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Can't boot up Netbook?

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Friend of mine has an Aspire ONE D260-A Netbook which runs Windows XP and a day or so ago the machine refused to boot up? Instead the following message is displayed.


Windows could not start up because the following file is missing or corrupt \Windows\System32\Config\System


To make matters even worse she no longer has the original start up disk that came with the machine when new.


Hope someone can help?

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the following file is missing or corrupt WindowsSystem32ConfigSystem

The first strategy to try is the "last known good configuration" option. Power up the computer and, just before Windows begins to load, tap the F5 or F8 key to invoke the options menu, then select "Last known good configuration..." and press Enter.


If that's not successful, the next step is fairly involved. The message means that a registry file ("SYSTEM") is damaged or missing. The problem is resolved by replacing the SYSTEM file with one from a recent (but not the newest) restore point.


The complications are that, in addition to the SYSTEM file, DEFAULT, SAM, SECURITY, and SOFTWARE must also be replaced by their counterpoints in the chosen restore point to maintain consistency. And, part or all must be done using the recovery console or some other operating system on a live CD or bootable flash drive.


A somewhat lengthier procedure is described in reasonable detail in the Microsoft article How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting. It includes extra steps that allow Windows to run, which makes finding an appropriate restore point and copying files easier and quicker. (Even without the extra steps, though, it is longer than it could be.)


If you can boot from an alternate operating system, however, some steps are not needed. Perform the commands in part one, step 5, but omit the last five commands. Continue with part two, steps 6 through 11. In part three, perform step 2. Finally, perform Part 4, selecting the restore point with the same date as that of the restore point from which you copied the replacement registry files.

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