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I'm using Windows XP Pro SP2. My primary hard drive's SMART system tipped me off that failure was near, so I bought a new Western Digital, partitioned, formated, and mirrored my old failing drive to the new one. When I swapped the drives, it brought up a boot screen with the option of "Windows (default)" or "Windows (default)". I went with the second one because that's what was highlighted, and everything seemed to load exactly how it did on the previous drive. So my thought was to load MSConfig to check out the boot.ini. When I type msconfig into Run, nothing happens, or it comes up for a split-second then disappears, I can't tell. I went to C:\Windows\Pchealth\helpctr\binaries to run msconfig from there, same thing. I tried running it from a DOS prompt, same thing. I tried copying msconfig to a new location and running it from there, same thing. Then I went to Google and found that there are a viruses and trojans that will disable msconfig, regedit, ctrl-alt-del, notepad, and sysedit. Everything works fine except msconfig. Spybot, Ad-Aware, and Symantec Corporate Edition all come back clean. I can check my startup programs through Spybot and nothing looks unusual. Processes look normal. So then I downloaded a replacement for msconfig. I went back to the binaries folder and renamed the old msconfig as backup. Before I got a chance to unzip the replacement msconfig, something (Windows?) put a new copy of msconfig into the folder. As a test, I deleted the new one. Two seconds later, it came right back. The replacement msconfig (from the zip) also doesn't run if it's in a different folder than binaries.

Can anyone shed some light on this? I'm not too worried about the bootup options at this point. The MSConfig has me worried though. I don't know if I have malware or a corrupt system, but neither is good. Three things I haven't tried yet: safe mode, the other Windows (default) boot, or putting the old HDD back in to see if this related to swapping drives or if it was preexisting.

[Greg]

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Last Post by Anchoman
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Hi Poo706

I have exactly the same problem after mirroring to a new c: drive etc. Did you ever find a solution, and if so what was it? Please say you didn't have to rebuild XP.

Thanks

Anchoman

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Try this fix from Kelly's Korner:

Extract a New Copy of Msconfig.exe

Open a command prompt window. Insert your XP CD into the drive and enter the following command:

EXPAND -R X:\I386\MSCONFIG.EX_Z:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\BINARIES

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Thanks hughv

I really appreciate your input. I will try your solution this evening and report how it goes.

Best wishes

Anchoman

Try this fix from Kelly's Korner:

Extract a New Copy of Msconfig.exe

Open a command prompt window. Insert your XP CD into the drive and enter the following command:

EXPAND -R X:\I386\MSCONFIG.EX_Z:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\BINARIES

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Sorry hughv

This did not help.

Thanks for trying

Anchoman

Try this fix from Kelly's Korner:

Extract a New Copy of Msconfig.exe

Open a command prompt window. Insert your XP CD into the drive and enter the following command:

EXPAND -R X:\I386\MSCONFIG.EX_Z:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\BINARIES

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In case you copy / pasted hughv's example, it's not correct; there should be a space between "EX_" and "Z:", and X and Z should actually be the drive letters on the source and destination.

I also wonder if you might have better luck doing this from recovery console.

As for the 'magic reappearing' when you try to rename / delete the bad msconfig, that's some stupid thing Windows does in certain 'special' folders, like \windows\system32 (which makes it impossible to delete minesweeper / solitaire / etc. because for whatever reason that's where they're located :icon_evil: )

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Windows File Protection is what is copying in a replacement msconfig.exe as soon as you delete or rename or modify the original.
The source file is in system32\dllcache.
Not all system32 files are guarded by this protection, just those listed in a library or with extensions exe, sys ocx, dll.. and a few others... The command sfc involves it in its own check; sfc will also copy in from the CD any files missing or damaged in the cache.
If after running sfc /scannow msconfig still will not work, then go Tools, Folder options, View and select Show hidden files and folders, and uncheck Hide protected op sys files. Now navigate to system32\dllcache\msconfig.exe - dclick it; does it open?
Rehide that stuff when you are finished...

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Thank you to all of you for your help. My system is now working perfectly and I've learned a lot in the process.

All the best

Anchoman

Windows File Protection is what is copying in a replacement msconfig.exe as soon as you delete or rename or modify the original.
The source file is in system32\dllcache.
Not all system32 files are guarded by this protection, just those listed in a library or with extensions exe, sys ocx, dll.. and a few others... The command sfc involves it in its own check; sfc will also copy in from the CD any files missing or damaged in the cache.
If after running sfc /scannow msconfig still will not work, then go Tools, Folder options, View and select Show hidden files and folders, and uncheck Hide protected op sys files. Now navigate to system32\dllcache\msconfig.exe - dclick it; does it open?
Rehide that stuff when you are finished...

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