Windows XP will not boot



XP will not boot after installing service pack 2.
Here is the transcript from the dell help desk. Don't want to pay dell $50
to fix the problem...anyone have any solutions?
{jabbar_jung 11:43:40 AM} Thank you for contacting Dell Hardware Warranty
Chat Support. My name is Jabbar. May I have the Complete Name and Telephone
Number as per our records,
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:43:55 AM} System will not reboot completely (posts without
video) after installing XP service pack 2. Will not reboot from Dell Windows
XP installation CD. Did all diagnostic tests...all passed except express test
received error code 0f00: 133D
MSG IDE device failed: incompatible CD for testing (Resource CD was in drive)
Can boot to resource CD...
Following error is confirmed after running debugging from F12 menu
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:44:20 AM} Perry Bartram 910-436-2437
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:44:53 AM} You may have the following number on file 910
878-0118 that is our old number
{jabbar_jung 11:45:48 AM} Let me check on this.
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:45:58 AM} no problem
{jabbar_jung 11:46:27 AM} May I know the complete messsage------>windows
could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:46:58 AM} you can attempt to repair this file by starting
windows Setup using the original setup cd-rom
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:47:13 AM} select r at the first screen to start repair
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:47:18 AM} That is it
{jabbar_jung 11:47:51 AM} Ok
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:48:11 AM} That is the window that is up right now
{jabbar_jung 11:49:17 AM} Give me a minute to check.
{jabbar_jung 11:54:30 AM} Did you unplug the hardware before installing SP2?
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:54:48 AM} Unplug what hardware?
{jabbar_jung 11:55:41 AM} Any third party hardware like USB drives
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:56:38 AM} no, the only hardware is a usb wireless adapter
{jabbar_jung 11:56:59 AM}
{jabbar_jung 11:57:15 AM} It was plugged, am I right?
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:57:20 AM} correct
{jabbar_jung 11:58:07 AM} Perry you can try repairing the windows or you can
try a fresh installation of windows.
{jabbar_jung 11:58:30 AM} Perry, you have contacted the hardware support and
this is a software issue. I can give you the number for our software support
they can resolve it.
{PERRY BARTRAM 11:58:53 AM} i can't repair because it is not seeing the
CD...send the number
{jabbar_jung 11:59:09 AM} As we have very limited expertise in this
software, we would like to avoid doing anything that could further bring down
the performance your computer. However, we have a set of technicians who are
trained to handle these types of issues. Please make a note of our helpdesk
number; they would be more than happy to assist you.
1-866-507-3355 (This is a Fee based support)
{jabbar_jung 11:59:39 AM} They will surely resolve issue.


thanks...I went through the link but it looks like it all requires booting
to safe mode which i am unable to do...could not even find a windows
directory on the c drive from DOS which makes 0 sense....

Pegasus \(MVP\)

The transcript from the Dell helpdesk is useful to Dell but not
to us other mortals. You need to describe what exactly happens
at boot time, what messages you see and how far you get.


No problem. When I boot the computer I get the normal black screen with the
option to press F2 or F12 (setup or boot process) the screen changes to the
Windows XP screen and then goes blank. Nothing else happens. I cannot get it
to boot off of the XP reinstallation cd but can get it to boot to the
resource cd. I can get to dos by pressing F8 but do not see a windows
directory after rebooting get the following error.
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\windows\system32\config\system you can attempt to repair this file by
starting windows Setup using the original setup cd-rom select "r" at the
first screen to start repair
as stated before when I reboot to to the XP cd it does not see it and I get
the same message again.

Pegasus \(MVP\)

Let's take this nice and easy. When you press F8 early in the
boot phase then you get a boot menu screen. (BTW - it's not
a "DOS" screen - there is no DOS under Windows!). Now
try booting into "Last known good configuration". Does it
work? If not, select "Safe Mode".

If this still fails to work then you may have to restore your
system to factory condition. Two preparation steps are
1. Back up your important files(s) if any. Do you have any?
2. Locate the Dell "Operating System" CD. I saw one a few
weeks ago but I do not remember its exact label. If
you cannot find it, tell us what CDs you do have.

Post your results here and someone will take you to the
next step.


Replied last night but it did not post so here it goes again.
I have tried the last known good configuration it does not work.
I have three options for booting into safe mode none work.
I can't fix or restore the operating system because the drive does not boot
to cd.
The drive will boot to the resource cd diagnostic screen which give me the
option to go to a command prompt (DOS). From there I have placed the OS cd in
the other CD drive and tried to run setup. I receive the message cannot run
this program from DOS.
I have tried to copy the corrupt file from a cd to the C drive but get the
message that the directory does not exist on the c drive. I think my next
step is to try and create a windows\system32\config folder and copy it again.
I am hesitant to format the drive as the OS disk is not being read.
Thanks again for the help this beats the heck of paying dell for asking
their software guys.

Pegasus \(MVP\)

The file \windows\system32\config\system is part of the
registry. If it is damaged then you have a couple of

1. Use its backup copy, or
2. Re-install Windows.

AFAIK, Option 1 is invoked automatically when you select
"Last known good configuration". You report that it does not
work but you do not tell us what the error messages are.
It is therefore not possible to tell you what's happening here.

Since you did not report the labels of your DELL CDs, I can
only guess what CD you used when trying to run setup.exe.
If it is a proper Windows setup CD then this sequence of
commands will initiate the Windows setup process:

cd \i386


It is possible that the system files are on corrupt sectors of the hard
drive. You might want to start out by running the manufacture hard
drive disk utility to confirm the condition of the sectors. Otherwise,
I would do a low level format and reinstall Windows. If you need to
get data off of the drive before reformatting then I would suggest you
find another computer and slave the drive. At that point you can save
the data to another hard drive or burn it to a CDRW.

"Death Smiles at Everyone Marines Smile Back."


The OS CD is labeled Operating System Reinstallation CD Microsoft Windows XP
Professional including Service Pack 1

The resource cd is labeled Dell Dimension Resource CD.

The error I receive when running last known configuration is
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or
corrupt:> \windows\system32\config\system you can attempt to repair this file
by starting windows Setup using the original setup cd-rom select "r" at
the first screen to start repair

I cannot boot to safe mode.

When I run the line cd \i386 winnt it only works on the cd drive not the c
drive. I get the windows xp professional setup error Windows XP requires a
hard drive volume with a t least 392 megabytes of free disk space. Setup will
use part of this space for storing temporary files during installation. The
drive must be on a permanently attached local hard disk supported by windows
xp, and must not be a compressed drive
Setup was unable to locate such drive with the required amount of free
space. Setup cannot continue. Press enter to exit.


Do you think I should format if the OS cd is not being read now? The drive
is reading other cd's...if i reformat I will have to do it from the command
prompt...Format C: correct?

Pegasus \(MVP\)

I don't own any Dell PCs, hence I do not know how they have
structured their recovery CDs. Here is a way to resolve the
issue. It involves formatting the hard disk. You will lose all
information on it.

1. Boot the machine with a Win98 boot disk from
2. Run fdisk.exe.
3. Delete all partitions.
4. Create at least one partition of at least 10 GBytes.
5. Mark the partition as "active".
6. Reboot from this diskette as prompted.
7. Run format.exe and format the partition you created,
e.g. by typing format c: /q /u /v
8. Reboot the machine with the Dell OS Reinstallation CD.
9. Type these commands:
cd \i386

WinXP will now install itself in the newly created partition.
It is a FAT32 partition. Later on you can convert it to NTFS
if you wish.


OK, that sounds like a solid plan. That is now my plan b because...for some
reason the computer is know booting to the OS CD and it allowed me to select
repair from the options which eventually leads me to the Windows XP Recovery
Console. At the console it asks me which windows I want to log onto...there
is only 1 so I choose it...type in the administrator password and get the

So now what command am I suppose to type?

Thanks again for all your help!

Pegasus \(MVP\)

Type the following commands:

If this does not work, reboot again with the OS CD, then
select Repair twice in a row.

If this still fails, use plan b).

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