General discussion


windows 2000 "system" file

By kegraham ·
IBM laptop running windows 2000 during startup ran check disk and deleted the file c:\winnt\system32\config\system. This prevents startup of windows. Can this file be replaced without reinstalling windows? I do not have a good current repair disk.



This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

by Blackcurrant In reply to windows 2000 "system" fil ...


Normally, Windows 2000 will replace any accidentally deleted files. As this is not happening, I would try to repair the installation by booting from the original Windows 2000 CD and choosing the Repair option.

Good luck

Collapse -

by willcomp In reply to windows 2000 "system" fil ...

Well if you really did delete that file, you deleted the registry.

Microsoft has a Win 2000 registry repair tool that you can try. See link below.

However, I believe that your only alternative will be a full Windows installation. If you need to recover data, install a second copy on hard disk and transfer data. Recommend that you then reformat hard drive and start afresh.


Collapse -

by willcomp In reply to

A repair installation won't repair the registry. Repair installation uses existing registry. What I have seen in cases where registry is corrupt, repair installation fails.

Collapse -

by razz2 In reply to windows 2000 "system" fil ...

OK, thats not good. You have deleted a registry hive. You should never replace only one perty of the registry. Many registry keys are really sub-keys in another key. So, since there is a connectivity if you replace one the replace all to maintain that unity. After the pain is reduced try this:

How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting

This is a complex procedure so print the page and check off each completed item. Set aside enough time to not have to stop half way through. I have used this many times with great success. That said I use System restore from the Winternals ERD commander most the time now.

Good Luck,


Collapse -

by sgt_shultz In reply to windows 2000 "system" fil ...

unfortunately that nifty article link from razz2 isn't going to work on your win2k system i don't think as believe it refers to finding a backup copy of system (yep, part of 'the registry' in a restore folder, which doesn't apply to win2k. but the basic idea of finding any existing backup of file, either on an old repair disk or in a repair folder or backup of a repair folder on your drive. i think booting with win2k setup cd, picking 'install' the installer will find your existing win2k partition and offer to repair it (i think). at which point it does what you could do manually more thoroughly, look for a file called system in the repair folder...
if you have enuf hd space, consider a 'rescue' installation of win2k in another folder. you can use that to search for a backup version of system or salvage your data into the new win2k install

Collapse -

by kegraham In reply to windows 2000 "system" fil ...

Thanks for the assistance. The hard drive was a ghosted clone of a smaller hard drive. I was able to use a 2.5 to 3.5 ide adapter to connect the hard drive to my desktop. I found the entire config folder had been deleted during check disk when the laptop started to boot up. I was able to use the previous hard drive to copy the config folder to the replacement hard drive. This allowed me to get windows to boot. New software must be reinstalled. Everything is not perfect, as other files may have been deleted, but will get there. May have to reinstall windows yet, but will have all data with a current backup if that is necessary.

Related Discussions

Related Forums