Why does my computer say Windows\System32\Config\System?

Question

When on startup the computer will beep once and try to startup the will quit by saying Windows\System32\Config\System couldnot be found. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Ed Howell

Answer

This question was answered on October 27, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods

Use the Recovery Console Tool

To restore a damaged registry hive, use the Recovery Console to restore the backup copy of the hive from the Repair folder The Repair folder contains a copy of the system's registry hives that were created after the first successful startup of Windows XP

WARNING: Although data should not be affected by the following procedure, you may need to restore changes you previously made to programs or system settings since the first time you successfully started Windows XP

To replace the damaged registry hive and restore the backup copy of the hive from the Repair folder: Start your computer to the Recovery Console

Determine if the file that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section of this article is present, and if it is, rename it:

In Recovery Console, change to the c:\Windows folder

Type cd sytem32\config , and then press ENTER

Type dir system , and then press ENTER

If you cannot run the preceding command successfully (because the file is missing), skip to step 3 If you can run the preceding command successfully, type ren system system.bak , and then press ENTER

NOTE : If the message that you received referred to the software file, replace "system" with "software" in the preceding command For example, you would type ren software software.bak (instead of ren system system.bak ), and then press ENTER

Type copy c:\windows\repair\system , and then press ENTER

NOTE: If the message that you received referred to the software file, replace "system" with "software" in the preceding command For example, you would type copy c:\windows\repair\software (instead of copy c:\windows\repair\system), and then press ENTER

You should receive a "One file copied" informational message For additional information about how to use Recovery Console during startup, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q307654 HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console for Windows XP

IMPORTANT: If you encounter problems when you run the preceding commands, you may need to use the Change Directory command ( cd ) one folder at a time before you run the preceding commands For example, type cd system32 , press ENTER, type cd config , and then press ENTER

Type exit , and then press ENTER to quit Recovery Console and restart the computer

You Cannot Start from the Windows XP CD-ROM or Use Recovery Console

If you cannot start from the Windows XP CD-ROM or use Recovery Console and you are using the FAT file system (not the NTFS file system):

Use a startup disk from one of the following operating systems to start your computer to a command prompt:

Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)

Microsoft Windows 98

Microsoft Windows 95

At the command prompt, type c:\windows

Follow the steps in the "Use the Recovery Console Tool" section of this article, beginning with step 2b (type cd sytem32\config , and then press ENTER)

IMPORTANT: After you complete the steps in the "Use the Recovery Console Tool" section of this article, remove the startup disk, and then restart the computer

Use System Restore to Revert to the Most-Recent Restore Point

you may want to use System Restore to revert to the most recent restore point if you have replaced the specific registry hive, but the issue has not been resolved

If you want additional information about how to use System Restore to revert to the most-recent restore point, you can go to the Microsoft Knowledge Base and look for the following

Q307545 How to recover from a Corrupted Registry

Run a Repair Installation of Windows XP

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Author

Posted by julie of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on October 27, 2004