Hi All,

I am having a problem while trying to boot & repair my windows XP installation.

i have both linux and windows xp running on my pc. a few days back i switched off the power to the pc before it was compeletly shutdown. later when i tried to run Xp i got the message

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

I thought i can fix it from recovery console by booting from the xp setup cd. i set the cd drive as first as the first boot device from the bios and restarted the system. It first said "press any key to boot from cd" which i did. then it said something like "setup is checking your hardware configuration" and then a blank black screen came up which then stayed like that.

i can still boot and use linux; so i think only perhaps only the mbr is corrupt.

Please suggest what i can do.

Thanks in Advance

If you can't use recovery console, I'd boot to Linux and try to edit the boot loader or boot.ini
This may help:

Thanks for the reply, hughv. But I fear it wont help me now. I day i posted the message i tried to boot to linux but i was not able to do so. It showed me black screen with "grub loadiing stage2", then some error message and then the grub command console. I tried some help commands and tried to figure out how i can go back its gui mode. But no luck there and i gave up.

I thought of using a windows 2000 server cd to boot and i was able to boot using it. I went to its recovery console and used fixmbr (the linux and windows installation is dispensable for me but not the data in other drives). the fixmbr also failed to fix boot problems.

So i finally decided to install windows 2000 on c drive. But then the setup process said it is not able to format the c: drive saying it might be damaged. I tried chkdsk from the recovery console , it said that the drive has some unrecoverable problem.

SO it seems that the harddisk is damaged with bad sectors(not sure though). Is buying a new disk the only solution left or is possible to repartition the c drive with the bad sectors removed and then install a fresh windows. Or can windows be installed to a drive other than c:.


Are you able to boot into Safe Mode? Pressing F8 repeatedly at startup.

If the files are important, stop trying to use the drive.
I'd get another drive and install to it (Windows can be installed on any drive letter).
It seems odd that you can boot to a 2K CD but not an XP CD-that doesn't make any sense.
It might be a good idea to check for dust/dirt and reseat all your cards/memory.
Once you have a new OS installed you can try to get into the old drive.

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