Windows 2000 Pro file corruption

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Load \*\,8,1, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. Load \*\,8,1

    Load \*\,8,1 Guest

    Well folks, this one is a bit complex. Wondering if anyone can assist.

    I was given an AMD K6-2 300Mhz Desktop with Windows 2000 Pro installed to
    get it back up and running.

    The error that appears as Windows 2000 loads up is:

    The following file is missing or corrupt

    \WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

    I did google for answers and did find some. The only problem I have is that
    all the answers require the W2K install disk, which I don't have. I'm
    wondering if there is a work around to not having the W2K install disk. I'm
    about to give the PC back, letting them know that I could not repair it due
    to not having the W2K install disk.

    Thanks,
     
    Load \*\,8,1, Mar 6, 2006
    #1
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  2. Load \*\,8,1

    Grinder Guest

    That file is part of the registry. There is a knowledge base article
    that addresses what you should do, but it has evaporated for the
    microsoft site. Here is an abstract:

    | Using System.alt to Recover the System Hive
    | Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 151247 - If your system
    | fails to boot because the System hive is corrupt, it may
    | be possible to rename the System.alt file to System to
    | recover Windows NT. This file is located in the
    | Systemroot\System32\Config directory. It is recommend to
    | first try to use the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) to
    | recover the System hive. Information on using the ERD can
    | be found on page 49 in the Installation Guide. Renaming
    | the System.alt file should only be used as a last resort
    | after you have tried to recover the system using the ERD.
    | If the Windows NT system files are located on a Windows
    | NT File System (NTFS) partition you will need to boot
    | into another installation of Windows NT to rename the
    | file. If the Windows NT files are located on a FAT
    | partition you can boot from a bootable MS-DOS diskette to
    | rename the file.
     
    Grinder, Mar 6, 2006
    #2
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  3. Load \*\,8,1

    kony Guest


    First thing to do is run the HDD manufacturer's diagnostics
    on the drive, after contacting the owner to determine if any
    of the files might need salvaged (should there be a failing
    drive, then copying them off before any further access of
    the drive).

    If you want to complete the repair, why not just have them
    bring in the Win2k disc?

    Did you check the drive? Often much (if not all) of the
    win2k installation files are on it. Otherwise do as the
    prior posts suggest, try restoring the alternate system
    (registry) files.
     
    kony, Mar 6, 2006
    #3
  4. Load \*\,8,1

    Load \*\,8,1 Guest

    Thank You everyone, good information that I will use to get this system back
    up.

    Thank You,
     
    Load \*\,8,1, Mar 6, 2006
    #4
  5. Load \*\,8,1

    kony Guest

    Your situation is not necessarily similar. This may not be
    file corruption in general but rather one specific (or
    several) registry corruptions... with it merely being
    coincidence that the registry is comprised of (few) files.
     
    kony, Mar 6, 2006
    #5
  6. Load \*\,8,1

    Grinder Guest

    Please take it as constructive criticism when I say that this
    indicates you do not have a good backup system in place.

    In addition to regularily archiving your documents/data, you
    should also keep up to date installers for your OS and any
    applications you require. If that's done, there's really
    no reason why you can't wipe and reinstall your system in
    a couple of hours time.
     
    Grinder, Mar 6, 2006
    #6
  7. Load \*\,8,1

    kony Guest


    LOL.

    yeah sometimes we have a great void when it comes to
    supplied information. Makes one want to put something in
    their sig like "whatever you wrote, do it again and include
    all the details this time". <- That not directed at the
    OP in particular, just a generalization.
     
    kony, Mar 6, 2006
    #7
  8. Load \*\,8,1

    kony Guest


    .... and being a beta-tester is good?
    Maybe, maybe not. For all we know you could have the same
    problem on Vista plus all the ones everyone else will have
    too. I'll put Vista on a system as a toy but no way I'd
    rely on it till a service pack or two has been released.
     
    kony, Mar 6, 2006
    #8
  9. There's nothing in the Registry that requires a proprietary binary
    database format. Long before Windows and even today, the internet has
    run on UNIX-based servers using nothing more than plain text files that
    contain all the system configuration info and settings.

    So why the Registry? Cause Windows is a commercial product, NOT open
    source, which makes the Registry part of their intellectual property
    (excuse me for laughing here). The keepers of the code have 1 main goal
    in mind: producing software that makes them money... because that's
    their business--producing software.

    My .02 cents worth. ;)

    ----------------
     
    WinXP_Powered, Mar 7, 2006
    #9
  10. If you can boot into an alternate operating system either via the hard drive
    [dual boot/ parallel install] or Bart's PE from the CD or put the hard drive
    in another computer you could try renaming system file and copy the system
    file from the \winnt\repair folder to \winnt\system32\config to see if that
    helps. --- Steve
     
    Steven L Umbach, Mar 7, 2006
    #10
  11. Load \*\,8,1

    J. Clarke Guest

    The registry had a specific purpose, to simplify network administration.
    The objective was to separate hardware-specific, application-specific, and
    user-specific configuration items to make it easy for a user to login on
    any machine on a network and have the same desktop, etc. This was very
    difficult with Windows 3.x and earlier and was one of the major potential
    benefits of 9x and later. Of course the application designers refused to
    play by the rules and so it didn't work out that way, but it's getting
    there slowly.
    There is a reason for the Microsoft proprieatary format and that reason is
    security. If you've never investigated registry security you'll find that
    access is controllable down to the key level, with privilege assignable by
    user and by group and with a variety of privileges assignable, not just
    read and write. This is not something easily done with a text file.
     
    J. Clarke, Mar 7, 2006
    #11
  12. Load \*\,8,1

    Grinder Guest

    No, I understood you when you said you did not want to start over with a
    fresh install of the operating system.
    I was under the impression that the reason you would not make a fresh
    install was because "it was a lot of work." Apparently you see no
    benefit to a fresh install, nor would expect it to be much work -- only
    time. That makes my remarks, and those of yours that inspired mine,
    irrelevant.

    I hope that you find a solution to your periodic disk corruption.
     
    Grinder, Mar 7, 2006
    #12
  13. Load \*\,8,1

    kony Guest

    So am I.
     
    kony, Mar 7, 2006
    #13
  14. Load \*\,8,1

    kony Guest

    That is certainly reasonable, and entirely your choice to
    make. However, there are random issues that effect
    everyone/every OS and Win2k is successfully ran by many. It
    might not hurt to have Win2k working good too, especially as
    a dual-boot environment while you migrate to Vista.



    I doubt it, very much.
    MS might be a bunch of sneaky b***tards sometimes but I
    really dont' think this is one of the ways they'd do it.
    They really really want you to use NTFS, and do have a
    certain bit of integrity when it comes to basic things like
    file corruption.


    I'd continue to focus most on the motherboard, it's bios,
    and drivers. The alternative is of course a clean Win2k
    installation but you make it out to be harder than it is-
    you have the spare drive(s), it's not like you have to do a
    full blown and tweaked environment like you have now rather
    than simply starting up a fresh install, clicking a few
    times then installing the drivers. That's less than 1 hour
    total and only a few minutes of hands-on time to do it. It
    eliminates the variable of the apps you suspect (which still
    dont' seem possible to cause...), isolates more the prior
    board/bios/drivers/OS.
     
    kony, Mar 8, 2006
    #14
  15. Load \*\,8,1

    kony Guest


    You are an incredibly patient person. I'd have replaced
    half the system before I'd wait around for Vista SP1,
    if/when there were potential file corruption issues present.

    There's also the outside chance someone in another group
    knows better what's going on with your system, you might
    post this to the motherboard (brand) newsgroup(s). If you
    encounter a bunch of whiney MS zealots that just tell you to
    try XP, you might even claim you run XP too (a bit dishonest
    but sometimes people have to be kept on track,
    unfortunately).
     
    kony, Mar 8, 2006
    #15
  16. Load \*\,8,1

    kony Guest

    Ok, but mass shedloads of people run win2k now and/or in the
    past w/o this problem...


    Ok, you are the only one who has this system in front of
    you... I can tell you that of the systems I have with win2k,
    it is extremely stable, only a gaming system crashes from
    game bugs. IMO, it's highly worthwhile to get win2k running
    well, it is a very good OS for one needing Windows but not
    needing *user help* that WinXP tacks on.

    There are other alternatives too... for example, even though
    many claim things such as "can't move apps because of
    registry or files", it is possible. Copy the app folder,
    navigate to the registry Current_User and Hardware, Software
    keys and export, merge the registry info. On occasion other
    files might be in the user folder or winnt/system32 (etc)
    folders but those can be taken as wait-n-see if it runs.

    IOW, big difference between a quick-n-dirty install and one
    needed for permanent use, the quick install can co-exist so
    the other is available for use or files/registry/etc. It
    can also help to just export entire registry keys so they're
    available later for reference.
     
    kony, Mar 8, 2006
    #16
  17. The command is SFC (System File Checker). You can find it easily in the
    Help.

    I've been following this thread going back and forth in my thoughts as
    to whether your problem is software or hardware--until I read this line,
    "So did I until I installed CA AV."

    That leads to me to 2 possible explanations: 1)CA AV replaced some MS
    system files (devices are known to do that, so I suppose your AV program
    could); or 2)CA AV corrupted your Registry.

    HK_DYN_DATA is the part of the registry loaded into RAM, which basically
    shows you what parts of the registry are in use at the time you view
    that hive in Regedit or Regedt32. There are some excellent tools at
    Sysinternals.com (FREE) to trace everything that runs at startup, and I
    do mean everything! Another excellent tool they have is their process
    viewer.

    There used to be a way in NT 4.0 to run Setup and have it replace the
    Registry with a "virgin" copy, just the way it is when the OS is first
    installed. I was told it was for debugging purposes during the OSes
    development and was left in the production release. Of course, doing
    that leaves all your apps and their associated DLLs, etc., orphaned on
    the hard drive (at least till you reinstall the apps).

    Does anyone know of a way to replace the Registry with a "fresh" copy in
    Win2K and Win XP, as there was in NT 4.0?
     
    WinXP_Powered, Mar 9, 2006
    #17
  18. Have you tried this group?

    microsoft.public.win2000.file_system (on msnews.microsoft.com)

    There are a lot of very knowledgable MVPs at those MS newsgroups.

    Good luck, Bob!

    John
    ----------
     
    WinXP_Powered, Mar 9, 2006
    #18
  19. Load \*\,8,1

    don Guest

    Are't you on record as being blindly against service packs?
     
    don, Mar 10, 2006
    #19
  20. Load \*\,8,1

    kony Guest

    No, it was never a matter of blind, always being
    discriminate about what the goal, need, was and whether the
    packs address it. There is a reasonable expectation based
    on MS track record that an OS release of this magnitude will
    have significant bugs.

    Further, 'tis better to install an OS with the service pack
    initially (even slipstreamed) rather than risk taking down a
    working production (or otherwise needed) system by applyingn
    patches that may not be needed, rather than patching it
    originally before deployment and then testing that it works-
    leaving a working system static unless explict need arises
    to change it.
     
    kony, Mar 10, 2006
    #20
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