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Recovery console won't let me copy from temp to system32 // I need to restore Windows // Have wacked out restore!!!

Posted on 2004-10-06
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Ok heres the deal,

I tried to bootup my PC this morning it said:  Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

To fix this I tried using MS Knowledge Base Article: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307545 that dealt with this same error code.

I got it to boot to XP Pro, a new Admin name was created, I copied those System Volume Files to the tmp and renamed the files perfectly.

Then I got all the way to Step 3.) I did not leave out any steps, and when and when I tried the command:   copy c:\windows\tmp\software c:\windows\system32\config\software

in the recovery console, It could not copy as it did not recognize the filename!!!  I exited the console, rebooted and it would not let me boot! I had already deleted the c:\windows\system32\config\XXXXX files as per prior step.

So I just copied the files back using c:\windows\repair\system files and I was able to boot up again.

EACH TIME IT BOOTS UP, its like a new installation of Windows with a new activation key required, HUGE dispay, etc.    (I've entered 2 new activation keys tonight!)

Then funny this is:  All my programs are listed and some of them open like ADAWARE (which found 8 Alexis reg keys?!) are still there but most of them arent installed.
Also none of my device drivers are installed (soundcard//videocard//ethernet//USB)  ?

Program Files // Accessories // System Restore =  Shows the earliest restore point as today, but if I go into System Volume Info I can see restore points from a long time ago!!!!

How can get thoseI restore out and get my documents and drivers back????
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Question by:pdoriley
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by:pdoriley
ID: 12235387
Also, Device Manage // Video Card is not installed   BUT when I try to install the nVidea drivers it says they're already installed!!!


                                                                      This is weird, what going on?
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by:Yaroslav_Buzko
ID: 12236349
Looks like your OS is heavily injured :( I'd vote for a backup to separate partition, reformat and clean reinstall.
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by:Cyber-Dude
ID: 12236596
Try to commit Windows Recovery:
Insert the boot CD, Enter the Setuo screen and choose to install the OS. After copying and scanning for previous OS, the setup screen will present you with an option to repair an installation (Press 'R' to repair).

Good luck.

Cyber
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by:crazijoe
ID: 12236749
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by:Yaroslav_Buzko
ID: 12236776
I agree that a repair is less destructive and more preferable solution. I'm just afraid it won't help :(
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 12236997
Yep..  if you do a Repair Install, you will still have to re-install your drivers, etc...  Repair will not do this for you in this instance..

FE
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by:crazijoe
ID: 12237069
Humm, Every repair install I have done I have never had a problem nor did I ever have to reinstall the drivers. Repair will repair will yank every thing in your registry and replace it with a new registry of a fresh installation.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 12237078
BTW:  when you replaced the registry, you essentially replaced the OS.  This is similar to a reinstall.  

Note When you upgrade, you might still see some restore point files and folders in the <drive letter>:\System Volume Information in Windows XP.  However, these restore points are obsolete and cannot be used as they do not appear on the Select a Restore Point list on the System Restore page.

When those restore points are in the SysVol folder, but not being detected in your Restore Tool, you will not be able to use them..  You may want to read this for more info:

System Restore "restore points" are missing or deleted

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;[LN];Q301224
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 12237104
If the repair is being done on an OS that currently has the correct drivers, apps installed in the registry, etc., the repair installation will not require the rei-installation of the drivers..  

But if it is being done on a system that does NOT have those installed, how could the repair installation install them without the user's interaction?

FE
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by:crazijoe
ID: 12237288
So he will not have to re-install the drivers after the repair install because they are already installed.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 12237363
No...  since he is now booting to a system without the drivers, this is the OS that will be repaired.  And he will have to reinstall the drivers...  At least this is my take on the situation.  :)

FE
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by:crazijoe
ID: 12237440
FE,
I'm trying to get this straight. :)
Because of what he has done the drivers are no longer there? It still maybe easier to to a repair then reinstall the drivers. Correct?
That way he doesn't loose any data he has on the drive.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 12237612
Oh, yeah..  I agree with you here..  I just wanted him to know that the likelihood of him having to reinstall those drivers is high....  But then, the nice thing about XP is that it has so many drivers that come installed "in the box"...
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internetsavant earned 500 total points
ID: 12238754
Yaroslav_Buzko was correct in saying that you should just get the data that you can off the drive and reformat your computer.  The damage that has been done will not be totally fixed by a repair or system restore.  You are going to have miscellaneous system files and registry entries that will not be fixable.  Well, it theoretically could be fixable but the time you'd expend trying to fix each problem would be incredibly inefficient compared to just getting your data off the drive and reformatting it.

[Ways to obtain data from a jacked up hard drive:] (if this is what you want to do)
*NOTE:  These methods are used when you CANNOT get into the OS anymore

1.  If your hard drive is partitioned (two drive letters on one physical drive) and you save all of your "documents", pictures, blah blah, on your second partition, just format the "C" partition and rebuild it.  This process will not touch your data on your second drive (usually "D") and then when your OS is rebuilt, you can access your "D" drive like nothing happened.  **THIS METHOD WILL ONLY WORK IF YOUR HARD DRIVE IS PARTITIONED.  ALSO, BEFORE YOU DO THIS, MAKE SURE ALL OF THE INFORMATION YOU WANT TO SAVE IS ON YOUR "D" DRIVE AND NOT YOUR "C" DRIVE AS THIS METHOD WILL DESTROY ALL DATA ON "C".

2.  Slave your hard drive in/on another machine:

This will allow you to boot up in the new machine's Operating System and as long as you have all of the settings correct on the hard drive, Windows will see your problem hard drive as just another drive letter (ie. D, E, F, etc).  -- If you try this method, things you NEED to know:  ensure the jumper settings on the hard drive are correct for the IDE configuration you put it in on that gaining computer, use a computer with the SAME version of Windows as the one that your problem hard drive has to lessen your possible problems with file system compatability.

*if you need help with this (can be a little technical), just let me know and I can further assist you.

3.    Use a third party boot utility to access the drive.  If you're familiar with the Linux OS, use Knoppix or one if it's variants to boot from CD and you can access all physical resources.  This process would be very technical to explain, especially if you're NOT familiar with Linux/Unix.  I wouldn't try this unless you're very good on a computer and on other OS's besides Windows.

There are other methods you could use but one of the previous should be able to help you.  If you have any questions, please feel free to post them.

is...
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by:Yaroslav_Buzko
ID: 12238871
One more method (if your drive is not partitioned) is to use some third-party tool (PartitionMagic or the likes) to shrink your current C: partition, then create one more partition (say D:) and then copy all your user data to D:. Then reformat C: and reinstall the OS.
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by:internetsavant
ID: 12240416
I'd recommend against that option as in, if anything happens to partition magic and/or the software fails, all of your information is gone because the partioning tables are proprietary to the partition magic software.
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by:Yaroslav_Buzko
ID: 12240633
No. PartMagic Partitions using a FAT or NTFS standard, using no proprietary formats.

Just use the UPS while repartitioning :)

Anyway, it is of course better to avoid such steps if possible.
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by:internetsavant
ID: 12240681
What I meant was that partition magic essentially "nests" partition information inside the already allocated Windows partitions.  IF partition magic fails, Windows cannot recover, that's all.  -- this is more of a preference/comfor thing than anything.  I should've stated that before; i don't want this to get off topic and away from the originating problem.  =D
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by:pdoriley
ID: 12242094
Can you copy to your saved files to another driveusing recovery console??  Can you create a new partition at this point and copy it to that new partition? (ex. d:\)

For example:  Go to Windows setup, create a new partition d:\, then go back to Recovery Console

and something like;    copy c:\My Documents d:\
 

Also in recovery console, can you copy to A:\ or E:\  (CD ROM)???
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by:pdoriley
ID: 12242597
Can someone answer this or should I post this as a new question?
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 12242733
pdoriley :  This thread has been closed.  To get a good response, you need to open a new one and ask the question there...

But the answer is yes, if you use the SET command, AND enable the environmental variables first.  This can be done using the Group Policy console:  gpedit.msc

FE
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by:internetsavant
ID: 12242756
No I'm sorry, I just didn't get a notification on your comment.

Yes you can perform file actions from the recovery console but if your drive has no unallocated space, then NO, you cannot allocate space for a new drive as it's already assigned to your C partition.  So in essence, if you don't already have a "D" drive, unless you add another physical hard drive to your computer, you cannot get another drive without using some sort of third party software like Partition Magic.  
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 12242817
internetsavant...   without using the SET command, a user cannot do anything outside the SystemFolder on the same or slave drives....  This is by default in XP...
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by:internetsavant
ID: 12242864
sorry i reverted back to DOS there for a sec.  0=)

all other information still applies
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 12243804
:)
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