The computer is a Dell Vostro 1400 Laptop. Luckily, after the first time I had errors, I backed up all the important data directories over my home network to my desktop. OS: XP SP3 Memory: 3 GB DDR2 - memory has already been tested repeatedly, so it's not the issue. Have also started it with just the 1 GB or 2 GB stick to see if anything changed (it didn't). Processor Intel core2 duo 1.4 GHz Video: Nvidia (8400GS, IIRC - would have to go to Dell and look up with the service tag, to be sure) BIOS is fully upgraded from Dell page, last upgraded about a year ago (and I check back every couple months just to be safe - BIOS version A09). No updates installed in the last couple months, except the usual automatic stuff from microsoft (no hardware updates) The only hardware not OSM is the 2 GB memory stick (machine shipped with two 1s) Base Problems: 1. It says that \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM is missing when I try to boot normally, or using safe mode, or last known good configuration. 2. Attempting to use Recovery Console from the OSM disk provided by Dell, I was able to fix this once, two weeks ago (at which point I made my data backups). 3. The problem recurred, and now, attempting to recover, or even to reinstall the OS completely, results in a Page Fault BSOD. 4. Running from the CD drive (choosing E drive) doesn't cause any issues, be it a memory check self-booting CD, accessing E: from the recovery console, or even a linux-based AV Rescue CD. Edit: But all this does is get me to a command prompt where I can SEE the contents of the HD, but not copy or change it. 5. for the past 18 months or so, the machine has had an odd issue of the video not working (screen lights up, but is black), unless started while warm. Typically, this has meant letting the machine boot up, then either hard-shudown by holding down the power button, then restarting, or, blindly hitting the window key, arrow up, hit enter, then right arrow over a couple times to get the (non-visible) selection onto restart, and hitting enter to begin restart (I got fairly good at that, actually; it's only 6 keystrokes). Of course, this started a couple months after the warranty & service agreement ran out. This doesn't appear to be directly related to the issue, but may be what knocked out the SYSTEM file iin the first place, from a hard shutdown/restart . Any suggestions?