Win XP Restoring file.( how).

  Sparks 15:49 06 Mar 2003

A student friend of mine cannot get into Windows XP. On boot up he is left with the message "Windows cannot start, system file w/system32/config either missing or corrupt".He knows he has to use his XP disc but doesn't understand the requested commands,can somebody talk me through it step by step so I can relay it to him over the phone as he lives 40 miles away. thank you for any response.

  ©®@$ђ 15:51 06 Mar 2003

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

That means the System Registry Hive has become corrupted.

There are two ways to get back up and running. The easy way which doesn't always work, and then there is the hard way.

Easy Way --- Note that this doesn't always work.
When you are booting your system, press the F8 key during the start of the bootup sequence, meaning after it does the Power On Self Test.

Once you press the F8 key, you will be taken to a Menu. Select "Boot Using Last Known Good Configuration".

It will now attempt to load Windows XP using a past set of configuration files.

If that doesn't work, there is the next step....the hard way.

Hard Way
Boot your system with the Windows XP Install CD, let the system boot into the Setup. Once in the Setup, choose to run the Recovery Console.

You will now be presented with a screen similar to good old DOS.

First, we will recover the System Hive.

Now, type in the following commands with pressing Enter after each line.

md tmp
copy C:\windows\system32\config\system C:\windows\tmp\system.bak
delete C:\windows\system32\config\system
copy C:\windows\repair\system C:\windows\system32\config\system

Be very careful when you are typing in these commands, one wrong move, and you know, broken Windows XP.

Also, change the C in the commands to whatever your Windows XP drive letter is.

Attempt to boot the system, if it doesn't boot, get back into the Recovery Console and do the following commands.

md tmp
copy C:\windows\system32\config\software C:\windows\tmp\software.bak
delete C:\windows\system32\config\software
copy C:\windows\repair\software C:\windows\system32\config\software

The full Microsoft Support Knowledge Base Article that I based this FAQ entry on can be found here (Q307545).

  powerless 15:54 06 Mar 2003

Turn on the computer...

Quickly insert the XP disc in the CD drive...

Let windows boot from the CD, press anu key when prompted...

Wait a few minutes...

You'll be given a screen with 3 options, choose the REPAIR XP option...

Make sure the computer is configured to boot from the CD drive.

  Sparks 19:30 06 Mar 2003

Thanks for your response, I've passed on your advice and I'll post back on outcome.

  Sparks 17:36 08 Mar 2003

Tried suggestions but no luck, kept getting "invalid parameters refer to help file". Would not reformat because of large amount of essential data on hard drive, so fitted a spare h/d and installed XP on it. Maybe a bit drastic but at least he's got plenty of storage as well now. Thanks again.

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