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I have an hp 511w that displays the message file missing or corrupted. WINDOWSSYSTEM32CONFIGSYSTEM that is the last screen i can access. anything i try to do (like push f8 or f1) doesnt work. i cannot start windows. period. i dont have the original start up or installation cd (windows xp home ed) so im not sure what to do. i have another desk top but it doesnt have a floppy drive and its a vista. what can i do short of spending a ton of money?

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You most definately have to restore windows.That system 32 config file is part of the boot process.Yours got corrupted .I take it your computer is out of warranty.If its not try calling hp and maybe they might send you recovery cd.
Good luck

Posted on Nov 12, 2009

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I have an hp 511w that displays the message file missing or corrupted. WINDOWSSYSTEM32CONFIGSYSTEM that is the last screen i can access. anything i try to do (like push f8 or f1) doesnt work. i cannot...


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1 Answer

Windows xp corrupted


This is supposed to be caused by some missing registry entries in your windows installation. Not exactly sure why this is happening. May be you have some important files that cannot be copied due to a damaged CD. Microsoft replaces the media for you so that you can try installing using the replacement. Click here for more details
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;326246
You can also try to recover the PC using recovery console. To do it follow the steps below
To complete part one, follow these steps:
  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:windowssystem32configsystem c:windows mpsystem.bak
    copy c:windowssystem32configsoftware c:windows mpsoftware.bak
    copy c:windowssystem32configsam c:windows mpsam.bak
    copy c:windowssystem32configsecurity c:windows mpsecurity.bak
    copy c:windowssystem32configdefault c:windows mpdefault.bak

    delete c:windowssystem32configsystem
    delete c:windowssystem32configsoftware
    delete c:windowssystem32configsam
    delete c:windowssystem32configsecurity
    delete c:windowssystem32configdefault

    copy c:windows epairsystem c:windowssystem32configsystem
    copy c:windows epairsoftware c:windowssystem32configsoftware
    copy c:windows epairsam c:windowssystem32configsam
    copy c:windows epairsecurity c:windowssystem32configsecurity
    copy c:windows epairdefault c:windowssystem32configdefault
  6. Type exit to quit Recovery Console. Your computer will restart.
Source:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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

That means the System Registry Hive has become corrupted.

There are two ways to get back up and running. The easy way which doesn't always work, and then there is the hard way.

Easy Way --- Note that this doesn't always work.
When you are booting your system, press the F8 key during the start of the bootup sequence, meaning after it does the Power On Self Test.

Once you press the F8 key, you will be taken to a Menu. Select "Boot Using Last Known Good Configuration".

It will now attempt to load Windows XP using a past set of configuration files.

If that doesn't work, there is the next step....the hard way.

Hard Way
Boot your system with the Windows XP Install CD, let the system boot into the Setup. Once in the Setup, choose to run the Recovery Console.

You will now be presented with a screen similar to good old DOS.

First, we will recover the System Hive.

Now, type in the following commands with pressing Enter after each line.

md tmp
copy C:\windows\system32\config\system C:\windows\tmp\system.bak
delete C:\windows\system32\config\system
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Be very careful when you are typing in these commands, one wrong move, and you have, broken Windows XP.

Also, change the C in the commands to whatever your Windows XP drive letter is.

Attempt to boot the system, if it doesn't boot, get back into the Recovery Console and do the following commands.

md tmp
copy C:\windows\system32\config\software C:\windows\tmp\software.bak
delete C:\windows\system32\config\software
copy C:\windows\repair\software C:\windows\system32\config\software

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