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Missing or Corrupt XP file "SYSTEM"

HI I get this error when starting windows (can't login or even get to login page) just says this

" Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.

 C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

You can attempt to repair this file by starting windows setup using the original CD-ROM
Select "R" at the first screen to start repair.     "

Well i have pressed "R" constantly, and then i though you might have to go to the BIOS thingy BUT i don't know the password that was set and Since then the store i bought it from has closed. I have tried all the 'backdoor' passwords like BIOSTAR etc.. and AWARD_PW but none work.

Can anyone help???
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ih8billgates
Asked:
ih8billgates
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2 Solutions
 
burrcmCommented:
If it is set to boot HD first and you have a bios password, try for safe mode - tap F8 during boot. If that works, post back.

Chris B
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andymsmith18Commented:
this link will help you fix the error http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307545
but you need to boot from your xp cd so to get around the bios password unplug the computer from the wall socket open the case and eather find the comos reset jumpers and and jumper them to reset the bios or the easy way remove the small round battery for 5 minits then replace it plug in the power and reboot press the delete key or which ever key you need to get in to bios setup and chang the boot order to cd first all so you will have to reset the clock and any other setings you hade on the bios
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
HI,
can you further explain this Andy?

"to get around the bios password unplug the computer from the wall socket open the case and eather find the comos reset jumpers and and jumper them to reset the bios or the easy way remove the small round battery for 5 minits then replace it plug in the power and reboot press the delete key or which ever key you need to get in to bios setup and chang the boot order to cd first all so you will have to reset the clock and any other setings you hade on the bios"

What i'm worried about, is if i remove the battery will everything get wiped? Last time something like this happened with my old pc i took it to some IT guy - who pulled out this thing and put it back, and ended up wiping the whole PC (everything - system, files, hardware)
Took Two days to be re-installed. Am i taking a risk by doing either of these or am i pretty safe? I'd probably do the battery one - because i don't know much about the wires etc..
Thankyou
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andymsmith18Commented:
don't worry only the data you have put in to the bios is removed IE passwords no files on the hard drive are touched its just a bios reset to the manufactures defaults i have never had a single problem on over 500 computers removing the bios password like this unless you have a Toshiba laptop in which case the above wont work as the password is hard coded and a power loss wont change it other computers store
the password in a ROM chip witch needs power all the time to hold the data the data on the bios its self is hard coded and cant be changed with out flashing it
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
What sort of Data is held on the BIOS though?? Will anything be lost?

(Dont worry its not a toshiba laptop)

So all i do is turn the PC off at the wall, remove the plug, wait a bit,
Remove the battery for 5 mins then re-instert,

Turn on, go into BIOS and boot from Windows XP CD,
should fix it, and won't lose anything?
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
anyone there? :)
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Oh and andy - I wont have to install anything again if i remove battery as u said??

I will lose absolutly nothing (excpet iE passwords)

Your positive about this :) THANKS FOR UR HELP SO FAR!
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andymsmith18Commented:
you will have to re enter the bios date and time and any other things you changed since you got the computer but lets get you booting up and fixing windows first then we can optamize the bios affter
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
ih8billgates a thing is confusing me here..... how did you try to boot from the CD
you inserted the XP CD, and started the system..... didn't it ask to "press any key to boot from the CD..." ??
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Andy - I have no idea what you meant from the last post.

The only option i have before it gives me this error is to go into the bios (Press the Delete key)
I thought that you can change where it boots from IN BIOS.

It doesn't give me any option of booting from CD other then this... as far as i know.


SheheryaarSaahil: No it didn't ask press any key to boot from the CD.. Stupid i know (HENCE MY USERNAME)


Thanks guys!
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
ok tell me ih8... do you have a floppy drive, can you boot with the floppy ??
if You can then what we can do is to use the six xp bootdisks to boot the system with floppy and from there we will be able to enter in Recovery Console to use the procedure for recovering the registry as described in the KB307545 !!
XP 6 Bootdisks >> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q310994
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andymsmith18Commented:
when you reset the bios by removing the battery or using the jumpers the bios goes back to the day it first got loaded so the date and time will change and the password will be gone
when you press the delete key and you enter the bios you can set the first boot device in the advanced bios fetures screan you use the page up and page down keys and the arrow keys to move around in the bios but like sheharyaarsaahil says if you can boot from the floppy drive it wood be the best option but if you cant then the bios reset is the next step
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Even that page says that u have to go into BIOS, to boot from floppy drive, so will i reset BIOS?

Will ANYTHING get wiped other then date, time etc..? What exactly does the BIOS store?
Thanks :)
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
>> Even that page says that u have to go into BIOS, to boot from floppy drive, so will i reset BIOS?
yeah but most of the systems are set to boot with the floppy by  default.... that's why i asked "Can you..." ;-)

>> Will ANYTHING get wiped other then date, time etc..? What exactly does the BIOS store?
Do you remember when you first bought the system, how BIOS was reset ?? Resetting BIOS will load all those default settings again..... :)
BTW who put that BIOS password there..... did you ??
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
The Bios came with the PC  - But since then the store i bought it from has gone out of business, which is a HUGE help!!

What are the default settings (examples would help) as u can see i'm not the biggest IT brain there is! :)

So are you saying that i can boot from floppy - if i put a floppy disk in? I can't get into BIOS at all (password is there) So do i have to go into BIOS to change to "Boot from CD/Floppy?"

Thanks
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
>> What are the default settings (examples would help)
like if you ever changed the boot sequence... it will revert it back to default,
will revert the time and date back to defaults
will revert the ACPI settings, will revert passwords settings for BIOS and will revert all those ones also which are not at all needed to be reverted as they must had never been changed by you :)
we are doing all this headache to get our hands on the boot sequence option..... :-\

>> So are you saying that i can boot from floppy - if i put a floppy disk in? I can't get into BIOS at all (password is there) So do i have to go into BIOS to change to "Boot from CD/Floppy?"
I dont know that what has been set in the BIOS for your system's boot order, that's why im asking to TEST by booting with a floppy as you tested with the CD(and failed) so that we can know that we can use floppy or not! :)
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
When i go into BIOS,
It has things up the top like Peripherals etc..

Will i have to install anything (hardware or software)

Or is BIOS simply password, date & time.

I'm not a computer tech guy, i know basics thats all.

>>TEST by booting with a floppy as you tested with the CD(and failed) so that we can know that we can use floppy or not! :) === Never tested via Cd, Couldn't get into Bios to "start windows with CD"

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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
>> Will i have to install anything (hardware or software)
NO!! :)

>> Never tested via Cd, Couldn't get into Bios to "start windows with CD"
now that's bad.... i asked at the very first moment that "how did you try to boot from the CD
you inserted the XP CD, and started the system..... didn't it ask to "press any key to boot from the CD..." ??"

You dont need to go into BIOS for booting with the CD,,,, you need to go there ONLY when the boot order is set incorrectly and how do you know that its set incorrectly :-?

Now go and Insert the XP CD in the cd drive,,,, start the system..... now sit quitely and dont touch any key
let it to do its work...... and now check if its asking to press any key to boot with the CD and goign straght to missing system file message ??
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Ok no - the error said PRESS R AT FIRST SCREEN, Which i have done continually.
The ONLY option i have between turning the PC on and getting to the error is to go into BIOS.
Thats it. I thought IN BIOS that you can boot from CD.

>>>Now go and Insert the XP CD in the cd drive,,,, start the system..... now sit quitely and dont touch any key
let it to do its work...... and now check if its asking to press any key to boot with the CD and goign straght to missing system file message ??

Yes I have done this, (inserted CD) Waited, nothing goes to error, doesn't give any sort of option about booting from CD.

>>>You dont need to go into BIOS for booting with the CD,,,, you need to go there ONLY when the boot order is set incorrectly and how do you know that its set incorrectly :-?
No Bloody idea ?!?! ahh :-)
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Heres the error again:

"" Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.

 C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

You can attempt to repair this file by starting windows setup using the original CD-ROM
Select "R" at the first screen to start repair.     ""

only i tried selecting R - but I can't find it (I've tried Pressing R key etc..)

Whats it asking me to do? I thought you could boot from CD in BIOS.
BUT AGAIN - the only option it give from turning PC on until i see the error is
"Press Delete Key -> BIOS"
Thankyou!!!!
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
go here and click on How To Access Recovery Console:
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm

are you doing like what has been shown in those pictures ??
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Won't get to "Last Known Good Configuration" screen that gives you that option. error comoes before that.

AND I have put the CD in the drive (XP PRO CD) Booted PC,
nothing different happens - so how do i get to the screens you have shown me?
Thanks
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
>> only i tried selecting R - but I can't find it (I've tried Pressing R key etc..)

then at where are you trying to "Press R" ??
are you not supposed to press R at that blue setup screen which comes after booting with the CD!
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
I havn't been to the blue screen - i'm asking how to get to it.

OK,
I turn my PC on,
shows black screen with Graphics card model etc...
Then shows that screen which displays the BIOS model and heaps of writing - u know the one at the bottom where it says press "Delete" to go into Bios,
then goes to black screen with white font which comes up usually,
then error appears (black screen white font)

Theres no going into other screens or anything... Havnt been to a blue screen.
When i mean ive tried pressing R i meant pressing it while the above screens have showed.
When the error comes up if i press any key at all - it will restart again.

Hope this is begginning to make sense! :-)!!

Thanks for ur help so far
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Inserting the XP Pro CD and booting doesn't do anything - it just does what it usually does and the error appears (error is written at top of page if u need to consult)
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
>> When i mean ive tried pressing R i meant pressing it while the above screens have showed.
lol :D

ok no problem... no as you tried booting with CD, try booting the XP floppy.... and if it fails also then we will have to reset the BIOS by taking out that CMOS battery..... otherwise we can work with floppies also :)
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
ok - I will try with Floppys,


Will post back in half an hour
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
No luck!!!!!!!! :(
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
So now what - remove the Battery?

What exactly does the BIOS do? :)
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
>>> What exactly does the BIOS do? :)
It loads the devices on your system which you can use for firther operations!
and if you will remove battery and put it back, you will be NOT REQUIRED to reinstall any device!!
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Ok - read a meaning for BIOS.

It will reset it - But will it only reset the password & date/time.

I won't have to install the HDD or anything, like it will be exactly the same PC as i had before - everything as it was, just no error! :)

thanks
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Oh ok so it will just reset the password.

BUT if i removed that small black thing - it would wipe it all correct?
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Turn off at wall (and unplug)
Remove battery for 5mins (its the silver battery about size of 10c piece) Correct?
Then put battery in.
then it will let me into BIOS?

Then what? :)
Boot from CD i guess - what do i go into?

Its a PHOENIX AWARD BIOS.
Thanks
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andymsmith18Commented:
hi its morning in the uk
ok looks like you have had a busy night check out this site for your bios setings and how to do things in your bios like seting the boot order so you can get the boot options http://www.computerhope.com/help/phoenixa.htm you need to look in the ADVANCED BIOS FEATURES screen set the first boot device to cd second to hd0 and third to floppy then set the clock on the STANDARD CMOS FEATURES screen to the corect date and time then select save and exit screen press enter to conferm and reboot the computer when it starts look for a masage to press any key to boot from cd press a key then folow the link hear http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307545 to fix windows when its finished coping files and reboots dont press any keys as it reboots just let it start on its own which will be from you hard drive it will finish loading windows and seting up drivers and affter about 40 minits will be ready to use
please note you will need you windows product key during the setup make shore you have it
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
hi and its evening here... and i have just logged in ;-)

>> Then what? :)
>> Boot from CD i guess - what do i go into?

remember andy gave you this link >> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307545
after you get in BIOS and set the boot order, you have to follow the instructions from this link :)
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ih8billgatesAuthor Commented:
Thankyou very much for your help, both of you. :-)

No further posts required.
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