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System won't boot: "missing or corrupted \WINNT\SYSTEM32\config/system"

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by germeten, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. germeten

    germeten Flightless Bird

    I have a Gateway 500S, Pentium IV computer preloaded with XP Home
    Edition, SP3 (never had an installation disk.) I use antivir and
    zonealarm over
    the OEM antivirus/firewall, have updated spybot and adaware, checking
    from
    time to time. sometimes I forget to defrag, and have most of the
    automatic
    updates turned off because these slow me down (using dial-up) and
    something always seems to be updating in the background.

    Was downloading different metatrader4 platforms only to discover many
    contained trojans, antivir caught them.

    Still, system bogging down, a tech friend thought might have malware,
    found
    5 administrators (I run without password) and deleted some. Now the
    system
    won't boot, gives the above prompt.

    Gateway suggested I secure an XP CD without reg code (these exist?) to

    repair the missing or corrupted files, restore administrator
    priviledges. Another
    friend lent me his XP corporate copy, tools load, but when I opt to
    repair, "A
    problem has been detected and Windows shut down to prevent damage to
    your computer. BAD_POOL_CALLER."

    Since windows won't boot, we can't determine what most recent software

    installations (or possible malware) might be causing this. I don't
    know DOS to
    use command line tools. One possible saving grace is I have Ubuntu on
    separate partition and same HD, but doesn't communicate with XP; the
    two
    OS are mutually exclusive.

    Too much critical data on this computer, a clean fdisk/reinstall is out
    of the
    question. Can I overwrite the corporate XP to my Home Edition and then

    change the key code back, without losing data files & apps? Can someone

    lead me through this?
     
  2. Pegasus [MVP]

    Pegasus [MVP] Flightless Bird

    "germeten" <germeten.4gv88f@no.email.invalid> wrote in message
    news:germeten.4gv88f@no.email.invalid...
    >
    > I have a Gateway 500S, Pentium IV computer preloaded with XP Home
    > Edition, SP3 (never had an installation disk.) I use antivir and
    > zonealarm over
    > the OEM antivirus/firewall, have updated spybot and adaware, checking
    > from
    > time to time. sometimes I forget to defrag, and have most of the
    > automatic
    > updates turned off because these slow me down (using dial-up) and
    > something always seems to be updating in the background.
    >
    > Was downloading different metatrader4 platforms only to discover many
    > contained trojans, antivir caught them.
    >
    > Still, system bogging down, a tech friend thought might have malware,
    > found
    > 5 administrators (I run without password) and deleted some. Now the
    > system
    > won't boot, gives the above prompt.
    >
    > Gateway suggested I secure an XP CD without reg code (these exist?) to
    >
    > repair the missing or corrupted files, restore administrator
    > priviledges. Another
    > friend lent me his XP corporate copy, tools load, but when I opt to
    > repair, "A
    > problem has been detected and Windows shut down to prevent damage to
    > your computer. BAD_POOL_CALLER."
    >
    > Since windows won't boot, we can't determine what most recent software
    >
    > installations (or possible malware) might be causing this. I don't
    > know DOS to
    > use command line tools. One possible saving grace is I have Ubuntu on
    > separate partition and same HD, but doesn't communicate with XP; the
    > two
    > OS are mutually exclusive.
    >
    > Too much critical data on this computer, a clean fdisk/reinstall is out
    > of the
    > question. Can I overwrite the corporate XP to my Home Edition and then
    >
    > change the key code back, without losing data files & apps? Can someone
    >
    > lead me through this?
    >


    In view of the checkered history of this machine, a complete rebuild is
    probably the only viable option. About your "critical" data that you cannot
    afford to lose: Since is it critical, have you considered backing it up
    regularly? If not then you could boot the machine with a Windows 7 Repair CD
    (http://neosmart.net/blog/2009/windows-7-system-repair-discs/), then save
    your irreplaceable files to an external storage unit. And yes, this repair
    CD will give you a fully operative command prompt on a WinXP PC.
     
  3. Paul

    Paul Flightless Bird

    germeten wrote:
    > I have a Gateway 500S, Pentium IV computer preloaded with XP Home
    > Edition, SP3 (never had an installation disk.) I use antivir and
    > zonealarm over
    > the OEM antivirus/firewall, have updated spybot and adaware, checking
    > from
    > time to time. sometimes I forget to defrag, and have most of the
    > automatic
    > updates turned off because these slow me down (using dial-up) and
    > something always seems to be updating in the background.
    >
    > Was downloading different metatrader4 platforms only to discover many
    > contained trojans, antivir caught them.
    >
    > Still, system bogging down, a tech friend thought might have malware,
    > found
    > 5 administrators (I run without password) and deleted some. Now the
    > system
    > won't boot, gives the above prompt.
    >
    > Gateway suggested I secure an XP CD without reg code (these exist?) to
    >
    > repair the missing or corrupted files, restore administrator
    > priviledges. Another
    > friend lent me his XP corporate copy, tools load, but when I opt to
    > repair, "A
    > problem has been detected and Windows shut down to prevent damage to
    > your computer. BAD_POOL_CALLER."
    >
    > Since windows won't boot, we can't determine what most recent software
    >
    > installations (or possible malware) might be causing this. I don't
    > know DOS to
    > use command line tools. One possible saving grace is I have Ubuntu on
    > separate partition and same HD, but doesn't communicate with XP; the
    > two
    > OS are mutually exclusive.
    >
    > Too much critical data on this computer, a clean fdisk/reinstall is out
    > of the
    > question. Can I overwrite the corporate XP to my Home Edition and then
    >
    > change the key code back, without losing data files & apps? Can someone
    >
    > lead me through this?
    >
    >


    You have Ubuntu. Now, at least, you have an environment to work in.

    1) *Buy a new disk* . The new disk capacity should be the same size, or a
    little bit bigger than the old disk. For this exercise, an external disk
    with USB2 interface is an easy solution. This will be your *backup*
    disk, for all your important data.

    I prefer disk enclosures with a cooling fan on them, for best disk
    lifetime. But it isn't always easy to find an enclosure like this
    when you're in a hurry.

    http://images17.newegg.com/is/image/newegg/17-182-192-Z04?$S640W$

    Connect up the new disk and switch it on at the back.

    2) Boot Ubuntu.

    3) Use the "dd" command, to copy the *entire* internal disk to the new
    external disk. Each disk has a physical address, such as /dev/hda
    or /dev/sda and so on. The kind of command you'd use to copy the
    entire disk, would be something like this. Note - if you get the
    syntax of this command wrong, it'll *erase* the original disk.
    Make sure you know which disk is which! Here, I am copying from
    hda to sda.

    dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/sda

    Before using that command, you can use

    sudo fdisk /dev/hda

    and use "p" command to print the partition table, then "q" to quit.
    Looking at the partition table for each disk, you should be able
    to re-assure yourself, which is the original disk, and which is
    the new external disk. The new external disk is likely to have one
    partition, placed there by the factory. The "dd" command will blow
    away the factory partition, and copy all the partitions from the
    other disk. So you don't need to erase the external disk at all.
    The dd command will overwrite everything on the new disk.

    That command will run, until it runs out of sectors to copy from
    hda to sda. In my example, I'm assuming the new external drive on
    USB2 is mapped to /dev/sda. It might be /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc or so on.
    It could take several hours to complete. Typical performance level
    of that command, without tuning, is about 13MB/sec, so it could take
    a while.

    4) Now, you have two exact copies of the same info. The new, larger
    disk, will have all the same partitions as the original disk. The
    new larger disk will have some left over space at the end, which
    for the moment is unimportant.

    5) Reboot your Ubuntu, one more time (this is easier than learning how
    to mount the new partitions). Now, Ubuntu should see the partitions
    on both disks. If one disk had a label of "WinXP" on one of the
    partitions, you'll see a second partition present with the same
    kind of "WinXP" label. The reason you're doing this second boot
    of Ubuntu, is to visit *all* the copied partitions, and check to
    see if all the files are present. You want to reassure yourself,
    that all your data is *safe*.

    6) Now, shut down Ubuntu, turn off the computer, turn off the external drive.
    Disconnect the external drive. That has your backup copy, with all the important
    files on it.

    7) Obtain the Gateway recovery CD. Blow away "C:" on the original disk.

    There might even be a recovery partition on the original disk,
    and pressing a certain Function key at startup, will trigger a
    recovery. (This should have been documented in the computer manual
    that accompanied your 500S purchase.) After the recovery operation is
    completed, you'll be using a fresh copy of WinXP. You'll have to
    reinstall your trading programs and so on.

    This is an example of a typical set of instructions for restoring
    from the hidden partition. Press F11 at startup. Notice, in this
    example, there are two options for the restore type. I would
    *not* use either of these, until your backup data is safely on
    the external disk and the USB2 drive is disconnected! That is
    to prevent accidents.

    http://support.gateway.com/s/Manuals/Desktops/8510497.pdf

    8) Once the system is fully re-installed, you've been to Windows Update
    to get all security patches and so on, your antivirus software is
    reinstalled, now you're ready to connect the backup disk. You can
    scan the external disk for viruses. Your important data files will
    be on there, and you can fetch them as needed.

    9) Once you've copied all the important data from the external USB2
    interfaced drive, you can erase that drive and use it for holding
    fresh backup copies of your internal disk. Disconnect and unplug
    the USB2 drive when you're not using it, for best safety. That helps
    prevent accidents from wiping out all your data.

    HTH,
    Paul
     
  4. germeten

    germeten Flightless Bird

    Thanks for the advice and link, I will follow up with the repair CD,
    as for back-ups, some of us do best we can within our budgets,
    and take the best care we know how, very grateful when someone
    can show us the way out of a jam.
     
  5. Pegasus [MVP]

    Pegasus [MVP] Flightless Bird

    "germeten" <germeten.4gx280@no.email.invalid> wrote in message
    news:germeten.4gx280@no.email.invalid...
    >
    > Thanks for the advice and link, I will follow up with the repair CD,
    > as for back-ups, some of us do best we can within our budgets,
    > and take the best care we know how, very grateful when someone
    > can show us the way out of a jam.
    >


    Backing up your data is often a "business" decision, i.e. the cost of
    purchasing a 2.5" backup disk in an external USB enclosure versus the "cost"
    of your time when recreating files or repeating a major university project.
    In these forums we often see cases of files that cannot possibly be restored
    such as wedding pictures, baby pictures, holiday photographs with
    sentimental value etc. All of these issues need to be taken into account
    when deciding whether or not to purchase a $80.00 backup disk.
     

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