Very often (around once or twice a month) when i try to turn on my computer (Running windows XP proffesional) i get a error message while windows is loading saying:"Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:


(I get this error even if i have not installed any software or made any hardware changes before)
Usually what i do is reinstall with a fresh copy of windows however sometimes i spend ages trying to fix the corrupted regisrty with what i would call a success rate of around 75%.

Even when i have reinstalled windows (or fixed the registry) i get the some error a few restarts later. Because of this error i have started to back-up my work very frequently but i find that i can often not back-up my files quickly enough!.

Originally i though it might be a dodgy copy of windows Home edition so i acquired a slightly dodgy copy of widows xp professional and got the same error. I was then told that it was most likely my harddisk and replaced it (twice - (with drives from two manufacturers)) - still go the same error.

My Pc's specs are:
processor: AMD XP 2200+
harddisk: western digital 120GB
Motherboard:MSI KT6 Delta
Video Card:nVidea 5600XT
(I have looked on the web if these components have a history of failure in this combination but could find nothing)

I realise that this windows error message is not uncommon but i have not heard of it happening so frequently.
If you need any more information please tell me. My email address is:<removed by moderator>
Any help would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance


Since you are experiencing this issue often as well as with more than one OS, I'm led to believe it's a hardware issue. You've replaced your hard drive, but have you attempted to make any changes regarding memory? You probably have more than one sick of memory in your system. I advise running your system for as long as it will go on one stick. Once it fails, switch to the next stick. If they both fail, I would then suggest you borrow (or buy then return) a working memory stick compatible with your system. If again the system fails, you know it's not the memory. I'm not sure it's the memory, but it would be my first inclination, and you've already ruled out the hard drive and OS.

The next thing to look at would be software. Followed by other I/O devices.



I removed your email address, because it is DaniWeb policy to keep all of the discussions here on the forum.

As for your problem, I would suggest that it is hardware related too. Then again, if dodgy = illegal software, you best go find a proper license key and remain legal.

You also mentioned backups... I make mine 3 times a week. You should keep your backup practice even if you do find the answer to this problem.


I had been advised that it may be my memory and ran memtest86. I let it run through twice, each time with no reported errors.
I have one 512MB stick of RAM - do you think it is worth trying a different one to see if the errors persists?

It is worth running a memory test for sure, and if the RAM tests OK then the next thing to suspect is the hard drive. Download the diagnostic software available from Western Digital website, run the tests and if they come up error free the best way forward is to use the Windows XP CD to completely wipe the system, delete existing drive partition(s) and create a new one(s) in its (their) place and do a clean install to start over.

Legality issues aside, if you're using a copied Windows CD it should make no difference to using a legitimately purchased one. Copying the Windows CD does not make it 'different'. On the other hand, anyone who has downloaded an .iso of an OS installation disk, risking viral infection, is a fool plain and simple.

Either way, get a legitimate OS installation!

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