Windows keeps rebooting, corrupt system file

By davidmess
Mar 22, 2009
  1. Okay, from the beginning. I have a emachines t5048 that had many viruses on it (the new win32 one for a fact) and other "fake antivirus" popup ones. The computer was slow, mcaffee and spyweeper couldn't delete the file so I took out the emachines operating system disk cd. I went through the 1st recovery mode that was supposed to create a back up and install a new fresh version of windows, (don't worry about any data, I backed all of it up prior to this). When the computer was done recovering, it prompted me to restart it. It kept restarting, getting to the area where the windows xp logo shows up and shows the loading bar, after that, it continues to reboot itsself... Never getting to the login or home screen with the start button. I tried a complete restore, the one that erases everything - Same problem. I cannot boot into safe mode. When I press f8 at start up and select boot to last good configuration, it gives me the option to select "windows xp media center edition". Then it tells me that windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: WINDOWS/system32/config/SYSTEM that's all I have tried. I have okay computer knowledge (ish) and the computer is out of warranty. Whatcan I do??? Thanks a ton!!!

    Side notes:
    - I have the emachines "operating system disc with Windows XP Media Center" or so it says, the only thing I believe it does is help repair the computer
    - I cannot boot into safe mode, safe mode with networking, or any safe mode at all
    - The computer is out of warranty, thus no support from the company
    - I cannot login or get to the start menu or screen where I can access applications, no internet access on the machine since I cannot even get it running

    Any and all support is greatly appreciated!

    ------Would it make sense for me to just buy a Windows XP Home CD from ebay and just reinstall everything? I have the XP serial number from the last install (on the computer) would that do anything? or are there any other options------
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    The sure-fire way to fix the mess would be to wipe out the drive completely, and start from scratch. I recommend a program called Active @ Kill Disk to erase all data on the drive and then you can proceed to reinstall Windows. You should be able to use the the product key you have and the eMachines disk to reinstall the operating system completely, not repair. Of course, it's always a good thing to have an OEM disk but be careful, there are a lot of fake copies and you could run into an even bigger headache... if you can even imagine one.

    You can download Kill Disk here:

    Burn it to a CD or run it from a USB flash drive to erase all the data on the disk. After that's done, it will need to be partitioned and formatted. You should be able to boot from the eMachines recovery disk and begin the install process from there. If you can't boot from the CD, make sure the optical disk drive is set as the first boot device in BIOS. Good luck.
  3. davidmess

    davidmess TS Rookie Topic Starter

    unfortunately, I only have a mac as a second computer and don't know how to create a bootable killdisk? CD. Would just buying windows XP home and installing that work?
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Yes it would, but I'm just trying to save you a little money and the chance of possibly getting a fake, non-genuine, copy of Windows XP. On the up side, installing a fresh copy of XP on a clean slate is cake and will only take an hour or two depending on the size of the partitions.

    As for Kill Disk, you need a Windows-based system to make the USB drive bootable I'm w/ the program I'm afraid, so I guess that idea is busted.
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