How to repair Windows XP/2000 if you are unable to boot into Windows

Well I took my hard drive out of my computer and put it on my second computer (they are both the same model, bought at the same time, same setting and everything) as primary, and still the drive would not boot. It did the same thing hooked to that, so confirms the hard drive is the problem. Now what else I found was that someone said I could boot to a recovery console and do a repair to the boot write (or something like that) but you have to get into windows to boot into the recovery console correct?)

Lastly, I put my drive as a slave on the secondary computer and it would not even recognize it.

I am open to any more suggestions, but something tells me for some reason my HD is toast since I cannot get in to "patch" the mup.sys hang, or install the recovery console, and I would rather avoid paying $50 an hour to the cheapest tech in town.

Thanks for the help guys, unless you can offer me some more suggestions.
 

poertner_1274

Posts: 3,874   +3
Well it sounds to me like the hard drive is going out, especially since it can't be recognized as a slave in your good computer.
 
Hey All!

i too am having probs, with my work computer. the tech guy quit on friday, so i'm on my own! well here it goes...
one day last week i downloaded some real media clips on my lunch break. didn't have anything to play them, so i downloaded\installed real player. it had been a while since i used real player; i forgot how much crap goes along with it. so i watched the clips (stupid), and decided to uninstall real player. i did, and it gave me a warning about some other files (didn't pay attention at the time). i just clicked yes and went along with the uninstall. well a little while after, i noticed that the network icon in the notification area (by the clock) was missing. so i go to network connections. nothing, no window, nothing... i click it like 3 more times, then a blank window pops up; no wizzard, no connections, nothing. reboot. no change. well, i'll figure it out later, i'm still connected to the network. as the day progresses, i notice that things are slowing down. like using windows explorer takes forever. so i figured real player took some windows files with it when i uninstalled it. i'll just do a repair of windows to replace the missing files. started well enough, then:
"setup cannot copy the file:"
wzcsapi.dll
wzcsvc.dll
cryptui.dll
wzcdlg.dll

i had to skip them, had no choise. setup restarted the computer, came to a grainy blue setup screen, with "setup is being restarted". reboot. grainy blue setup screen, with "setup is being restarted". reboot. grainy blue setup screen, with "setup is being restarted". reboot. (i left the cd in BTW)
now i'm stuck in a loop. i don't know if i can get to safe mode or anything?! HELP!!! if i don't get any work done tomorrow, i'll get fired!!! i spent half my 3 day weekend researching this, without much luck. i have to go in tomorrow and fix this. i can't do a full install of windows; we have a third party login software (Netware), and will render it useless. damn real player.

thanks,

BadBoy :cool:
 

MrGaribaldi

Posts: 2,488   +1
:wave: Hello and Welcom to TechSpot :wave:

What OS are you using?
If it's XP you should be able to find most of the files in your driver.cab, which can be opened by winzip/winrar or similar.
Extract them and copy them to %windir%\system32

If you are using windows 2000 pro and can't find the files, PM me and I'll send them to you...
(Note, mine will be updated to SP4 as I can't find the originals)
 
missing or corrupt ??

Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone can assist me with my problem. My Gateway laptop all of a sudden wont boot anymore. It gives me this message ( Missing or Corrupt file ) \windows\system32\config\system
I have an XP cd to repair it, I just need guidlines on what to do.
So far Ive gotten to the part where it says ( Install XP on this Partition or Repair XP ) need help on what to do after that.

Any other way I can acces my files in that HD?? I need to recover my homework and other documents.

Thanks all.
 

MrGaribaldi

Posts: 2,488   +1
Inaccessible_boot_device

Hello!

Just received my MSI K8N Neo Plat and A64 3k+, and decided to use my current W2k installation.
Removed all the motherboard specific devices I found in Device Manager and installed the new mobo.

Only problem is that I didn't remember to remove the harddrives and cd/dvd players. And since I do not have enough IDE connectors, I had to let the DVD-rom sit this one out until I buy a SATA->PATA converter.

And now every time I try to boot into win2k I get a lovely BSOD proclaiming that I've got an "INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE".

I've tried to repair it by doing a fast repair, manual repair and through the recovery console. In the latter I've also turned off all the VIA services I could find (as the new motherboard is nforce based).

I've installed win2k in a new location (or rather, I tried to re-install, win2k chose another harddrive alltogether), and from there tried to copy all the driver information gathered into the old installation.
Still won't load.

I am currently investigating any possible solution on the net (I would very much like to get back into that installation), and any help you can give me is greatly appreciated.

EDIT:
Oh, and I know there isn't a problem with the drive itself, as it has W98SE installed and I can boot into that (or rather safemode, but that's another story entirely), and from my new win2k installation I have full access to all the files on the C: drive.

Yes, I know, do a fresh installation, and yes I do plan on doing that, but that's at the earliest when my X800pro arrives...
 

MrGaribaldi

Posts: 2,488   +1
Nevermind, fixed that problem. :)

I'll post up details on how to move a system disk from one motherboard to another later on.
Now I've got to figure out how to fix the infinite loop I've gotten. :(
 
What if CD-ROM drive isn't bootable??

SO, I'm sitting here starting a repair on an XP box that just reports "corrupt or missing SYSTEM" on boot, and I've searched threads here and elsewhere.

Everyone assumes that one can boot from the XP CD. Well, what if the CD-ROM drive isn't bootable (old IBM)??? Seems all the executables don't run in DOS mode, so how does one start the SETUP routine to get to the repair console?!?!?!?! ;)

Help!
Jack
 

MrGaribaldi

Posts: 2,488   +1
I don't know if this will work or not, as I've never touched an XP cd, but it does work on win2k cd's, so I figure it'll work here too...

Boot with a bootdisk (which includes cd-rom drivers).
Navigate to i386 on the xp cd, and launch winnt.exe (or winnt32.exe).

That should launch the install program.

Note: you will get faster copying if you enable smartdrv before you launch setup.
 
I've got the missing or corrupt windows\system32\config\system message...I can boot to safe mode but can't use the safe mode with command prompt option. The message "can attempt repair by starting Windows Setup using the original setup CD-ROM, select 'r' for repair"...the only CD's I have are the HP system recovery discs. I'll lose all my data if I use these, right? Are there other Windows discs that I'm supposed to have?

Help.
 

bewbew

Posts: 8   +0
Another method would be to d/l the Knoppix ISO and boot the CD. It's a complete operating system on a disk.

Restore any really important data, then re-install everything.

This also works for retreiving WIN2k/ME/98se passwords and l0phtcracking them. Another reason Admins shouldn't have CDroms on dummy workstations :D
 

Blah

Posts: 11   +0
Hi,

I have many problems with image errors ect, my whole system32 .dll files are pretty messed up. I would like to repair my windows but as i have an emachines system, i recieved 2 restore disks with it, with all files and drivers i need (including windows). Does anyone know how i can repair?

Thanks

ps. sfc /scannow does not work, it says it requires the windows xp home edition disk, either of my restore disks do not work in this stage, need another solution to repairing.
 
I have an unusual situation

Here's what i'm working with...

My girlfriend's Dad bought a computer that does not have any recovery discs, etc. His computer is experiencing very similar symptoms as described above.

1. The unit constantly attempts to boot and makes it to the windows screen (the one with the moving blue bar at the bottom)...the screen goes black, then comes back with the same windows screen before restarting.

2. I have tried hitting the F8 button to try the safe mode stuff, and it takes me to the screen where I can try the different boot options..however, I cannot move the cursor up and down using my keyboard or anything else...i'm completely baffled by this because I know the keyboard works when I'm in the BIOS screen (I have already made sure my CDROM has higher boot priority too).

3. Obviously, I'm completely at a loss of what my next step should be...Oh, I forgot to tell you, I personally own a newer Compaq Presario and I've been trying to use my Windows recovery CD on his computer. We both had XP Home OSes.

What would you guys recommend? Should I ditch the HD and buy a whole new copy of Windows and simply start over? If so, what should I keep in mind moving forward with this plan of action.

Thanks all.
David :confused:
 

Mictlantecuhtli

Posts: 4,049   +11
QCTimes.com said:
2. I have tried hitting the F8 button to try the safe mode stuff, and it takes me to the screen where I can try the different boot options..however, I cannot move the cursor up and down using my keyboard or anything else...i'm completely baffled by this because I know the keyboard works when I'm in the BIOS screen
Check if BIOS has an option to set USB keyboard or legacy device support to be controlled by BIOS instead of OS.
 

fretman

Posts: 19   +0
Rick said:
[size=3]How to perform an "in place upgrade" or system repair.[/size]

Is your system unable to boot into Windows XP/2000 or even Safe Mode? Whether you get a blue screen or XP/2000 just hangs, then this information is for you. This will allow you to repair your Windows XP/2000 installation (hopefully) without having to losing your data or settings.

Indications:
  • May allow Windows to load properly if there are critical driver, software or registry problems which have rendered the system unbootable. (Blue screens, hanging, errors etc..)
  • May repair/reinstall missing Windows components or solve otherwise quirky behavior
  • May allow drive to be installed on another system or motherboard with different chipset


    This information will also allow you to install new motherboards or make other large hardware changes that XP may not readily accept with PnP.

    Note: The system repair function will remove any updates you have previously installed that are not included on the CD. Drivers will also be reverted to their original XP versions, as well as some settings (network & performance settings may sometimes be reset to their defaults). It may be necessary to reactivate your Windows XP as well.

    Step 1: Determine the problem

    • First, figure out what CAUSED the problem. Often times, when Windows is rendered unbootable, there is a good reason. This can often be due to hardware failure (bad hard disk, memory or CPU for example). In these cases, the system repair function will not work. System repair will only repair your software.

      I strongly recommend you run a disk utility on your hard drive before performing a system repair. You can find more information about disk utilities here:
      https://www.techspot.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7602

      Memory can also cause these problems. A good memory test can be found here: www.memtest86.com


    Step 2: Begin the repair process
    • You must boot from your XP or 2000 CD. Please make sure it is the same version of Windows that is currently installed on your computer (ex. XP Home cannot upgrade XP Professional). Place the CD in your CDROM and start your computer. Newer versions will work as well (ie. Windows XP Pro SP1 CD will work on an older WinXP Pro non-SP1 installation)

      Before the Windows logo appears, you will be asked to press any key to boot from CD, so do just that.

      If you are unable to boot from the XP/2000 CD, then please check the last step in this short guide.


    Step 3: System repair steps
    • A blue screen will appear and will begin loading XP setup from the CD.

      RAID/SCSI/Unsupported UDMA users:
      You will be prompted to "press F6 to install any third party SCSI or RAID drivers". Most users will not have to press F6, but if you are running RAID, SCSI or unsupported UDMA controllers, then you will have to have your controller drivers on a floppy disk. If you are unsure whether you have RAID/SCSI, then simply let the CD load without pressing F6.

      Once completed, you will be confronted with "Windows Setup". You will be asked to setup up Windows, or repair Windows with the recovery console. Choose the FIRST option, NOT recovery console.

    2.gif



    Choose F8 to continue.

    3.gif

    • Next, Windows Setup will find existing Windows XP/2000 installations. You will be asked to repair an existing XP installation or install a fresh copy of Windows XP/2000.

      If no installations are found, then you will not be given the option to repair. This may happen if the data or partition on your drive is too corrupted.

    4.gif


    • That should be it. Windows XP/2000 will appear to be installing itself for the first time, but it will retain all of your data and settings. Just follow the prompts, have your CD-KEY handy and hope for the best!



  • Hope you can help me out Rick. I am doing the repair process you described above because I had to have my motherboard replaced.

    During the installation process, it would hang at "34 minutes remaining". It would then ask me for a DLL file for my soundcard. I locate the file and click OK but the installation process goes no further. The system reboots and the installation process restarts. It goes to 34 minutes remaining again and then just hangs for a while and the computer restarts and this process continues. Should I try something else? I wanted to install fresh but got a message saying that my files and folders would be lost so I decided to stop.
 

poertner_1274

Posts: 3,874   +3
There are a few things you can try. Since it is asking for a DLL for your soundcard you can just SKIP this file and continue with the intallation, then install the drivers for the soundcard after you have XP up and running again.

Another thing is next time it restarts try taking out your XP CD and see what happens, if it hangs when it is supposed to restart on purpose, then it is trying to boot form CD and it needs to boot from the install files on the hard drive instead.

Give that a shot and post back whether it helped or not. Thanks.
 

fretman

Posts: 19   +0
poertner_1274 said:
There are a few things you can try. Since it is asking for a DLL for your soundcard you can just SKIP this file and continue with the intallation, then install the drivers for the soundcard after you have XP up and running again.

Another thing is next time it restarts try taking out your XP CD and see what happens, if it hangs when it is supposed to restart on purpose, then it is trying to boot form CD and it needs to boot from the install files on the hard drive instead.

Give that a shot and post back whether it helped or not. Thanks.


Yup....i tried the first suggestion the very first time it tried to do the repair process. I clicked CANCEL when it asked for my DLL file. However, the prompt just stayed there and wouldn't go away. Soon after the system rebooted and the installation process restarted. The second time I went and got my DLL file and clicked OK. XP seemed to recognized it because the prompt window went away but the installation process hung at 34% complete even though the user friendly window shots kept changing. Then the system would reboot.

As for the 2nd option, I tried that as well. The system would restart and it would get to the installation process and then it would prompt me to put the windows CD back in.
 

fretman

Posts: 19   +0
Well I removed my sound card and the installation process did not continue. Same problem with hanging and then restarting. I will do a clean installation on a reformatted HD.
 
Same problem as fretman

I am working on a friends computer and what started as a loss of sound and trying to run th xp repair has now turned ugly. I am getting exactly where fretman got in the process(34Minutes) and the screen just shut off. After a few minutes the hd stops all activity and I am working from a dark screen. When I reboot, it starts all over again. I hate to start with a clean install and lose all my friends date, but the way it continues to freeze up at 34 min. I'm not sure that would work either.

Any ideas? HD? thanks for any help you may have
 

fretman

Posts: 19   +0
hotwilzz said:
I am working on a friends computer and what started as a loss of sound and trying to run th xp repair has now turned ugly. I am getting exactly where fretman got in the process(34Minutes) and the screen just shut off. After a few minutes the hd stops all activity and I am working from a dark screen. When I reboot, it starts all over again. I hate to start with a clean install and lose all my friends date, but the way it continues to freeze up at 34 min. I'm not sure that would work either.

Any ideas? HD? thanks for any help you may have

Yup...when I tried to repair XP-Professional it would hang at 34 minutes during the installation process and then reboot and restart the installation process again and again. The first time it prompted me for a DLL file for my audio card. I installed the DLL file but that didn't work. I then removed the audio card and that still didn't work. I finally had to do a clean install on another harddrive which I keep handy in case of emergencies like this. I did find however that the installation process even on a new drive seemed to hang a bit at 34% before continuing.

However, when I connected the old drive that I was doing the repair on as the slave so I could copy the contents over to the new drive the system scanned the old drive upon boot up for consistency and found an error with the pagesys file.

Anyways, if you don't want to lose your friends data then just buy another hard drive and install XP on it and then copy your friends drive contents onto the new one. It's always good to have an extra drive anyways and you can just get a 40gig for a relatively low price these days.
 

Mictlantecuhtli

Posts: 4,049   +11
You could also try hitting F8 in the beginning when the setup says "Press F6 to install new SCSI drivers" (or something like that) and choose "Standard PC" from the list that follows.

I think most of the hardware problems stem from poorly implemented / designed ACPI. It was a nice idea but MS couldn't get it to work properly (hello PnP).

In plain English, use the old working method where devices don't try to share resources aggressively.
 
First post on this board ....

I have been trying to repair the "corrupted pci.sys file" problem ..... eventually ended up with an access denied statement after trying to copy the pci.sys from the install CD to the windows\system32\drivers directory.

So .... I gave up and decided to reinstall. I pushed L to wipe out the settings etc and now at the screen "Setup examines your disks" it just sits there.

Any suggestions and pointers would greatly be appreciated.

Haasman
 

Rick

Posts: 4,512   +66
"Corrupted PCI.SYS file" is very common to memory errors.

I wouldn't be surprised if your memory is either bad or not compatible with your system board.
 
Repair a Missing HIVE with a SATA ViaRaid 0 Config

Blorpuncle said:
A couple days ago i got this message when i booted my PC : Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt : \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM.
I do not have a recovery CD or ASR disk.
I cannot go in safe mode or back to a previous good config, i always get the same error message.
When i boot from the Win XP CD, installing the VIARAID driver on the way since my HDs are in Raid 0, my PC freezes when i get to the Setup screen where i could select to setup XP again or repair it.
I consulted the Microsoft Knowledge Articles about that problem (like #307545, 308041 and 822705, among others) but it doesn't help in my situation since i cannot start the recovery console or anything else for that matter ! Can anyone help ?
Thanks

Blor...

Here's what you need to do... 1st you had the right idea on adding the ViaRaid drivers for the RAID Stripe 0 config, but you missed the SATA drivers.

You need to feed 2 drivers to windows upon install:
1. Fastrack
2. ViaRaid

After that you should be able to get to the Recovery Console by hitting "R" at the 1st screen that you come to after the message Starting Windows.

You will need to do a ChkDsk /R which repairs errors and attempts to recover data. Do this repeatedly until you no longer get any errors.

The directory \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\ is the Location of the Registry Hive Files IF you can't get the system to boot after doing the ChkDsk then the ONLY option is to replace the SYSTEM file with the ORIGINAL file that is stored elsewhere in the Windows Directory. If you have to Replace the Hive File, 1st make a backup of the SYSTEM file by copying it to another location and renaming it to SYSTEM.BAK. Then copy the SYSTEM file from the \Windows\Repair\ folder.

That should get your system back into Operation. However the System settings stored in the Registry WILL be missing.

Hope this helps

Ian