Very Bad WinXP boot problem
Nov 13, 2005 at 11:18 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

jlo mein

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Last thing I did on my laptop was watch some videos and then straight shutdown.

The next time I started the computer, it shows the Pentium M logo, tries to load, then brings up this error:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM"

It then goes on to say that:

"You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-ROM.
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair."

I tried using a WinXP CD, and it will not recognize it, I think my boot order goes to the hard disk before optical drive.

I tried to get to the BIOS by pressing delete in the startup (to change the boot order), but it never takes me there.

Does anyone recognize this? Know a fix or something?

My System:

Asus Z71V Laptop
Pentium M 1.73ghz
1.5GB DDR2 Ram
80GB 5400rpm Samsung HD
Atheros CM9 wireless card
Windows XP Pro with SP2
 
Nov 13, 2005 at 2:58 PM Post #2 of 10

Firam

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It might be a different key to get into the BIOS. Try punching other key, maybe F2, I think it is somtimes used.
 
Nov 13, 2005 at 3:29 PM Post #3 of 10

SiBurning

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You're on the right track. This happens when the boot loader (ntldr) tries to load windows from the wrong place. This could happen when boot.ini is pointing to the wrong partition (as if you added or removed drives) or the logical drive that has windows is in the wrong place (as if another drive before it went missing) or the drive got messed up: either the partition or the partition table. It's very likely, the bios is putting the drive in the wrong place. What you do know is the drive with ntldr (should be c: ) is okay and in the right place. If windows in on the same drive, it's probably a hardware configuration issue. The post above is where to start. Try insert, delete, F1, F2, all the Fs. On a laptop you might only have half a second or less of a window to press that button. It should be when the logo appears, if you can't get it, try just constantly pressing and releasing the buttons.

You definitely want to avoid reinstalling or using software to repair anything until you've got the hardware part completely understood.
 
Nov 13, 2005 at 4:05 PM Post #4 of 10

JiiEf

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I have been usually able to overcome that problem (which I used to get constantly in sp1, but have only gotten once in sp2) by simply booting on the xp cd without actually doing anything. So if you can just get the computer to boot from the cd, you'll be halfway home.



/JF
 
Nov 13, 2005 at 8:50 PM Post #5 of 10

jlo mein

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Ok F2 worked to get into the BIOS utility. Weird because Delete worked before.

Changed the boot order so boots from optical drive first. Tested with a WinXP Home CD and it seems to work, gave me the option of setting up and installing Win, repairing Win, and exiting. Didn't change anything, I want to wait til I get my hands on a WinXP Pro/SP2 CD tonight.

How do you boot directly from the CD? Doesn't list that as an option.

Does anybody know what could have caused this problem? Hard drive error caused by rough handling? I try not to hit the laptop hard when I put down my bag or anything...
 
Nov 14, 2005 at 11:57 AM Post #6 of 10

JiiEf

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jlo mein
Ok F2 worked to get into the BIOS utility. Weird because Delete worked before.

Changed the boot order so boots from optical drive first. Tested with a WinXP Home CD and it seems to work, gave me the option of setting up and installing Win, repairing Win, and exiting. Didn't change anything, I want to wait til I get my hands on a WinXP Pro/SP2 CD tonight.

How do you boot directly from the CD? Doesn't list that as an option.

Does anybody know what could have caused this problem? Hard drive error caused by rough handling? I try not to hit the laptop hard when I put down my bag or anything...



Hm, hit "repair install", wait it for load all the stuff, log in as administrator and reboot immediately without changing anything or installing anything new. That has always sorted the problem for me.

/JF
 
Nov 14, 2005 at 12:01 PM Post #7 of 10

robzy

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Bugger mate
frown.gif
Your registry has gone up **** creek.

I hope you have system restore turned on - and if you do everything will turn out peachy.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=307545 <-- Will explain how to get out of the mess you are in.

Rob.
 
Nov 14, 2005 at 1:06 PM Post #8 of 10

SiBurning

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I just checked. Looks like robzy is correct. What I mentioned before would probably cause a different file to be mentioned. If you don't have a backup of the registry, you'll probably have to reinstall all your software. Personally, if that was the case, I'd do a backup and reinstall windows from scratch. Well, at least you'll get rid of any evilware.
 
Nov 15, 2005 at 3:27 AM Post #9 of 10

jlo mein

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well i have to say thanks for all your help guys. To fix this i posted on about five forums, and was constantly on MSN consulting tech support buddies. My fix really was a combination of many different suggestions.

Yesterday I somehow managed to fix it enough to boot into safe mode and backup everything. That was an immediate relief I knew if all else failed, I could format and still have my files.

Today I couldn't get into Safe mode anymore, so first I ran chkdsk /r from the Recovery Console (took 3 hours), in Windows Setup (from the WinXP CD), selected the option to install Windows. It detected a version on system and asked if i wanted to repair, pressed 'r' to begin. That fixed my system enough so that I could boot into normal mode, however with all default settings, and no old programs would work. I then followed this fix procedure to force Windows to recongize past Restore Points again ( Link provided by Robzy ). Restored to a safe point about a week ago, and now everything is perfect like it was before.

Thanks to everyone for your help. From this experience I have learned to never rely on being able to always fix problems with Windows, so I should constantly backup important things.
 
Nov 16, 2005 at 3:16 PM Post #10 of 10

tortie

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jlo mein
From this experience I have learned to never rely on being able to always fix problems with Windows, so I should constantly backup important things.


Well said. Everybody takes it for granted to back up their files until its too late. Its a good thing you didnt have to pay the price of losing all your important files to learn this lesson.
 

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