dell dimension 8300 windows xp home

  hvs 09:31 09 Jun 2012

When I start pc I get the Dell logo screen, then the black screen , "Please select operating system , then enter. I do that then I get an error message."Could not start because the file is missing or corrupt", \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM. You can attempt to repair etc.Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair selected boot disc, check boot path. I cannot get any further than this. I then get an option to strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup. I have searched for a solution before posting but everything I have found I have tried and nothing helps. I have tried the Dell suggestion as well , the setup windows cd xp home sp 2, nothing happens. When I click on boot device menu , it says that there is no boot device available, although this is checked on the system. i also get a computer disc hardware configuration problem, could not read from the selected boot disc, check boot path. It started also with a low battery error message , which I changed so I don't get that anymore and the clock is correctly set! I also get a keyboard error as well. Please can you help me? Heidi

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:13 09 Jun 2012

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

SEt BIOS to boot from CD

Boot with XP CD in drive wait for the "Press any key to boot from CD" message

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 exit

  birdface 15:00 09 Jun 2012

If you changed the CMOS battery try going into the Bios to see what it is booting from.

My old Dell used to boot from the Floppy even though the computer did not have one.So have a look at the drives just to see if Floppy is running and disable it.[Can't remember if I had to disable it or remove it.Then choose the Hard drive as first choice or CD just to see if it will start ok with any of those.

Removing the Battery would changed the start up procedure.

  hvs 20:56 09 Jun 2012

Fruitbat, I set the bios to start from CD but it just won't. @ButemanI have tried everything possible .When boot device menu comes up I choose IDE CD rom device. The message says no boot device available. Strike f1 or f2 etc. Nothing that I have tried works! I am really puzzled!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:22 09 Jun 2012

Set first boot device to Cd disable all other boot devices, save and exit F10

  hvs 19:32 10 Jun 2012

Fruit Bat , I have a tick next to cd rom to boot to the others don't have a tick next to it so I presume that the others are disabled then. . I saved and pressed f10 and this is what I got: Phoenix Rom bios plus version 1.10A05 Copyright 1985-1988 etc copyright 1990-2004 Dell corporation etc Dell dimension 8300 series Bios version A05 Keyboard failure Strike f1 to retry boot, f2 for setup.

Its says keyboard failure but I am using the keyboard! cant get any further than this. Whatever I do I get an error message of sorts......

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:55 10 Jun 2012

I take it that this a an old machine?

What kind of keyboard are you using? USB or PS2?

I would be tempted to renew the CMOS Battery see here and then retry to set the boot devices.

  hvs 15:21 11 Jun 2012

Hi Fruit Bat, The pc was bought in in April 2004. The first thing I did was buy a new battery at a computer store. The battery was finished and I know its working because the time is now correct!Have reset boot devices. No go!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:30 11 Jun 2012

Remove power cables - remove CMOS battery and leave for half an hour.

refit CMOS battery and then power cable - reset BIOS to default condition this should set CD Rom as first boot device.

Make sure the disk in the drive is bootable an XP CD.

  hvs 19:02 11 Jun 2012

Ok I understand all of that but how do I set the bios to default condition ? The disc is an original Dell windows xp sp2 reinstallation cd.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:11 12 Jun 2012

It should default with all power removed for half hour.

there also should be a setting on the first BIOS screen to set to default.

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