Unable to Start Windows XP

I have a notebook with Windows XP Pro. Each time I boot up the notebook, it takes a very, very long time. It then reaches to the "Welcome" screen, and then immediately reboots again and goes to the screen which gives you options to start in safe mode, or to start windows normally, or to revert to the last best configuration. I tried the option to revert to the last best known configuration, but the same problem occurs. It gets to the "Welcome" screen and then re-starts.

I tried the option to start in safe mode, and I received this message:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM.

How should I solve this issue? Can this problem be repaired rather than re-formatting the notebook?

And, any idea why this is suddenly happening?

Please advise soon. Thank You
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if your registry file is really missing, you can try to recover it using this guide, it is a lot of work --


If those procedures don't work, boot from the XP CD, and copy the system registry file from --

using the recovery console.  Check all the registry files here to make sure no others are missing.

If the "repair" does not work, you can get the latest system registry file out of the System Volume information, the path is heavily encoded, but look at the last restore point, and the file will be something like this --

C:\System Volume Information\_restore{49EDB1FE-21A9-47B8-8069-1D39A390EAEB}\RP333\snapshot


setup your hard drive where you can browse the system restore points easily (like slave on another computer, and you can pick the right one to restore from.  Copy to system32\config

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You can try a repair install of the OS by booting to your XP installation CD.

If it is a corrupted registry as the error suggests, you can try the following lengthy steps ...


Ultimately, if you get back in, you have to determine the cause.  Probably malware or a virus.

Just beat me to it :)
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ben1211Author Commented:
Hi Scratchyboy, to perform a repair, is this all that I do? Do I just type out the command that you have listed below? Or what is the name of the system registry file?
By copying the system registry file, will it alter my Windows Start Menu, will I lose any of my other applications?

If those procedures don't work, boot from the XP CD, and copy the system registry file from --
the system registry file in repair is OLD.  If you want your latest settings you will have to go to the System Volume Information directory, and find the latest restore point, and see the end of my above comment, get that file named -- _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM -- copy it to the ...\CONFIG directory, and simply rename it SYSTEM.  You will have a hassle doing this from recovery console, the path is too long.  Better to get your drive into another system, browse the directory structure, and make informed decisions.
Shanmuga SundaramDirector of Software EngineeringCommented:
Go to Control Panel, System,Advanced, Startup and Recovery, and uncheck Automatically Restart under the System Failure category.

And also check whether this helps

Repair your operaing system by using Xp Cd

or u can use sfc\scannow function
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Windows XP

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