Question about Dell Inspiron XPS M140 Notebook

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Starting the computer

When turning on the computer, it states that it can not start due to a file missing or corrupt and to reinstall windows/system32 / . I try F8 and try to start the computer in safe mode but it did not work. The computer did not come with a windows cd to reinstall.

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Ok what file does it say is missing?

and do you have a windows xp cd at all or do you know someone with one?'
because it may be that you might just have a file system error on your hard drive and since windows can not read the file it thinks it is missing when in fact it is probably still there

booting the computer from the windows xp cd and going into the recovery console you can do a disk file system repair by typing this at the recovery console command prompt CHKDSK C: /R

that will start the chkdsk utility but once you start it you MUST allow it to finish since even if it apears to be stuck it is not... and it may take several hours to complete depending on the size of the drive and the amount of files.. (interupting the CHKDSK utility before it finishes can actually damage your drive depending on which phase it is in at the time so please be patient and allow it to finish)

once chkdisk is complete remove the cd and type EXIT and it will reboot and windows should then be able to read the file just fine

is the file that it needs called : C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\system ?
that is part of your windows registry
the dsk chk utility should be able to repair it but in the rare event that it does not then you will need to do a repair install of windows.

but there is one more last rewsort way of replacing that file if the dskchk doesnt repair it but best to try CHKDSK utility fitst since alternate method will require reinstalling most of your hardware drivers and theres a possibility of losing your account and access to your documents and so on if encryption is enabled because the only real backup copy of that file is probably the first default file that windows created durring install that is located in the C:\WINDOWS\REPAIR folder
and it is rather a pain to restore it which might not work anyway if there is a bad sector on your drive in the c:\windows\system32\config folder location
so CHKDSK utility is best option.

at least that is what i would do (i have fixed this exact situation countless times with CHKDSK utility )

Posted on Nov 20, 2008

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