Evening Peeps,

My mate's PC has blitzed itself and won't load anything. Iv'e tried using his own XP Home Edition startup CD but won't read it, tried loading XP startup floppy disk made from my PC and nothing. Even tried loading a new XP home edition downloaded from the web (full version that works on my PC) but nothing.

Error messages I had were "drive image special partition was not found" and "windows\system32\config\system".

Today I tried loading 6 floppy boot disks for XP home, downloaded from Microsoft. Everything going OK until halfway through disk 3 when loading stopped and message "setupreg.hiv could not be loaded"

Error code 4096

Any help would be welcomed


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Floppies are volatile, so it's likely that the drive or floppy disk failed while reading disk 3 or it was written incorrectly when the disks were originally being created. At any rate, it's more of a problem that you can't boot the CD. Hit whatever key it is that gets you into system setup/BIOS (F1, F2, F12, DEL, etc). Make sure that CD-ROM is ahead of HDD and floppy in the boot order.

Getting an error regarding "C:\windows\system32\config\system" means that the system hive has been damaged. There is a way to replace the SYSTEM hive using files found in the System Volume Information folder (provided that your mate has not turned off System Restore) and I can show you how to do it, but first you have to be able to boot the XP CD so that you can get into recovery console. Once you can get into recovery console, I'll show you what to do.

Cheers DJ

I don't think he knows enough about IT to even know what system restore means. He's been having problems for a while and I found out he's been taking it back to factory settings using the XP recovery CD given to him when he bought the PC (Tiny, say no more). He's done this about 12 - 15 times and I'm thinking he's knackered his hard drive.

In such a scenario, I recommend a format and reinstall. Clean and fail safe.

Thanks for all your help people, I managed to format the hard drive and installed a new XP O/S for him, working fine. Turns out his kids have been using a Peer to Peer site and may have downloaded a virus.

Thanks again

Keep up the good work


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