Question about HP Pavilion a340n (DQ099AABA) PC Desktop

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XP won't start, system32 file corrupted

Turn on my PC and instead of Win XP starting, a black screen with the following white words comes up...

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\system32\config\system
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.

Ok, my first issue:
I do not have a current backup (Yes I know BAD, BAD, BAD!! Just purchased an external harddrive but had not backed up yet...)
Second Issue: HP did not send the set-up cd, it's pre-loaded on the D drive (but can't get to it).

Before this happened:
pc had slowed down to a crawl!
Took forever to boot up; would hang up at shut down;
very slow launching programs, ex. Word.
Mozilla took so long to open or just would not open - used Opera browser instead, still very slow but could surf internet, email, etc.
Ran multiple Avast Anti-virus scans w/ no infections found. Automatic updates. Ran CCleaner for clean up. (Had not used registry cleaner feature real recently)
No new hardware or software had been recently installed.

QUESTIONS:
1. What to do first to save my files?
2. How to get my pc running correctly?

MY PC:
HP Pavilion a340n Desktop
2.60GHz Intel Pentium 4 Processor (w/ Hyper-Threading Technology)
512MB DDR SDRAM Memory
120GB Ultra DMA Hard Drive
Intel Extreme Graphics w/ up to 64MB shared video memory
CD-RW drive 48x24x48x max drive
DVD-ROM drive 16x speed

Thank you very much!!
Jennifer

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First thing I would do is take the hard drive out and find another system you can put it in as a slave drive. Then back up all your files including the installation setup on D drive. If you see \WINDOWS\system32\config\system and it doesn't mention a specific file name it could mean the whole directory is bad. When you have this hard drive in another system run a diagnostic program from the manufacturer of the drive and see if it has problems. You could also run scan disc I guess but try to recover your files first before doing that. If it says a specific file name when it boots up you can extract that from an installation CD if you know which .cab file to look in. If you can back up your files that you need and the hard drive checks out as good, I would recommend just doing a fresh installation rather than try to fix the problems. They may be rather extensive to fix and a fresh installation eliminates the software being the problem and if you have further problems then you'll know it's hardware.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009

Testimonial: "Thank you obwhon!! I am working on your suggestions right now, I'll let you know what happens. Thanks again for taking the time to help!! Jen"

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Iam here to help people with their cars but I have been where you are. I would just do a clean install of XP.You don't want all the **** that you get when you buy a brand name computer. I have mine built to my specs. All you need is an operating system and a lot more Ram than you have. I don,t see any memory on your graphic card worth having. No disrespect iam sure you both know more than i will ever know. I would loose the ram and graphic card and buy the latest products avail

Posted on Sep 30, 2009

Testimonial: "Thanks for taking the time to help me out pczapp! I know I need to update my hardware. Having more ram would help...if I can get it running again : )"

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Acouple of day ago I purchased norton 360 anti virus. My computer froze a couple days after instalation of this program. When the computer froze I proceeded to press the blue botton and hold it in till the computer shut down. When I restarted the computer I heard no beeps as I usually heard, my screen was blank and I had no lights on my keyboard. I tried booting it up in safe mode and that doen't even come up. The computer is dead now and I can't get it up and running. From what I hear ,it's the motherboard? Can anyone help me?

Posted on Jan 15, 2010

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I have an hp mini 210-1041nr running win xp and when I start it, the computer tells me Windows\System32\Config\System missing. I tried service pack 3 but it didn't work. Can u please help?


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\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM or \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE

1. Insert and boot from your Windows XP CD.
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I am installing a recovery disk for an emachines computer and i get error message stating that the system 32hal.dll is missing or corrupt. i cant get back to the windows screen to install the missing file...


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Then, when you come to the screen with the following option displayed :


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Problem with pc


Here is the solution right from Microsoft.

 

SYMPTOMS
When you try to start or restart your Windows XP-based computer, you may receive one of the following error messages:

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

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

Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate

CAUSE
This issue can occur if the System or Software hive for the Windows XP installation is missing or damaged.

RESOLUTION
To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods.

Use the Recovery Console Tool
To restore a damaged registry hive, use the Recovery Console to restore the backup copy of the hive from the Repair folder. The Repair folder contains a copy of the system's registry hives that were created after the first successful startup of Windows XP.

WARNING : Although data should not be affected by the following procedure, you may need to restore changes you previously made to programs or system settings since the first time you successfully started Windows XP.

To replace the damaged registry hive and restore the backup copy of the hive from the Repair folder: Start your computer to the Recovery Console.

Determine if the file that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section of this article is present, and if it is, rename it:

In Recovery Console, change to the c:\Windows folder.

Type cd sytem32\config , and then press ENTER.

Type dir system , and then press ENTER.

If you cannot run the preceding command successfully (because the file is missing), skip to step 3. If you can run the preceding command successfully, type ren system system.bak , and then press ENTER.

NOTE : If the message that you received referred to the software file, replace "system" with "software" in the preceding command. For example, you would type ren software software.bak (instead of ren system system.bak ), and then press ENTER.

Type copy c:\windows\repair\system , and then press ENTER.

NOTE : If the message that you received referred to the software file, replace "system" with "software" in the preceding command. For example, you would type copy c:\windows\repair\software (instead of copy c:\windows\repair\system ), and then press ENTER.

You should receive a "One file copied" informational message. For additional information about how to use Recovery Console during startup, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q307654 HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console for Windows XP


IMPORTANT : If you encounter problems when you run the preceding commands, you may need to use the Change Directory command ( cd ) one folder at a time before you run the preceding commands. For example, type cd system32 , press ENTER, type cd config , and then press ENTER.

Type exit , and then press ENTER to quit Recovery Console and restart the computer.

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