Need help rebooting computer

By mom26gr8kids · 9 replies
Aug 11, 2009
  1. I used my laptop this evening, shut it down, carried it downstairs to use it and when I turned it back on I got a screen that said : Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt \Windows\System32\Config\Sytem

    It then says I can repair it if I boot from the original CD and select R on the first screen. I did this and then it just asks me which installation I want to do, but it only gives me one option. When I select that option (which I believe is C:\Windows nothing happens.

    The only other option I am given is to install Windows XP, except when I try to do this it says that there is already an OS on the partition I selected. About a month ago the laptop died and we had to reinstall the OS and erase the hard drive in order to do so. I know that if I install windows XP at this point it will take me back to square one. Everything important was backed up, but as many of you know it takes several days from the reboot to get everything else reinstalled and working on the computer. Last time I had to reinstall all the drivers. So, I would prefer not to do that again. Is there any other way to fix this short of reinstalling the OS?

    I'm also curious why this keeps happening. I ran a security scan 2 days ago and we use Zone Alarm for our firewall, so how do I keep getting viruses that disable my laptop like this?

    Thanks for any help you can provide. My laptop is a Dell D810 Latitude
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    For clarity, are you saying you haqve had viruses since you reinstalled XP? Are you able to boot into Safe Mode? If so then access the internet and do a search for ESET's NOD32 free online scanner. This is compeltely safe to do by one of the best antiviruses on the market(you will have to allow them to install their Active X). Let it do a full scan. I would also suggest you go to the Virus & Malware forum here and read the UPDTATED 8 Step sticky.

    There are better options than Zone Alarm that don't take up nearly the system resources.

    The #1 security against infections are internet habits. One can have the very best in security software but a persons decisions will overrride.

    The second best thing is to have a router. I cannot streess enough the absolute importance of a router. Followed by a good antivirus; then a firewall and antispyware/antimalware programs.

    Besides ZA, what are your other softwares for security?
  3. mom26gr8kids

    mom26gr8kids TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 517

    No I am saying that a virus crashed the laptop last month, we had to reinstall the OS last month and since it could not repair the system we had to reformat the hard drive.

    The computer cannot reboot at all, it says it is missing a file needed to reboot. So I cannot access the internet or even get it to safe mode. It only goes to the screen that says something is missing.

    We have ZA, Avira and Superantispyware.
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    The error itself indicates your Windows registry is corrupted (might be due to any of:
    Virus, or abrupt computer shutdown, corrupt programs, etc...)

    Can you run a System Restore? Or hit F8 for alternate start options and try to Boot from Last Known Good Configuration?

    Have you run backups? If needed See [post=766270]How to recover your folders/files when Windows won’t boot[/post]

    This reference might also help... How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting
  5. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    Sorry, but you can't access the internet in safe mode.

    You are missing a system folder, which could be just a freak accident. Tell me, i know you are running WinXP, but did you buy this computer originally, or is it used from someone's garage sale?

    I would say to use your WinXP CD and reformat your computer, this will delete everything on your computer and give a clean start. However you will lose EVERYTHING on the computer. Pictures, videos, settings, and hardware drivers. I would check all your hardware's manufacturers to download new drivers for all your hardware.

    There is a way to save your data. If I am correct, and I have very little experience with laptops, you can install your hard drive into another computer to save the data. Then you can reformat it on that computer, which, if done properly, would not damage the other computer. Then you can put all your data back on. I wouldn't do that though, if you say you have viruses on your computer.

    Im not sure what interface a laptop uses, but it might be compatible with a desktop computer. So far, I'd say most of the information you were given before this is false or not helpful. But since I am no good with laptops, i cannot credit myself.

    Good Luck,
    sw123 :)
  6. mom26gr8kids

    mom26gr8kids TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 517

    laptop has more problems now

    We sent the laptop home with a friend of ours who knows some things about computers. Only now I am having additional problems with it. What we/he did is load the Windows XP CD and attempt to reformat the hard drive. Once it gets towards the end of this procedure and attempts to install Windows XP I start getting messages like this:

    Setup cannot copy the file: s3sav4.inf, then it gives me 3 options. To retry hit enter (make sure the Windows XP disk is in the drive...which it is). To skip this file hit ESC (please note that if you skip this file Setup may not complete and Windows XP may not work properly). And Hit F3 to exit setup.

    I hit enter for retry and it doesn't work, so I hit ESC and then it said it could not copy all these files: (I hit ESC every time trying to see if I could get to a new screen)

    setup cannot copy file: s3trio3d.inf

    It is still on that screen and I could hit ESC all day I assume and just keep getting file names. Does anyone have any suggestions on a way to fix this. Our friend says it is a problem with the BIOS system. Is there a way to fix that? Since my PC works I can download files onto a flash drive and try to install them that way.

    I am not a computer expert, but I am good at following directions and have managed to fix "some" problems on our computer before. Please let me know if there is anything I can do. I would hate to have to get rid of my laptop.
  7. pimpmypc

    pimpmypc TS Rookie Posts: 111

    Hello, I recommend using avast im actually using it again since the last avira update ruined my OS and i had to reinstall windows. Avast has better protection too. Also if you have the virus and your getting the black screen your better off reinstalling windows and setting it up the right way so you dont have problems.
  8. onasis16

    onasis16 TS Rookie

    i have the same problem i cant logg on or run the system or use any cd to boot it i have tried everything i can think off but still im getting the same error : Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt \Windows\System32\Config\Sytem

    It then says I can repair it if I boot from the original CD and select R on the first screen.

    i tried that with the original xp cd but it wont load the set up screen so i can press r to recover it wont let me even boot it from a bootable cd or any other cd is not running ,so i cant reformat it , mine iis stucked in the black screen when you turne it on when the bar comes down in the screen there where i get this error message ,i have run out of ideas any help would be apreciatet,and also i cannot use recovery console or asr to recover very strange ,how could i get access to the hard drive so i can start working it and format it?
    thanks for any tip in advance
  9. pimpmypc

    pimpmypc TS Rookie Posts: 111

    I think one of my other computers hade the same message i think its a bug in windows.
  10. onasis16

    onasis16 TS Rookie

    ok problem solved i hooked up my hdd to a slave and it shows its fine no damage i just lost the os on it i am reinstalling the fresh copy on it and was able to save all my data thanks for all help
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