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Windows cannot start because....


Alex_computer
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Ok, so I am working on this one laptop that has Windows XP. When I originally got it, it was having the "Windows cannot start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \Windows\System32\Config\System."

So I then reformatted the machine and got everything running again. So I shut it down, and then turn it back on again and then bang, same message. So I thought ok, freaky coincidence, and so I reformatted again. However, this will be the third time that this error has come up after 2 reformats!

What on earth could cause this to happen 3 times in a row and survive 2 reformats?

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I'm deleting the partition, and then allowing the installer to format and create a new one.

Another thijng that I have noticed, is that before you reboot and it stops working, a message pops up on the startup saying that a program or something caused an issue, so Windows replaced a registry hive. I don't know what might be replacing it since they are fresh installs.

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hmmm ...

do you have a known good "spare" HD that you can pop into place and then do a full install (including a formatting of the drive as part of the install procedure) ?

as an option , you can use killdisk to completely wipe the test drive first ... there is another thread in this section that mentions killdisk .

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ahhh ... good that you found the cause in theory . the absolute proof is after you install the ram . :lol:

you might want to consider a full boat of ram for your machine ...

it will address 2 gigs . grab 2 sticks in the link that E360 provided .

you will notice a difference in your machine .

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I looked up your model. It uses DDR2 667MHz (666 technically). I filtered the results on Newegg for the specs of your RAM for a single 1GB stick. The results can be found here.

I personally like Kingston myself as it has been very reliable for me in the past. Newegg has this one for $18.99 with free shipping.

Kingston seems pretty good. :P Never had a problem since I upgraded the ram from 2GB to 4GB. :P I can't remember what the second was, but I think it started with a Q.:P

Edit: Think it's Qimonda. Thanks SPECCY. :lol:

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ahhh ... good that you found the cause in theory . the absolute proof is after you install the ram . :lol:

Actually, all you have to do to verify it is pull the bad gig (assuming this machine has 2GB). If the machine works without errors on a single stick, including passing all memory tests, then you trade sticks and the other one has errors and fails tests, you know what the problem is and which stick is the cause.

If you're a tech you may also have spare RAM around for testing purposes that you can use to swap out and see if that corrects the issues as well.

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It's a customer's machine, so that is all they want and plus they are running Windows XP.

Trust me if it was my machine, then I would have atleast 3GB.

maybe i misread the specs at the link provided or there is an error in the specs they present .

the blurb sheet mentions/alludes to that it supports 2 gigs of ram total .

yeah man ... customers and friends .

at least with a customer , when they don't quite "get it" , ya don't feel so bad .

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