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Windows can not start because the following file is missing or corrupt

Posted on 2004-10-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
It is an emachines t3025 and when turned off the message Windows can not start because the following file is missing or corrupt  c:\windows\system32\config\system.  It will not boot beyond this message.  I have repaired using the MS procedure for recovering from a corrupt registry, but the problem continues.  This makes the fifth time it has occurred, after the 2nd time I took off the OEM load and got MS XP Pro, it worked ok for approx two weeks and then bombed again.  I have ran check disk on the hard drive and that came up ok but that doesn't rule out bad hardware, and of course it might be some other app being the culprit.
 I'm curious if anyone else has had repeated instances of a corrupted registry such as this.  It is frustrating to think the problem is fixed and then have it happen all over again with no warning.
Question by:cas928
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Accepted Solution

eccs19 earned 1000 total points
ID: 12413344
I have had simular things happen where Windows thinks that something is corrupt, and it really isn't.  What ended up being the issue was bad RAM.  Just to let you know, I have had this happen, and once the ram was replaced the issue was still there, as the bad RAM had somehow corrupted Windows, so be prepared. (Back-up if possible)

Author Comment

ID: 12413487
Excellent suggestion and one I'm going to try as soon as possible.  I've been overlooking that by trying to find some other piece of software that might be causing the issue.

Expert Comment

ID: 12414015
There is software you can get to test ram, but as a rule of thumb, it's best to put in RAM that you know is good.  Usually with those programs that test, if it tells you it's bad, then it's bad, but if it passes, it doesn't mean it's still not bad.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12416218
Hi cas928,
this link could be also useful for you:


Author Comment

ID: 12421515
I have used the MS Registry repair and it works everytime.  I am able to boot up the pc but then with no warning it is corrupted again.  I am definitely going to try replacing the RAM but there is also a piece of software I use for Real Estate Appraisals that is actually a very old program and has been patched / updated repeatedly by the company that released it.  I am currently traveling and away from the pc but I plan to remove this software and see if problem occurs again.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12436082
Hi cas928,

regarding to your answer:
why don't you schan your system for malicios software...Just suggesting:
° http://www.ravantivirus.com/scan/
° http://security.norton.com/sscv6/default.asp?productid=symhome&langid=ge&venid=sym
° http://us.mcafee.com/root/mfs/default.asp
° http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
° http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/de/activescan_principal.htm
° http://www.kaspersky.com/de/scanforvirus
° http://www.bitdefender.com/scan/licence.php
° http://www.commandondemand.com/     -activeX
°Antivir PE
° pest patrol
° spybot search and destroy
° spy sweeper
° ad-aware se
(° spyware blaster+spyware guard)
furthur links:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307545  !! Especially Part II !!
if you haven't install latest SP2 + security patches ,please do it.


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