I can't get Windows XP Professional started!

Everytime i start my computer, it comes up with a black screen saying: 
Windows XP Professional could not start due to damage in/ or missing file: 
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM\ press r to repair, but nothing happens.

It's a laptop and I have no XP CD for it. The computer came with XP on it, 
so all I've got is a product key on a label.
I can't start it in failsafe condition or anything else when I use F8, it 
just goes back to the previous???

I can, however, enter the BIOS settings screen (F2), if that's any help.

I was wondering if I could just delete the whole thing and use the product 
key or something to re-install XP???

Either that or any other help is very welcome!
0
Utf
7/6/2010 4:45:03 PM
windowsxp.general 3897 articles. 1 followers. Follow

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BR88 wrote:
> Everytime i start my computer, it comes up with a black screen saying: 
> Windows XP Professional could not start due to damage in/ or missing file: 
> \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM\ press r to repair, but nothing happens.
> 
> It's a laptop and I have no XP CD for it. The computer came with XP on it, 
> so all I've got is a product key on a label.
> I can't start it in failsafe condition or anything else when I use F8, it 
> just goes back to the previous???
> 
> I can, however, enter the BIOS settings screen (F2), if that's any help.
> 
> I was wondering if I could just delete the whole thing and use the product 
> key or something to re-install XP???
> 
> Either that or any other help is very welcome!

You should have either a set of recovery CDs or DVD from the computer 
manufacturer or the laptop should have a service partition which can be 
used to restore the laptop to factory conditions.  Without one or the 
other, (or without a Windows XP CD) you can't reinstall the operating 
system.  It might help if you give us the name and model number of the 
computer, someone reading here might be acquainted with the different 
restore options for the machine.

You could try to use the Recovery Console to repair the problem.  Make a 
Recovery Console CD as explained here: 
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic276527.html  and then boot 
to the Recovery Console and run a chkdsk on the drive (chkdsk /r) and 
then see if the computer will boot properly.  If the computer doesn't 
boot properly try this:

How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from 
starting
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

This may also be helpful:

Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console for advanced users
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

John
0
John
7/6/2010 5:04:24 PM
BR88 wrote:
> Everytime i start my computer, it comes up with a black screen saying: 
> Windows XP Professional could not start due to damage in/ or missing file: 
> \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM\ press r to repair, but nothing happens.
> 
> It's a laptop and I have no XP CD for it. The computer came with XP on it, 
> so all I've got is a product key on a label.
> I can't start it in failsafe condition or anything else when I use F8, it 
> just goes back to the previous???
> 
> I can, however, enter the BIOS settings screen (F2), if that's any help.
> 
> I was wondering if I could just delete the whole thing and use the product 
> key or something to re-install XP???
> 
> Either that or any other help is very welcome!

WinXP has a feature called System Restore, where the OS makes copies
of key files, such as the registry files. It is possible to get out
of this mess, if System Restore was operational at the time of failure.
If System Restore was disabled for some reason (happens sometimes with
malware or procedures involving malware removal), then you may not be able
to get back to your previous good working system state.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

The things to note about that procedure are:

1) You're replacing the corrupted file, with a relatively "empty" file.
    That means, the first stage of the procedure, is only there
    so that you can get the computer booted. If the computer were
    to boot, the job is not finished. An "empty" file won't have
    all your settings and customizations. Many things could be broken.

2) The step involving System Restore, is what finishes the job.
    That replaces the "empty" temporary file, with an archived
    copy that System Restore made within the last couple of days.
    That restores almost all of your registry customizations.
    Only the odd setting you changed within the last couple of
    days, might not be kept. So the full procedure, including
    using System Restore, to put back "good" registry files,
    gets you almost exactly back where you were.

"The procedure that this article describes uses Recovery Console
  and System Restore"

Recovery Console is something that comes with a real WinXP CD.
It can also be installed to your system, as a boot time option,
using a real WinXP CD.

But for machines like Dell or HP, there might not be a boot
time option to start up in the Recovery Console. There are some
options for doing it - I've seen at least one small ISO9660
image, which contains Recovery Console on it, for download.
It is possible, that a more advanced OS like Vista or Win7,
could have a maintenance option that does much the same thing.
It really depends on how desperate you are. You can always
head off to a computer shop, and get them to do the necessary
steps. (They would use the "slaving the hard drive" option,
which I describe next.)

http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/

Another option, if the recovery console is not (easily) available,
is to slave the hard drive from the laptop, to another computer.
If the 2.5" hard drive is IDE type, it has a 44 pin connector.
You can use a 44 pin to 40 pin adapter, to connect the drive
to a desktop computer. You can also get 44 pin IDE to USB
adapters, and plug in the 2.5" drive to a USB port. Then,
using regular file operations, you can do the step that
involves moving an "empty" copy of the file into
place, while the hard drive is slaved to another computer.

You'd still need to put the disk back in the laptop, then
boot it, and then use System Restore and restore to a recent,
known good restore point. And then you'd have a populated
registry file back in place again.

Once the machine is working again, come back for some suggestions
on backup strategies, burning a copy of your recovery partition
or whatever. The user manual for your computer, may have had
some valuable information, on things you should do immediately
after purchasing the computer, such as burning a copy of the
restore partition. In your current situation, the only thing
that would really have helped, is having a recent backup of
C:, because such a backup copy would have covered the case
that the WinXP System Restore function is broken.

(Example of a relatively painless backup solution)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148454

(This is the software it uses.)

http://www.howtogeek.com/reviews/rebit-backup-software/

HTH,
      Paul
0
Paul
7/6/2010 5:30:27 PM
=?Utf-8?B?QlI4OA==?= <BR88@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
news:DCC3C4D1-56D1-4106-B8EB-EA3AA2DB166C@microsoft.com: 

> 
> Everytime i start my computer, it comes up with a black screen
> saying: Windows XP Professional could not start due to damage in/
> or missing file: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM\ press r to
> repair, but nothing happens. 
> 
> It's a laptop and I have no XP CD for it. The computer came with
> XP on it, so all I've got is a product key on a label.
> I can't start it in failsafe condition or anything else when I use
> F8, it just goes back to the previous???
> 
> I can, however, enter the BIOS settings screen (F2), if that's any
> help. 
> 
> I was wondering if I could just delete the whole thing and use the
> product key or something to re-install XP???
> 
> Either that or any other help is very welcome!
> 

You may be able to recover.

On another machince, create a free Live Linux CD such as Knoppix:
<http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html>
Note that files ending in -EN are English, -DE are German.

Then boot your machine from this CD.
After that, follow the steps in the following Microsoft article:

"How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from
starting"
   <http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545>

Begin at Part 2, Step 6.  Use Linux to copy and rename files on your 
Hard Drive as directed (instead of the Recovery Console).

HTH and Good Luck,
  John
0
John
7/6/2010 7:01:46 PM
Here are some things you can try, you may need to remove your HD from yor 
computer to attach to another computer as a slave drive or and external USB 
drive:

1 - Test your HD for defects and fix if available use Western Digital Diag 
(WinDlg - 
http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=9999&sid=3&lang=en )

2 - If drive is good or repairable then backup your drive to prevent 
accidental data loss (Acronis True Image - 
http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119&wdc_lang=en )

3 - Most likely if the config folder is damaged you will need to do a 
re-install. Try an over the top install first before a complete clean 
install. That will save your programs and data if they haven't been corruped 
also.

4 - Since you did not mention what brand or model computer you have, I will 
assume that it is a major brand like HP or Dell and that may mean that you 
may have a recovery partition on your drive as well. If it hasn't been 
corrupted also you can boot from the partition using the boot menu of the 
computer to access the recovery partition and do a complete recovery to 
factory defaults from there. This is also why we did the backup, you will 
need to copy your data from the backup to your system when you complete the 
recovery.

5 - If no recovery partition then you will need to borrow omeones XP Pro CD 
so that you can create a slipstreamed copy with SP3 so that you can 
re-install the OS. If you have on your Windows Product Sticker the letters 
OEM you will need to borrow a CD from someone with the same brand computer 
you have (not model, meaning if yours is a HP then borrow a CD from someone 
who also has an HP with OEM on their sticker). This would be the only way 
that you can use the procuct license numbers on the Windows sticker on yoru 
computer.

This should help you get on your way to getting your computer working again.

-- 
The Top Inno Setup Script Generator - http://www.randem.com/innoscript.html
Free Utilities and Code - http://www.randem.com/freesoftutil.html 


0
Randem
7/6/2010 7:53:50 PM
On Jul 6, 12:45=A0pm, BR88 <B...@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
> Everytime i start my computer, it comes up with a black screen saying:
> Windows XP Professional could not start due to damage in/ or missing file=
:
> \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM\ press r to repair, but nothing happens.
>
> It's a laptop and I have no XP CD for it. The computer came with XP on it=
,
> so all I've got is a product key on a label.
> I can't start it in failsafe condition or anything else when I use F8, it
> just goes back to the previous???
>
> I can, however, enter the BIOS settings screen (F2), if that's any help.
>
> I was wondering if I could just delete the whole thing and use the produc=
t
> key or something to re-install XP???
>
> Either that or any other help is very welcome!

Was the issue preceded by a power interruption, aborted restart, or
improper shutdown?
(this includes plug pulling and power buttons)

These can cause corruption in the file system which must be fixed
before you do anything
else.

If any of those events have occurred (or even if they have not
occurred), you should verify
the integrity of your file system before doing anything else
(especially "trying" things).

It makes zero sense to start trying to copy files around on a hard
disk that has a corrupted
file system so this must be fixed first using the XP chkdsk program,
and fixing that may resolve
your issue entirely.

Use the XP Recovery Console to verify the file system on your HDD and
correct any problems
and then try to boot your system - this may be all you need to do.
Or, you are welcome to
just start trying things that might work.

Boot into the Windows Recovery Console using a bootable XP
installation CD, or create
a bootable XP Recovery Console CD.

This is not the same as any recovery disks that might have come a
store bought system.  If
you are not sure what kind of bootable CD you have, make a bootable XP
Recovery Console CD
and  be sure.

You can create a bootable XP Recovery Console CD when no XP media is
available by following
the directions in this link:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic276527.html

After booting into the Recovery Console, you should be in this folder:

C:\WINDOWS

For each of your hard disk partitions, you should then run:

chkdsk /r

For example, from the Recovery Console prompt, enter:

chkdsk c: /r

Let chkdsk finish and correct any problems it might find.  It may take
a long
time to complete or appear to be 'stuck'.  Be patient.  If the HDD
light is
still flashing, it is doing something.  Keep an eye on the percentage
amount to
be sure it is still making progress.  It may even appear to go
backwards sometimes.

The chkdsk /r needs to complete without any errors, so you may need to
run it
multiple times until it does.

Remove the CD and type 'exit' to leave the RC and restart the computer
and report
back with your progress.
0
Jose
7/7/2010 12:03:16 AM
Reply:

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