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missing or corrupt windows\system32\config\system

Hi all,

Have XP Home on boot I am getting a The following file is missing or corrupt c:\windows\system32\config\system

I have tried going into recovery console but it asks for an administrator password which I don't know.

So I tried running NT Password Renew and although it said that it had changed the password it didn't.

I then used the Ultimate boot CD to run chkdsk /r which ran but I am still getting the same error.

I then investigated a bit further and Microsoft suggest going into Windows/repair and copying the old system file from their and replacing the damaged one, problem is that the reapir folder is empty.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for things to try?

Given the choice i would rather fix than format and reinstall

Thanks in advance
2 Solutions
wsc80bAuthor Commented:
Okay update I went back in using UBCD and found one file in the REPAIR folder called system.bak fantastic so I copied it to the system32/config folder and knocked off the .bak extension and rebooted.

The system starts booting the XP loading screen appears and then the screen just goes black and nothing else happens

I have tried last known good configuration to no avail

Still open to suggestions :)
Can you get into safe mode?
Time for a repair install. Proceed as though to clean install, but take the repair option. An article here which describes the operation -

Chris B
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wsc80bAuthor Commented:
Okay another update,

in aswwer to above questions no safe mode does not work (hangs at mup.sys) and I had already tried a repair install.


Having run the UBCD again and run chkdsk /r from it, I then tried resetting the passwords again know it turns out that if a XP installation has been done using sysprep then the passwords are stored differently and so password reset tools are useless. Anyway I am getting off the point, know that chkdsk /r has run successfully I can now run a repair install and so that is going through as we speak.

I will keep you up to date, but thanks for your quick replies :)
wsc80bAuthor Commented:
okay the repair install starts going through then I get:

 lsass.exe system error - an invalid parameter was passed to a service or function.

Any suggestions?
An interesting discussion on the subject here -


Chris B
If the registry really is lost or corrupt, you should be copying it from the "REPAIR" directory, or you can copy it from the last system restore point in the "System volume Information" directory.  You basically find ALL the last registry settings, select and copy them, then select all the bad ones, and replace them.  Of course, you cannot do this when XP is running, so you have to either do it laboriously at the recovery console command prompt, as M$ suggests -- or I do it from a dual OS boot, which saves and incredible amount of time.
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