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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Corrupt system file? (XP/SP2)

    My father phoned me with this problem:

    On boot up, he saw a message saying that windowssystem32configsystem was either corrupt or missing. Insert the SP2 CD, reboot and select repair. The monitor would then drop to Power Saving Mode. He tried this but it failed. The same message appeared. He tried again but it failed. Subsequent reboots simply drop to Power Saving Mode without even the diagnostic message.

    Any suggestions please.

    Alan

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Corrupt system file? (XP/SP2)


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    Re: Corrupt system file? (XP/SP2)

    It's no ordinary system file, it's one of the hives in the registry. In the config folder one will find most of the hive files that are mapped to the registry at start, (NTUser.dat is in the root of the user profile), together with a log file for each, and sometimes copies of the hive files with the extension .alt.

    See <post:=649,661>post 649,661</post:> and initial thread for a little discussion.

    You say that after the message it got to Power saving Mode, then "he tried this but it failed"; did he try a repair? Booting from a CD should always be possible, even if the registry is corrupt (of course as we know, there can be other problems that can make booting from a CD impossible).

    For all other repair methods than repair installation (in-place upgrade) and clean installation, it is now essential to have an OS CD with corresponding SP level and knowledge about the Administrator password. Obviously, in-place upgrade and clean install do not need a Administrator PW.

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    Re: Corrupt system file? (XP/SP2)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by AlanMiller on 08-Jul-07 14:06. )</P>Thanks for the info (and to Hans for the link). I suspect that there are a few "layers" to the problem. When I asked if he could get into the BIOS he said no. I suspect this is not the case, and that he is simply failing to see the instruction at bottom of screen to press Del or whatever. Assuming this to be the case, I may have to visit him, "armed" with whatever I might need for any further contingency. The KB that Hans pointed me to suggests that having a few batch files on floppy, "which we prepared earlier <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>" might be worthwhile. I'll see what I can do via telephone helpdesk first, then proceed from there.

    Alan

    Edited - I just tried some "real time" diagnostics and the problem appears to go deeper. The only screen he sees at bootup is the one identifying the monitor - no message about how to jump into BIOS. I got him to keep hitting Del anyway, but to no avail. The next thing is the monitor in power saving mode (black screen) and the red HD light on the box going out. It really does look like he won't be able to boot from CD, or anything else.

  5. #5
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    Re: Corrupt system file? (XP/SP2)

    So it might be a hardware problem, after all, instead of a Windows problem.

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    Re: Corrupt system file? (XP/SP2)

    Just curious, Alan. How do you know the monitor is going into power saving mode, as opposed to just failing, period? It looks like the first two orders of business are to try a different monitor (easy) and a different video card (harder). Keep us posted.

    PS Not relevant but... How far away is your father - right nearby in town?

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    Re: Corrupt system file? (XP/SP2)

    Alan,
    ---------------------------------
    I got him to keep hitting Del anyway, but to no avail
    --------------------------------
    Maybe his system uses another key to get to the BIOS, like F1 or F2 or Esc?
    BOB
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    Re: Corrupt system file? (XP/SP2)

    A <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> motherboard, as it was discovered today. Oh well <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15> - thanks to all for your suggestions anyway.

    Alan

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