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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    'Could Not Start' message (XP w/ SP1)

    I did a system restore last week to my e-machine T2200 cuz of a sloooow-down problem I was experiencing. I reloaded all the files & applications I was able to save except GoBack (couldn't get it loaded).

    Naturally all the critical updates I had were deleted and wouldn't you know, 'blaster' comes along. After de'BLASTER'izing, I installed 25 of 35 MS critical updates. Now I get the following message on a black screen when I boot: "Could not start. Following file is missing or corrupt: Windows/ System 32/ config/ system. Attempt repair by starting Windows Setup using original CD Rom. Select "r" at first screen to start repair."

    All the goodies I had were pre-installed so I don't have an Install CD. When I try to start in safe mode (via F8) I get 2 choices..."system restore" and "boot from CD"... with a A drive prompt which doesn't respond to the System Restore CD. I can't get a prompt for the D drive to activate that CD.

    I unplugged & rebooted a few times to no avail.

    Any suggestions other than another complete system restore or returning the CPU to the mfgr for repair?

  2. #2
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    Re: 'Could Not Start' message (XP w/ SP1)

    So you don't have a Windows CD?

  3. #3
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    Re: 'Could Not Start' message (XP w/ SP1)

    Hi CBD. No I don't have a Windows CD. Windows and all the other goodies were preloaded. I have a Complete Restore CD but hate to use it again.

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    Re: 'Could Not Start' message (XP w/ SP1)

    Hello S. Thanx for your speedy reply. I erred in my jargon regarding System Restore... I meant a Complete Restore using the Restore CD I got with the CPU.

    The screen I get via F8 is the 'Windows Advanced Options Menu'. I selected safe mode cuz its the only option offered that I know how to use. I will attempt access using the instructions in the Elder Geek link noted in your message.

    PS To SMBP & CBD: My son called the e machines help desk from work (had nothing else to do last nite since he was stranded in his office in NYC) and they gave him a phone number to order something called a recovery console. Do either of you know what a recovery console is?

  5. #5
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: 'Could Not Start' message (XP w/ SP1)

    Hello Ralph--

    I'm not familiar with what might be different on an E-machine. I'm trying to understand what options you get out of that F8 screen which is normally in XP the so-called Windows Advanced Options Menu with a screen that looks like this screenshot:

    Screen Shots of Emergency Repair from F8 to the Windows Advanced Options Menu--Scroll Midway--Forget the Top 1/3

    When you F8 do you only have two options, or do you also have Safe Mode with a Command Prompt. You should have Safe Mode with a Command Prompt which doesn't guarantee that it will let you boot into it. If you do, though, I would try to run a System Restore Command--I don't know what went on with System Restore and your hotfixes, because as a rule, I've used System Restores and never lost any of the hotfixes, and system restore sets a restore point whether you install the patch manually or via the Automatic Updates feature.

    But of course, right now your big obstacle is getting into Windows--automatic update should then run and usually if you search for update, you'll have the option to install them so while a pain , you can go to the Technet security site and get all the security patches--99%--IE for those, Direct X, and Win Media--and you're set. System restore might or might not revert a video card driver update if it was downloaded using Windows Update--if it was downloaded from Nvidia for example, rather than a driver from Win Update, it shouldn't. System Restore has a quirky behavior under a lot of conditions--improper shutdown can spook it for example. See:

    304449: HOW TO: Start the System Restore Tool from a Command Prompt in Windows XP

    Basically you boot into safemode with a command prompt, and then run the command on the KB and you get a System Restore GUI that looks like normal.

    If you have the option at the black and white F8 Adv. Options Screen, you can sure try Last Known Good Configuration--but it has 2 disadvantages--you lose configuration changes made since the last successful start ---I know--if that change caused the problem in the first place, then losing it is hardly something to worry about. It won't solve problems involving control sets like passwords or policy changes.

    So it's worth trying to Safe Mode with A Command Prompt and running System Restore per the KB--you get to Windows, and you can solve other problems from there of course.

    You can also try Last Known Good Configuration.

    Are those options (either/both) available to you at the F8 screen?

    SMBP

  6. #6
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    Re: 'Could Not Start' message (XP w/ SP1)

    I'm guessing a little bit here, since my experience with these "preloaded" systems comes from reading about them on these boards, but isn't there a "repair" option available when you boot to the "Complete Restore" CD?

    kip

  7. #7
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    Re: 'Could Not Start' message (XP w/ SP1)

    Life Line #1: System Restore With A Command Prompt Using F8 to the Windows Advanced Options Screen

    I understand--these restore CD's are popular with some OEM's and are being made better and showcased in a lot of new mobile machines. But that F8 so-called Windows Advanced Options screen is exactly where I wanted you to be--it should have an option to run System Restore with a command prompt as a choice right under System Restore--see the screen shot in the post above. Then what you do at the command prompt is to type the command in the way it's listed on the KB--actually there are a few variations of that command that will put up the System Restore GUI and back slash or forward slash makes no difference in this particular command.

    We're talking 3 quick steps here, and the significane is you aren't in Windows so this is the only way you can access one of your major life lines--System Restore--if it works your back in windows and your back in business. From there gettting all your hotfixes and updates is a matter of a few minutes--but you have to get to Windows first.

    1) Tap F8.
    2) Click System Restore with a Command Prompt.
    3) At the dos prompt type: Either the command from the KB or the command below. Note that you have to be at a C: for either of the commands to work and they'll imediately bring up System Restore. To get a C: you may have to type in "cd.." and again "cd.." at the dos prompt.

    Either command will work. You can use 2 commands "C:Windowssystem32restore" and after that type "rstrui" or one command from MSKB 304449
    "%systemroot%system32restorerstrui.exe"

    __________________________________________________ ___________________
    Life-Line #2 Last Known Good Configuration

    LKG is another emergency option to get back to Windows is on that screen--you just aren't focusing on the other options because you aren't familiar with them and that's human nature and understandable. But they're your lifelines to Windows so I want you to try to grab any of them to get out of the water and back to the boat. All you have to do is use the down arrow to click on that same screen--either it will get you back or it doesn't--no craftsmanship here--just hit the "enter" key and you get a thumbs up or down. How long does it take you hit "enter"--because it's defnitely worth it?

    Last Known Good is often used to reverse hardware or driver changes that cause crashes and it could work for you. The Windows XP Pro Resource Team who write the Resource Kit give it #1 ranking as an emergency option. I disagree strongly. The disadvantage of Last Known Good compared with System Restore, and why I'd rank it as a distant #2 besides that it doesn't work as near as often is that you lose any configuration changes you made since the last boot, and it doesn't always work and it cures only certain types of problems--it's not going to fix password problems or other system policy or so called control-set problems. Is it worth a shot? You betcha. But I'd definitely try system restore by hitting Safe Mode with a Command Prompt as the first option. It that doesn't work go to #2.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    The Recovery Console

    You don't buy a Recovery Console, it's usually on the CD and you can install it to the hard drive. The RC is a tool that is a command line tool that is very systemically powerful but it has limited commands and 13 traditional dos commands. I explained it thoroughly in these two posts below. I don't know what they have given you, but if you don't see the Recovery Console as an option to click on a the first menu after the propitiary screen showing the OEM manufacturer of your E machine, then you're going to need the Windows XP CD or a CD they should have supplied you with. Everytime I hear a story like this where someone has a Windows operating system, but they haven't been given that operatings system's CD by the OEM computer supplier or its analagous CD it makes my blood boil, because they have taken away a way for you to replenish files that are damaged using System File Checker--don't worry about SFC now, or the System Config Utility to do it on the fly. You can boot from the CD often to do an XP Repair, and if they don't give that to you--you can't boot from it. The Recovery Console can make you or break you--it can fix boot mechanisms, and the MBR. BTW--if you had Roxio Go Back on that machine at one time, RGB automatically configures your master boot record--I hate that it does this and although you never thought about it that can be at the root of your problem right. Messing with the MBR can be like messing with an elevator in the Chrysler Building or the Lipstick Building. I would never put on RGB to let it mess with my elevator to Windows. The Recovery Console is your third life line--you could use it to fix the MBR and overwrite the boot sector of your partition which may need it--hopefully not--and may need it because good 'ole Roxio Go Back screwed it up. For context and comprehensive references on the Windows XP Recovery Console:

    See Recovery Console Explanation and Links in Lounge Thread: MFT Corrupt (XP) 9 August 2003

    Lounge Thread Is Recovery Console Dos? Windows 2000 Section 9 August 2003

    hth/good luck Ralph,

    SMBP

  8. #8
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: 'Could Not Start' message (XP w/ SP1)

    Ralph--

    If that system has a "restore cd" and anything with it can get you back as Kip mentions, by all means go for any option that might work. I had thought you would have tried that by now. Letr us know how you're doing or if anyone can help.

    SMBP

  9. #9
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    Re: 'Could Not Start' message (XP w/ SP1)

    Ralph--

    Now that you're blaster free and the lights are on in the NYC area, how did you make out with your e machine--hopefully okay?

    SMBP

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