TechSpot

No longer able to boot into Windows XP or safe mode

By jch02140
Dec 8, 2008
  1. Hi. I am new here but my computer suddenly acts up on me today.
    I am having the following trouble

    Suddenly my computer shut down itself and after it restart I got this pop up mesage from windows block saying something about Zlob.trojan and then it shut down again. Then I got this message while starting 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.
    -----------------------------------------

    My Windows XP is an OEM version by MEDION and I still have two CDs titled "OS Installation Disk" and "Applications and Support Disc includes System Recovery powered by Symantec"

    I have tried replacing the start-up files and windows system files using the System Recovery tools but it still useless..

    I google numerous site and I found this article by chance:
    www .techspot .com / vb / topic8356. html

    Apologize for the format, since it doesn't allow me to post link without 5 posts

    However, after I used the installation disc, I follow the steps and not sure how to proceed on the step where by the repair option is not available. It simple has a select partition screen to install Windows XP on. This is where I am stuck... I do not want to reformat my drive and wondering if there is still ways to solve the problem...

    If there really no way around it, is there a way to backup the files in the harddrive before erasing everything?
     
  2. Laeion

    Laeion TS Rookie

    If the Trojan is the cause of this problem, here is the guide to getting rid of it,

    http://www.spywareremove.com/removeZlob.html

    Can you boot in any of the safe mods at all? Because to backup your files, you need to boot at least in safe mode or safe mode with command prompt.
     
  3. gguerra

    gguerra TS Enthusiast Posts: 559

    If you dont have another PC where you can plug in your hd as a secondary drive, get yourself a USB flash disk. They are cheap nowadays. Download trial version of acronis true image which you can get from their web site and backup your important files.. You will have to create a boot cd. But if your pc is not operational of course you will not be able to do this. I have encountered the problem before and did some things like replace the file in question with one from a system restore folder. This did not help and I ended up having to format the drive. I was however able to plug the drive in to another pc and backup.
    I am assuming you have a working pc since you are posting messages here.

    You are welcomed to try and fix the problem prior to reformat/reinstall and there is a tutorial here
    http://www.help2go.com/Tutorials/Windows/C:\windows\system32\config\system_missing_or_corrupt.html
     
  4. rinpoche85

    rinpoche85 TS Rookie

    I don't have your problem but...

    If anyone who reads yours can reply to mine; e.g. what about a black screen on your desk top
     
  5. jch02140

    jch02140 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi gguerra,

    Thanks for the tips and link. I am wondering if it is possible to install a copy of the Windows system in an external harddrive? Since some of the filenames I want to backup has non-english in them and Knoppix doesn't read them...

    I am thinking of boot the windows from that drive and backup my C:

    Is it possible?

    Also, thanks Laeion for the link to remove Zlob :)
     
  6. gguerra

    gguerra TS Enthusiast Posts: 559

    You dont need to install windows anywhere else to just backup your files. Like I said, download a trial version of acronis here http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/download/ATICW/ and install it.. Then create a boot CD with the software. Boot it up on the broken PC, You can then backup all the files you need or the entire disk for that matter to a USB flash drive or external hard drive or network drive if that's what you want. You dont need to install windows or anything else. The boot cd will allow you to backup directly. Once you get the system back up you can then reinstall the acronis and restore the files. BTW, when you backup an entire drive you can later mount that drive as a different drive letter.
     
  7. jch02140

    jch02140 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi gguerra,

    Thank you for your respond. I have looked into the software you mentioned but it seems you need to be able to boot into Windows to do that. My current situation is that I am unable to boot into Windows XP nor any of the safe mode config at all. I have been using another laptop of mine to post here so may be this is where misunderstanding comes... Sorry that I haven't mention this earlier...
     
  8. gguerra

    gguerra TS Enthusiast Posts: 559

    Does your laptop have a cd burner? If it does not maybe you could find a friend with one? That is all you need to do what I said. Also have you attempted to recover the system using the tutorial I mentioned?
     
  9. jch02140

    jch02140 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes. My laptop does have a CD burner (does it need to be DVD-R/DVD-RW?)

    My plan is actually to backup my current files and then use the restore point to restore my system to see if that works... Since the only restore point I have is two days old when my system crashes, so I am thinking that the virus might have actually gone into the system before that time...

    Just to be on the safe side...
     
  10. gguerra

    gguerra TS Enthusiast Posts: 559

    All you need is a cd burner. Download/Install the software on your laptop. create bootable cd. Boot cd on your pc that does not boot and backup to your usb flash/drive.. The tutorial I mentioned actually tells you how to manually do a system restore by booting to repair console and copying/renaming some files. You would need an OS boot disk for that. But in the mean time you can do the acronis thing and backup your files. Once you have either repaired or rebuilt your system you reinstall acronis and restore your files.
     
  11. jch02140

    jch02140 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the great tips and help gguerra.

    I will try that option out, will let you know how everything goes :)

    Hope everything goes well as planned.
     
     
  12. jch02140

    jch02140 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Finally I am able to boot into safe mode after playing around with the checkdisk command and options without really losing any files...

    Edit: Well. It seems I was wrong.. I am still having trouble.. I keep getting MSConfig cause system failure error message everytime I boot my windows normally... What should I do?
     
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

  14. jch02140

    jch02140 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the download link kimsland :D
     
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