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Vista missing & corrupt files

Posted on 2011-02-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Vista on HP laptop...

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt"

\windows\system32\config\system...
Does not list any particular files...

I have a Vista DVD...no activation code...and would like to try a "repair install" like with XP...
My experience with Vista is VERY limited...and I'm not sure if I'm doing it right...

When I boot from Vista DVD, and go to F8...I get a bunch of options...kinda like XP...
Safe Mode
Safe Mode with networking
Last known good...
and several more...
Nothing that suggests I'm installing Vista on top of the previous installation...

i go to Start Windows Normally...it starts to load...and I get a screen that lets me Repair Widnows...
In System Recovery Optioins it looks for the previous installation, but cannot find it...

And at this point I;m stuck...

I got the Vista reinstallation DVD's from HP...but I suspect this is for a new installation only...no "Repair Install" available, I suspect...

Thoughts...Suggestions appreciated...
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Question by:stevem5000
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:brendanmeyer
ID: 34966706
have a look at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
SYSTEM is the actual file name of the registry
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:brendanmeyer
ID: 34966724
be careful thought as this resets your registry files to the originals, before anything was installed

here are instructions on a repair install

read the warnings

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-repair-install-vista.html
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Accepted Solution

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Ian Meredith earned 500 total points
ID: 34966754
Depending on your level of technical knowledge you would be better off getting hold of a standalone boot CD and booting into Windows/Linux (or removing the HDD and putting into a external case so you can access the contents from another computer)
This will save you much time... I would suspect that your system may be beyond recovery (back to it's normal operating state)

Once you can access the HDD, save out your personal files to another HDD.

When you're certain you have copied all you need, Rebuild Laptop with HP recovery DVD.

You will then be back to normal operation.....
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Author Comment

by:stevem5000
ID: 34966792
Yeah...kinda what I figgured...
brendenmeyer...I think this is more than what I need...I go back to default registry...then I will probably have to reinstall all drivers etc afterword...and getting all the drivers for HP sometimes can be an issue...

And I had been searching and reading your vista64.com link...went thru quite a few things over the past day or so...

Ian admino...I guess most reasonable...really was hoping I could avoid this...have done several HP re-installes from their CD's in XP...usually takes several hours...

Many thanx for the suggestions...
Appreciate your time...
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