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Last week on a restart I received a message that said:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-Rom. Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair."

Because this is a laptop leased and purchased through a university, I don't possess the setup CD.

Is there any way to boot up and at least recover my files before reimaging? I tried getting a copy of the XP Setup CD and they told me they do not provide them.

Thanks a lot for any help.

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Last Post by DMR
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I'm afraid you cant do it without a windows cd .... the only other possibility is that if you have a windows xp installation files ( i386 folder ) on your hard drive.

You'll have to get a copy of your windows.

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Identify the make and model of your laptop. Visit the manufacturer website and check their support section for information about your particular laptop. There will possibly be information provided there which tells you haw to restore system files, reapair Windows etc on that laptop.

Many laptops have the system and installation files stored on 'hidden' partitions on the hard drive and/or need special keypresses at startup to access them.

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