Missing or corrupt windows\system32\config\system

By Not a tech guy ยท 4 replies
Mar 24, 2011
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  1. Hello everyone,

    As you may be able to tell from my username I am not the best with computers so any replies, could they please be for a simpleton like me?! I have a 3.2GHz Dell Dimension 9150 with Windows XP Media Center Edition.

    Ok, so my computer crashed on restart and when i turned it back on I received a black screen with the following:

    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt

    You can attempt to repair this file be starting windows setup using original setup CD-ROM.
    Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair.

    I do not have the original XP Media Center Edition CD but instead have borrowed a friends XP Professional CD. I have tried booting from my cd rom by altering the BIOS order but after booting from the CD and proceeding to the blue screen with "windows setup" on display, it automatically gets to work without asking any questions. It loads files for about five minutes then I get:

    *** STOP: 0x0000007E (0xC0000005, 0xF748E0BF, 0xF78DA208, 0xF78D9F08)

    *** pci.sys - Address 0xF748E0BF base at F7487000 DateStamp 3b7d855c

    I have tried this 4 times now to no avail. Other forums have suggested I use microsoft support on the issue but its says don't do it if my computer has a OEM-installed operating system which it does.

    I have tried the F8 menu and tried booting is safe mode and from last known good configuration and both just take me back to the original error message.

    Any help would be great.

  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    The XP Professional CD won't work to repair your PC's Windows. You must have the same version of Windows, namely the Media Center version. See if you can order one from Dell for your PC.
  3. Zilpha

    Zilpha TS Enthusiast Posts: 319

    That error is a corrupt registry hive. You want to either get into the Recover Console (of which is on a windows XP cd) or some equivalent that will allow you to copy the backup file that windows "should" have made to the necessary location.

    This is the article you need to correct the issue


    It shouldn't matter for these purposes what version of XP you access the recovery console from as that part is universal (it's just a command console to allow you to process text commands) but it wouldn't hurt to get hold of a media center version instead.

    You could also use a BART cd or a linux boot CD such as Knoppix to perform the steps in that Knowledge article.
  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    Just to put in my opinion here.

    The first error you got concerning a missing or corrupt file could be due to problems with your hard drive and you should run chkdsk /r from the command prompt and get the diagnostics boot CD from the hard drive manufacturers site. This could also be Malware. Once the drive has been tested, if ok, you should proceed to check for Malware using these two free programs and if the infection is severe start a new thread in the Malware forum on this site.


    After that, run a repair install with the correct OS disc that matches the version on your product key sticker.

    The repair installation you have attempted using the wrong OS disc is failing for just that reason, wrong OS. The stop error 7E is most commonly related to bad drivers. In this case it would have been generated because you are using the wrong disc.
  5. Not a tech guy

    Not a tech guy TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for all the help! I will get on that and see what happens!

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