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\windows\system32\config\system file is corrupt

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I'm receiving this message on a Windows XP box and I've attempted to run recovery from the install cd.  After running the recovery steps now I'm in an endless reboot cycle where I can select safe mode, safe mode w/ networking, last known good, etc.  Any ideas what I can do to get this system up and running again, without wiping out my data?
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Question by:emauch
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by:8ubterfug3
ID: 35199744
This procedure is a gigantic pain and it may be easier for some people just to reload the machine depending on the complexity and criticality of the files and software that are installed but Microsoft provides the following that may possibly get you fixed up. I've used this successfully many times.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

There is a possibility though that more files than just the registry have been corrupt which can often be caused by memory or hard drive problems. It may be worth your while to first try running some hardware diagnostics on the machine.
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residents earned 500 total points
ID: 35199752
Have you done a repair installation? You can run recovery but a repair installation is different. It will not destroy your data but it almost looks like it does. You would boot from your XP CD, press enter to install and then it should detect your previous version of Windows XP, then press "R" to repair. It will delete a bunch of windows files and install fresh copies.

Also, have you run check disk from the recovery console? chkdsk /r
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