Monday, May 27, 2013

PC Repair: File missing or corrupt: \windows\system32\config\system

Today I'm going to discuss a problem that unfortunately occurs in many computers, (especially those belonging to people who do not take proper care in the upkeep of their machines).  Take my oldest daughter for example:

A few days ago she called me to say that her computer, (which I built a couple of years ago), had crashed. Every time she tried to boot it up she was getting a message "windows\system32\config\system is corrupted or missing". She tried to restart he computer in safe mode and got the same message.

This can happen to any computer when the the main hard drive where Widows is installed, fails whether because of a bad or corrupted sector where he boot files are stored or by corrupted files in the registry. In such case the computer will not boot even in safe mode and most of the time will not respond even if you select the choice "last time the computer operated well". Generally speaking these two problems are  mostly the cause for the crash.

If you have the original Windows disk that installed the OS in your computer it its relatively simple to repair the problem:

-Go to your BIOS and make sure that your DVD drive is selected as the boot priority.
-Insert your Windows disk, start the computer again and select "repair my computer or a similar message", let it run and in most cases the problem will be solved.

HOWEVER this only works if you have the original Windows disk or if you were smart enough to create a repair disk in the first place along with an image of your hard drive created in an external drive.

Of course, my daughter could not find the Windows disk I had given her when I built the computer, nor did she know where the repair disk was. ( I had also created and given her that disk).

If  your situation is similar to my daughter's, you are in trouble friend. What can you do ? call Microsoft and get a new disk? (costs money and takes time), you might be able to get personal assistance (costs a lot of money), or if you are a little handy with the innards of your computer, you might be able to resolve the problem.

In order to make this repair you must have access to another computer, yours or a friend's.

Here is what I did:

-Opened the computer and pulled out the hard drive. (make sure all power is disconnected and be careful with the power wires and SATA or PATA connection wires between the HD and computer.

-Now open the other computer, (yours or your friend's if he allows you, he might even be able to help !) and install your damaged HD in an available slot, connect the power and SATA wires.

-Close the computer and boot.

-After the computer is operating, click "start/computer".

-Your damaged HD, (if it is not completely shot...) will show in the explorer window, possibly as driver D or some other letter.

-Click on it and it will open showing all the folders and files it contains. HERE I SUGGEST THAT BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, COPY ALL YOUR IMPORTANT FILES AND FOLDERS TO A HI CAPACITY FLASH DRIVE OR AN EXTERNAL DRIVE !! This is important because if everything else fails, you have recovered all your important files.

-Now that you have saved all your important files, we will try to repair your damaged HD:

Right click the drive letter and select the last choice in the window that opens: "properties"

Select the tab "Tools" and under "error checking" click the tab "check now".

A small window opens with 2 choice boxes: "automatically fix file system errors" and "scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors".

The first box is normally already checked. Click the "start" tab on the bottom of the window.

Let the system run, it may take a while. When it  finishes running check the second box "scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" and then click the start tab again. Let it run.

When it  finishes running you are done. The damaged HD should now be repaired. !!!

Stop your friend's computer, open it, pull your HD out, re-install it in your computer, restart your computer and VOILA you should be back in business.

Just one word of advice, it is possible that when you restart your computer a message saying that "the computer had not been properly shut down" will show up. In that case either select "start computer normally" or "last time computer was operating well".

I understand these steps can be a little scary for some of you. Hey, do it you'll learn a lot and will be very proud of your new "tech" capabilities just learned.


George Freire

1 comment:

summer lyra miles said...

I have the same problem before, there are some missing file in my computer. Glad that you shared this post. I can relate.

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