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XP is not loading (file missing)

By icom ·
I have got a laptop acer travelmate an dits running XP. The question is its not going into windows. Its coming up with "WINDOWS COULD NOT START BECAUSE THE FOLLOWING FILE IS MISSING OR CORRUPTED : windows:\system32\config\system"

How can I best tacle the problem. Is there another way to replace the file?

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by 3xp3rt In reply to XP is not loading (file m ...

Try to boot from the original windows CD and run the repair. If stil not working, you must reinstall the windows.

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by cmiller5400 In reply to XP is not loading (file m ...

A repair file may be located in windows\repair\

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by gavin.randle In reply to XP is not loading (file m ...

1. Insert the Windows XP startup disk into the floppy disk drive, or insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted to do so.
2. When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
3. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.
4. When you are prompted to do so, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
5. At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following lines, pressing ENTER after you type each line:
md tmp
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default

6. Type exit to quit Recovery Console. Your computer will restart.

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by bejo In reply to XP is not loading (file m ...

I had the same problem a couple of weeks ago and this is how I solved it:
Get hold of a CD with ERD Commander 2005 or similar and boot from this. Run a System Restore on your Windows XP installation and you?ll be up and running.

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by bpe In reply to XP is not loading (file m ...

First thing to check is your HDD, I find this file i.e. the registry is usually corrupted by a failing HDD. I personally use HDDregenerator to check/repair the drive, then use a BARTpe boot cd with a43 file explorer to navigate to the system restore folder and go back to the most recent RP folder and get a copy of the files which are mentioned in the reply above. I copy them to windows\system32\config, rename the originals so that if there are faulty sectors on the disk, the original files will cover them. Rename the files copied over from the RP and test. If all is well, change the HDD if faulty sectors were originally found.

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by jcurrie In reply to XP is not loading (file m ...

I am having a problem with windows not loading but I don't get an error message. If ya'll could look at this post maybe someone would be able to help.
Could this be fixed by doing the steps described by Randle in Answer 3?

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by belbinclive In reply to XP is not loading (file m ...

Answer 3 is closest but will probably only give you a system as at when Windows was first installed.

There is stuff in Microsoft's knowledge base which will help you fix this (which is almost certainly where the text in answer 3 comes from) but you need to get the files named in Answer 3 from a recent System Restore point, and these are stored in a normally inaccessible folder called System Volume Information (or something very similar).

I don't have the details of the KB articles to hand, but, with the application of a bit of nous that should help you find the right answer.

Good luck.

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by chealey In reply to XP is not loading (file m ...

I just had this happen Tuesday - here is what I did and recovered everything.

Follow the instructions that everyone has given to boot with the XP CD for recovery console, copy your system file from windows\system32\config\system to windows\system32\config\ (do not just rename).

If it writes out then it may not be corrupt unfortunately if it is truly missing or corrupt then I cannot help - I can only offer condolences - but if all is still OK then copy the system file from windows\repair\ folder to windows\system32\config\ and overwrite the system file. Remove the CD and reboot. Your computer will start up as it did after the install just let it ID all the drivers and hardware and such again - you do not have to let it install the drivers when it finds them. All you want to do is just get to a point where you can shut it down. Use the CD and boot into recovery console then copy your windows\system32\config\ to windows\system32\config\system and boot.

After that worked for me I started a backup regime and all the other stuff that I should have been doing all along.

Best of luck to you.

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by bobstar001 In reply to XP is not loading (file m ...

Repairing Windows XP in Eight Commands: Page (2)

Proceeding With the Repair Functions

* There are eight commands you must enter in sequence to repair any of the issues I noted in the opening of this guide. I will introduce them here, and then show the results graphically in the next six steps. These commands are as follows:
o C: CD ..
o C: ATTRIB ?H C:\boot.ini
o C:ATTRIB ?S C:\boot.ini
o C:ATRIB ?R C:\boot.ini
o C: del boot.ini
o C: BOOTCFG /Rebuild
* To ?Go up a directory? in computing is to revert back to the directory above the current folder you?re operating in. If, for example, I?m in the C:WINDOWSSYSTEM32 directory, and I want to get at a file in the WINDOWS directory, I would merely type CD .. and I would be taken out of the SYSTEM32 folder and up one level to WINDOWS. We?re going to do the same thing here from the WINDOWS folder to get to the basic root of C:

* Now that we are at C: we can begin the process of repairing the operating system

and that begins with modifying the attributes of the BOOT.INI file. Briefly, BOOT.INI controls what operating systems the Windows boot process can see, how to load them, and where they?re located on your disk. We?re going to make sure the file is no longer hidden from our prying eyes, remove the flag that sets it as an undeletable system file, and remove the flag that sets it as a file we can only read, but not write to. To do this, we will issue three commands in this step:


to remove the Hidden, System and Read Only flags.

* Now that we?ve modified the attributes for the BOOT.INI file, it?s up for deletion.

the syntax for it is simple: { DEL | FILE NAME }, e.g., C:DEL BOOT.INI deletes the BOOT.INI file.

* Now for the most important step of our process, the BOOTC

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by VirginiaBeachBum In reply to XP is not loading (file m ...

Answer 3 is very much on target, but here's a quicker way that works great to, basically accessing your restore points:
At the Press any key to boot from CD prompt, perform the following steps:
Press the <Spacebar>.
The Windows Setup screen appears and several files are loaded.
Press the <R> key.
If prompted, select the number corresponding to the Windows installation you would like to log on to (usually C:\WINDOWS).
Press the <Enter> key.
Enter the Administrator password (if any) and press the <Enter> key on the keyboard.
The C:\WINDOWS> prompt appears.
NOTE: If the system fails to boot, the following method of recovery is not possible.

NOTE: If a message Access Denied is displayed while attempting this fix, perform the following steps:
Type cd \ and press the <Enter> key.
Type cd windows\system32\config and press the <Enter> key.
Type ren system system.bak and press the <Enter> key.
Type exit and press the <Enter> key.
Restart the computer.
Continue troubleshooting below.

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