windowssystem32configsystem missing or corrupt

Well, this was a total pain in the arse!! So my netbook suddenly died, I’ve just arrived in a foreign country and no mr microsoft, I neither have a cd drive (nor my windows cd) and I don’t trust giving my netbook into to some random pc repair place.

This took a bit of searching around but here is a way to fix this if you don’t have cds/cd drives etc.

Basically, you should be able take a copy of the file from a previous system restore point and just copy it across. Simple eh? Only first you have to be able to access the file system on your hard disc.. Luckily for me I was able to borrow someones pc and internet connection. If you don’t have either of these things, err.. find them somehow!

Once you have a usb stick and someone willing to let you use their internet connection, do this:

  1. Create a bootable usb stick with linux on it. (simple eh…) I used a version of linux mint-just follow the instructions on this page:
    (that’s what I used originally, though you might prefer to follow the instructions here: for an up to date version of mint/whatever)
  2. Boot your pc with the usb drive in
  3. Once you are in linux, open whatever file browser it has (in linux mint, it’s simply an icon on the desktop called ‘computer’)
  4. navigate to the hard disc with the dead copy of XP on it – in most cases I expect it would be the only hard disc listed
  5. Find the folder System Volume Information – this is where XP keeps it’s restore data (interestingly you can’t get into this folder through windows)
  6. In this folder there will be something that looks like _restore{xxxx} – open this folder and sort by date last modified – you want to recover the most recent good file you can of course. In my case this was RP131

Within this folder open the folders snapshotrepository and find the file _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM

  • copy this file to windowssystem32config (i.e. what would be the c:windowssystem32config folder in windows
  • rename the current system file to system.bak
  • rename the file you copied over to system
  • Hopefully – that should do it! reboot and pray for the windows logo to show up! I guess if that doesn’t work, try the next most recent _restore folder and hope that does the job!


Hope that helped someone!!

30 thoughts on “windowssystem32configsystem missing or corrupt

  1. Thank you my friend, your solution apperas to have worked as described. One netbook is now back in the land of the living.

    Thanks again

  2. This is working really well, except that every file on the bricked windows partition is protected, so i can’t overwrite the corrupted system file. What should I do?

    I’m using the latest mythbuntu, but just to be sure, I’m downloading mint.

  3. THANK YOU!!!

    After replacing the screen on my EEEPC 1000HA i had the system 32 file error.

    Followed the instructions and it worked a treat!


  4. Thank you so much! My husband’s computer wouldn’t boot past the BOIS screen, so when I booted into Safe Mode and found this error, I Googled it and found your solution – it worked like a dream! I used an old Ubuntu 10.04 CD, and everything worked perfectly first try! (That never happens to me!) Thank you so much!

  5. My wifes asus f2hf laptop has working CD/DVD drive, however I could not find her WinXP CD so I used an old knoppix 3.6 CD at hand. Laptop disk is plain fat32, (no ntfs drivers are needed) hence any live linux cd can read/write disk.

    As Tealbird said: Excellent fix – quick and easy !

    I wonder why official MS fix 307545 is so long and complicated. Perhaps it has some secret advantages.

  6. Thank you so much. I used Mint 13 and it worked successfully. At first I was stuck at step 7 and fails to copy the file. It shows an error message of "Input/Output Error".

    Then I delete the existing system32config folder and create a new folder and rename it as config (Surprisingly the corrupt system32config folder is empty). I copied all the 5 files _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM, _REGISTRY_USER_DEFAULT, _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SECURITY, _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE and _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SAM to the config folder and renamed it as system, default, security, software and sam respectively. Then I reboot Windows and voila! Windows is running again.

  7. Honestly, I lost all hope of saving any of my files from the brick that was my netbook. I followed your steps (up to 7 [its windowssystem32config]) and recovered all of my pictures and system files! You are a god(dess) among men.

  8. OH this work wonderfully, Thank you so much. Keep doing this Good work.

    USEFUL TIPs: I used linux mint 10

    At first I only downloaded the lintux10.iso.torrent only which does not work.

    You have to download the whole lintux 10 gnome iso which takes about 52 minutes. Download this to your USB using the Universal Usb Installer. If you dont do this when you boot you computer with the USB it wont work!!!!

    Again thanks man, GOD BLESS YOU SO MUCH

  9. I got up to step 7 headed toward 8 but there are no files listed in the directory (to change the name) and when I try to copy the file in I get an error message… input/output error. Not sure why. I’m having trouble getting the file into the C drive. Any suggestions?

  10. Used Mint 10, followed all your instructions, but the SYSTEM file you mention in point 7 was actually in WINDOWSSYSTEM32CONFIG on my machine.

    Worked an absolte treat!! thanks

  11. I’m optimistic that this can work, but I’m having trouble getting the netbook to complete the boot from the USB flash drive and hoping someone can help. What I notice:

    When I download the Universal USB installer, early on a window pops up stating "archive not found". Nonetheless I click "OK" and the Installation Screen does finally stay "Installation Done, Process is Complete".

    Then when I put the Flash drive into the USB port of my netbook, I see

    ERROR: No configuration file found

    No DEFAULT or UI configuration directive found!


    and I’m not sure what to do next. Is there a simple fix to this problem?


  12. Hard to say, but.. first thing, make sure you are logged into the computer you are installing from with an account with admin rights.

    If you are, maybe try a different distro of linux – one of the ubuntu ones should do.. It’s also worth trying a different usb stick if you keep having problems

    Good luck!

  13. Excellent fix – quick and easy ! With my netbook I tried several Linux live OS varieties – Knoppix,DSL,SuperOS – that were able to read my D partition but not C where the problem was. Mint has some kind of graphics issue with the netbook. It seemed unlikely that anything could read it if Linux couldn’t but I made a last try with Hiren’s Boot CD and used the MiniXP. It read it without a problem. Reboot – Fixed!I had an external CD but Hiren’s has USB steps available too. Love it . Thank you so much.

  14. To Kuba and master; many thanks! My daughters net book was brought back from corruption ( file corruption) by using tips from you both 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.