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Old 10-25-2008, 02:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default XP Boot Issues

Hey Guys,

I've recently reformatted my computer and purchased some new hardware components (HDD, motherboard, video card, RAM, PSU). Had everything working nicely for about a week until I noticed one of my personal files had been corrupted.

Went to delete but it wouldn't allow me to delete - so tried to boot into safe mode with networking F8. Got error message Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
Tried rebooting PC and it just won't get past that, whether I try pressing F8 or if i leave it to boot.

I had Windows running on my E: which is my new HDD. My old HDD was reformatted and just acting for data storage (C.

I've tried putting in the Windows XP disk I used to install it last week and it was unable to repair due to The system registry does not appear to have an active control set key, the system registry may be damaged.

I've run chkdsk /r scans and that wasn't able to resolve the issue.
I've seen advice which recommended choosing install from the boot disc, and then having that repair - but there was no repair option after agreeing to the licence.

Currently, I've got Windows XP (fresh install with none of my usual drivers) on my C: and was wondering if I can just copy the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM from C: to E:? I can access my E: now and see all the files/folders but I can't boot into Windows on it.

Is it possible to do this, and will there be any issues? Or do you have any other suggestions?
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: XP Boot Issues

If you go to your E:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\ folder you'll see several .bak files. They'll have an extensionless counterpart. What you need to do is makes copies of the .bak files and then rename the .bak files by deleting the extensions. Of course you'll have to delete or rename the extensionless files first. Those .bak files are the registry backups from the last time Windows booted successfully. You will have to replace all the files not just the SYSTEM file since the files are part of the same registry copy. Do not use the SYSTEM file from the new install since it doesn't contain the changes the old install has. It would most likely screw things up.
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Unhappy Re: XP Boot Issues

Had a look at the folder, there are extensionless files as you mentioned, .evt files and .sav files. Thought they may be hidden, so checked show hidden files/folders and nothing in there for .bak either.

Had a look at the file types -> registered file types. That doesn't list anything to do with .bak extensions - does have .bkf for Windows Backup - but I still don't have any of those listed in my folder.

Checked the C:\system32\config folder too and that didn't have any .bak either.
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Old 10-26-2008, 01:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: XP Boot Issues

Since you don't have any registry backups you'll have to do a repair install.


How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install
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