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options needed: system32\config missing or corrupt error

Old 10-05-07, 01:22 PM
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options needed: system32\config missing or corrupt error

I'm getting the dreaded \windows\systems32\config\system error. According to the message, I need the Windows Setup CD, but I can't find it in the material Dell sent with my computer.

I'm passed my warranty, so Dell won't help without paying them money.

I've tried microsoft, but their boot disk for XP Professional is only downloadable to a floppy disk...and I don't have access to floppies anymore on any machine.

What can I do? I'm going to move to Mac soon, so this is only a problem because I need to get all of my data from the PC. I went to a computer place and they'll charge $60 to retrieve my data, but that seems steep.
Old 10-05-07, 04:16 PM
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borrow a friends xp cd, and run a repair?
pull your harddrive out and put it in another machine as a slave drive, archive data?
create a bootable cd image from bootdisk.com?

btw.. did you actually call dell? They typically will help with standard issues forever.. just wont do any hardware replacements and such after you are out of warranty.
Old 10-07-07, 03:06 AM
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Regardless of when you bought the system or warranty issues aren't the oem vendors required to proved you with a windows disc if you request one since you did technically purchace a full version when you purchased the computer. I think by law they have to send you an oem xp disc if you call them and request one.
Old 10-08-07, 03:32 PM
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do you have access to a second pc? a lot of times this error is caused by corruption of one of the files that makes up the registry. You can go in and "fix" this if you have a second pc. If you do here is what to do.....

1. boot the second pc and have your "bad" hard drive as a slave or on another IDE channel.
2. Run a full checkdisk of the "bad" drive from the command line like this:
chkdsk x: /f /r /x
where x: is the drive letter: of the "bad" drive (ie if its the f drive do chkdsk f: /f /r /x)

3. Once that is done, open the "bad" drive to c:\windows\system32\config folder

4. look in there. You should see a system file with no extension as well as a system.sav file.


5. These 2 files should be roughly the same size....sometimes they are not....more on that if needed later....

*****before you do anything else make copies of the 2 files. Call system system.bak
and system.sav system.sav.bak


6. search for a file on your machine called regedt32.exe (it is part of xp, but you may not have it installed) if you cant find it download it via a google search. This is a small registry editor with a nice side benefit.
7. launch regedt32.exe.
8. You will get a window for each major key in the registry. bring up the window for HKLOCAL Machine
9. from the menu at the top choose Registry and Load Hive
10 Open the system file from the "bad" drive (f:\windows\system32\config\system)
11. It will ask what to call it....give it "aaaaaaaaa" without quotes. this will make it easy to find.
12. Once it opens you should see a new key called aaaaaaaa. If you do not, you may get an error, or a message about corruption and fixing the registry. Take the appropriate answer to fix the issue. (the error varies so I can not say if it is the positive or negative response)

13. Once done, you should see a aaaaaaaaaa key. If you dont, we will have to go to method 2
14. If you have an aaaaaaaa key, highlight it and chose unload hive from the registry menu. This is IMPORTANT. If you are asked to save anything back to the bad drive do so.


15. If you were able to get the aaaaaa key, you are done. shut down and tryto boot your bad drive again.

16. if you were not able to get aaaaaaa or your system still does not boot, its time to try overwriting your system file.
17. back on the second pc, go to the "bad" drive config folder again (f:\windows\system32\config\) Del the system file. Copy the system.sav file and rename to system.
CAREFULL ....... when done with the above, you should still have a system, system.sav, system.bak, and system.sav.bak files!!!!!!!!!! this way you can always go back to where you were!!!!!!!!
18. Now you can try to boot again on the original machine. You may loose some sytem info (especialy if the file sizes between system and system.sav were big) but it should not be critical and my be unimportant in the greater scheme of things.....



Good luck.
Old 01-26-09, 07:34 PM
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Re: options needed: system32\config missing or corrupt error

After alot of searchin' I found the right answer!

Many thanks!

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