The following file is missing or corrupt: \WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

By 686
Dec 20, 2006
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  1. I was given a computer to fix and it has the EXACT same problem as the poster above me has posted with all other problems that he/she listed.

    The problem is Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM and I CANNOT enter safe mode, boot from floppy, boot from cd, use any dos commands or do anything else. I was also given this computer and wasn't told which OS is currently on it. On the side of the computer there is a genuine Windows ME sticker but that's about all I can figure out, seeing as I can't boot into a startup floppy, XP setup/recovery console or safe mode. :S

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Anyone? This is important.
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso Newcomer, in training Posts: 25,948   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    I have moved your post to it`s own thread, rather than leaving it in an old thread. That way, you stand a better chance of it being replied to.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,419   +281

    If you can't boot off a CD or Floppy its likely you didn't set it to do so in the BIOS. If you did, and it still won't boot from one of those you have a hardware problem.

    Also if you don't know what is on it, you won't be able to properly repair, and unless its Windows ME you probably can't legally put any Windows OS on it that you didn't buy for that machine.

    I think you are better off clean installing the OS of your choice. If there potentially is some data on the drive you want (not very ethical if its not yours) then put the drive in a working machine to get at it.
  4. soloplax

    soloplax Newcomer, in training

    hi, the fact of the matter is that your system files are either gone or corrupt, either way you need to reinstall your windows. now i know you knew that(just making sure). Start your PC and press "Delete" button or "F2" to take you into the bios. go to advance and look for "Boot Order". Let the first Boot Device be Stiffy and second one be CD/DVD Drive and the third your Hard drive. Press "F10" to save the changes and restart with Windows CD in Drive.
  5. 686

    686 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Well, let's say that this person would like it to be formatted - but the problem is that it won't boot from CD or floppy (with the BIOS set to the proper settings).

    I don't know how this computer is supposed to sound normally but the hard drive in it is making a very loud seeking noise...
  6. soloplax

    soloplax Newcomer, in training

    ok, first take the harddrive completely out of the machine and startup with stiffy or cd, this forces the pc to look for other bootdevices. I suspect a message: "please insert a proper disk" something like this because I suspect something wrong with your bootup cd or stiffy. The other matter is that your harddrive is on its last. But there is still a way to fix that aswell:
    Wrap your HDD in a watertight plastic wrapper and put it in the freezer overnight. next day take it out and plug it in and as soon as possble copy the data off the hdd. but in your case the guy wants the hdd formatted, so my short answer would be to start looking for another hdd. hav fun
  7. 686

    686 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    For anyone wondering how I fixed this problem (given that the hardware was still functioning) - this is the guide I used:

    http://www.tek-tips.com/faqs.cfm?fid=5362


    Good luck to anyone with the same problem!
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