Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    28
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I'll begin by apologizing the length of this message but I feared leaving any of the detail out would only result in suggestions I've already tried.

    I was asked to take a look at a relatively new IBM computer that will no longer boot. The machine is licensed for Vista but I've determined it's running Windows XP Professional. There is XP COA showing a product key.

    The error message is the somewhat familar message stating that "Windows can't start because of a missing or corrupt \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM."

    To this point I've done the following:

    - Pulled the drive and attached it to a working PC with an external docking station giving me the abilty to easily work with files on the unbootable hard drive.

    - Backed up the files from the ...\Windows\system32\config folder.

    - Copied the following files from the ...\Windows\repair folder into the ...\Windows\system32\config folder: software, sam, security, default.

    - Determined that the "system" file (presumably corrupt) does exist in the config folder but is missing in the repair folder. Only a "system.bak" file exists in the repair folder.

    - Learned that copying the system.bak file into the config folder changed nothing unless renamed to "system" after removing the the corrupted "system" file in that folder.

    - When I rebooted using the renamed system.bak file I encountered the Lsass.exe error stating that "When trying to update a password the return status indicates that the value provided as the current password is not correct."

    - After attempting the above and failing, I used an Ultimate Boot CD for Windows (UBCD4Win) with the intent of assessing System Restore on the non-booting drive. UBCD4Win found no restore restore points - not the first one.

    Do I have any additional repair options remaining or is does this look like a Windows XP reinstall at this point? TIA for your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,585
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,059 Times in 928 Posts
    If you have an XP installation CD you can try a repair installation. See Perform a Repair Installation for instructions.

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    I like this article better...
    Langa Letter: XP's No-Reformat, Nondestructive Total-Rebuild Option
    Fred Langa shows you how to completely rebuild, repair, or refresh an existing XP installation without losing data,
    and without having to reinstall user software, reformat, or otherwise destructively alter the setup.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Clint, that link goes dead for me on Firefox and IE. This one works on my machine:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1664082/posts

  5. #5
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    28
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    To everyone who responded, thanks so much for your suggestions.

    My question is since I don't have an XP product key - only a Vista product key and COA - would that not make a non-destructive repair impossible on a PC that won't boot and can't run Belarc Magic KeyFinder?

    Ron

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    You may not need one since you are not doing a clean install of the operating system.

    But just in case...
    In the registry, the (XP) pruduct key should be located here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion
    The number is listed under ProductId

    Tom's Hardware: Recover XP Product Key from Dead PC
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    20
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    But just in case...
    In the registry, the (XP) pruduct key should be located here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion
    The number is listed under ProductId
    Product key and Product ID are different things.

  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    254
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Hi Ron

    During your attempt at recovery did you refer to the article below or use your own initive here? Possible a step may have been missed so I thought this article may be relevant.

    MS KB307545 - How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting

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

    Also recovering a Windows XP CD Key can be achieved if you can load an uncorrupted HIVE from the non working computer. May even work when the file is corrupted if the section of file is not damaged.

    http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

  9. #9
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    27
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Ron
    I have been through all of the above, and XP "repair" was not available, although yours may be. The final result - after a week of false hope - was a complete reformat and fresh install.
    Hope you can find your key!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •