I have a Dell 8400.
I got the \Windows\System32\Config\System error messgae upon startup.
I spent several weeks, well actually a half hour lol with an online tech.
Of course, nothing was resolved.
After reading several hundred replies here and other tech sites, I am still unable to boot my system.
I have run out of ideas.
I think I have it nailed down to it being a hard drive failure after reading replies from the more prolific posters here.
My question/s ( finally) are.
Has anyone ever sucessfully repaired their existing system?
How did you do it?
If I replace the hard drive, will my existing Dell supplied Operating system disks install to the new hard drive?
Has anyone done this?
Please reply as I will need to order a new hard drive soon....
Due to economic circumstances I cannot afford a new PC at this time, but when i am able to, will be buying a Dell of course.
Please help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanking you in advance, a satisfied dell customer.
Thank you for using the Dell Community Forum.
Have you tried formatting and reinstalling windows? If not, you may want to go ahead and reinstall. The error is a Windows error and is not a hard drive problem. When you do decide to put a new hard drive in the computer you will be able to reinstall Windows with no problems.
NO need to do a reinstall reformat DELL would have you believe you newed a nuckear bomb where a flyswatter is only necessary
run the chkdsk/f utility preferably from a copy of WINPE disc or some other suchutility disc
USUALLY that area of the drive needs a REPAIR. I have done it but forget exactly WHAT I did.
This is one of the FEW areas that I prefer VISTA; it automates a repair for you and usually does a good job!
IF you get a new drive (if U insist) the dell supplied discs will alow you to reinstall as oif it were new
Thing is all old favorites etc are ALL gone
You can retrieve them by strapping on the old drive when u get the new one up and running
If it is XP then under Documents and Settings are your old esktop icons etc...
If you have XP SP2 on the hard drive and have your Dell XP SP2 Reinstallation CD, you can just do a repair/reinstall of XP on your existing hard drive. All personal files will be ok, but you will have to reinstall all SP2 updates and hotfixes (ie, update to SP3).
If the drive has already been updated to SP3, you can create a bootable "slip-streamed" CD with XP SP2 from your Dell CD and SP3 downloaded free from Microsoft. And then use the slip-streamed CD to run the repair/reinstall. Here's a good "how-to" for slip-streaming XP with SP3.
Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee
My fix is pretty straightforward and works most of the time
1) Boot to the Recovery Console using the Windows CD
2) Copy the 'system' file from c:\windows\repair to c:\windows\system32\config
Thankyou for all the replies so far....
The problem is I cannot get into any place where entering a command is possible, including safe mode, etc.
I would love to wipe the drive and start over as all existing important items on the drive were backed up
( ALWAYS BACK UP!!!!!) prior to the failure.
At this moment, none of the drives, including the boots, are "not recognized.
I will continue to try all options including the ones suggested in this thread.
I consider this a challange as i think i am "good" with computers, but not great...lol
Once again...Thank you all.
If everything is backed up, then use PC Restore to reset the hard drive to 'factory condition". All personal files and any software you installed will be lost, so be sure you've got everything you need on external media.
Availability of PC Restore assumes that your system was shipped after July 14, 2004 and you haven't previously reformatted or replaced the original hard drive. Reboot and press/hold Ctrl key as soon as you see the narrow blue band across the top of the screen. While holding Ctrl, quickly press F11 and release both at the same time. Follow the prompts.
As soon as PC Restore is done, get antiviral software and firewall running. Then go directly to the MS update site and download ALL hotfixes for Windows (eg, SP3), Internet Explorer, Office, etc, etc.
While you're logged in, you can edit any of your posts by clicking the [Edit] link in the gray bar at the bottom of that post. I don't think anyone is happy with this new version of the forum.
Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee
I cant get any of the above to work....( PC Restore)( key combo) only keys taht are available to me are F2 and F12 and F1 which results in a reboot.................
Splash screen loads, F12 is able to run diagnostics which is telling me all my drives are working with no errors listed in the results section.
The PATA drives are listed and jumpered correctly
I tried booting from the ( Boot Sequence) usb drives listed first..no avail
switched to SATA hared drive listed first, also no avail.
I wish there was a utility ( free of course) available that I could download, copy and slip into the 3.5 drive to boot this thing...lol
And I thought i had already edited my comment about the forum display...rotf.....
I will probably get the hang of it after the next 6 or 700 posts.....