XP not starting at bootup

  claluc 11:27 22 Aug 08
Locked

PC 2 years old,WIN XPSP2. Was online, system went into protection mode shutting down WIN, at bottom of screen “physical memory dump”with count up.
On restart bootup sequence ok, Beep ok, MOBO type recognised, all usual sequence but XP does not start, instead black screen with this message: WINDOWS COULD NOT START BECAUSE THE FOLLOWING FILE IS MISSING OR CORRUPT: C\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
YOU CAN ATTEMPT TO REPAIR THIS FILE BY STARTING WINDOWS SETUP USING THE ORIGINAL SETUP CD ROM. SELECT ‘r’ ON FIRST SCREEN TO START REPAIR

Have set system to boot from CD in Bios and gone through procedure.

Not used the -R- Recovery Console option but continued through as seen advised in other posts.

It stops on a screen showing PARTITION 1 (UNKNOWN) 149666MB (my HD is only supposed to be 120GB?)
OTHER DRIVE 8MB
(partition 1 highlighted) shows NO DISK IN THIS DRIVE

There is no sign of a previous XP installation to repair
Also: THIS PARTITION IS EITHER TOO FULL (Not true as I had over 70% free HD) OR CORRUPT OR FILE SYSTEM IS NOT RECOGNISED
PRESS ENTER TO LOAD WINDOWS
Only options available at bottom are ENTER – DELETE –EXIT

Seems like this is a non repairable problem, as if it didn’t find or recognise the previous installation of XP.

Could it have been a virus? I was running AVG Free latest version + Zone Alarm Firewall, nothing showed up, system just went suddently.

Or a memory problem? I recently upgraded from 512Mb to 1Gb but it has run ok for over a month, never a problem.

Is there a way to avoid a complete HD format + Win reload? I have files backup but not for e mail nor for lots of other data.

  Pamy 11:36 22 Aug 08

Go into recovery console option and when youi get to the promp type in CHKDSK/ P then enter

  claluc 11:42 22 Aug 08

Thanks, what should happen or should I do after that?
Am trying to get the most of suggestions/options now as when i get home I won't be able to log on this site until problem solved.

  Pamy 11:53 22 Aug 08

It should check and try to teplace the missing file. It will also check your disk out for bad sectors after it has finnished it may wll boot up or you will exit and reboot yourdelf. Hopefully all will be well again. NB! not the space after the / If you wish you can type in "help" and it will give you all the attributes available

  claluc 12:57 22 Aug 08

Thanks, will give it a try and see what happens.
Any other option if this one were to fail?

  Pamy 13:33 22 Aug 08

Yes, but concentrate on one thing at a time, come back with results and we can take it from there ( this forum that is)

  claluc 19:07 23 Aug 08

Solved.
Tried what suggested, it came out with a damaged disk report.Strange after only 2 years but guess can happen.
Bought new HDD & changed, now working fine.
Lost lots of data but at least am up & running again.
Backup is a must from now on.
Thanks a lot for your help, very appreciated.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:13 23 Aug 08

Put it back in.

run recovery console and try
fixmbr

you might get the drive back.

or connect as slave and use a recovery proram to try and retrieve your data.

Testdisc click here
Drive Rescue click here

  claluc 23:50 23 Aug 08

Will try but doubt will work, I did tests with case open and pc bery near, never heard it spinning or giving signs of life, looks tottally defunct to me.
Will also start a new thread as since reinstalling all my programs I have an annoying problem, nothing too serious but just a pain in the neck.

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