XP - unable to startup - corrupt/missing file

  steved99 07:51 12 Mar 2008

My Compaq desktop (XP Home) freezes on startup. I cannot get into any of the safe modes, nor has non-destructive system recovery worked (it looked like it was copying files for 15 mins or so but then just froze again on startup).

There is a message displayed to indicate that C:\Windows\System32 was missing or corrupt. When trying to use safe mode the screen fills with various filepaths. The last one displayed ends ... AGP440 and then everything stops.

I've tried using recovery CD's but I don't think the PC is recognising that there is a CD/DVD drive installed as the disc is not being read by the drive.

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

  Arc hie 08:08 12 Mar 2008

Try hitting the DELETE button on your keyboard on start up, go into the BIOS and set the first boot device to boot from CD.DVD. Then try to boot off your recovery cd again.

  VoG II 08:36 12 Mar 2008
  steved99 10:14 12 Mar 2008

Thanks. I'd appreciate confirmation of a couple of points before I proceed.

Arc hie - The discs I have available are a set of 6 CD's that I created myself (recovery CD's) and NOT Microsoft supplied CD's with the operating system on. Is it OK to use these?

VoG - I note that the article states "Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system". I think my system does have an OEM-installed OS as I did't get any Original Microsoft Windows CD's supplied with the PC.

Do either of these points change the advice you gave?


  Arc hie 10:35 12 Mar 2008

Steve, does the D:/ drive in My Computer, have the restore files on it?
If so try hitting F11 on start up to see if it re-installs itself.

And No is the answer to your question, try the F11 first then try the option i told you earlier, the recovery discs will have all your informatiom on to get it up and running again, but as i have said you have got to get it to boot off CD.DVD in the BIOS

  Picklefactory 12:54 12 Mar 2008

Or maybe click here

  Stuartli 13:29 12 Mar 2008

If you can get to Safe Mode, using CheckDisk may solve your problem without too much hassle.

From My Computer>Explore>Properties>highlight your hard drive>Tools tab>Error Checking>click on the Check Now button.

Choose both options if you wish and OK.

Then Reboot. This allows CheckDisk to run and check for any missing or corrupted files and repair/replace them.

  steved99 22:49 12 Mar 2008

Thanks everyone. I managed to boot from the CD (I think) but didn't get asked to swop any discs so not sure what happened really. Anyway, the PC seems to be up and running although its gone back a long way in terms of sofware - I'll need to reinstall MS Office and Outlook but that's a small price to pay. Much appreciate your help.
Thanks. Steve

  woodchip 23:27 12 Mar 2008

If you check In Windows Explorer, Restore may have saved a Backup of your files. I am saying this as I have a HP Laptop that bought Compaq It did this on mine

  steved99 15:49 14 Mar 2008

Thanks Woodchip. There's a seperate 3GB partition on the hard drive (D)with a folder called "Preload" and a padlock icon called "Recovery". Is it one of these I should be looking at?

  woodchip 15:55 14 Mar 2008

If it's there in Windows Explorer, I think it put mine direct under Root of C:\ you should see all your files in it. it is not encrypted or anything

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