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No WindowsXP, corrupt file windows\system32\config\system

ASUS motherboard P4P800S, 1GB memory, Windows XP Home Edition
I attempted to upgrade the motherboard and this message appeared when trying to start Windows XP.
windows\system32\config\system file missing or corrupt.
I put the original motherboard back in but it didn't help. The message says I can insert the original CD and attempt to repair but this unit came with the OEM OS on it with no original CD. I tried their website to get a CD and it just takes you in circles.
I borrowed a Windows XP Home edition copy and was able to get to the repair screen but it warns that it could wipe out some programs from the hard drive. I'm afraid of losing a valuable program my wife has for her knitting machine and it requires a new key # purchased everytime the software is loaded.
How can I repair the corrupted file?
Can I safely load windows over the existing windows with another copy of windows XP home addition; if not, will it work if I can get the original CD?
If I can use repair and if so which command should I use?
I thank you in advance for any solutuions you may offer.

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  • Wizard of Oz Dec 29, 2008

    Thank you for such a quick response. I'm in the doghouse until I get it resolved. The key #'s from the knitting company are free in Europe but cost $150.00 here for two keys.

    When I tried to run the repair program from the friends CD it went into the full install unless I typed "R" and then it took me to a dos based command codes.

    I will check out your suggestions this week and get back to you with a result when done. Thanks again.

  • Wizard of Oz Jan 10, 2009

    Today I attempted to repair the windowsXP. I think I could have too if I hadn't followed the second set of instructions on a parallel OS. It installed a parallel XP and now if I try to do a repair it only sees the new OS and not the one with all my software on it. I can see the original when I first boot up but it still needs repaired so I can't boot to it.
    Have I totally screwed this up or can I still get to the original XP somehow and repair it?

  • Lucky
    Lucky May 11, 2010


    First contact the knitting machine program company and check with them about the registration info.

    You shold get a original OS CD, they should send it free for you.

    Or you can try using your ffriend's CDs but it should be the same version as your preinstalled one.

    Then run the repair reinstallation, it would fix the issue.

    Do not install the OS again as it would delete all the info.

    NOTE : Always have a 2 or more partitions on the hard drive.

    And classify them as OS which is C drive

    D - would be your data like music, video, movie and documents and everything etc.,

    This would eliminate the chance of losing the data as you can reinstall the OS only by deleting the C partition only.

    But please don't tell the OEM company about the same as they would charge you as it would be the out of scope for them probably.

    If you dont know how to repair please post.

    I can instruct you.

    Hre is the link follow :



    You can try this also :


    Let me know

    Good Luck.

    Live, Love, Laugh.


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Upgrading a motherboard on Windows operating system is not a simple swap process. For what it is worth, we always do a backup first, then prepare the computer with the new drivers needed for the new board and run a utility called sysprep before we swap out a motherboard. Upon the next power up, the OS will go through the hardware detection and hopefully, it would boot backup.

But now the damage is done. Let's see if we can get you over the hump.

First, make sure you put you computer back together exactly like how you had it before the upgrade. Right as it boots, hit F8 a few times to get to the boot management screen. Select "Last Known Good Configuration". If you are lucky, it will boot right up.

If that doesn't work, repeat the process and but select "Safe Mode" instead. If it boots, you can attempt to backup your files first. Next, try to restore your system by running "System Restore" in "Accessories", "System Tools". Select "Restore my computer to earlier time". A calendar should come up. You will find restore points in the dates in bold. Try using a date just right before you swapped the motherboard. You can repeat the process until you get one that works.

If that failed too, make sure you have all the drivers for your old mother board. The next step is a little risky, but it maybe a quick way to get you backup without having to reinstall every piece of your software. If you want to give it a try, open your device manager and delete all devices. Upon next power up, the system should go through hardware detection. You will need to reinstall your device drivers. With luck, this method will get you back in business quick.

If none of the above works, your data should still be OK, but if you need to preserve all the programs, you will need a very competent tech who has done recovery like this before. But if you can reinstall your software, you can just do a repair install. All of your data should still be there, but you will have to reinstall your software.

Good luck. I hope this info will help you.

Posted on Sep 04, 2009

  • Ancestor_22 Sep 04, 2009

    I didn't realize this post was from so long ago. I guess I am too late to rescue your system. I hope you were able to fix the problems. Maybe the info I posted will help others.


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Just borrow live cd of any os (UBUNTU Linux preferred)or a norton ghost recovery cd(available at internet)

now for live cd , boot your pc with cd ...this will give you gui desktop with hard drive acess...just insert your pendrive and copy all needed files

after this have a clean xp install...this solution is on the basis that you have not created ASR backup of ur system

for ghost,just boot sys with ghost...backup entire harddrive or useful matter,have a clean xp install and restore the useful components...remember, do not restore entire hard drive as this will restore currpted files also..

Posted on Aug 10, 2009

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Reinstall the os every time you replace the mother board it cures this issue...
dont do anything half fast it wont work.

Posted on Aug 09, 2009

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Yes U can Find Out Solution By Step :::

1. First U look anyone's (Friend's) computer and then find out the files located in system32/config folder.

2. copy this files to pen drive or other mass storage devices

3. first apply any boot cd with complete with MS-DOS prompt or 98 or u can use Hiren's BOOT CD

4. then u can find out the way to open the folder located in your harddisk (windows/system32/config)

5. at this point copy the files as external device opening or in through CD

then reboot

Posted on Apr 29, 2009

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Sad to say but alot of the computer manufacturers send Windows install/restore disks that are basically hardwired to the original hardware setup. The only real solution if you cannot install over your old setup would be to purchase the full version of the Windows o/s you want to install. Hope this helps & please remember to rate my answer. Thanks.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008

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