corrupted config file and cannot boot upto xp

  roger 16:46 24 Aug 2003

I am sending this plea from my wife?s laptop.

I have rather a major problem here on my computer (also a laptop) and any help will be much appreciated.

Both computers run on XP Pro and are normally connected via a wireless connection.

About two weekends ago when it was even hotter than today my laptop threw a wobbly and started throwing up all sorts of error messages. Finally I could not get into it. When I tried it started up scandisk but would or could not complete the task and showed that many files had been fragmented. This coincided with my going away for two weeks so I switched everything off.

I am now back. I tried to boot up today. First I got to the XP Pro initial start up screen but no further. Then I could not get that ? only though the start up procedures to a blank screen or to an error message saying ?windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \windows\system32\config\system?

When I first had the problems I tried system restore but that did not work. I have also looked at ASR but to do that I have to create a floppy from my wife?s computer and the wizard wants to back up all the data on this computer which it says will take over 2 days! I have also tried starting in safe mode to noo avail. So unless I am doing something wrong that is not on.

Can I copy the config file on this computer (and if so which is it) to a floppy and load it to my computer but if I can how do I do that? At the moment I cannot even get into safe mode.

I could re-install XP (clean or as an overlay) but I believe that if I do that I will loose all my data (even in overlay mode) and I have been a bit lax at back ups over the last month or so, so I would prefer not to go down that path if it is correct that I will in fact loose my data.

I have Norton Systemworks but I do not understand how that can help in these circumstances.

Can anyone help.


  The Sack 16:58 24 Aug 2003

have you run the Windows XP Recovery Console?

click here

  Forum Editor 16:58 24 Aug 2003

your data files will be unaffected as long as you don't do a clean install.

  handful 18:05 24 Aug 2003

click here I have had to do this twice and it does work. In effect what you are doing is replacing the corrupt registry with other undamaged files which then allows you access to XP as an administrator. Once you reach that stage it is just a case of doing a system restore. I found reinstalling just copies an additional installation of xp and doesn't overide all original files. It does work but not 100% in my experience.

  handful 18:07 24 Aug 2003

Be careful you check and double check your dos commands or it ends up with broken windows and a reformat!!!

  beeuuem 18:09 24 Aug 2003

If you follow the instructions click here you can restore the system files.
If you take this option it is advisable to create a new restore point when the recovery is completed.

  roger 19:54 24 Aug 2003

Thanks to all who responded to my cry for help.

I am gearing myself up to try the Recovery Console route this evening and the information sheets which handful and beeuuem led me to have maded me a little less apprehensive about that!

However, if the re-install does work I assume that this would be simpler. Is it? If it does not (and even if it does) would I need to delete any files that i have overlaid and if it does not work will I still be able to try the Recovery Console route.

All further comments will be much appreciated.


  beeuuem 21:35 24 Aug 2003

The method given in the link looks complicated. If you follow it step by step it only takes a few minutes -literally. I used it to talk my completely non-tech sister through the same fault and it took no more than ten minutes.
My, purely personal, opinion would be to try the above and only use the reinstall option if the recovery fails.

  roger 16:39 25 Aug 2003

Hi all ? the saga continues.

I went down the beeuuem route and it worked ? for a while. Then on a re-boot I got a new error message saying that vgaoem.fon was missing or corrupted.

I went to the Microsoft KB and followed the instructions in Article 315338 but after putting in at the c:\windows> prompt the command expand CD-ROM drive:\i386\vgaoem.fo_ drive:\windows\system where cd rom is d and drive is c expecting a message ?Vgaoem.fo_ 1 file(s) expanded? I got ?The system cannot find the file or directory specified? and back to the prompt.

Should I now try the re-install over the existing copy of XP. Will my data be secure if I do that by booting from the CD-ROM and choosing the install option and not the ?r? for recovery option at the ?Welcome to Setup? screen. I know all my data is still there because I found it by doing file/folder and picture searches. It is just that ?My Documents? and My Pictures? have been stripped and my identities in Outlook have been deleted with all my emails and addresses. I am hoping that a ?System Restore will deal with that.

All further thoughts gratefully received. I am becoming rather desperate!


  powerless 16:47 25 Aug 2003

Article 315338 why are you looking at that?

I think you need to look at this > click here

The message you are getting is the message within this article (sroll down).

"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"

  powerless 16:53 25 Aug 2003

Oh its the same as handful click here.

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