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Cannot rebuild boot files correclty and need Office serial key taking off machine

Posted on 2007-11-20
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Last Modified: 2010-03-05
Hi Guys
I've got a clients laptop that has had the system32/config/system missing or corrupt error coming up. We have tried to extract a copy from the cd to the drive which has overwritten successfully but still won't start due to the same error.
We've also followed Microsofts recommendation regarding making a TMP file etc but this still won't work.
We can wipe it if need be but they don't have the product key for their Office 2003 which is installed on it and they're not willing to pay for another copy (which is understandable). If we could get this then we could wipe and re-install. As we have tried messing around replacing the boot files which presume that we have also inadvertantly wiped of the registry key containing the office key.
If you can think of any way around this then please let us know.

Thanks
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Question by:Netexperts
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by:CaffeinatedTech
ID: 20319143
Try this:
Boot from an XP CD and at the first prompt press R to get to the recovery console.
When you get to the console type the following commands

fixboot
fixmbr

This has fixed this problem many times for me.
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by:Netexperts
ID: 20319165
Thanks but i've tried that (sorry, should've said)

Also tried bootcfg /rebuild as well.

We've got the drive out as a slave on another machine but can't figure out where to copy a good set of boot files from and to.

If we do a re-install over the existing OS this will render the office installation inoperable wouldn't it?
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by:Alan Huseyin Kayahan
ID: 20319176
  Hi Netexperts
        This folder contains registry hives, so you wiped the Office key registry by overwriting this folder unfortunately.
        Running bootcfg /rebuild and chkdsk /p in recovery console (Console you get in by pressing R when you boot from OS cd) may correct this issue.

Regards
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Alan Huseyin Kayahan earned 250 total points
ID: 20319185
"they don't have the product key for their Office 2003 which is installed on it and they're not willing to pay for another copy (which is understandable). "
    Losing CD key does not mean you lose your product. Contact your vendor which you bought the product from supply the information (such as invoice etc), or Microsoft and supply the information they request.
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Assisted Solution

by:CaffeinatedTech
CaffeinatedTech earned 250 total points
ID: 20319190
You can often do a repair install.  If Windows Setup detects a previous install on the HDD it will offer the option to do a repair install which just replaces the system files and leaves everything in tact.

If you get to the stage where it asks which partition you want to install on to, it is not detecting the previous install.

One thing you can do to get the Office product key is to download ProduKey from http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html which lets you grab keys from an offline registry
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by:Computer101
ID: 20521563
Forced accept.

Computer101
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