Windows cound not start because the following file is missing or corrupt \windoes\system32\config\system

Here i the balnk I have drawn with the Sony Vaio help line
The problem is I have an OEM version of Windows XP
Brett > as soon as i start its the message windows could not start because the following files is missing or\system32\config32
Jimmy_ > I would like to forward a link to a page where you can view the troubleshooting steps for the error message.
Jimmy_ > When you receive the link please click on it to open the page and let me know if you are able to view it.
Jimmy_ >
Jimmy_ > Please perform the troubleshooting steps provided on the page and check if the issue is resolved.
Brett > I tried the first stepconcerning start from the last good setting .it did not work
Brett > as far as the ram is concerned I upgarded the ram three months ago, I put the old ram and I still get the same error message
Brett > ?
Jimmy_ > Did you try to boot to the Last known Good Configuration.
Brett > yes same error message...imeddiately
Jimmy_ > In that case, its recommended to perform System Recovery.
Brett > .I ran across a great article describing the process for fixing a computer that simply won’t boot because of a corrupted system file. One of these errors might apply:

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


You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup
using the original Setup CD-ROM.
Select ‘R’ at the first screen to start repair.

Brett > i  want to get to the r  how do i do that
.Jimmy_ > Brett, the repair option is not available in the OEM Operating System.
Jimmy_ > Analyst has closed chat and left the room
Who is Participating?
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Well Ive repaired OEM PC's with volume licenced copies of XP I've even booted to Recovery console on an XP machine using a windows 2000 Pro disc (before service pack 2 you could do this to bypass the recovery console password)

If your adamant you dont want to do it then get a copy of BartPE, boot with that and manually copy the registry from the restore folder to sys32 folder.
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Mmm as far as I'm aware you still have the repair option in an OEM version - just need to pop in the XP CD and press any key
Though Ive NEVER Seen this option repair anything ever! not once :(

On the occasions I have fixed the PC this is how I did it > boot to recovery console (can do this from the CD > replace the \config\system with a backup (XP makes its own automatically :)

Run through this
brettbcAuthor Commented:
The troublr is the Sony OEM does not come on a CD that gives you the R option
Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Exchange Server

The MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 certification validates your skills in supporting the maintenance and administration of the Exchange servers in an enterprise environment. Learn everything you need to know with this course.

Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
borrow a disk - your not going to do a full install :)
brettbcAuthor Commented:
Ok this is th microsoft view below

by getting an offical cd for win xp can i run the recovery module even though I have the sony vaio with this other oem setup?

Warning Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system. The system hive on OEM installations creates passwords and user accounts that did not exist previously. If you use the procedure that is described in this article, you may not be able to log back into the recovery console to restore the original registry hives.

You can repair a corrupted registry in Windows XP. Corrupted registry files can cause a variety of different error messages. See the Microsoft Knowledge Base for articles about error messages that are related to registry issues.

This article assumes that typical recovery methods have failed and access to the system is not available except by using Recovery Console. If an Automatic System Recovery (ASR) backup exists, it is the preferred method for recovery. Microsoft recommends that you use the ASR backup before you try the procedure described in this article.

Note Make sure to replace all five of the registry hives. If you only replace a single hive or two, this can cause potential issues because software and hardware may have settings in multiple locations in the registry
Ok brett heres what you want to do you don't want to use the copy from the system32/repair folder because that will lock you out of your system.  What you want to do is take the registry copy from the systemvolume folder provided that you had system restore turned on.  What you can do is borrow someone elses disc that does have the recovery console on it and JUST GOTO THE RECOVERY CONSOLE this will not cause any damage.  Then you want to run these commands.

Make a copy of the registry now first
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

*just incase an access denied pops up while you are trying to do the below steps*
to get rid of the access denied go back into recovery console and rename the system file to system.bak here are the commands.

 Type cd \ and press the <Enter> key.
Type cd windows\system32\config and press the <Enter> key.
Type ren system system.bak and press the <Enter> key.
Type exit and press the <Enter> key.
Restart the computer.
Then do this to get the snapshot you need from recovery console
cd \
cd system~1
cd _resto~1
 inside it there are several folders named RP1, RP2. These are restore points. RP1 is the oldest restore point.

If you recieve an access denied do this to get rid of the access denied go back into recovery console and rename the system file to system.bak here are the commands.

 Type cd \ and press the <Enter> key.
Type cd windows\system32\config and press the <Enter> key.
Type ren system system.bak and press the <Enter> key.
Type exit and press the <Enter> key.
Restart the computer.
so say you want to use rp3

cd rp3  
cd snapshot

copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy _registry_machine_security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy _registry_machine_sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy _registry_user_.default c:\windows\system32\config\default

type exit and you should boot right up to windows.

If you don't know anyone that has a disc with recovery console on it you can use bartpe but make sure you use the files I specified to fix the problem if you want an indepth answer as to why this is safe for OEM while the other files are not just leave a post saying so and i will explain in depth the difference.
If you try to copy one and it says that it can't find it which will likely be the case just skip it and goto the next one.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.