TechSpot

laptop problem

By anonymeX
May 5, 2007
  1. i have Toshiba Satellite A105-S4014 laptop, and two days ago it stopped working. After the initial Toshiba screen, another screen comes up saying:
    "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."


    I have a lot of important stuff, and i really do no want to reformat it. Please help, asap.
     
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    No need to reformat. There are several solutions:

    1. Boot into safe mode. once in windows run CHKDSK on your HD. Right click on the hard drive under my computer. then select tools, then select check for errors.

    2. OR: boot off your XP CD rom and select repair disk

    3. Always back up your important files off line to a second hard disk or other storage.

    4. get yourself a copy of free crap cleaner and use it religiously. Especially the registry repair function.

    5. Laptop HDs frequently crash due to severe usage and abuse. back up often. It is recommended you clone the drive.
     
  3. anonymeX

    anonymeX TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Thank you, but how do i boot into safe mode?

    And from now on, i will absolutely back up every week.
     
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Just ignore Tedster.

    You do not necessarily need to reformat. And you will most certainly lose all your data doing this.

    First, test the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic utility. There is no point in trying to write anything on the drive if it's bad. If the drive indeed is bad, then you should salvage any precious data you can and get a new hard drive. No need to format!

    Second, if the drive is physically OK, test the filesystem. Boot the Windows CD into Recovery Console and run chkdsk from there. With luck, the corrup filesystem will be repaired and Windows will boot as normal. Nothing lost but maybe a couple of files. No need to format!

    Third, if chkdsk indeed can't fix the filesystem, reformat. After recovering any precious data.
     
  5. anonymeX

    anonymeX TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    I don't know how to boot into safe mode. And using the recovery cd, i don't know how to run chkdsk.
     
  6. roseypeach

    roseypeach TS Member Posts: 64

    What version of Windows are you using?

    To get into the Windows 2000 / XP Safe mode, as the computer is booting press and hold your "F8 Key" which should bring up the "Windows Advanced Options Menu" as shown below. Use your arrow keys to move to "Safe Mode" and press your Enter key.

    Cheers!
     
  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    hold down F8 when booting windows.

    ( i think its F8 - it's been awhile)
    Safe mode doesn't load any drivers...
     
  8. anonymeX

    anonymeX TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    It's an xp. The only cd i have is a recovery cd that Toshiba provided. I was able to ender Windows advanced options but unable to boot into safe mode. I know i have to run chkdsk, but i can't get to it. I tried "Last Known Configuration That Worked" , but the screen just stayed dark for awhile. I don't know anything more that i can do. please help
     
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,713   +89

    Corrupt file in the system, the only way to fix this is to try to recovery CD. But you might loose some files in the process. You say you backup the HDD to what did you use to back the files and did you store it on some other media like removable HDD. If you did that then you can try to recover and then use the backup software you use to restore from the prior point. If this doesn't work then you might have to re-install XP. Which would be the last move to make. These things happen, you can't do much.

    If you can get into the safe mode you can go into control panel, click on system then on advance then on profile and delete the user name you use to login to the system. So next time Windows will rebuild the profile, but you'll loose desktop icons, history, favorties and some other links. This is another measure you can take to fix your problem.

    If you can't get this far then you'll have to re-install xp
     
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    you may need to buy yourself a copy of XP then. Don't worry that the registration is different. You can use ANY XP CD as long as you enter the correct registration code for the OS that is loaded on your system - in this case the toshiba CD.

    But you won't need to worry about that anyway. Just boot off the CD and use the repair function.
     
  11. anonymeX

    anonymeX TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    i have called Toshiba technical support and they haven't given me any way to reboot it to windows or anything else. the recovery CD is only a read media and i don't know what more i can do
     
     
  12. anonymeX

    anonymeX TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    The only thing i think i can do now, is to pay a technician to backup any files from my hard drive. Then, I'll be able to reformat it. Thank you guys for all the help.
     
  13. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    the recovery CD will be of no use. Toshiba uses norton GHOST to re-image your machine. All your current files will be obsolete. I suggest using a real copy of XP. Then use the serial number off your recovery CD.
     
  14. anonymeX

    anonymeX TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    oh thank you. I have to use an xp cd to boot. I boot with the xp cd then at the setup screen i clicked r for repair. Then it comes to a window and asks me "Which windows installation do you want to log on to?" What do i press?
     
  15. Jacal

    Jacal TS Rookie Posts: 126

    Even though you are that far into it, what I normally do to repair is to just set the bios setting to boot from cd, and put in the windows xp cd, save settings to bios then exit. When the systems says to press any key to boot from cd (or something like that i do). It usually comes to a blue screen with two options. One is to repair the previously installed OS other is to continue with setting up a new OS. Sometimes I will see a first option to repair but that one carries me to a MS-Dos like setting. So i skip that and go to the second repair. Press the "r" key as it instructs and it just erases only the previous OS (non of your installed files) and installs a new one, thus making it so that your system has all your files from previously before but with a freshly installed OS.

    Sorry if description is so vague but that is the best way i can think to put it currently. Hope it helps in the future :p

    P.S you will only still have one OS installed on your system after completing this so you wont have to worry about seeing two different OS to choose from on startup.
     
  16. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,469   +327

    I have a Toshiba too. The OEM recovery disk will REFORMAT and reinstall the
    laptop to its original condition -- you loose everything!

    the config\SYSTEM file is part of the registry.

    YOUR FIRST CHOICE should be to Restore a previous Restore Point
    try to get to the System Restore program.

    btw: here's a synopsys of this issue reported on this site and specifically
    how I got my system running w/o loosing any files
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic76564.html
     
  17. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 829

    before you start re-installing your laptop I would suggest one easy try.
    you need a pre-install env boot cd such as BartPE (google for BartPE).
    boot your computer with the BartPE cd and start the file manager tool (looks like windows explorer) A43 file manager. then browse to your system drive (most likely c:), then folder C:\WINDOWS\system32\config. there you find some files without extension like default, sam, software, system and some "copies" of this files with extension .sav. In you case file "system" is damaged. you can rename this file to "system.bak" then copy "system.sav" and rename its copy to "system" by removing the extension.
    reboot your computer and see if the .sav file was "the last known good" one.
    wish you good luck!!
     
  18. anonymeX

    anonymeX TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    I read Jobeard's thread of the boot problem, but i still didn't understand. Doesn't that mean that i lose my files?

    When i reach the blue screen, i click "r for repair" and i move to the dos-prompt. When do i push the other r so that i can re-install another os. If i reinstall another os, don't i lose my files?
     
  19. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

  20. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,469   +327

    MSCRX makes a good and SIMPLE recovery suggestion.
    Try it first.

    As I said, the Toshiba recovery is deadly -- you loose everything.
     
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