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missing or corrupt windows/system32/config/system

 
 
adam
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      9th Jul 2003
i get that message now twice going into windows. i had
to format both times to get in to windows. it just
started, any idea's why and how i fix it. i have windows
xp retail.

thanks
adam
 
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      13th Jul 2005
you could try doing this one.

How to Recover from a Corrupted Registry that Prevents Windows XP from Starting

When you try to start or restart your Windows XP-based computer, you may receive one of the following error messages:

Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE

Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate

The procedure described in this article uses Recovery Console, System Restore if the restart gives any error when it booted to Desktop, and lists all the required steps in specific order to ensure that the process completes fully. After you complete this procedure, the system should return to a state very close to the system before the problem occurred.

I. Boot to the Recovery Console

To run the Recovery Console from the Windows XP startup disks or the Windows XP CD-ROM, use the following steps:

Insert the Windows XP startup disk into the floppy disk drive, or insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted to do so.
When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.

II. Manually copy system restore files

At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following lines, pressing <Enter> after you type each line:

NOTICE:
(all commands to be typed in command prompt are in BLUE color for clarity of the content, and pressing the <Enter> key is required for executing each command at the recovery Console)

cd \ ( Note: between "cd" and "\" there should be a "blank space" else the command won''''t work )
2. cd system~1\_resto~1

NOTICE:
The appropriate command should be used according to the error message aka if the file "system" is corrupted use the first command or if the file "software" is corrupted use the second command line.

If it gives an error "Access Denied" while accessing the folder, follow the method below

cd \ <Enter>
cd windows\system32\config <Enter>
ren system system.bak<Enter>
exit<Enter>

now restart the computer and follow step I of the article.

3. dir

NOTICE:
when you hit <Enter> it will list all the restore points folders like rp1,rp2................ we have to see the last restore point to copy the file from a recent backup. if the restore points have more than one page then u have keep on hitting the <Enter> key to view the last restore point folder.

NOTICE:
It is a good rule of thumb to choose the files from the restore point folder which the second last one.

4. cd rp {the last restore point no. } (Note : Example : cd rp9, if rp9 is the last restore point, where last restore point no.=9 )

5. cd snapshot

NOTICE:
Now the command Prompt will look like this c:\system~1\_resto~1\rp9\snapshot> ( Note : restore point 9 assumed for clarity of the content, you have to goto the last restore point folder as described in the previous lines) Now according to the error message we have to copy the appropriate file from the restore point folder.

6. copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system
or
copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software

7. Type Exit to restart computer and boot to the harddrive normally.
 
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      10th Apr 2006
i'm having the same problem. i followed your instructions and everything went according to plan until the actual copying of the file. it said the file couldn't be copied. it did let me copy a file that was missing when this problem originated: \windows\vgaoem.fon am i screwed?
 
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      22nd Apr 2006
I have seen over 30 people in the past 3 days that have had this problem. Their entire system32/config folder is missing and they can't log into their profiles via the XP recovery console to attempt to fix it.


We have no idea what is causing this, but we have developed a backup batch file that will backup your config folder so *if* you ever get hit (or hit again) with this problem, you can easily have a full recovery.

http://www.schrockinnovations.com/pr...ys32config.php is the location of the tutorial that explains how to use the backup utility and how to restore your backup in the event of a crash. Good luck!
 
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      7th May 2006
Thank you so much tschrock!!!! I am running Windows 2000 and the M$ fix would not work for me because I do not have system restore. I had a buddy with the same problem, and we found your tutorial on how to back it up.

I did the backup jut in case on my 2000 box, and sure enough a couple weeks later I was hit with it too. But I got to laugh at my buddy because I was able to have a COMPLETE RECOVERY!!!!

Thanks again for the free help tschrock!
 
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      16th Nov 2006
When I start with the Windows XP CD in it still pops up with the same error message. Can someone help please?
 
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      3rd Jan 2007
I'm having a similar problem. I am getting the getting the same corrupt: windows\system\config\system message that you guys are getting. I tried to do a cd boot, but couldn't figure out how to make it happen. the only options that I am getting through the recovery disk is #1 Non-Destructive System restore, #2 System Restore - No Format, and #3 System Restore - Quick Format. I tried both the 1st and 2nd formating options, but am trying to prevent the loss of my personal files. My main question to you guys is how to boot the computer using the Cd boot when those are my only options?
I have tried going into the BIOS and setting the boot priority to the cd-rom and the recovery disk. I would like to figure out how to get into the command prompt to use the copy and paste method to try to get this to work. PLEASE HELP!

Last edited by DonGo; 3rd Jan 2007 at 01:42 AM.. Reason: grammer error
 
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      3rd Jan 2007
I got this problem fixed, but it keeps occuring randomly every once in a while. I had to fix it about three times so far. Anyone know why this keeps happening?
 
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Indianapolis, IN USA
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      25th Mar 2007
When attempting to start my PC, I also get the following error:

"Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM"

I. Boot to the Recovery Console

To run the Recovery Console from the Windows XP startup disks or the Windows XP CD-ROM, I use the following steps:

Insert the Windows Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.

Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive when prompted to do so.
When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.

If I press the first option to begin WindowsXP setup, it appears to go to the next step and then stays idle.

If I press R to recover, it goes to the next screen. I select the only option of 1: C Drive, and it accepts it and stays idle.

Any advice about that would be appreciated.

If necessary, I'm prepared to simply reformat the drive and reinstall Windows XP Pro. We have backed up all important files and information. What is the proceedure for doing this? The system is setup on NTFS.

Last edited by gWillacres; 26th Mar 2007 at 12:22 AM..
 
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      6th Jan 2008
Thanks Jamille...your instructions were perfect and worked like a charm. Thanks
 
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