Need to recover Windows XP - system32\config\system missing?

Discussion in 'Windows XP Installation and Setup' started by spotify95, May 5, 2017.

  1. spotify95


    May 5, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Apologies if this is in the wrong place.

    I have an issue with an XP computer (running Windows XP Media Center Edition 32 bit) that has just appeared.
    It is preventing me from booting the system.

    When I start it brings up the bit about windows not starting correctly, so I click "start windows normally" (or last known good configuration). As soon as this happens I get the following:

    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt
    Windows root\system32\config\system

    It then says something about using the XP CD-ROM and selecting "r" to open the recovery console.

    I do not have a Windows XP CD ROM (as everything is partition based) but I do have access to the recovery console. It says I can log into either C:\Windows or F:\MININT.
    Since I do not know how, or have not needed, to use the recovery console on XP before, I do not know how to progress further.

    This issue occurred due to too many power failures when I was trying to test a battery out (the battery is not the reason for the non-start, as it started with the new battery before the power got cut too many times).

    Any help would be appreciated.
    spotify95, May 5, 2017
  2. spotify95


    Dec 10, 2012
    Likes Received:
    boot into the recovery console and run checkdisk

    chkdsk c: /r where c is the drive that xp is on or whatever drive letter your xp is on

    when you open recovery console use the numbers on top of the keyboard and choose 1 which should be xp then press enter
    it will ask for admin password if you do not have an administrative password just hit enter

    then type chkdsk C: /r and press enter, there is a space between the k and C and between the semicolon and the forward slash.

    above google search page has lots of info on using the recovery console, read thru a few of them

    there is also a reg set to bypass the request for an admin password:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Setup\RecoveryConsole]

    you can also have the SET command to use various characters in the recovery console but that has to be set from within xp so until you can boot to xp you do not need this at this time.

    run checkdisk at least twice or until no errors are found and do not worry about fluctuating percentages this is normal, and it depends on the size of your drive but it can take awhile.
    Elizabeth23, May 6, 2017
    priscus likes this.
  3. spotify95

    Bill Power

    Apr 24, 2017
    Likes Received:
    If you care to PM me I think I have a copy of thie media centre disk
    Bill Power, May 6, 2017
    towgers likes this.
  4. spotify95


    Jun 5, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Ashland, PA
    I have repair discs. They aren't full install discs. Just repair discs, so they wont allow any kind of illegal installation. It simply re-adds accidentally deleted files. Message me if you need a copy... I believe I have one for MCE.
    towgers, May 7, 2017
    j.todd likes this.
  5. spotify95


    May 5, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for the offers everyone, I managed to get the system back up and running by running the check disk utility and it recovered the OS install. So must have been something on the disk.

    Though @Bill Power, if you still have the OS discs, that would be great as I need to reinstall the OS at some point in the future and I don't have the discs, just a partition
    spotify95, Mar 24, 2018
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