Error message on startup “Windows\System32\config\system” file missing or corrupt

by Rohit Khurana on July 7, 2008

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Trouble:

These type of error messages comes when Windows XP system that does not start because of corruption in windows registry.

 

Most of the windows users who face this type of problems could not start windows, see the error messages like some mentioned below:

 

Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE

 

windows_system32_config_system_file_missing

Let’s see how can we fix this computer trouble

Fix:

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This type of error usually occurs when some of the system files got corrupted, due to which windows does boot.

 

You need to repair windows using the windows XP setup cd using the windows recovery console, Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into “Recovery Console” by pressing “R“. Enter the administrator username and password.

 

Note: If you are not sure about the administrator password don’t type anything and press Enter.

 

After entering the correct username and password for the admin account you will see command prompt

 

Enter the following command at the command prompt.

“copy %windir%\Repair\system %windir%\System32\Config” and press Enter

 

Try restarting your windows to check if the problem is solved and If the above does not work, then again boot into “Recovery Console” and give following commands: (one by one)

fixmbr
bootcfg /scan
bootcfg /rebuild
fixboot

We hope the solutions provided above will help you fix the trouble, if it does not let us know through comments.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Deyaa Addeen Fahmy Shedeed July 7, 2008 at 3:37 pm

You teach me more and more every day.
thanks alots.

Kresen July 20, 2008 at 11:45 pm

Hi, How do i boot using the Windows Setup CD, I have the disc, i put it in i turn the computer on and then it comes up with the error. I need to know how to boot using the CD.
Please help, i want to fix my computer urgently.

Thanks,
Awaiting your reply.

Kresen July 21, 2008 at 12:24 am

forget about my first comment, now i have booted from the CD and i have opened the recovery console when i type %windir%\Repair\system%windir%\System32 it says “The system cannot find the file specified” what do i do??
Please help me i really need help urgently.

THanks

macmagoo August 21, 2008 at 11:29 pm

I used the following commands to repair the config file in XP. Now when the pc reboots it asks me to select the OS from a list. The first one in the list is blank and the second one says it is Windows XP. How do I make this boot directly into windows without having to select and enter from a list.

Thanks in advance.

munsif ali, age;39, pakistani September 14, 2008 at 2:51 am

hi every body,

i am munsif ali. I recently purchased omni tech pc, and got installed windows xp professional version 2002. my computer p-3, speed 650 mhz and 128 ram memory.

I have had excellent experience studying different dialogue boxes about system, self-repair, customization etc. i amso involved with it that ijust have started research studying each and every concept of computer”s integrated service. It is my hobby that i explain today’s modern computer with all peripherals attached to a person who knows local language. I am looking forward to introduce modern p-3 computers with windows xp installed in local language. so the first very basic terms are hardware, software, program, system , files, folders, booting etc, and desktop icon explainations. However my literature is in progress.

i frequently refer to system configuration utility, and learned that safe mode helps remove certain malware viruses, spyware, trojans, key loggers,adware etc, which willalso be the basic terminology, I amgonna introduce in my book.

however at the moment i do not have internet cable connection, but one day i observed increase in free space of hard disk c. My computer was showing 777 MB free space, and I had very few things stored on my document, such as 8 songs, a 70 KB text and computer literature which i installed from cd.

i used safe boot using system configuration utility from remote assistance. Later i found that free space on my hard disk had become 1 GB, i do not know , what data occupied 230 MB of space earlier, however I did not lose anything, my computer is still working perfectly.

hoping someone will explain,

munsif,
ph:09203313524436
pakistan

jeison September 14, 2008 at 2:00 pm

hey i need the disk i dont have it so i need to find the disk were can i find it?

Andre January 18, 2009 at 3:26 am

btw: if you need to back the system before replacing the HD, just use directions as given in: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307545

I did not have an automatic recovery console, so i just copied the system files from repair into c:windows and that was apparently sufficient. I used freeware program Macrium Reflect to make a backup image. The image i will use to restore the system on a new HD…

Best of luck.

Sarfaraj Khan April 24, 2009 at 4:38 am

I never face this types of problem, but always believes on Trouble Fixers that he always provide right method for solving any problem.
I am very thankful to Trouble Fixers.

XxTreceZxX June 22, 2009 at 5:31 am

hey tnx about posting this tutorial but I dont hav the windows xp setup cd…where can I get/purchase or download it??

jeyaraj July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm

forget about my first comment, now i have booted from the CD and i have opened the recovery console when i type %windir%\Repair\system%windir%\System32 it says “The system cannot find the file specified” what do i do??
Please help me i really need help urgently

Vince August 8, 2009 at 3:09 am

Thanks for this tip. Just what I needed to fix a friend’s PC.

jeyaraj, make sure you replace ‘%windir%’ with the location of the Windows installation. In my case it was ‘C:WINDOWS’. I had to make sure that WINDOWS was all in capitals. Also, check you have the correct spaces as per the text in the blog.

Worked for me so hopefully it will for you too.

adil September 25, 2009 at 6:47 am

i followed the procedure but after i typed the command
“copy %windir%\Repair\system %windir%\System32\Config”
it says access denied
:\

Wendi January 18, 2010 at 7:36 am

I’m hoping someone can help. We got the system32 config error. I wasn’t home at the time so I’m not exactly sure what happened. I know the CD was run. The problem is that our local disk is now F and not C. Everything that was on the local disk C is gone. When I go into the recovery console I have both F and C to choose from. Even though I select C, whenever the system restarts I only have the F drive. Like I said, I am not sure what happened when the CD was run to fix the problem initially but I can’t figure out why we have an F drive and no C drive, but in the recovery console we have them both. Has anyone seen this before? There are only a few files in my documents that were on the C drive that I really care about. Not much was stored on the machine. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

yash April 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Hi, How do i boot using the Windows Setup CD, I have the disc, i put it in i turn the computer on and then it comes up with the error. I need to know how to boot using the CD.
Please help, i want to fix my computer urgently.
Thanks,
Awaiting your reply.

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