a simple suggestion that should work and is part of the procedure listed.
  11. msr

    msr LE

    And once you have the data back, buy an external HDD and run a regular backup.

  12. Thanks again for al the helpful replies.

    Msr, I will definitely be doing that...well, I will be telling her to do that! :wink:
  13. Hirens.BootCD Download and burn to cd or usb stick . and look at or google MBR (Master Boot Record) Tools