windows wont boot

i am receiving a a message:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt" \windows\system32\config\system
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m3mph1s1Connect With a Mentor Commented:
what OS are you using?  You need to either do a complete reinstall or a repair installation
ZabagaRConnect With a Mentor Commented:
That'a a corrupted registry error. Do you have the XP CD handy? Follow this:
aadihConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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flubbsterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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.
Michael-BestConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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       BARTPE            UBCD4WIN
JerseyGiantAuthor Commented:
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
JerseyGiantAuthor Commented:
i run the CD for recovery and it blue screens saying it possibly has a virus.
aadihConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try using "Trend Micro Rescue Disk": >

to boot up from and disinfect your computer.
JerseyGiantAuthor Commented:
thank you i will try it.. i ran  quick scan and nothing showed.i am running the full scan now
JerseyGiantAuthor Commented:
if i can get to c: prompt i can probably get this to there just a bootable CD program to DOS?
aadihConnect With a Mentor Commented:
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
run also these :                         MBAM                  Roguekiller
Michael-BestConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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

2. Combo Fix

3. Rogue Killer

4. Hitman Pro

5. TDS Killer

6. SuperAntiSpyware
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