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corrupt Config/System and OEM XP

Discussion in 'Software' started by Fanatical, Jun 18, 2007.

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  1. Fanatical

    Fanatical Byte Poster

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    I have a friend at work who has a laptop with an OEM version of XP on it. The other day he got an error on boot saying that the Config/System file was corrupt or missing.

    To fix this I would have assumed that the recovery console would have been the answer but having read around a bit it seems that the fixes for his problem need an XP boot CD which being an OEM OS he doesn't have. also no boot disks as no floppy drive.

    Is there a way to repair the registry without a boot CD and the recovery console? Is there a way to use the chkdsk command other than throught the RC? Are we talking re-install of windows and loss of all data?
     
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  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Depends on the laptop.

    With some makes the recovery CD has options to not damage the data when the recovery is done.

    It is *possible* that the recovery console doesn't need the XP disk - it depends on how the laptop was setup.

    What is the exact error message?

    If you can boot the laptop from a CD then if it is just a boot.ini error then booting it with something like a Bart-PE disk will enable you to correct it.

    Hrary.
     
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  3. Fanatical

    Fanatical Byte Poster

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    trouble is he doesn't have the windows installation CD so he doesn't have access to the windows files needed for the PE CD unless you can get them off a recovery CD?
     
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  4. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Take a look here for further information on the Bart disc.
     
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  5. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    That error is a registry curruption error..

    If the computer system state has ever been backed up, there will be a backup of the config hive on the hard drive.. if so, you can take the drive out, put it in another computer and copy the the backup to the correct location.

    Also, a CHKDSK /R might help fix this.
     
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  6. Fanatical

    Fanatical Byte Poster

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    If the drive won't boot how can I run CHKDSK if the recovery console hasn't be loaded?
     
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  7. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    You can run it from BARTPE CD

    boot from the CD :)
     
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  8. Fanatical

    Fanatical Byte Poster

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    I read the info page on bartPE and saw this....

    since I have no XP setup/instalation CD surely I can't actually make the disk?
     
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  9. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    Jeez, buy an OEM XP and reformat! :rolleyes:
     
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  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    How he meant to buy an OEM CD? Probably will need to buy some hardware at the same time.

    Fanatical, can you get access to any Windows XP CD? You just need to use the recovery console.
     
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  11. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    Exactly! Get it with any bit of laptop hardware. Check out Ebuyer, Dabs, Komplett...

    From personal experience that is not guaranteed to work, and if it does it won't be as stable a clean install.
     
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  12. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    There are plenty of options to try with recovery console which could get the laptop sorted.

    Failing that, format and start over 8)
     
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  13. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    Why waste time with what might work when you know what would work? Maybe it's just me. :blink
     
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  14. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Using the recovery console only takes a few minutes whereas a format can take hours if you have to hunt for drivers and reinstall software.
     
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  15. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Having OS discs, is like having tools of the trade. If you are serious about getting into IT, you will need copys of everything for troubleshooting purposes. personally i have a licenced copy of every OS since DOS 6.22. I have just bought and paid for Vista Ultimate because it's not in the action pack.

    You can copy Windows discs, because the discs themselves are not what the end user licences covers. It is the product key that the licence is tied to not the actual CD.
     
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  16. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    So you would rather waste days on a solution that might work, over a few hours on one that would? :dry
     
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  17. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I would use the recovery console as the error message noted looks like it could be fixed.

    Its up to you mate, if you want to flatten the whole thing and reinstall all the software then yes that could be done. Before you start, do you have all the disks? Did you backup all the contacts in Outlook Express? Do you know the username and password for the POP3 account? Probably not.

    Furthermore if you got the same error message on a live server would you format the whole thing and reinstall? :blink
     
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  18. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    Of course there are always cases where recovery would be more convenient than a reinstall. But in deciding which to implement you have to answer a number of questions, including:

    1. Do you understand what the problem is?
    2. When is the recovery console best to use? For example, you cannot use it for a near totally trashed OS?
    3. Is the recovery console likely to fix the problem at hand? In using the recovery console it could mean that you have to reinstall drivers anyway because it attempts to roll back the operating system to a functional state, and this often involves the removal of drivers.
    4. Are there alternatives to the recovery console that would leave the system in a healthier state in the longer term?

    The recovery console is not a blanket solution to a stubborn OS problem - that's why there is the option of a reinstall! Secondly, isn't the recovery console there to restore the system to a functional state? That is, a temporary solution that is implemented until the problem is properly resolved? This is not the same as a completely stable system.

    Lastly, here we are not dealing with a server we are dealing with a laptop, so the circumstances are different.
     
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  19. Fanatical

    Fanatical Byte Poster

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    1. Yes, I understand what a corrupt registry is.
    2. The Os isn't trashed as far as i can tell but since I've not been able to get my hands on it thats not 100%. It worked fine before this problem.
    3. Yes the RC has a reasonable chance of fixing according to people here and other sources.
    4. since the guy hasn't backed up any files from the laptop a blanket re-install is not the prefered option. If I can get the system stable enough to get into the drive and transfer the files off of it then a re-intsall becomes a possibility after that. I also don't have another laptop to attach the drive into just to transfer the data or i would do that instead....

    I appreciate your trying to help but in this case your solution does not cover what I need to fix the error for the user in question. I have also told him he's a wally for not backing up his personal data and system files.

    Also to Bluerinse, I'm completely serious about IT and believe me if I had the cash to go and get licensed copies of Windows i'd have done it by now! I suppose I could download an copy for the purpose of this fix but wouldn't that be illegal?
     
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  20. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    Mathematix,

    I used to work for an OEM and I know that there's two types of "OEM media:" 1) Pre-installed OS by the OEM or 2) OEM edition of the OS.

    The first kind REQUIRES the "recovery CDs" because things like drivers are pre-installed into the recovery CDs. The product key code on the Microsoft Certificate of Authenticity is also tied to the specific OS and the specific OEM.

    The second kind also REQUIRES the media. However, the fortunate thing is, you could use your friend's "OEM edition" media to reinstall and use the OEM edition product key code. Unfortunately, the OEM edition does NOT include drivers for critical things like the NIC in order to download the rest of the drivers.

    The "good ol' "reformat" advice may be applicable to OSes like Windows 2000 and earlier, but not for Windows XP due to the activation factor. Also, due to the two editions of "OEM media" and corresponding product key code families, the solution isn't as simple as "just buy an OEM XP."
     
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