Windows Not Booting

Getting this message.

Windows could not start because the following biles is missing or corrupt:
\Windows\System32\Config\System

I read some of topics by searching but I am having a hard time understanding.  I do not work with the registry and I am unfamiliar with the command line.  I found this
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=how+repair+registry+using+erd+commander+2005&btnG=Search

I'm thinking I may need to someone to hold my hand and walk me through this one.  I borrowed a copy of ERD Commandor but it is not detecting the OS.  The only option that is given when it says "Select the windows installation you wish to repair:" is "(none)   none - Do not attach to a windows installation"  There is no option for Windows XP, at least that is what I'm expecting to see.

If I could fix this via ERD that would be great because I would like to learn how to do so.  If there is no way then walking me through other alternatives would be great.

Thank You

- Monty
LVL 7
MontyVAsked:
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venom96737Connect With a Mentor Commented:
if your windows came preinstalled from the store you cannot use this method you will mess it up even more because it is an oem version and they create password what will not be included in that fix. since your getting access denied try going into recovery console and typing chkdsk and hit enter see if it clears it up.  your drive is not being read at this time if that works then you will need to boot to a program such as erd and use the registy hives located in the system volume information so you dont lock yourself out of your system.  Try chkdsk first and then get back with the results.
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MontyVAuthor Commented:
Woops I just realized that I put up the wrong link i found.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=269075

- Monty
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craylordCommented:
Here's a good walkthrough that I've helped many people with. Reply with any questions.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21753653.html
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MontyVAuthor Commented:
ok it is not asking me for an administrater password and when I tried to follow the commands starting with "md tmp" it says "access denied"
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venom96737Commented:
DONT DO THAT if you have an OEM version
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FriarTukConnect With a Mentor Commented:
...file missing "windows\system32\config\system" error
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21840786.html

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
*** Revised by me (not using old files from Repair folder) ***

from c:\windows
md tmp
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

cd c:\"system volume information"\_restore*\
dir /p  (find a folder "RPxxx" with a date prior to when this occurred)
cd rpXXX\snapshot

From the Snapshot folder, do the below command to copy the files:

copy _registry_user_.default c:\Windows\System32\Config\default
copy _registry_machine_sam c:\Windows\System32\Config\sam
copy _registry_machine_security c:\Windows\System32\Config\security
copy _registry_machine_software c:\Windows\System32\Config\software
copy _registry_machine_system c:\Windows\System32\Config\system

reboot & run restore to create a new restore point
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FriarTukCommented:
ps you must first boot from an xp cd & go into recovery console by selecting R for repair (logon using administrator userid), if you get access denied it means your not logged into the box as the administrator
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venom96737Commented:
Friartuk you cannot access the system volme part from within recovery console you are locked into the %systemroot% folder as discussed here http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;314058 which is why in the fix they tell you to use the ones in the repair folder then log into windows explorer to access the system volume versions.  In this case it will damage his version though so you will have to use a third party boot method such as ultimate boot disc or something of that nature to do this fix correctly.
When you use the Windows Recovery Console, you can use only the following items:• The root folder
• The %SystemRoot% folder and the subfolders of the Windows installation that you are currently logged on to
• The Cmdcons folder
• The removable media drives such as the CD-ROM drive or the DVD-ROM drive
Note If you try to obtain access to other folders, you may receive an "Access Denied" error message. Also, when you are using the Windows Recovery Console, you cannot copy a file from the local hard disk to a floppy disk. However, you can copy a file from a floppy disk or from a CD-ROM to a hard disk, and you can copy a file from one hard disk to another hard disk.
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FriarTukCommented:
venom that is untrue, i have done this & have instructed others in doing it this exact way - successfully i might add

the ms kb states to use the files in the repair folder first, in case the user doesn't have access to the restore folder.  so using the repair files, rebooting, will allow the user to get access to the restore folder, then go back into recovery console & copy the files from the restore point.

if the user is an admin, they don't need to do that, they can grab the lastest files straight from the restore folder

if you follow my link, you'll see this to be true
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21840786.html
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venom96737Commented:
Friar i know it works ive done it many times he stated that he has gone through the process and fixed the errors and it still wouldnt boot.  Only thing that can be wrong know is the system files are messed up.  I wasnt stating that the method does not work I know for a fact it does but if it fails its the system files or his harddrive has gone bad.
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venom96737Commented:
oops commented on the wrong post
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FriarTukCommented:
hey monty, did you follow my instructions to restore your system? plz respond.
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MontyVAuthor Commented:
Sorry it took so long to take care of it.  FriarTuk what you outlined did not work for me.  It did lead me to other sources though.  Venon96737 what you initially outline to do got me into a few other steps and I was able to figure it out from there.  Thank you all for helping and sorry for such a late response.
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