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Windows 2000 could not start file is missing or corrupt

By Dadof3 ยท 10 replies
May 18, 2009
  1. Computer was running fine this morning, hung up in I.E. and froze. Ended up doing a hard reboot. While loading...screen came up with Windows 2000 could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINNT\System32\Config\SYSTEMced startup option of windows 2000 press F8

    at the bottom the screen read You can attempt to recover this file by starting Windows 2000 Setup using the original CD

    I pulled out the origninal Windows 2000 installation CD and rebooted. When I selected that I wanted to repair rather than reinstall it gave me 2 repair options

    Recovery console or Emergency repair process. I tried both. The recovery console comes up with C;\Winnnt> ready for my input which i have no idea what to do from there.....the other option was Emergency repair process which required me to insert an Emergency Repair floppy in...I dont have an emergency repair floppy.

    What are my best options..is there anything I can do with the Repair console and the orgininal installation CD? Cant loose the information on my hard drive. If I reinstall completely, will I loose this information and files? HELP!!
  2. gguerra

    gguerra TS Maniac Posts: 317

    It seems your registry has become corrupt. There is a thread on this subject but dont have the link. You may want to do a search.. I do know that this problem can usually be resolved by choosing last known good configuration from the boot menu but that is for Windows XP (dont know about 2k).
  3. Dadof3

    Dadof3 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 67

    unable to boot in safe mode

    I am unable to boot into safe mode as the above message with Windows 2000 could not start because of the following file is missing or corrupt: \winnt\syste32\config\systemced the system is then frozen. When I boot with the windows 2000 cd in it gets to the point where I can choose to reinstall windows or perform the repair, which again offers to choices Recovery Console or Emergency Repair process. I dont have a emergency repair floppy but the console comes up fine with the C drive prompt...

    NEW TWIST.....when I attempted to reboot without the CD in the drive, a new message appeared....

    Warning Dells Disk Monitoring System has detected that drive 0 on the primary EIDE controller is operating outside the normal specification. It is advised to immediately back up your files and replace your hard drive. F1 to continue F2 to run setup utility.
  4. Dadof3

    Dadof3 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 67

    Help PLEASE
  5. gguerra

    gguerra TS Maniac Posts: 317

    You will need access to another PC with a burner. Download and install Acronis True Image trial version. Create bootable CD, Boot the CD on the Win2k machine. Backup your drive (or data) to a flash drive or other USB device. Re-format and re-install Win2k, install acronis and restore your data. This is the most straight forward way to fix your situation. Like I said before your registry is corrupted. There is no easy or sure way to restore it using Win2k (no system restore) especially if you cant boot in safe mode. There are other alternatives but are a bit more difficult. Ignore the message about the hard drive although it may actually be going bad which may be the cause of your problem. Oh and BTW if you have access to another pc (which I assume you do since you do since you are posting to this site) you can always slave your drive and back it up that way.
  6. Dadof3

    Dadof3 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 67

    booted from 2ndary slave drive

    I booted the computer from a secondary drive and made the primary the slave. I am in the process of backing up all of my data and will replace the primary drive with a new one upon completion. Thanks for the push in the right direction. I feel like I dogged a bullet here and will also purchase an external hard drive running regular backups at night.
  7. Fiery_WA

    Fiery_WA TS Rookie Posts: 41

    Boot from the CD and choose the SECOND "R"....... REPAIR option, you may have to reinstall a couple of applications, other than that, it replaces your system files, which also means your ie and oe. I know this because my husbands PC never does a nice clean install of Win2k. So when I reinstall his operating system, from the CD I get "winblows cannot find this do you wish to carry on" yada yada yada. I say yes and ignore all of the error messages. Then once Win2k is installed on his machine. I do the repair ........ SELECTING THE SECOND 'R'


  8. Dadof3

    Dadof3 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 67

    whinning and clicking disk sound, cant boot up

    Now the 2nd drive I had installed wont boot up. There was a whinning and clicking sound coming from the hard drive. It gives me a setup screen and does not recognize any hard drive???

    Is there a controller to the hard drives that could have gone bad now??
  9. gguerra

    gguerra TS Maniac Posts: 317

    Whining and Clicking?? I would say your hard drive just went. If it is making weird noises that is a telltale sign it is a hardware failure.
  10. Dadof3

    Dadof3 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 67

    hard drive failure

    Under the circumstances, noise...whinning, clicking..do you think it is possible to rectrieve any of the data from a Data Recovery Service? Is it expensive?
  11. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    It is very expensive. A painful lesson to learn about backing up eh? Sometimes a dud HDD can be revived for a limited period of time by putting it in the freezer for a few hours, then connecting it, still wrapped in ice bags without installing it in the case. it will not boot, probably, and must be connected as a secondary drive, so you can extract important data before it fails again. Make sure you know all about seconday drives and master/slave settings etc first, as you wont get any time to mess and fiddle.

    Judging from what you have tried so far, you may have no option but to aquire a new PC, and do whatever you can to recover the data.
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