Recovery Console-Can only type one letter?

  buel 13:15 01 Jan 2011

Hi, my gf's dad's computer has come up with the message 'Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM'
Fruit Bat's advice, in the past, was:

To fix the "windows\system32\config\system file is mising or corrupt" where
Xp wont boot:

Go to Recovery Console and type:

cd system32\config
ren system system.old
ren system.alt systemalt.old
copy c:\windows\repair\system
copy c:\windows\repair\regback\system

This has worked in the past but this time, when i get to the Recovery Console, i get this:
Which Windows installation would you like to log onto
(To cancel press enter)?

When i try to type next to the question mark, as per the advice, im only able to type one letter!
Please can anyone offer any advice?

  bremner 13:17 01 Jan 2011

You should type


and return

  buel 13:27 01 Jan 2011

Thanks for that!
Can i just verify, before i start, that a XP Cd (not XP Pro) will be ok to use on a XP Media center PC?

  buel 13:35 01 Jan 2011

Hi again,
I got to this stage:

ren system system.old

And after i had pressed enter i got the message 'The rename operation failed.'

Any ideas why it went wrong please?

  GaT7 13:57 01 Jan 2011

"Can i just verify, before i start, that a XP Cd (not XP Pro) will be ok to use on a XP Media center PC?"

No, if the PC has XPMC installed you have to use a XPMC disc to repair it. Likewise with other versions of XP.

Regarding the rename failed issue, where are you with respect to the path? You should be at C:\Windows\system32\config\> when typing ren system system.old. G

  GaT7 14:03 01 Jan 2011

Few more things to try for the original problem click here.

"Can i just verify, before i start, that a XP Cd (not XP Pro) will be ok to use on a XP Media center PC?"

Sorry, if it's only to bring up the Recovery Console, & rename/copy files from & to the original XP install, it should be OK. In short, OK for what you are attempting here. G

  buel 14:45 01 Jan 2011

Hi Crossbow7,
Thanks for your help!!
Ok, to clear things up where i 'am'-

The pc was asking for a cd
I loaded the xp cd,
it automatically loaded,
I got the recovery console
I typed '1', pressed enter
I typed cd system32\config and pressed enter
I typed ren system system.old and pressed enter but got this message: 'The rename operation failed.'

Does this help?

  GaT7 14:56 01 Jan 2011

At C:\Windows\system32\config\> type dir > & press Enter.

Do you see a file called 'system' mentioned in the list? G

  GaT7 14:58 01 Jan 2011

Sorry, that may confuse: don't type > after dir, but simply dir.

So at C:\Windows\system32\config\> type dir & press Enter. G

  buel 15:02 01 Jan 2011

Hi, before i refreshed this page and found your answer i had previously followed 'option 2' in the link you sent me but where 'chkdsk \p' wouldn't work for me, typing simply 'chkdsk' did and it completed a check disk and i restarted and i have now got to the home screen!!!

Any advice now please? why would this have happened please?

  GaT7 15:27 01 Jan 2011

Good to hear it has been sorted :-).

Unfortunately these things happen in Windows from time to time with no known cause & may be the result of a corrupted registry (MS' take on this click here).

I remember experiencing the same problem a few times over the years but forgot what I did to solve it! Most probably used one of the methods mentioned in that link. G

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