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XP won't boot....config\system missing.....windows folder TOTALLY empty!!

Posted on 2009-04-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Got a really weird one:
New PC running XP SP3 a few weeks just fine. Updated \ AVG \ Malwarebytes...etc.
Boots up one day with the missing or corrupt config\system message....no biggie right?
Recovery console dumps to a C:\ (not C:\Windows) and gives me ACCESS DENIED no matter what I try.
I put the sick drive into a Win2K box as a slave and open up the Windows dir......COMPLETELY EMPTY except for all of the service pack uninstall (hidden) folders.......EVERYTHING else is gone. The rest of the drive is intact....all data there.....just an empty Windows dir.
Looking like I will need to re-install which sucks but was wondering if anyone had seen this before.......it is a new one to me.
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Question by:Fizzasist
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mikehunt18929 earned 125 total points
ID: 24084281
Fizzasis,
You may have already done this but did you check the disk for errors, it may be a problem with a bad sector on the disk perhaps  Chkdsk.exe or more detailed from Microsoft at
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

Also you could try the repair , not the first one you get that brings you to recovery console , go past that to the point of a new install and it will ask you if you want to do a repair at that point.

there is a KB at Microsoft for the Access Denied that may help.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24084568
maybe malware?  do a few scans to be sure :
     Spybot :        http://www.download.com/3000-8022-10122137.html
     MBAM  :   http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/                                                               online scan for trojans
http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html                                   download
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english                                check the log
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24084572
you can also do a scan from a live cd ; eg f-secure :
http://www.f-secure.com/linux-weblog/2008/11/25/rescuecd-301-released/
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Author Comment

by:Fizzasist
ID: 24087826
Chkdsk did the trick.......I had actually JUST finished doing the check when the first reply popped up. I found it odd that the drive had lost every single file inside the widows dir except for the hidden ones......anyway a simple chkdsk fixed it.....

Thanks guys!
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