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Problems repairing Windows without windows XP cd

By sw123 ยท 15 replies
May 7, 2006
  1. Hi everyone:

    I have an eMachines T2682 and it brings up problems like this at startup:

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


    You can attempt to repair this file by inserting the windows CD and pressing 'r' at the first screen

    And this continues and I really don't know what the problem is. I cannot boot into safe mode, and harddrive self tests are always turning out OK with flying colors. I have fixed this problem by using the eMachines restore disk, but it wipes all of my personal files, such as games saves, etc. I have one partition, which is just a main windows partition.

    System Specs:

    Processor: Intel Celeron 2.60 GHz
    Motherboard: Intel 845GV
    BIOS: Pheonix bios, version 1.1
    Graphics: PNY Verto FX5500 128MB Dual VGA PCI
    Harddrive: Western Digital WDC WD800EB-11DJF0 (IDE)
    Sound: Creative SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit USB External
    O/S: Windows XP Home Edition SP1

    Anything more you need will be in my profile, i put system specs in here for convience :)

    Please help me with my problem, and also, I have no Windows XP cd to use, only a restore disk which wipes all of my personal files, which I dont want to happen.
  2. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    the %systemroot%\system32\config directory contains the system registry (in a number of binary hive files). If your registry is corrupt there's not a lot you can do.

    There's an MSKB article on recovering a corrupted registry, and I advise you to read the friendly warning about OEM installed machines before you start...


    Otherwise you could use the tech support/repair services of wherever you got it from, or perhaps one of the others here will be able to help you on account of the OEM issue.

    However if this doesn't work or can't be used, I suspect your easiest fix may be to take your recovery disk, and use it to create an install disk. http://www.easydesksoftware.com/recovery.htm#Smart

    You could try a repair, or if that doesn't work, you could then try and install windows over itself or on a different partition (using a different name for the windows folder when asked). Then it's just a simple matter of recovering your documents, and using the recovery cd to format and reinstall.

    Or you could borrow a friends cd and use your own key.
  3. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    The Bart PE CD method might be an option too. HERE
  4. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Indeed - you could use that method, which is much like Microsofts Knowledgebase article but a little easier for the use of Bart PE. However, be aware that it still may have the same potential issues with OEM installed machines, for the reasons listed in the MSKB article.
  5. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 595

    I heard a little about something called a "Recovery Console" which I can use to repair my Windows. Is this possible? Also, here are the other files that have gone missing:

    <windows root>HAL.DLL

    But thats really all I can remember. Why is my Windows doing this? My harddrive is not bad, so it's a problem with the operating system, and I really hate to see my files all deleted. I also cannot borrow a friend's cd because they do not have one or they just wont let me have it.

    cheers, sw123 :)
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    this may not be a software issue this may be bad memory stick or one that is not compatable with the MB
    if you decide to reinstall the os or do copy file delete file
    in repair console and you get this error again a suggest look'n at the memory
  7. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 595

    Well, I don't beleive it's bad memory, because I had only one 256 MB stick of RAM that turned out to be ok. How do I get into the recovery console without win xp cd? how do i use it to fix windows?
  8. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    you don't, quite simply.

    However, you stated that you had a recovery CD, and I gave you links on creating an xp cd from it.

    Failing this, simply use BartPE and a cd burning plugin (ensure you have the appropriatre files. instructions at the bartpe site), backup anything you want to keep to cd/dvd, and then simply use your recovery cd as you normally would.
  9. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    One of those eMachines.... they come with no disks, you have to send it in for them to work on it, and if someone else messes with it it voids the warranty. Nice......

    There is a way to reset the registry to default. But i think this would come with a load of problems being as the registry links all of the main system components together such as drivers and .dlls. It's either recover, reset, or go out and drop $300 on a Windows CD. OR you could put on the ****** hat.

    Creating a Windows CD from the system recovery is a great idea. But how would that work? A system recovery image turned into a Windows Install image?
  10. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    A recovery cd contains all the files required to install windows, so naturally it's only a windows install disk configured in a specific way with a few OEM extras.

    In short, but by no means 100% accurate (I'd need to check), it's a case of creating an empty directory on your hard drive, copying the i386 directory from the recovery CD to it, copying setup.exe and the win51 type files. Then either use cdcreatorgui (available from the msfn unnatended guide) to burn it to a bootable ISO on the hard drive and then burn the image to disk, or using something such as iso buster to extract the boot record, and use an online slipstreaming guide to use it on a cd with the files just copied. It may or may not also require the deletion of /i386/winnt.sif

    That's roughly it anyway.
  11. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    You learn something everyday :p You would think the GUI on the image would be different from a Install CD though, but i guess not :p
  12. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 595

    If one of those files is missing, I worry about something:

    I use a PCI graphics card, and have never wiped my HDD with the card in my system. Will I have to manually disable my card? Or will it automatically disable my integrated graphics?(my motherboard automatically disables integrated)

    Also, how do I create a Windows recovery disc using my eMachines recovery dvd? If so, can you do it in number order?(im better at number order)

    Thanks, sw123

    Also, I was thinking I could make a recovery partition on my harddirve so I can recover it. I will name it B:\ Is this possible? Thanks, sw123
  13. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    No, it isn't. A: and B: are reserved for floppy drives. It would be anything farther than C:.
  14. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 595

    Well, I have these drives:

    A:\-floppy drive
    C:\-Main hard disk/NTFS format, one partition
    E:\-CD-RW drive
    D:\-DVD-R drive

    Any other drives you can think of?? Like random letters like K:\ so i can maybe make a seperate partition for my harddrive?

    EDIT: Can I just copy C:\WINDOWS\I386 to a CD? Will it work?
  15. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    OK, for simplicity, simply copy the I386 folder to a CD, and download and boot from the windows XP setup boot disks appropriate to your XP version and service pack. Hopefully, that should be enough. If it wont let you install, try deleting winnt.sif from the I386 folder before copying to CD, if present.
  16. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 595

    If I dont want to go into my system files to copy I386, can I use BartPE and copy I386 to a cd, then use the cd and fix windows? would thatwork? usually when I go into system files, my system goes a little unstable.

    Thanks, sw123
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