oops; xp fails to boot

By jobeard
Apr 8, 2007
  1. Toshiba Laptop XP/ home SP2 shutdown successfull last night, but
    this morning, an attemp to boot produced:
    Unable to boot, file \windows\system32\config\system notfound
    edit: or is corrupt

    mounting the OEM CD and booting it, started correctly BUT the warning
    "continuing will erase the HD and reinstall the system ..." spooked me to
    abort the so called "recovery".

    moving to a Knoppix Linux CD, I can verify that the file (noted above) is
    actually present and contains ~700kb(if I recall properly) of data.

    I actually have the Recovery Console system loaded and a BOOT.INI which
    points to it, but as Knoppix will not mount the HD in R/W, I can not swap
    BOOT.INI files nor edit the existing instance.

    I was all set a few weeks ago to Slipstream a bootable image, but stopped
    and ASSUMED that the OEM CD would be sufficient :(
    (to assume: Making an A** out of U and ME :knock: )

    A friend has offered to retrieve a retail XP/Pro cd from his office, which should
    give me access to the HD via a DOS prompt and/or the ability to inspect the
    system; just need to wait 24 hours to begin.

    Your insight/suggestions please ??

    TIA; Jeff
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    reseat your hard drive.
    If it still fails, your HD may have went tits up.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 11,138   +985

    pst: I updated the message details.

    I don't think the HD is SOL, as the Linix mount r/o finds everything.
    If I could get the HD mounted r/w with a drive letter I think have have
    a copy of config\system squirled in the Slipstream dir.

    Also, the laptop has been setting on my desk and has NEVER been
    dropped or treated poorly, so it's hard to see the cables being jarred --
    but I'll take a look.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 11,138   +985

    btw: I recovered the system w/o a reformat :) Here's how;

    using any means to BOOT from a CD with a C:\ prompt,
    cd to \windows
    delete everything!
    This will allow an UPDATE install into the \Windows directory.

    All programs will need to be reinstalled
    (ie: you just destroyed the remaining portion(s) of the registry)
    even though \Program Files\* is fully populated.

    All user IDs will be lost, even though they can be found under
    \Documents and Settings
    (hint: rename them with a prefix 'zz' and copy the data to the new directories)
    WHICH IN MY CASE, was the motivation for all the effort to avoid a reformat!
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