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How Do you explain an empty system32 folder in XPpro that boots?

By sully ·
I have this desktop that still boots, very slowly, into windows and onto a domain with an empty system32 folder. I'm thinking the HDD is on its way out but I've never seen anything like this. It's not a hidden folder or restricted by policy, it's just empty. Any suggestions???

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by timjor19 In reply to How Do you explain an emp ...

I would recommend the obvious first, make sure you dont have a bootable CD in your cd rom drive, then make an image backup of the hard drive.

If there is no cd left in the drive,I would look into using a WIN-PE or BART rescue cd to boot an emergency repair version of windows to investigate this odd condition.

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it boot'd from ??

by dawgit In reply to How Do you explain an emp ...

you didn't say just how it booted. Q: did the PC boot from LAN? That could be one explanization of just how it got up. Also, check all the Windows files, it could be that the sys32 files are else-where, (where they don't belong) that would explain the slow boot-up (it was looking for necessary files) That sometimes might happen in a catostophic (as in Oops) shut-down, when the OS (WinXP) didn't get to put the files back on the hard-drive (at least not in the right place) from your memory. Or they could be still actually located in memory (not good) It could happen if your HD has a bad sector. Run Check-Disk. See what it tells you. & Good Luck. -d

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by sully In reply to it boot'd from ??

re: it boot'd from ??
This is the strangest anomoly I've encountered with Windows to date. I had to run a complete re-install to fix. There was something "eating" away at the system folders, I suspected a virus but AVG said no, so did Panda online, so did the managed McAfee service that my client has. What is weird is I ran a chkdsk and then rebooted and found that not only was the system32 folder empty it was now gone and the Windows directory was empty. Now to my knowledge this is not even possible and I've got to say, although I enjoy Windows, I'm sure as sure this would never happen in Linux so I created a partition and installed Suse and let Windows be the boot manager. Thanks for the help!

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Thanks for the up-date

by dawgit In reply to replies

I just remembered something I keep forgetting (old age) Memory.!. Did anyone'up-grade' the memory? I say this (dumb luck with expirence) because with memory cards, like is NOT same. And some computers or mainboards require, and must have, only certain cards. I've found that even some equal cards, by different mfgrs are not totally compatable. In a Sony computer I have, (excelent computer BTW) I had to special order the memory, specificaly made for that computer. And wrong memory cards will do just what you described. (at least with WIN., but I don't know about with Linux, as Linux uses different F/S, it might not have the same effect)

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Have a look at whats on the HD.

by michael_orton In reply to Thanks for the up-date

Boot from a Knoppix CD. this is a live Linux, runs from a cd in RAM.
Then you can look at all the files on the HD, even ones that windows malware might try to hide.

You could try (with latest Knoppix if NTFS) to rename suspicious.exe/com to suspicious.vxe/vom
and see what happens. I never deleate suspicious files, at least initially, I just rename then and its just easy then to copy them to a floppy/cd and rename back if OK.
Knoppix will run your CD/DVD burner Floppy drive. USB pen drive OK.

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