XP System file missing or corrupt

  ccslb 08:52 03 Mar 2003

Very often when I boot up I get a message stating that the system file is missing or corrupt and windows will not boot up. I know the procedure for getting around this and getting back to my desktop but I have no idea why this is happening as there is no consistency when this happens ie I might have been playing a game before shutting down or my wife may have been writing a word document etc. The desktop itself is stable, no blue screens, freezing etc.

Microsoft have put a doc on the knowledge base stating how to get around this but not why this is happening. My system file is only 3-4Mb so nowhere near the 13Mb limit that has been hinted at elsewhere.

Any ideas as this is driving up the wall. Turning my machine on is becoming a lottery.

Thanks, Lee.

  €dstow 09:11 03 Mar 2003

This may sound a bit odd but check inside your machine to see if the cable from the motherboard to the hard drive is connected the right way round. That is the BLUE plug to the motherboard, the black plug to your (main) hard drive and the grey plug to any other drive.

I don't know much about thse cables but I do know they are not reversible and have caused a similar problem in a machine I have.


  ccslb 08:17 04 Mar 2003

Ok... I'll give that a go tonight... I've got to ask this though, if the cable was in the wrong way round, I wouldn't expect the mobo to see the disk and ever boot up successfully? But if you have had similar probs it's worth checking!

  €dstow 08:35 04 Mar 2003

It did boot up when it felt like it, on other occasions it came up with the message you are getting about a file being missing or corrupt. The final straw came when, in mid session, the message came up and everything stopped and couldn't be started again, whatever I tried to do about it. I remembered then that a few days previously some junior from the computer consultancy next door to here came in to add another HDD to the machine. It must have been him that put the cable back the wrong way.

I have all my machines built for me so I got my builder in and it was he that discovered the problem straightaway.

The fault did damage the XP setup I had but I am known here as the backup king, apparently, and I did have a full backup so it was all OK in the end.


  Andÿ 09:20 04 Mar 2003

Is it a corrupt registry that keeps reoccurring?? as in "Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM "

If it is check your ram settings and set them to default or safe rather than performance.

I have a feeling your registry is being corrupted as info is loaded in to ram. It often happens with faulty ram or incorrect ram timing/settings.

  ccslb 10:09 04 Mar 2003

Edstow - I'll check the cable tonight - basics are always a good place to start.

Andy - I'll also have a look at my bios.

Thanks for all your help!


  ccslb 10:15 04 Mar 2003

Andy, just to confirm that is the exact message I keep getting. If I restore the registry the machine may be ok for a few days but after that on startup it may fall over. It is always fine if it has booted up ie no blue screen or freezing so that may tie in with what you are suggesting.

I've seen suggestion regarding the size of the system hive - problems may occur if it hits 13Mb but I noticed it is only 4096 Kb at the moment.

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