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windows cannot boot \system32 config system missing or corrupt

Posted on 2007-12-03
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01

I decided to play safe and took the hdd out and put a new hdd in.
When I reinstalled windows and slaved the drive all was fine bar one folder - the one I need dont you know.

When I click on the user I need under documents and settings - a user

I get

d:\documents and settings\ john is not accessible
The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable

Im now going to do a data recovery on it, I have the software.

My question is this:
Would a repair have worked given the error I now have?

If the data recovery is unsuccessful it will be my only option.



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Question by:worded
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johnb6767 earned 1000 total points
ID: 20398512
No.....Sounds like Disk corruption, and the only way to recover, even for a short while until you get the data safely off, is a "chkdsk /f /r".....
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by:johnb6767
ID: 20398536
That error is a corrupted registry hive... there are ways around it, by manually restoring the registry, but again, no telling what else was broken....
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by:Joediggity2
Joediggity2 earned 1000 total points
ID: 20398540
If a data recovery does not work, there is no way a repair operation is going to work to get the data back.  I have very successfully used seagates file recovery tool when other tools didn't work.

http://services.seagate.com/diysoftware.aspx

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by:dekkar
ID: 20398554
I have fixed this error a few times.... Windows keeps a backup of that folder.... BUT it is a backup only created when you first create the machine (as far as i know)....

so u can copy the backup into the system32 folder, and it will boot OK...... The only problem is that the registry is how it was when u first created the machine, windows doesnt see all the software etc etc you have installed after.....

But it does give you the chance to get back at your data....... and possibly restore a backup of the registry and hives....

c:\windows\repair\ is where these backup folders live...

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by:johnb6767
ID: 20398585
Instead of using the system32\backup files, if Restore is enabled on the machine, this is a much easier way to do it.....

Excerpt from http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_22831331.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Take a look at buring one of these below tools (UBCD4WIN is ready to burn once it is downloaded). It gives you a Windows Graphical environment to make these changes...

Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD
http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/

UBCD4Win
http://www.ubcd4win.com

Boot to one of those utilites above, and go to the a43 Explorer utility. Navigate to the "C:\Windows\System32\Config" directory.

Rename the following files....DO NOT DELETE THEM....

Rename system to system.old
Rename software to software.old
Rename sam to sam.old
Rename security to security.old
Rename default to default.old

Go into the "System_Volume_Information" folder (if you get a "Access Denied", right click the folder and select the Security Tab, and once you highlight Everyone at teh top, select "Full Control" in the bottom. )
Select the "Restore Folder"
Then you will see folders with RP50, RP51 etc... Look for the highest number, as it is the newest one. Go into that folder and copy the following files to the "C:\Windows\System32\Config" directory.

registry_machine_system
registry_machine_software
registry_machine_security
registry_machine_sam
registry_user_.default

Now, go back to the "C:\Windows\System32\Config" directory.

Remove the "registry_machine_" from the 5 files you just copied.

Restart the machine, and remove the bootable disc you were using....

If it boots successfully, go to "System Restore" in the Help menu, and do a full restore to a few days back.... This will ensure that all of the files are restored to the proper restore point, not just the registry files you fixed....

Of course, if you just want to go through this process with just the SYSTEM file, you can do it by itself if you want. If you still get the error, or a Blue Screen of Death upon the next boot, simply go back and redo the other 4 files....
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by:Joediggity2
ID: 20398648
Since you already have a clean copy of windows running ont a new hdd, Run the chkdisk on the old drive first to see if it is a simple curruption issue.  If after that you still can't access the files on the old drive, try your recovery software.  Download the free trial, if it sees the files you want and they are worth the $129 the actual software costs use the software.  Also, load the recovery software on the good disk, you don't want to overwrite any files on the old disk.  If anyone knows of any freeware file disk recovery programs that work well that may help also.
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by:Computer101
ID: 20560227
Forced accept.

Computer101
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