windows wont boot

Posted on 2013-05-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-05-30
i am receiving a a message:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt" \windows\system32\config\system
Question by:JerseyGiant
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Accepted Solution

m3mph1s1 earned 200 total points
ID: 39187862
what OS are you using?  You need to either do a complete reinstall or a repair installation
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

ZabagaR earned 200 total points
ID: 39187863
That'a a corrupted registry error. Do you have the XP CD handy? Follow this:

LVL 24

Assisted Solution

aadih earned 600 total points
ID: 39187878
It will be worth your while to read this tutorial (solutions):

http://www.help2go.com/content/tutorials/28-c-windows-system32-config-system-missing-corrupt.html >
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

flubbster earned 200 total points
ID: 39187882
You can go through a long manual process to replace the bad system registry hive, or you can download UBCD4WIN and build a bootable CD that contains a registry restore wizard. Obviously, the system restore must have been active for this to work. You can download it and see the instructions here:


The built-in tool is called RegResWiz

All you need to build it is either a windows xp cd, or to have the C:\i386 folder on any XP system that you can use. It is actually quite easy to use and fairly quick to build. I like to use imgburn to do the build.
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

Michael-Best earned 400 total points
ID: 39187962
If you have your XP insall disc then run a repair install.
You can first try booting into safe mode and restore the PC to a previous date when the system was good.

What was the cause did you have a power failure during an update or during startup or shutdown that has caused this registry error?

If the hard drive is failing and caused the registry error then it would be better to replace the drive and clone your old drive to the new one.
You could also just install the OS to new drive then move your data from the old drive.

Test your drive first:

Use the manufactures HDD diagnostic tool.
You can find old versions of these tools on UBCD

Use the latest manufactures HDD diagnostic tool.
The download links are provided below.

Seagate, Samsung,  Maxtor


Fujitsu, Toshiba

Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostic

How to test a drive for problems using Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows

Seagate SeaTools for Windows guide and download

Seagate SeaTools for DOS guide and download
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 400 total points
ID: 39190032
here is how i do that :
windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:  \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
An easier way is to boot from a Bart PE CD (or UBCD4Win CD) and use the file manager for manipulating files. Here  the procedure :
1. rename c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM to c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM.bak
2. Navigate to the System Volume Information folder.
it contains some restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".
The restore points are in  folders starting with "RPx under this folder.
3. In such a folder, locate a Snapshot subfolder. This is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:  C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot
4. From the Snapshot folder, copy the following file to the c:\windows\system32\config folder
6. Exit Bart PE, reboot and test

Use a fairly recent restore point from at least a day or two prior to problem occurring .

** you can add the other hives also with this procedure

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/       BARTPE
http://www.ubcd4win.com/            UBCD4WIN

Author Comment

ID: 39190769
im not  wiz at the bartpe software i attempted to run it and i loaded a winxp cd in my pc to retrieve the source info.. but i dint know why its not creating the  bootable cd

Author Comment

ID: 39190772
i run the CD for recovery and it blue screens saying it possibly has a virus.
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

aadih earned 600 total points
ID: 39190802
Try using "Trend Micro Rescue Disk":

http://www.trendsecure.com/Info/Rescue_Disk/html/download.html >

to boot up from and disinfect your computer.

Author Comment

ID: 39190954
thank you i will try it.. i ran  quick scan and nothing showed.i am running the full scan now

Author Comment

ID: 39190965
if i can get to c: prompt i can probably get this to work..is there just a bootable CD program to DOS?
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

aadih earned 600 total points
ID: 39191012
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 400 total points
ID: 39191017
run also these :
http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php                         MBAM
http://majorgeeks.com/RogueKiller_d6983.html                  Roguekiller
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

Michael-Best earned 400 total points
ID: 39191056
Is your HDD in good condition?
Did you test it as I suggested?
Is it infected?

No, one antivirus will catch every malware so you need to do a periodic scan with:

1. Malwarebytes http://www.malwarebytes.org/

2. Combo Fix http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/search/?keyword=combofix

3. Rogue Killer http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/roguekiller/

4. Hitman Pro http://www.surfright.nl/en/hitmanpro/

5. TDS Killer http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/tdsskiller/

6. SuperAntiSpyware www.superantispyware.com

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