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Major computer problem, won't start up

Old 05-14-04, 10:19 AM
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Major computer problem, won't start up

I'm running Windows XP Professional.

My computer gives me the following message when I try to boot up, this is after it goes through the systemcheck, etc. I can go into setup, but don't see anything that looks like it needs to be changed.

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.
So I put in my Windows XP Professional disk, by my CD-RW (a Plextor 40/10/20 if I remember the numbers right) doesn't appear to be working, it won't open or close and when I put the disk in (by carefully pulling the tray open) it won't recognize it, even though under setup I have this drive as the primary boot mechanism.

Any ideas?

The computer is ~ 2 years old.

Thanks!
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Old 05-14-04, 10:21 AM
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Do you have a floppy drive on your computer? Try booting from a boot disk and see if you can run the XP disk from there.

www.bootdisk.com
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Old 05-14-04, 10:51 AM
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No, I don't have a floppy disk drive, just the one CD-RW.

I have a ghost (from Norton Utilities) of the machine on CD-R when the computer was running fine, but the CD-R isn't working right now, and besides there are a lot of things on the computer I really want to copy before I use the ghost disks.
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Old 05-14-04, 12:32 PM
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Can you pull out the hard drive and try it out on another computer? Preferably one with a floppy drive so you can use a boot disk?
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Old 05-15-04, 07:04 PM
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Come to think of it, yes, I do have another computer I can put it in, with both a floppy and a CD-Rom.

Would I still need the boot disk then, or would my Windows XP Pro disk work? (or my Norton Systemworks 2003)?
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Old 05-15-04, 07:31 PM
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if you cant get it to boot from cd.. and you end up putting it in the machine with the floppy drive

you can get a boot disk from www.bootdisk.com
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Old 05-15-04, 11:29 PM
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I wouldn't advise installing windows on it using the other machine... you ought to find a way to get it to work in the machine it came from.
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Old 05-18-04, 03:22 PM
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Which disk at www.bootdisk.com would I need? (repair XP, XP/SP 1a, etc).

Also, rather than mess with the hard drive, what if I were to move the floppy disk drive from the working computer to the one that doesn't work? Or if my machine doesn't read the CD-R (which it doesn't), it also won't read the floppy?
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Old 05-18-04, 03:41 PM
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Sounds very familiar...

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=364767
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Old 05-18-04, 10:58 PM
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BTW----I had a terrible boot virus, and had to reformat and reinstall windows. I backed up documents/data to disk and transferred the stuff to the fresh copy of XP.

Low and behold, I copied the boot virus (or whatever virus it was) and started getting the exact same errors as before. Had to reformat AGAIN and now I don't know what to do to get the data. I need to scan the drive, but it never shows any viruses.

SO word of warning b/f copying old data from a problematic drive. You could bring the problem with you.
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Old 05-21-04, 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by Heat
Which disk at www.bootdisk.com would I need? (repair XP, XP/SP 1a, etc).

Also, rather than mess with the hard drive, what if I were to move the floppy disk drive from the working computer to the one that doesn't work? Or if my machine doesn't read the CD-R (which it doesn't), it also won't read the floppy?
Anyone?
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Old 06-03-04, 12:09 AM
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I never did figure out which boot disk to get, the ones I looked at talked about partioning the disk, not what I wanted to do.

It turned out that my CD-RW was bad (a plextor), so I ordered a new Samsung DVD / CD-RW from Plextor for $50. While I was waiting on that I took the hard drive out of my machine and put it in the kids machine, then copied over the files I wanted to keep. Once I received the DVD / CD-RW I installed it and tried to fix the problem, but it kept asking for some startup disk which I don't have, so I just reformatted it, I'm still working at setting it up the way I like. I could just bring it back as it was 6 months ago when I ghosted it with Norton, but I think a fresh start will be good for the machine, it had been doing some funky things this past month (crashing a lot).

Edit: My broken plextor, which is a 24/10/40, cost ~ $130 a little over two years ago, and that was a good price for it then. I see that you can now pick up a 52/24/52 Plextor for $48. The reason I went with the Samsung is because I'm assuming that Samsung is a good brand in drives band the reviews (through newegg) said that it was good and quiet, plus it comes with a DVD reader.

Last edited by Heat; 06-03-04 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 06-04-04, 09:02 AM
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i would have spent the extra $35 and got a dvd burner
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