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Thread: Windows Cannot Start

  1. #1
    Triple Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Question Windows Cannot Start

    I get this error message:
    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
    The problem is I don't have a Windows CD and therefore I can't run the Recovery Console. Is there any other solution?

    How do I run Windows Recovery? I try pressing F8 when the boot screen appears but it doesn't seem to do anything.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    Windows outlines exactly how to fix this.

    You can use the windows floppies to access the recovery console:
    Accessing the Recovery Console Without a Windows CD

    Computer vendors very often do not provide a Windows disk with their systems. Instead they provide a Restore disk or just a hidden restore partition. They may provide a way to get into the Recovery Console but computer owners will have to check their particular setup. If, as is likely, the Recovery Console is missing there is another way to obtain it.

    Microsoft provides software for creating a set of six diskettes for reinstalling Windows XP for those with no bootable CD.The details are here. It doesn't seem to be widely known but these disks also contain the Recovery Console. Thus creating this set of diskettes will give those without a Windows CD (but with a floppy drive) the option of using the Recovery Console. It is tedious; you have to wait while the system slogs through the setup process and loads all six disks but if it saves your system it will be worth it. Once you get to the Welcome Screen. the procedure is the same as with that with a CD described above.

    If you have neither a Windows XP CD nor a floppy drive, there are methods for placing floppy disk images on a bootable CD. One easy way to create a bootable CD containing the Recovery Console from the Microsoft file mentioned above has been provided by Dean Adams and can be downloaded at this link.

    That should get you going in the right direction. You're probably gonna want to pick up a windows disk soon (just a precaution).

    Check this link:;en-us;Q310994

    For access to the bootable floppy files that get you into the recovery console.

    Then follow the instructions here:

    to fix the issue.

  3. #3
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Watching Your every move...
    Pretty good article here also.

  4. #4
    Triple Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Thanks guys.

  5. #5
    Triple Platinum Member Curio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Copy the backup from the REPAIR folder into the CONFIG folder this will usually get you booted, of course you will need some way of doing this - BartPE from is what I use to create a sooperdooper bootable windows live cd. For those with less patience there is a pre-made iso called something like Turk182 recovery disk roaming wild in the interweb.
    I'm using Windows 7 - you got a problem with that?

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