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unit won't boot and won't read CD drive

By snakestang ·
I have a Dell 4300 that had a bunch of malware on it (given to me). I looked at it at my friend's house and it definitely had issues, so I took it home. When I fired it up here, I got an error ' file is missing or corrupt - windows\system32\config\system so somehow the registry has been damaged. OK, so I can run tehe recovery console, so I put an XP home CD in the CD drive and reboot, except it goes to the same error message. OK, so I check the BIOS and change the boot order to CD the hard drive and reboot, still gets the same error message, use F12 and force boot to CD drive, says fail to read drive, F1 to retry and F2 to setup, OK, possible bad CD drive so I replace it with a known good drive and I verified that the CD itself was good, all checks, try to boot again and it fails, green light on CD drive, BIOS knows a 'CD reader' is there but does not identify model or manufacturer (also sees CD burner as the same 'CD reader'). This leaves me with 2 questions:
First, does anyone have any thoughts about why the computer will not read the contents of the CD drive or any additional testing options?
Second, does anyone know of a registry tool that could be used on this hard drive if I mount it in my computer as a secondary slave drive? If I can get the drive to boot, then I can work on further diags to identify the CD drives' issues!

Thanks!

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Sorry. I should have clarified.

by 1bn0 In reply to Small problem

You stated the machine was infested with malware.

I use a spare computer and connect the hard drive to it as the only Hard Drive.

Just a preventative measure to ensure the infestation does not spread to another mach

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