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XP won't boot; "pci.sys is missing or corrupt" - NOT

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Dell Latitude D610 laptop.
Stopped booting into XP with message: "pci.sys is missing or corrupt"
Runs fine with UBCD4WIN32
Hard drive tests good. Has been scanned.
Memory tests good.
pci.sys has been expanded/replaced from Windows CD.

Have read that bad PCI hardware can cause this.  But, I really have no notion where to start.  I'd much prefer to not take the laptop apart but can do if necessary.  
It does appear that half the memory on this MB is on the "other side" .. maybe just under the keyboard.
And, of course, it does boot fine for UBCE4WIN32!!  but I notice that there are a lot of drivers missing when one does that.  Even so, I did install many of the PCI-related drivers .. the ones I could get to happen online.
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Question by:Fred Marshall
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by:XLITS
ID: 36503996
I would start with an XP Repair install.
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by:madhatter5501
ID: 36504066
I would have to agree with XLITS and do the repair install.  You will save yourself hours - days of frustration
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by:rindi
ID: 36504163
What tool did you use to test the HD? Did you also run a chkdsk with repair options on?
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Expert Comment

by:madhatter5501
ID: 36504193
there is also a diagnostic tool built into most computers bios that can be run, this is the standard for a lot of manufacturers when testing.
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Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36504196
Yes I ran chkdsk with /R.
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by:rindi
ID: 36504229
But what tool did you use to check the actual HD, not just the file-system? Did you use the HD manufacturer's diagnostic tool?
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Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36504403
I ran the internal diagnostics with no problems found.

I ran HDD Restorer and Data Lifeguard .. the latter is what I usually use and the former is new but seems to work rather well.

I'm running a repair install now.

I have learned that this computer:
- was purchased from Dell refurbished.
- had Windows Pro reinstalled just a few months ago because of some kind of problem "like this" ... but undefined.
So, I'm not all that confident that a repair is going to get to the root cause... but

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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36504492
When the Repair install reboots (as it normally does), the reboot fails with the original message.
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36504797
I notice in the error message that the file that is missing or corrupt is:

system32\drivers\pci.sys
 and NOT
C:\Windows\system32\drivers\pci.sys  

Makes me wonder if there's a pointer that's been shortened or just sloppy error messaging?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36508730
pci.sys is the last driver that installed correct
can you boot to safe mode?  then check events log for errors
and check for errrors in device manager also
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by:rindi
ID: 36508753
Have you looked for any minidumps? Zip the last 3 and attach the zip file in your next message.
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36512264
minidumps are a Windows thing....
I don't expect to see any for a failure to boot.
Is that wrong?

pci.sys is the last driver that installed correctly???
I wouldn't think so.  Why?
This isn't stopping at the list of drivers that one sees going to Safe Mode.
The message says that pci.sys s missing or corrupt.

I'm feeling that I have no alternative but to reinstall Windows from scratch.
I wish I knew what caused failures of this type .. particularly after replacing the file.
Perhaps the error message is sloppy in that regard as well?
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Assisted Solution

by:madhatter5501
madhatter5501 earned 250 total points
ID: 36512274
do the repair install so you don't damage the data and programs
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Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36513656
Full install vs. repair install ... both have advantages and disadvantages.

The OEM disks don't have repair install... so I'll have to risk using a different disk suitably formatted to attempt a repair.  Then the full install remains as a backup approach.
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 36515336
>>  The OEM disks don't have repair install   <<   no?  here thet say you can :
http://michaelstevenstech.com/xpoemchgkey.txt
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by:nobus
ID: 36515338
oh yes - and if the list continues, then you are right; i thought it stopped there
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by:modus_operandi
ID: 36541421
fmarshall,
 
I have reopened your question and started the process of closing it with a split amongst two or more Experts, as that outcome seems more equitable than your original disposition.
 
modus_operandi
EE Admin
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by:nobus
ID: 36542097
tx for feedback
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