Windows XP start-up failure

  tallboy 10:34 08 Sep 2007

When I turned my Mesh Athlon (1.4GHz) PC on this morning it failed to start up, saying the Windows\System32\Config\system file was corrupt or missing. It advised me to put in the MS XP disc and choose 'r' - the repair option.

It then asked me for the administrator p/w. I typed in the one I use for logging on (as the only user, this is set to have administrator rights) but it wouldn't accept this. I then tried all the other passwords I can recall ever using and it wouldn't accept any of these either! (After 3 attempts you have to start all over again.)

Finally, I tried it with no password and got back to a DOS Command Prompt. This at least enabled me to look in Config folder. The file is there - it was last accessed at 10.55pm last night, when I closed the PC down.

Is there anyway I can get out of this 'hole' and repair / replace the file without having to completely re-load XP? Is there a way to bypass the password point in the repair set-up? (Since I have tried all the options I can think of.)

Where can I get a working system file that I could use to overwrite the corrupt file? (I did try copying the one on my wife's XP machine, but since it is in use as soon as you start up, you can't copy it and I didn't find a way of 'forcing' the PC to start up in DOS mode in the way you use to be able with Windows 2000.)

Any suggestions would be most welcome.

  VoG II 10:44 08 Sep 2007
  tallboy 14:28 08 Sep 2007

Thanks for the direction VoG. I have gone through Part One of the instructions and can now get XP to start. However, I guess it's not loading a keyboard driver of any sort since this is now dead (including things like Caps lock). The mouse works fine but to continue with Part two I need to use the keyboard as access to the System Volume Information folder is denied. To access this I need to use the Command line. (Article 309531 refers.)

How do I make the keyboard active again? Any ideas most welcome!

  birdface 10:02 09 Sep 2007

I don't suppose last good configuration in safe mode will fix it.Or system restore to a time before you had the problems.I would wait until you get some advice with your keyboard, that would seem to be the best way to solve it.

  thms 10:18 09 Sep 2007

If you can use your mouse you could try this
click here it will open a virtual keyboard you can use with your mouse.

Wont fix your keyboard problem but will let you type.

  tallboy 20:32 09 Sep 2007

Thanks for the suggestions butman & thms. I used the virual keyboard to good effect to complete the Microsoft recommended method suggested by VoG. However, when I got to the end of Part 3, I got the same message again - corrupt registry. To be sure, I went through the whole process a second time - but still got the same message.

On the third try, after loading the basic files from the MS repair folder, I started XP again in Safe Mode with Networking and managed to activate a restore point from a few days ago. Once this was in place XP started normally and the keyboard was active again, although the external router was not. However, after disconnecting this with the PC off, restarting the PC without the router, shutting down again and finally restarting with the router re-connected (so that plug & play would 'see' it), I am now reconnected to the outside world.

Thanks to all for your valuable suggestions.

  1234s282 18:06 10 Sep 2007

If your keyboard is usb , then load xp without your keyboard plugged in.

When xp has loaded , plug in your keyboard and xp should detect it and install the driver all by itself.

It will say something like "Found New hardware" , then "Your new hardware is installed and ready to use"

If this doesnt revive your keyboard , just buy a new one - its not like they are expensive!

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