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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All of a sudden I cannot boot up my Toshiba laptop (2.3mhz pent4, 512 RAM, Windows XP Home with SP2). I get the error message "Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

C:\windows\system32\config\system".

By hitting the F8 key when starting I can get the start menu and I've tried booting into safe mode and I've tried "boot using last known good configuration" - but still get the same error message.

When I put the OEM Windows XP install/rescue CD into the drive (actually I think it's a DVD) it does not automatically read it at start up. I can get it to read by hitting F12 while booting - but it goes directly to the screen that says I am about to re-install windows and restore my hard drive to its original factory condition. I cannot get the "welcome to setup" screen so that I can beging the recovery console.

What else can I try?

Thanks.
 

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If you get the error:
Windows could not start because the following files is missing or corrupt
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM or \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE

Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.
At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
Typically this will be #1
Enter in the administrator password when requested
cd \windows\system32\config
Depending on which section was corrupted:
ren software software.bad or ren system system.bad
Depending on which section was corrupted
copy \windows\repair\system
copy \windows\repair\software
Take out the CD ROM and type exit
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Bob. As I mentioned in my post, I don't seem to be able to get to the "repair option" when I insert the Windows CD. I just get the page that says by pressing "continue" i will wipe out hard drive and re-install windows XP...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is the OEM disc that came with the laptop. It is labeled "Toshiba Recovery and Applications/Drivers DVD - Satellite A35 Series". It also says "the software included on this Recovery DVD was pre-installed on your hard drive at the factory and may only be used for backup and recovery of your Toshiba computer system. Performance of the software is the sole responsibility of Toshiba".

This laptop has no floppy drive, so I would guess it has to be configured to boot from a CD/DVD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, I thought a recovery CD (DVD) was what i needed. I didn't realize that I needed an XP CD. Thanks for the info. I'll see if I can track one down.

Is there a way to make a bootable CD that will allow me to boot up into DOS (or DOS-like system) in order to find and replace the corrupt/missing system file?

Thanks again for your help.
 

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The recovery CD's supplied by most vendors will put the computer back to the state is was in when it came from the factory. This would erase all data, programs and configurations that have been made since then. Not always the best solution.

As far as a bootable CD, there are some 3rd party programs like knoppix that should let you get to a NTFS partition and copy the files. I haven't done a lot of testing with them.
 
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