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  1. #1
    Manic Maverick's Avatar
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    Recovering System File

    My computer (running Windows XP Pro) decided to shit on me again.

    Sometime last week, when turning on my computer, I got the message:

    "Windows could not start because the following fucking file is missing or corrupt, slut: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM"

    After punching several infants, I read on and found out that I could use the XP disc to repair the file. Sweet! But...I didn't have it. So I called up a family friend and he said he could get the disc to me the next day. So I waited, and...no disc. I waited another day, and...no disc. But, after a week's time I finally got the disc. I was happy, ecstatic. Finally, I could continue working and have money again! Hopefully, since he gave me XP Home and not XP Pro...........!?

    When consulting a website for help with recovering the System file, I was told to copy the file from the disc to the computer. When attempting this, I got the message:

    "The system could not find the file specified, you little bitch!"

    What the fuck. How does this make sense? The file is on the disc. So the file gets copied to the computer. Is that so hard? Apparently.

    So, my main question: Does this have to do with the disc being Home and not Pro? If not, what the fuck?

  2. #2
    SchildConstruct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manic Maverick View Post
    What the fuck. How does this make sense? The file is on the disc. So the file gets copied to the computer. Is that so hard? Apparently.
    Your file system is messed up. This can happen in loads of ways, but if a file cannot be found, it's usually because the database allowing an OS to locate a file is damaged, meaning that the OS literally misplaced the file.

    That's why Windows Setup usually offers a Repair Installation option.

    So, my main question: Does this have to do with the disc being Home and not Pro? If not, what the fuck?
    Yes, it does. Vista and Windows 7 has all Windows variants on one disc (Win 7 even the 32 bit and 64 bit flavors), so that any Vista or Windows 7 disc can be used to install any Windows Vista / 7 variant.

    However, this is *not* the case with Windows XP. In such a case, not even a repair install will work (this division is mostly artificial, but not completely, so tricking a repair install won't work perfectly, either).

  3. #3
    Manic Maverick's Avatar
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    Great job on that, Microsoft. Least they learned their lesson...

    Well, guess I'll be needing a Pro disc then. Thanks for the help, Schild! I would marry you if I weren't a heterosexual male.

    I also find it hilarious that I can't find shit when searching for computer problems, but most of my questions get answered when I come here. <3

  4. #4
    SchildConstruct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manic Maverick View Post
    Great job on that, Microsoft. Least they learned their lesson...
    Windows XP had to fit on a CD back in 2001. Windows Vista could use DVDs in 2006. Windows 7 will happily boot off of an external HD of any size in 2009.

    Progress, man, progress (storage capacities of new storage media, as well as the adoption of those media by consumers like you and me, as well as expanding capabilities of hardware).

    Well, guess I'll be needing a Pro disc then. Thanks for the help, Schild! I would marry you if I weren't a heterosexual male.
    So, I'm not good enough for you the way I am? You bastard. *sob*
    I also find it hilarious that I can't find shit when searching for computer problems, but most of my questions get answered when I come here. <3
    The difficulty is in knowing which question to ask (or what search query Google wants to have). And if you don't know a bit about computers (or your gadget/OS/whatever), that is doomed to failure. :/

  5. #5
    Mighty Hatman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchildConstruct View Post
    So, I'm not good enough for you the way I am? You bastard. *sob*
    Don't worry Schild, you're good enough for me. Every time I talk to the German exchange student in school I think of you.

  6. #6
    SchildConstruct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the guy with the hat View Post
    Don't worry Schild, you're good enough for me. Every time I talk to the German exchange student in school I think of you.
    Well, you can't afford me. So there.

  7. #7
    Mighty Hatman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchildConstruct View Post
    Well, you can't afford me. So there.
    With the way the currency over here is going, I think I never will.

  8. #8
    Manic Maverick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchildConstruct View Post
    The difficulty is in knowing which question to ask (or what search query Google wants to have). And if you don't know a bit about computers (or your gadget/OS/whatever), that is doomed to failure. :/
    Ah, true. Though, thankfully I know more about computers than the average person, otherwise I'd be completely lost and paying someone to fix it. XD

  9. #9
    Manic Maverick's Avatar
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    So apparently, since I'm using the version of XP that was supplied to me by the dudes that originally set up my computer, using the XP disc won't work with what I need to do.

    Right now I'm trying to backup the important files on my computer so I can do what I need to the computer without anything getting lost. I know it's possible to copy files from the computer to removable media (I enabled that function with the SET command), but can the files be copied to my external harddrive through the command prompt? When I turn the harddrive on, even after waiting a while, the computer doesn't read it. Nor does it read my flash drive/mp3 player. It only notices C:, A: (floppy), and D: (DVD drive). Nothing else.

    As usual I ask: What the fuck?

    Something else: Can System Restore be run through the command prompt? I doubt it, but I'm asking anyway.

  10. #10
    SchildConstruct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manic Maverick View Post
    Right now I'm trying to backup the important files on my computer so I can do what I need to the computer without anything getting lost. I know it's possible to copy files from the computer to removable media (I enabled that function with the SET command), but can the files be copied to my external harddrive through the command prompt?
    Depends on the command prompt. If it is the XP recovery console, then no, you cannot, since DOS doesn't (and will never ever, since it's deader than disco) "speak" USB.

    Head to the following link to find out how you can still recover files from a non-usable OS: When OSes crash and burn - Or: Quick file recovery

    Something else: Can System Restore be run through the command prompt? I doubt it, but I'm asking anyway.
    Googling "system restore command line" unearthes this: How to Start the System Restore Tool from a Command Prompt.

    Mind, this will not, at all, guarantee that your system will be bootable again. System Restore only saves system files that were changed, and if the borked up file never was changed, it won't be recoverable. Nor can System Restore restore files selectively, like a good backup tool can: You lose *all* changes since the last system restore, including driver updates and security updates.

  11. #11
    Manic Maverick's Avatar
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    Shit, totally forgot about the Ubuntu bit. Not that I knew what to do, I just knew it could help in some way. Anyway, thanks again! Much appreciated. After I backup my crap I'll try this other thingy here and see if it works. Goddamn technology and its technologyness being all technology-like.

  12. #12
    Aerox
    Sounds like you were running McAfee.

    They fucked up, flagged a critical system file as a hazard, and took down a shitton of XP computers.

    http://rcpmag.com/articles/2010/04/2...ws-xp-pcs.aspx

  13. #13
    Manic Maverick's Avatar
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    Hmmm, says there that it happened on the 21st. So that definitely wasn't what happened; my computer got owned sometime last week. XD However, I do have McAfee. I never use it though.

  14. #14
    SchildConstruct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manic Maverick View Post
    Shit, totally forgot about the Ubuntu bit. Not that I knew what to do, I just knew it could help in some way. Anyway, thanks again! Much appreciated.
    You are quite welcome.
    After I backup my crap I'll try this other thingy here and see if it works. Goddamn technology and its technologyness being all technology-like.
    That's why I like my iPod: It Just Works.

    Also: You might want to consider an upgrade to Windows 7, since it has amazing self-healing capabilities (expanded upon Vista's, alongside loads of usability improvements and fixes), including an automated rescue system that kicks off at boot, and does the best it can to recover the OS without you having to provide too much input, if any.

  15. #15
    Manic Maverick's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm seriously considering an upgrade. After nearly two weeks of this crap I'm realizing that, while XP might be stable, if it does fuck up you're screwed.

  16. #16
    Manic Maverick's Avatar
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    This shit seriously never fucking ends.

    I can't seem to access the My Documents folder. When booting through Ubuntu, it and some other folders don't even show up. I can't even find the files through a search. I went back into the command console and saw My Documents in the list of folders, but when I tried to get into it, it said the path wasn't understood or something like that. While I couldn't see a lot of the folders (like Desktop) in Ubuntu, I could see them in the command console. But the only one I can't get to is My Documents, the folder with all of my fucking shit in it.

    I say again, what the fuck?

  17. #17
    SchildConstruct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manic Maverick View Post
    This shit seriously never fucking ends.

    I can't seem to access the My Documents folder. When booting through Ubuntu, it and some other folders don't even show up. I can't even find the files through a search. I went back into the command console and saw My Documents in the list of folders, but when I tried to get into it, it said the path wasn't understood or something like that. While I couldn't see a lot of the folders (like Desktop) in Ubuntu, I could see them in the command console. But the only one I can't get to is My Documents, the folder with all of my fucking shit in it.

    I say again, what the fuck?
    Sounds like the filesystem is messed up (see my very first post). Boot into a Windows XP recovery console, and run chkdsk C: /r (this checks for errors in the filesystem and tries to fix them, as well as for bad sectors on your HD. This *will* take a while to complete), and see if anything can be fixed (with luck, your XP might even be bootable again!).

    If that doesn't help, and you don't have a backup of the files in My Documents, you are SOL, short of paying for a professional recovery service. If you feel up to it, you could try file recovery software, but the chances aren't too good with that, either. At least not with affordable software.

  18. #18
    Manic Maverick's Avatar
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    Hmmmm...chkdsk C: /r. Okay, cool. I'll try that out now. Grazie!

  19. #19
    Manic Maverick's Avatar
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    Righto, so I'm good here.

    I re-installed Windows XP (Ultimate). Surprisingly my programmes are still here. It took a while to figure out the make and model of my computer so I could get the correct network driver, but I finally got it and proceeded to get the other drivers. Tomorrow I'll put the stuff I backed up onto the computer again and I'll be good to go.

    Thanks again for the help! Back in business.

  20. #20
    SchildConstruct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manic Maverick View Post
    Righto, so I'm good here.
    \o/

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