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Will not boot

Discussion in 'Software' started by Joey Jiggles, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Hey guys,

    I have been working with TimW over in malware and he sent me here. It has gotten pretty serious. Here is a link to the thread if you want the full details: http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=253393

    Here is the message I get when I start my computer:

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

    ..Now I have tried safe mode, I have tried recovery console, I have tried EVERYTHING. I feel like my computer is doomed. Looking forward to hearing your advice.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Nick T

    Nick T MajorGeek

  3. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    We have to see if you have any System Restore Points. Download Puppy Linux and burn the iso file with Imgburn. Boot the CD and click on the hard drive in the lower left of the screen. The hard drive should be listed as sda. You should see a folder called "System Volume Information" in the root of the drive. These contain your Restore Points. Inside this folder are a number of folders with restore... and a bunch of letters and numbers in brackets. Inside these folders are folders with a name of RP... Look for one with a date before your malware problem. Inside the RP folder is a folder called snapshot. You will have the following files.

    _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SAM
    _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SECURITY
    _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE
    _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM
    _REGISTRY_MACHINE_.DEFAULT

    Do you have these files?

    If you do not see these files than we cannot try to fix the system hive. In regards to Nick T's post, the repair folder has registry hives that were created when the system was installed so those can be used if you do not see the above files but this will render a lot of programs useless that were installed after the OS.
     
  4. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Nick: I already tried those steps. They would not work.

    Tgell: I am going to give this a shot. I took my computer by the Geek Squad yesterday because I truly thought it was done. They said it is a software issue because they opened up my computer and said it didn't seem to be anything hardware. I will let you know how your steps you have told me go.
     
  5. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Ok so I started it up and it all seemed to go well. I had 3 drives at the bottom labeled SDA1 (54mb), SDA2 (293.4GB), SDA3 (4.6 GB). I am assuming it was SDA2 since that was 293.5 GB. Anyway, I clicked on it, found "System Volume Information" but it only had 2 things in there. 1) MountPointManagerRemoteDatabse and 2) tracking.log. That was it.

    I'm assuming this is bad news?

    I will leave this all up until further instructions. Thanks you.
     
  6. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    That's not good. Is this an OEM computer? I think sda3 is your recovery partition? Worse case senario, you will have to move all of your data to an external drive using Puppy and then do a fresh install. You may be able to take the computer back to a factory state using a key combination. What it is defends on the make of computer. Here is a good link on doing the data move using puppy.

    http://help.artaro.eu/index.php/win...vista/recover-files-from-hard-disk-vista.html
     
  7. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Well this is a very important computer since it is our main work computer. If I were to follow these steps and grab all of our documents off. What will my computer be like when I start it back up? Will all of our microsoft works and other programs be on there? Or is everything going to be gone? Also, I do not have any of my start up cds since the computer is XP and was bought back in 06.

    We are debating just taking it to the Geek Squad but that will cost $450 to have everything backed up and the computer running normal again. Plus the microsoft office package and stuff we would have to buy to put it all back on.

    What do you think?

    PS- What do you think about running the disk check on partition and seeing if that fixes the problem?
     
  8. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Sorry for the late reply. I do not think a disk check will work but you can give it a try.

    If you take it back to the factory state, all programs added after purchase will be gone. If you had Works on the computer when you purchased it and it was part of the OEM package then you will still have it.

    If you take it to geek squad, they will backup the data and then do a fresh install. You will still be without programs if you do not have the install disks.

    So basically, it means using puppy to backup the hard drive, doing a factory reset and purchasing office. Or, letting Geeksquad backup the hard drive and do a factory reset and let them install everything. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, then take it to Geeksquad or another support company. You might find that an independent will quote you a cheaper price.
     
  9. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Thank you for your help. I read the instructions and I can handle it. I just simply copied my whole 'Documents and Settings' folder so I have all users on there to an external hard drive to play it safe (which I am doing right now). Then I am going to go to the system32 folder (as it suggests) and take the config folder to my external as well. I'm not sure how much good that will do since it is all messed up anyway.

    Is there any other folders I should take with me by any chance?

    I also spoke with Microsoft. I couldn't find the exact XP package I had on this computer but I did find Home Edition which they regenerated my product key and I found my old Microsoft Office which has a key as well. SO.. i should be almost back to normal thanks to you guys! I will let you know how it all goes. Again, please let me know if there are any other folders you would suggest I throw over to my external.

    THANKS!
     
  10. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Documents and settings backup should take care of most everything but some programs may store data in other locations. Just make sure you get everything.

    Another option would be to create an image with OSFclone. Then if you ever have to go back to the image in case you missed anything, you could use OSFmount to mount the image and get any data off.

    Is you external drive big enough to handle the data on your corrupted drive?

    Edit: to avoid this situation in the future. You may want to create regular image backups using something like Todo Backup or Macrium Reflect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  11. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    I'm sort of confused on how to use those programs you told me. I feel like they are a little out of my league.

    My external drive had 133.4 GB and my full Documents & Settings file had 81GB so I have plenty. I am going to look into the config folder and get some stuff out of there and then I should be good to go. I will let you know how it goes, and then it would be nice if you could help me to prevent this in the future!

    I will hopefully be loading everything today at work and see how it goes.
     
  12. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Basically what those programs do is create an image of your hard drive onto an external drive. You can create a bootable rescue disk from the program. If the hard drive fails or cannot boot, you boot from the rescue disk and the program will copy the image from the external drive to the unbootable drive or new replacement drive. After completion, the drive will boot to when the image was taken.

    So, if the computer ever becomes unbootable due to malware, you can put your computer back to a working state in a matter of minutes.

    Edit: It's always important to make sure the rescue disk boots and sees all of your drives before having to do a restore. At 133Gb, I do not think the external drive would be able to do system images.
     
  13. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Yeah I put my external drive onto my laptop and checked to see if it showed up and it was all there! Thank you.

    Also, I am now being told I need to download Drivers. I found this help page (http://support.dell.com/support/top...A0C0937D62A8739E0401E0A55174744&isLegacy=true) and to download from this site (http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/04) after I put in my service tag. I am hoping it all goes well!

    Oh.. what is the best way for me to download these to my laptop and then take it over to my newly installed desktop? Can I simply download to my laptop, send to my external and then open them on the desktop? I hope that is how it works.
     
  14. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Correct, just download the drivers onto external drive. They are self-extracting executables. Then in an admin account on the desktop, copy them and double click each one. Dell suggests installing the drives in a specific order. But, if you do not have any yellow exclamation marks in Device Manager, there is no need to install the drivers.

    http://support.dell.com/support/top...river_install_order?c=us&l=en&s=gen&~lt=print
     
  15. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    ok great! Thank you. I will keep you posted.
     
  16. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Well you won't believe this (or maybe you can). After waiting a few hours for the install go work. I was directed by Dell to delete all partitions on my computer and start fresh. Here is my new message from this amazing computer:

    "Setup was unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged. Make sure the drive is switched on and properly connected to your computer. If the disk is a SCSI disk, make sure your SCSI devices are properly terminated. Consult your computer manual or SCSI adapter documentation for more information.

    You must select a different partition for Windows XP.
    To continue, press ENTER."

    Any advice?
     
  17. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Try deleting the partitions and fomatting offline using the bootable version of partition wizard. Burn the iso file with Imgburn and boot the CD. It should be able to detect the drive. Delete the partitions and then repartition and format to NTFS. But before you do that, what partitions does Partition Wizard list?

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/download/pwhe7.iso

    If it fails again, then your hard drive may be ready to fail. Can you get the manufacturer of the drive.
     
  18. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Ok so I am going to burn that to the last disc I have right now! haha. I will get the list and post it back here until further instructions. Doing it now...
     
  19. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    FORGET THOSE PICS>> I NEED TO RESIZE THEM AGAIN.. so frustrating!

    It was hard to type up to explain and since my resolution wouldn't work I took 2 quick pics...
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  20. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Here you go.. sorry about that. See the pics.
     

    Attached Files:

  21. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Delete both partitions and then create a new one, formatting to NTFS and then try the XP install.
     
  22. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    It let me delete the small one but not the bigger one. Should I 'Wipe Partition'? Then select Create Partition?
     
  23. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    I am not sure why it would not let you delete the bigger one. If you select the disk, does it allow you to wipe the disk, zeroing out the drive?

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/help/wipe-disk.html

    Instead of wiping the partition, try wiping the whole drive by selecting the disk and not the partition.
     
  24. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Sorry I was trying to wipe it, but it looked like it worked. It now says Used 0B and Unused 298.09 GB.

    Then I created a new partition and it took the original and mad it 72.3 mb used now.. and created something below it with a very small number.

    Anyway, I am now trying to reinstall xp. Wish me luck. I wont' know until tomorrow morning, because I am just going to let it sit for the night.
     
  25. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    It just never ends.. here are the steps I have been confronted with. I selected the C: partition1. See pics.
     

    Attached Files:

  26. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    I am not sure what is going on. I believe the 8MB is used by XP for use if changing to a dynamic disk from basic.

    Did you find out the manufacturer of the drive?
     
  27. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Yes C: and I'm not sure how to figure that out. It's a Dell computer? haha. Sorry I do not know much.
     
  28. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    There are no other drives connected to the computer, correct? At that screen, select D to delete the partition and then create one. See if that works
     
  29. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Just my monitor, Mouse and keyboard.

    I will do that now.

    Update: ok I did it and it let me do it. The next page said format NTFS (QUICK) or the same thing without (QUICK) next to it. I selected the one without quick.
     
  30. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    That is okay. If this does not work there is one more thing we can try with Partition Wizard.
     
  31. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Ok great. Thank you! I am leaving work and letting this thing sit here. I will post first thing in the morning. Thank you for all of your quick responses! Have a good day.
     
  32. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    No problem, Good Luck. I will be leaving until tomorrow also.
     
  33. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Surprise, Surprise.. the same message came up. It can't format it and it tells me to select another partition or they say the disk is damaged.
     
  34. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Here is one more thing to try. Boot up Partition Wizard, let it format the partition to NTFS if it is not already. Then set the partition to Active and try to install again. If it fails, I would say it is a hard disk problem but I need to know the manufacturer of the drive.

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/help/set-active.html
     
  35. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    How do I find out the manufacturer of the drive?
     
  36. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Open the case and look at the label on the drive if that is possible.
     
  37. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    The only place where I saw anything with a name was Dell and then "RU us" (The R was backwards and connected to the U)

    Update: When I ran partition wizard the drive was already set to active. I clicked format and then made it inactive and then active again. Let's see if that works.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  38. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

  39. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Ok I will do that. Thank you so much for helping the way you have been. I am leaving for a meeting while this downloads now. I will let you know soon.
     
  40. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    I do not believe this relates to your problem but does is this a SATA or IDE drive. A SATA drive will have a RED data cable and the IDE will have a 80wire grey cable.
     
  41. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    So I won't have another blank cd until this Monday, so I just did a normal Hard Drive Diagnostic test. This was the result. See pic.
     

    Attached Files:

  42. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    So this was from the UBCD? It looks like the hard drive has failed.

    It looks like you have a Western Digital Drive. When you get the extra CD's you can burn the iso here. It is made for diagnosing WD drives. But from what I can tell, your hard drive needs to be replaced.

    http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=502&sid=30&lang=en

    Edit: I looked up that number and it says the drive is SATA. Can you confirm that? When looking at the drive, is there a red data cable connected to it? If so, I believe you will have to make sure that IDE mode is enabled in BIOS because XP cannot natively support SATA.
     
  43. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    When you say replace the Hard drive. Does that mean I need to buy something? Or is it I download over something? I know that is a dumb question to you.

    And I have no idea what I am looking at, so I took a pic.
     

    Attached Files:

  44. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Yes, you may have to buy a new hard drive and install it. At this point I am not sure if would be better to take it to a shop if it is a hard drive failure. You can double check by downloading the WD diagnostics disk I linked to.

    From your picture it does look like you have a SATA drive. Because it is a SATA drive, XP cannot install correctly if SATA (AHCI) mode is enabled in BIOS. Because you are doing a clean install, XP has to either have the SATA drivers slipstreamed into an install disk which is not a very easy thing to do if you are not familiar with it or have IDE mode enabled in BIOS. This will make XP think it is installing to an IDE drive. I am suprised XP recognized the disk unless IDE mode is already enabled in BIOS.

    If the Diagnostic Disk from Western Digital does show the drive is bad, you can buy a new drive, install it yourself if you are comfortable doing that and try doing an install again. If that does not work, then you can take it to a repair shop and have them install XP. At least you would already have the drive installed.

    But first try the bootable diagnostic disk.
    http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=502&sid=30&lang=en
     
  45. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    I will try the Bootable CD on Monday and see what happens. If that doesn't work it looks like we are leaning to just buy a new computer and just go with the new Windows 7.

    Talk to you Monday! Have a great weekend.
     
  46. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Hey,

    Sorry, I didn't come into work yesterday. I downloaded the diagnostic disk to a cd and here is what happened. This screen came up:

    Unable to locate the License Agreement file, DLGLICE.TXT!!!

    Please make sure that the License Agreement file is located in the same path as DLGDIAG.EXE...


    I will try again for the hell of it.
     
  47. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    Did you burn the iso using Imgburn? In other words, you did not copy the iso file to the cd, correct? Try burning at a slower speed. I will burn one and see if it gives the same error.
     
  48. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    I downloaded the .iso to my desktop and then used imgburn. I brought (2) cds to work today so I just re-burnt the cd again at 1x instead of max. Same problem.
     
  49. tgell

    tgell Major Geek Extraordinaire

    I have to go out for a bit. When I come back I will take a look at it. In the mean time, do you still have the UBCD with the hard drive diagnostics? You might want to try those and see if you get the same bad disk result.
     
  50. Joey Jiggles

    Joey Jiggles Corporal

    Oh damn.. I used the other CD I had available to try and do it slower than the last cd I burnt. I will have to do it tomorrow morning.
     

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