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Starting Windows Virtual PC - error message can't start missing missing or corrupt file

Posted on 2014-01-16
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Last Modified: 2016-07-12
receive the following message:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
windows\system32\config\system

running from w7 pro
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Question by:DAveB_LDS
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14 Comments
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39786428
Probably corrupted registry due to improper shutdown of the VM.

Boot using a recovery disk and run chkdsk on it, or revert to the last restore point.

HTH,
Dan
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Author Comment

by:DAveB_LDS
ID: 39786546
How do you boot the virtual PC using a recovery disk?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Dan Craciun earned 500 total points
ID: 39786572
Go to settings, then attach either an ISO or the physical unit where you have the recovery disk.

After that, boot the VM, press DEL repeatedly until you enter BIOS and setup boot sequence to start from CD.

http://www.howtogeek.com/59084/how-to-change-the-virtual-machine-boot-device-in-virtual-pc/
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Author Comment

by:DAveB_LDS
ID: 39786702
Thank you for your help.

Is there any way of getting files from the virtual hard drive?
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39786753
You can attach the vhd on Disk Management and give it a disk letter.
This will mount the vhd and allow you to see/copy files from the host system.
attach VHD
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Author Comment

by:DAveB_LDS
ID: 39786809
Great. Then I can just reload the whole virtual PC from scratch
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39786863
Yup.

Note that backups for VMs are way easier than for non-virtualized systems: just copy the vhd, using VSS. Most backup programs can do this automatically.

Then your current problem would be: copy last night's backup and overwrite the vhd. Problem solved :)
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Author Comment

by:DAveB_LDS
ID: 39786906
Problem is Carbonite was not backing up the VHD (it was too big).  I attached the VHD as per your suggestion and am grabbing all of my files and settings.

What do you mean by copy the VHD using VSS?

How would I just create a brand new Virtual Machine and then copy back my files?

I only use the Virtual machine to run legacy DOS apps
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39786929
When the VM is running you can't copy the vhd directly, cause you'll get a "file is open" error. So then you (or your backup software) use Volume Shadow Copy that creates a copy of the file and allows you to copy that.

If you have a snapshot or backup of the VM, revert to that and then copy over the files.

If you don't, install XP again, using the installation media.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39786933
BTW, since you have the VHD already attached, try running a chkdsk on it, after you finish transferring your files/settings.
If you're lucky, it should fix your problem and the VM will start again.
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Assisted Solution

by:DAveB_LDS
DAveB_LDS earned 0 total points
ID: 39794988
I renamed the Virtual folder.
I placed a copy of XP in CD drive
Started the Virtual machine and hit delete on the keyboard (prior comment).
XP mode started installing all over again? (Why?)
Finished installation and then copied my files from the backed up virtual drive.
Back in business!
Thanks for your help
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 41705448
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