Missing or corrupt file preventing windows start up.

By FallenOne ยท 7 replies
Jan 13, 2006
  1. Hello everyone,
    Alright, I wouldn't normally post this in a new thread, but it is a problem that is "solved" but has become a consistent problem on the same computer.

    I built a new computer and installed windows XP Pro on it. Here are the specs:
    ASARock 939Dual-SATA2 MB
    AMD Athlon64 3500+ CPU
    WesterDigital 7200 WD800JD 80Gb HDD
    Aspire ATX-AS520W PSU
    NEC ND-3550A Drive
    1Gig Corsair DDR-400 Ram

    It worked fine for a few days, then I got this blue screen that said I have a system error and that I am missing a file or it is corrupt c:\windows\system32\config\system.

    Now, this was fine because I thought I knew the answer to this problem, which is incidentally the answer to another recent problem posted on this board, it can be found here:

    I performed the operation, and again, it was all well and good for a few days.
    Then I got the same problem again. I used the same solution to make a fix.
    Then it happened again.

    So, my question is what's the problem? Do I have a hardware problem? I even used two different WinXp install discs to solve this problem on different occasions since I only needed the recovery console and I thought that the original disc might have become damaged or something...

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. FallenOne

    FallenOne TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just checked and all the BIOS settings are solid.
    At this point I can't get the computer to boot at all. It's gone from completely fine to, could boot to windows but would periodically restart and then blue screen, to starts up in blue screen, to black screen after the POST.
    So the POST that I get is fine, but then it's just a black screen forever.

    I tried entering setup using the WinXP installation CD with the intention to run a repair installation, and where before I was able to use the repair console to try the fix that I mentioned, I can no longer get into setup. It just hangs at the "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration" that comes right after the prompt to boot to CD.

    This is getting worse and worse and my workable options have sort or run out so anything you can help with would be great!
  3. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    From what you describe. It sounds like a failing hard drive to me.

    The fact that the OS keeps becoming corrupt is a clue.

    Try a different ide cable. It`s probably not the problem, but it`s worth a try.

    Disconnect anything not required to boot your system. Just leave the mobo/cpu/1 stick of ram/hdd/graphics card.

    If you still can`t get the computer to boot, try a different hard drive.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Regards Howard :)
  4. FallenOne

    FallenOne TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm pretty sure all the hardware is up to spec cooling and power-wise.
    I have two ram sticks so I removed one, the computer booted. Then I switched and tried the other, computer booted again...
    I have switched to using the other two DIMMs for the two RAM sticks (there are 4 on this MB). The computer ran fine for a while, then I got another blue screen.
    I entererd the recoverey console and ran chkdsk /p. It tells me that it has found one or more errors, but now there is a promt, and I don't really know what is a good idea to do from here.
    I think I will try to run a repair install, do you think a clean install is necessary?
    I want to try as many things as I can before I do something drastic like get a new HDD.
    Thanks for your help.
  5. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Run the command chkdsk /r /f Note the spaces between the chdsk command and the forward slash, and again between the r and the froward slash.

    Please note. This can take quite some time to complete, depending on the size of your hdd.

    Once you have done that. Run a Windows repair as per this thread HERE

    Let us know how you get on.

    Regards Howard :)
  6. FallenOne

    FallenOne TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried the chkdsk /f, but it told me that the parameter was not valid.

    I keep trying to run chkdsk /r, once it made it up to 61% then locked up on me. I restarted and tried it again just now and it seems to be stuck on the volume information that it gives right before starting the error checking.

    I am going to try running that one more time.
  7. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Looks like your hdd is bad.

    Check out these hard drive diagnostic utilities HERE

    Regards Howard :)
  8. FallenOne

    FallenOne TS Rookie Topic Starter

    okay, I keep freezing up before getting all the way through windows setup when I boot to the XP install cd. So I'm basically stuck out of the recovery console now.
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