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  • Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

    My father's computer is running Windows XP SP3, and he was on the Internet this morning and got an error message telling him that the system32 config system file is missing or corrupt. Can this file be repaired without reformatting the hard drive?

  • #2
    Re: Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

    Can you describe the error message? Exactly what file is corrupt? From your description, I wonder if it was an advert on a website offering to "scan" your computer for "problems" while "accidentally" leaving malware behind.

    If on the other hand there is a problem with a corrupt file, then boot into the Recovery Console from the Windows CD and take it from there.
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

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    • #3
      Re: Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

      This is quite likely the fix from the Recovery Console that Gforce is referring to. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
      1 1 was a racehorse.
      2 2 was 1 2.
      1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
      2 2 1 1 2

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      • #4
        Re: Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

        Originally posted by Ahyee View Post
        My father's computer is running Windows XP SP3, and he was on the Internet this morning and got an error message telling him that the system32 config system file is missing or corrupt. Can this file be repaired without reformatting the hard drive?

        Sure can, with Malwarebytes....
        I would say that your first port of call would be to get a malware scanner (I highly recommend Malwarebytes) and run that on your computer a few times. I would also check AV updates and MS updates. My money is on this...

        But if Malwarebytes does not find anything,
        SFC should be able to check those files for you, I would also run a checkdisk on the drive to make sure its not damaged.

        To run SFC, simply open a command prombt (Start -> Run -> type CMD in the box, press Run) and Type "SFC /scannow" , Press Enter.

        SFC will check the Hash of your windows files with what its ment to be, and when it finds one thats not correct, it will tell you, then replace it. This will not damage your documents at all.

        If all of that fails.... come back later.

        Wofen
        Good to be back....

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        • #5
          Re: Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

          A good idea Wofen, but a bit hard to do since the operating system is not booting. eg system32 config system file is missing

          Booting off a bootable CD is not likely to be effective since Malwarebytes won't have a working Registry to scan and I don't believe SFC will work from a bootable CD either in this case.

          Your suggestions are however appreciated. Keep them coming.
          1 1 was a racehorse.
          2 2 was 1 2.
          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
          2 2 1 1 2

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          • #6
            Re: Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

            Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
            A good idea Wofen, but a bit hard to do since the operating system is not booting. eg system32 config system file is missing

            Booting off a bootable CD is not likely to be effective since Malwarebytes won't have a working Registry to scan and I don't believe SFC will work from a bootable CD either in this case.

            Your suggestions are however appreciated. Keep them coming.
            he was on the Internet this morning and got an error message telling him that the system32 config system file is missing or corrupt.
            No where did he say anything about not being able to boot in to windows.

            I am still thinking this is a virus, and that means he is in windows, and able to run Malwarebytes. If he is not, you are able to run malwarebytes in Bart PE, and I believe there is a way to get Malwarebytes to run a scan on a offline reg.

            I applogise in advance if I am seeming snappy, but I dislike it when people assume I missed something becuse they assumed something.

            Wofen
            Good to be back....

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            • #7
              Re: Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

              Malwarebytes is incredibly limited in it's detection abilities. If the guy is infected (did he click on any acknowledgement on the page?), the post would be quite different.

              If the page was closed without acknowledging the 'alert' the PC should be fine.
              A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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              • #8
                Re: Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

                Originally posted by Blood View Post
                If the page was closed without acknowledging the 'alert' the PC should be fine.
                But assume it is not and scan it every which way "just in case"

                What AV is he running?
                Tom Jones
                MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                IT Trainer / Consultant
                Ossian Ltd
                Scotland

                ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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                • #9
                  Re: Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

                  Yes, quite right.

                  btw - I'm not anti MBAM at all - it's just that the program does not detect viruses. My wording was probably too strong.
                  A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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                  • #10
                    Re: Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

                    Originally posted by Blood View Post
                    Yes, quite right.

                    btw - I'm not anti MBAM at all - it's just that the program does not detect viruses. My wording was probably too strong.

                    ... its not ment to :P

                    I do not trust any AV that does Antimaleware as well, as everysingle one I have tested has been out proformed by free anti-malware solutions. And Malwarebytes will detect more things you get via websites then any other program, as 95% of malware off sites are malware and not virus.

                    Wofen

                    PS : Also, Malwarebytes does not work on a offline Reg file, my Bart CD just has a application to "mount" a reg file to let them scan, so I appologise for the incorrect infomation.
                    Good to be back....

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                    • #11
                      Re: Windows XP system32 file "missing or corrupt"

                      All we need now is for the OP to come back and let us know what is happening and give us some answers to the questions.
                      1 1 was a racehorse.
                      2 2 was 1 2.
                      1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                      2 2 1 1 2

                      Comment

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