September 19th, 2006, 19:36 PM
Help! New RAM Corrupted Win XP
This is my first post, but I've been lurking around for the last couple of weeks trying to find a solution to my problem- which is this:
I have a four year old Compaq Presario 5410CA (insert groan here) I know.. I know I've read the previous Compaq comments
40 gig HD
12 gig htz Celeron processor
Win XP Home SP2
256 meg SDRAM 133 meg htz upgradeable to 512 on a second SDRAM slot
... and that's where my tale begins. I recently bought animation software but the minimum memory required to run is 256megs- so I contacted COMPAQ to inquire about motherboard compatibility. Their reply was that as long as it was 256ROM card at 133 meg htz I should be ok. So I bought new RAM with what I thought was universal properties for most motherboards and installed the second RAM which started a "looping re-boot" and WIN XP wouldn't start. So I removed the new RAM and re-started Windows where I was warmly welcomed with a black screen and the following error message:
"the file \WINDOWS\system 32\config\system is missing or corrupted, please insert disk and select R to repair"
and THIS is where it gets really interesting. As you know, COMPAQ ships only the restore CD with a second D: partition on the hd to restore Windows in a catastrophic event. In BIOS, the hard drive and disk drives are present however I can't operate in DOS. I don't have a WIN XP CD just yet (which is also my second question below) and the only CD that allows me to do anything is the restore CD. When I insert the restore CD and hit F8 some program on the disk starts up and changes the D: drive to C: as primary and when I do a directory search on this C: drive it lists only the restore files of the smaller (former) D: partition. So my questions are as follows:
1) I can't access my true C: drive where Windows is located, is this a possible corruption or something COMPAQ has set up to prevent customers from accessing on their own? When I insert the restore CD + F8 to try starting in safe mode, my drivers are all listed (except for the \system\config) at this location:
the following error... multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS\system32\config\system is missing or corrupt...
2) What would happen if I tried booting with a WIN XP CD? My brother is lending me his this Saturday as his system was built (very smart choice I'm learning) and not factory kit. Would the WIN XP CD also have issues locating the OS?
3) Has there been any issue that you might know about if I were to slave this hard drive in another pc to rescue my programs and files? I'm afraid that COMPAQ may have locked up their pc's so that no-one can get access. The recovery CD lists all the replacement drivers, but COMPAQ has renamed them in 6 digit codes (softpaqs) so locating 1 simple driver requires a user to become Lara Croft.
Any help or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! If it helps, I can be on MSN to chat as I'm using a friend's computer at the moment.
September 19th, 2006, 22:37 PM
you need to follow the steps here
you can use boot discs to get up or any winxp cd.
download xp boots from here
you can slave the drive to any xp machine that is NTFS and copy the files.
best of luck
be sure to print out the help steps from microsoft.