I have two related problems that I really need help with:

Problem 1

Somehow my registry in Windows XP Pro SP2 got corrupted - it's giving me the following message:

"Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM"

So I've gone and done the steps as in:


Except after getting out of the recovery console in Part 1 and rebooting the computer into safe mode, the computer halts with the same message.

I've determined based on chkdsk that the system file was corrupted but by repairing it with chkdsk, it deletes the file and replacing it with the "repair" version of it doesn't fix it. I've even replaced the registry with the files found in the "System Volume Information" directory and it doesn't work either.

I've even tried a repair install by trying rebooting the computer and reinstalling from the CDROM - I'm not given a choice to reinstall Windows. And boot.ini is fine.

Plus since I had Norton Goback 4 installed, it was the first thing I tried though I guess I should have allocated it a lot more space. Anyhow the oldest snapshot it had did not work which was just prior to the problem.

Fixing this problem would be most ideal rather than having to deal with Problem 2.

Problem 2

So I decided to bypass it by getting another Serial ATA hard drive (Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 160G) and connecting it to my NF7-S2.0 motherboard so at least I can backup my data. So I disconnect the old hard drive (Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 80G), installed Windows XP on the new hard drive, reconnected the old hard drive but Windows XP can't seem to fully add the new hard drive.

Windows XP Pro SP2 can find it in that it's added to the Device Manager and the hard drive is located under Disk Management - both drives are viewed as healthy. The old hard drive is shown as active. I even updated the BIOS and Serial ATA BIOS driver (Silicon Image 3112) to the latest versions.

But I still have no way of accessing data off the old hard drive and seeing if I can fix the registry. I'm thinking maybe because Norton Goback 4 is on the old hard drive, it might be messing things up but I'm not tempted to remove it since it's my only way of undoing any changes I make for Problem 1.

I do not wish to lose the data on this drive and I know it's still intact given I can access it via the recovery console.

Can anyone help for either problem?

12 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by bobbyraw

It is the perfect situation to use a bootable CD of Knoppix.

It will autodetect your SATA and let you get the data off your old system.

Do not write to an NTFS system.

Make a fat 32 partition or just burn the data to a cd or dvd with the Knoppix CD.

If you intend to burn your data it works better if you have a second cd drive to boot Knoppix so you dont need to swap the cd and try to burnetc.

Quick and easy,


i use a toshiba dynabook satelite j10. my system can no go beyond the loading page. once it starts loading, it suddenly freezes and a blue screen comes with a message that it is dumping files after sometime, it restarts and this goes on until the laptop is put off manually. i have been advised to get a new hard drive, will this solve the problem?


your registry is not the problem. the HDD is. the registry error you are getting is because that reg key is located on a dying or dead sector of the HDD. keep both HDD in the PC and boot with a live CD. you can build your own with BartPE, or use one of the various linux/Ubuntu or active@boot. then transfer your files to the ne hard drive. you might get some errors if file that are being transfered are located in the bad sector. when the file transfer is completed. use the same live cd to partition and reformat the hard driver this will truely let you know how badly damaged the drive is. base on the time it takes to format or partition.

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