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Help, it's an emergency

Posted on 2004-09-15
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
how do I fix:

missing or corrupt windows/system32/config/system? Need to fix this ASAP
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Question by:chriskoch
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by:sirbounty
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Well, it'd help to know what operating system, but
See this PAQ: http:Q_21014636.html#11240778 for some examples of repairing.
Short of it - insert your installation CD and do a repair installation.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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The OS is XP -

Windows NT and 2000 put Windows in C:\WINNT
Windows 9x uses C:\WINDOWS, BUT they does use \SYSTEM32\CONFIG
XP uses C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEm32\CONFIG

There is a chance it's another OS, but highly unlikely.

Here's what Microsoft suggests :
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=307545
Note, I'd suggest only restoring the file SYSTEM and rather than creating a temp directory, just rename the existing file(s) to .bad - system.bad for example.
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katacombz earned 500 total points
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boot to the O\S cd (2K\XP)
choose R for repair then C for recovery console.

once in the console rename windows/system32/config/system system.old .bad or whatever will help you recognize it.

then copy the old system file from

XP: C:\WINDOWS\repair
2K: C:\WINNT\repair

copy it into your working directory
(windows/system32/config)

failing this you might try a parallel install
just like a new install but when prompted for the path to install to (c:\windows or c:\winnt) change this to windows 2 or winnt2

1 more option you "might" be presented with if you boot to the cd abd press enter to install F8 for liscense then it shows searching for prevous versions of windows.

If at this point it recognizes your existing install and you choose the option to repair it will re install all the O\S system files. this sill usally put you back into the O\S with all you data and applications intact. but you will ahve to reinstall all patches and service packs.

hope this halps.
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by:DoTheDEW335
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You also might want to check that the HD itself is ok. Do you hear any noises that you didn't hear before this problem? If you can get to dos try running SCANDISK /ALL or FDISK /R
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by:Jared Luker
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This is definatly a bad registry hive.  They are hard to recover from.  Most times the data that's in the c:\windows\repair folder is really out of date.  Whenever I have that problem, I just back my stuff up and format.  Time to start over.  Dealing with corrupted registrys is just asking for future headaches.
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