missing file windows\system32\config\system

By twite ยท 16 replies
Apr 11, 2007
  1. Hi, im trying to help my friend out, he is getting that error message. I have booted from the windows xp pro disk, and went though the recovery console, but it freezes. I have also tried using a different xp disk to boot off, and i get BSOD before i even get far enough to do anything. I have also tried using last known good configuration, and booting in safemode. Get the same message, or BSOD. Although he would prefer keeping his data, formating is an option, but i cant even get that far.

    BTW..the BSOD error message is setupdd.sys- address F77E9FEA base.......

    Anyway, thank you for any help.

    EDIT:Ok, i went ahead and tried to just format the Hd, by choosing install new copy of windows, and it gets to the screen "Searching for previous versions of Windows" and just sits there. So basically, to my knowledge, there is absolutely nowhere to go from here, besides possibly some kind of floppy boot, or maybe using another Hd, (my linux HD) to use a partition manager, and delete the windows partition?? I have no idea if this will work though. But..i do have access to another hard drive so once again..any suggestions.
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415


    Download a 98se bootdisk and use FDISK to clear the drive completly , then try installing XP, chances are the drive is on its way out, so as a thought download the manufacturers test tool and test the drive.

    1 person likes this.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    here's my saga on the same symptom

    If you're carefull, you can reuse the existing partition (assuming no HD failures
    and a good filesystem),

    choose a secondary install point, eg \windows2

    documentation says SHIFT+f10 will drop you into a C: prompt

    I've managed that once in 5+ cd boots. I want to update
    boot.ini with a copy that has the Recovery Console parms,
    if possible, run SFC /scannow
    and attempt to locate a 2nd copy of config\system

    As a last hope, I'll upgrade XP/Home SP2 to XP/Pro, but have heard
    that may require DOWNGRADING Home to SP1 :( GRRRRR!

    {sure wish I had taken the time to complete the Slipstream project!}
    1 person likes this.
  4. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 937

    Cant seem to get that far booting off the CD. Boots me into the recovery (Does go through setup) then just freezes. I did shift+F10, but i think you are referring to somewhere past where i can get to. I will try the 98Me floppy boot...
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    repair is possible!

    comment deleted in favor of MS KB which follows
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    official MS KB on the subject

    see this MS KB Article

    (yea, I should have edited the previous post, but this way you get an
    immediate email if you're subscribed to the thread :)
  7. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 937

    Great, Thanks for the links, i am currently making boot disks. If this doesn't work then i will try the second link.


    Ahhhh...the joys of windows. I get another error message on disk 2. (ERROR 7)-"Ntkrnlmp.exe Could Not Be Loaded."
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    RECOMMEND the MS KB in place of the previous note.
    Read it and you will see why!
  9. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 937

    Thats the thing..the recovery console freezes. It asks me what partition i want to use (i think its C:WINDOWS)-option 1, i choose that (only choice) and it freezes. Cant get past that part.

    2. When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
    3. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.

    This is where my luck ends.
  10. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 937

    Ok, as i said, it is not 100% necessary to recover. So, that being said, can i delete the partition using a different (linux) HDD? I am still meaning to try a 98 boot disk, just searching for some other options.
  11. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 937

    Ok, used the 98 boot, deleted the windows partition (only option for some reason)...then rebooted off the windows pro C.D. and it is finally working (Formating the HD). Thank all of you so much for spending the time to help me out with this. Really appreciate it.

    Edit: Just realized that i unnecessarily posted 3 time in a row. Feel free to edit these into one

    P.S..i told my friend about how you all helped me out and he said thanks a ton!

  12. cyndi

    cyndi TS Rookie

    twite, we have the same problem. system is corrupt and it freezes on "Searching for

    previous versions of microsoft windows" and also hangs when choosing the only option in system restore "r"

    May i know what 98 boot did you use?

    can i find it here http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm ?

    Please teach me how did you delete the windows partition
  13. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 937

    I will look for it any let you know asap.

    The one i used was a floppy boot.
  14. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 937

    The website you linked looks like the best bet.
  15. cyndi

    cyndi TS Rookie

    Problem solved!

    I deleted the primary partition and placed the xp CD

    it was reformatted, but after restart. I says Invalid partition.

    so I set only primary partition to ACTIVE then it worked!

    I'm having the fresh feeling of a newly formatted PC, winXP 64 bit edition!
  16. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 937

    Niice, nothing better then that feeling ;)
  17. signa5xx

    signa5xx TS Rookie

    missing file OS -Vista

    microsoft jet database engine cannot open file c:/ I cannot view any channels. I have tried reboot. Is vista not supported?
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