I don't know what caused this, but when I got home Christmas night, my nice computer wouldn't start...it kept claiming that the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM file was damaged or corrupt, and that I should use the original Windows setup CD and press 'r' to repair the file. Well, that might've worked should I have had the CD! Sufficiet to say, I had a fun night...and the only reason I'm writing this, in hopes that if someone else has a problem alike, they might be able to search this. I spent many hours last night going through the web groups, finding a hint here and there, and trying to put it together, which I eventually did (I guess...).
I also noted that when I was searching, I did find one other person with the identical problem using the same motherboard as I do, the ECS K7S5A, however, he hadn't found a solution that I'm aware of.
Firstly, I had a Windows 98 Boot Disk readily available (for some odd reason, it's just nice to get into Dos...), and I browsed to that directory...didn't help much, as the file was there, though couldn't do much with it. So finally, thanks to one of the Newsgroups, "Kelly" said this:
1. Go to Recovery Console And Browse To The Directory C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG
2. Rename system: ren system system.old
3. Copy C:\WINDOWS\repair\system
Note: as an alternative to the "Recovery Console"
, just get into Dos (I used the 98 Startup Disk, though my Norton setup CD was capable of booting in just like the 98 disk did). From Dos, you browse there and type the same thing...not special in any way...just renaming it to backup and copying a repair file...! No darn XP CD required.
Restart. Now that may not have seemed like much, but it was a hell of a lot after spending hours finding nothing
I really need to find a copy of the XP CD, eh!?
Ok, now the computer boots up...but drives are renamed, services aren't installed that were moments ago, my dial-up ISP programs no longer function, all drivers have to be re-installed (Graphics, USB Hubs, key board/mouse, modem, CD/DVD drives etc etc. EVERYTHING!)...so after it does all of this, it's somewhat belivably ready to use?! Nah...! It also killed my firewall and antivirus (Norton)--had to reinstall.
Now I have two drives in my computer, previous to this, they were C:\ and F:\. Now the F:\ had been deemed H:\ and a few dozen programs on my computer no longer worked due to their registry values/shortcuts...
Ok, I know I've changed the drive letters before...no big deal. I went to the Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Computer Management->Disk Management. From here you can right click the drive and rename it, but for me, the RPC service had an error. I went to Run->Services.msc, and sure enough, it was started... I went back to the groups, to no answer besides I saw someone else mention they had recently installed SP2 (I have no idea if it is related, but it helped me in this case).
--Now to fix this, however this didn't effect me, but I figured I'd mention it as maybe it has someone? From Tony Delgado:
Run->Regedit and browse to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\RpcSs]
and select the key "ObjectName"="NT Authority\\NetworkService". If your key says this, change it to "ObjectName"="LocalSystem". I believed it was fixed later after SP2 was released...not sure though. He mentioned many things that it fixed for him, being: -taskbar stopped showing running programs, Outlook Express cannot reply nor create new messages and claims to be out of free memory, cut/copy/paste functions do NOT work, Run->diskmgmt.msc results in the following message: "The RPC server is unavailable.", net start RPCSS (in command prompt), results in message: System error 5 has occurred. Access Denied.
So that was a little bothersome, and I wanted to get to sleep by 10AM (eh!) I went to Add/Remove, and uninstalled SP2. Rebooted, and guess what...the Computer Management Tool now works again
Reinstalled SP2, and it still works...so everything is happy as I know it at the moment. I had to reinstall some services such as for my local Apache webserver, and MySQL database...but that was no problem (yay).
So all in all, I hope this doesn't happen to anyone, but I'm posting this merely to (hopefully) help the next Googler searching for this problem, and doesn't have the XP CD
Now I know this problem might be easy to fix if you had the CD, but next time it happens to you (if ever(first for me)), put that CD aside, and lets see how you get along with next-to-no resources at hand. Except a Win98 Startup Disk, and the Library down the street to get help...:P
Sadly, it's back, but it is like before: it will boot up to that corrupt config screen, then I hit reset button, and it boots up... A full reinstall will be the only fix...I shall be getting the CD soon