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Cannot reboot after installing WindowsXP - have to reinstall

Posted on 2002-05-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi Chaps,

I recently upgraded my ageing system by buying a new motherboard and processor. This is the spec of my system:

Asus A7V333
Athlon XP 1800+
256Mb DDR
20Gb Quantum Fireball lct-15
GeForce 256

Ok, so i've now installed WindowsXP 3 times and though the installation goes fine, when I reboot the system(not necessari;y the 1st time) I get the following error before the OS loads (black screen):

"
Cannot find the file
C:\Windows\system32\config\system the file is either missing or corrupt
"

I cannot recover from this and am forced to re-install unless I made a backup of the file from when it worked and copy it over the 'corrupt' version. Though I have had some successful reboots, after a few times this message always appears forcing me to start again which is very frustating.

My question is, is this a hardware problem?

Much Appreciated.
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Question by:benny_sisko
8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 6984546
Is this an original XP CD or a CD-R duplicate?

If duplicate, it's possible it was copied wrong.

Try a different CD drive or try copying the entire installation CD to your hard drive and running the XP installation from there.

It sure sounds like you have bad data getting on to your HDD.
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Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 6984566
A tricky error to track down.  Additional possibilities include:

1.  Serious bug in IDE controller driver causing filesystem corruption.  Requires updated driver.
2.  Faulty IDE controller logic (hardware failure).  Requires new motherboard - you may simply have a bad unit since it is brand new.
3.  Failure to shut down properly.  Do you turn the unit off while running or use the "Shut down system" program?

Can we assume the first thing you do is download all the latest XP patches from the Microsoft Update site?  Are you able to complete this operation or does the system crash before you can do so?
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Expert Comment

by:tmj883
ID: 6984774
Did you upgrade Windows9x to WindowsXP or was XP a full install? Was your hardware upgraded before or after XP install? T
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 6984928
As already asked, Are you doing clean installs or installing as either an upgrade or as a repair to the existing OS?

Lets try to eliminate hardware issues first, before doing any more installs of the OS, open the case and remove all "devices" except the video card  (modem, sound card, network card, ect)
Did you add any new memory? if so then remove it

Now if you are installing on a clean HD , do a format then install. If you are doing a repair or upgrade then it would be nice if you had a spare HD that you could do a clean install onto first to eliminate any "issues" with programs on the old HD.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Kyle Schroeder earned 300 total points
ID: 6997654
The file that is corrupted is the main system registry, which is of course critical to the correct operation of the system.  Is your harddrive connected to the PRomise FastTrack ATA133 RAID controller or the IDE-1 port (If you have this variant of the board, if not skip the rest of this paragraph). Switch it to the onboard VIA IDE port 1 if it isn't. .  (Also note that you'll need to change the BIOS boot order to boot from IDE-1 instead of the RAID controller).

Also ensure you're using the 80 conductor IDE cable that probably came with the board and not the old 40 conductor cable from your old PC I'd also suspect faulty memory potentially causing the registry to become corrupted.  Go to www.memtest86.com and download the program, then run it on your PC.

-dog*
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Expert Comment

by:ehrrngtn
ID: 7006947
I have had the same issue with an out of the box copy of XP on an FIC PA2013 motherboard (it was flaky out of the box, but I have always been able to get an OS to install and run), AMD k62 400 CPU, 196M sdram. I have come to the conclusion that it has to be the motherboard. (IDE controller) Swap to the other controller as dogztar mentioned, if applicable.
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Author Comment

by:benny_sisko
ID: 7007237
Hi All,

Thanks all for the advise. In the end what happened is that I got my memory changed (even though I had it changed previously for a different error), and now everything seems to be working ok. I haven't seen the error since so I assume that this was the problem. I will never buy UNBRANDED memory again and stick to the branded (crucial) stuff that I now have!

benny
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Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7008482
Yup..with the "good stuff" costing only a few dollars more than the cheapo stuff, its worth it for sure.

Glad I was able to help you!

-dog*
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