Strange fault with system32 file

wizbit77

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Hi Guys,
Would like some help and advice if possible.
My friends computer gave up the ghost and I have been trying to fix it for him.
The first strange thing is that even though cd drive is set higher than the hard drive it doesn't boot from a cd when inserted.
It will just keep on restarting itself and then eventually after several minutes it will give the error of System32 file folder not found.

I took the drive out and tried it on my computer and it had the same fault so it seems it is definately a hard drive fault.

The strange thing is that I go to where the system32 file should be and it isn't there. But if you try and create a new file with the same name it won't allow it, as it already exists.

Anybody have any ideas ?

I have usually just slung in the cd to restart the computer but as it isn't allowing the cd to kick in I am at a loss as what to do.

Thanks
Wizbit
 

kevg1969

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aint no expert on these things but in the past ive had to enter the bios using either the f10 key or the delete key and the change the boot up option from hard drive to cdrom
 

wizbit77

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It's currently set for the boot order: floppy - cdrom - and then the harddrive.
It's always booted in this order and the cd has taken over on both machines when I have had problems in the past which is why I find it odd.
Cheers
 

notmeatall3

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It should be set up

cd-rom---hdd0---floppy. try this to illiminate any problems there.

Make sure the Windows CD is clean and not too scratched.

Try another Windows CD.

Which drive did u put in yours the hdd.

Put it in ure pc as a slave and do a complete error check of the hdd make sure u scan for bad sectors.
then delete all the partitions on the drive using disk management in your computer.

If it then allows u to boot from CD then do a complete format and not a quick one.
If not try a spare CD drive as the one in your mates PC might be faulty
 

wizbit77

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Just checked and the drive order is as above.
put the hdd in my computer which works fine and it recreated the same fault.
Know that my computer will boot from a cd before going to the hard drive as I have done it several times in the past. But it won't do it while this hdd is set as the master
Have also set the hdd in question as the slave on my computer and i can access most of the files apart from the administrator files I think this is because it was originally password protected.
Don't want to start deleting the partitions and killing the drive as I would like to keep the information that is on it.
Don't understand how the system 32 file can not show up but then it won't let me write over it??
 

wiggy9906

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Try puting the HDD in your PC as a secondary disk and run chkdsk /f <drive letter:>. It may have screwed up indexes.
 

wizbit77

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we're talking xp.
I'lll put the HDD back in as a slave and try running the chkdsk function (although I'm pretty sure the computer ran this automatically when I first put it in)
And then try the steps that notmeatall3 suggested.
Thanks for the suggestions and help I'll let you know how it goes.

The bit that still gets me is that the system32 folder is still there but not visible????
Wizbit77
 

notmeatall3

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The system 32 fold isn't showing at all.
It is there cause it won't let me put a new one in.

Go into folder option and click view tab
select Show Hidden Files and Folders
unchck both Hide extension of know file types and Hide protected Operating system files
 

wizbit77

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Ah it has now appeared.
Thanks
Just need to try and correct the fault now.
Strange that my own computer didn't deem it important enough to hide.
I'll let you know if I get any further.
On another point my own comp is taking forever to start up. Where abouts are the run these programs at startup programs kept. ? Think I need to disable some
Thanks
Wizbit77
 

wizbit77

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Ok. to update
I have now found the system32 file. I have tried to copy across the files from my working pc to see if this would cure it. Although some of those files were in use so not so sure.
Anyway I put the hdd to primary and restarted the computer. It flashes up the first screen with a little bit of info. primary master etc. stuff. Carries on about the usual stuff for another couple of seconds and then restarts itself and does the same process again??????
I can access and look around the hard drive fine when it is not the master.
So I then did f1 and took the hardrive out of the boot list altogether. I put the floppy then dvd drive and dvd drive. Thinking that I could boot from the xp disc. And it still did the same thing???
It's really strange..... and annoying.
Thanks for all your help. Wouldn't mind a bit more if your free.
Wizbit77
I can't try the booting from floppy option at the moment as I don't have any. not used one for literally years now. Can't even remember seeing anyone selling them come to think of it.
 

davidh

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check that u have hdd set as master and cd/dvd set as slave
or put the cd/dvd on to secondary ide as master then try again
i would say sounds like a mbr fault
and needs to be repaired
 

wizbit77

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what do you mean by mbr? motherboard?
The computer works fine with an alternate hdd.
just this one that keeps messing up
 

davidh

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The Hdd is set to master.
where is the mbr located and how do I go about repairing it?
Thanks
MBR is on the hdd
set it up as i said hdd on primary master and cd/dvd on secondary master
then set up in bios to boot from cd/dvd
do a repair on the MBR

Repairing a Damaged MBR

Your Windows XP setup CDROM has a tool called the Recovery Console, which is designed to help you repair a damaged master boot record or boot sector. To start the Recovery Console and fix your damaged MBR, follow these steps:
  1. Restart your computer with the Windows XP Setup disk in the CDROM drive.
  2. If you are prompted to press a key to start the computer from CDROM, do so quickly. Otherwise it may try to boot from the hard drive.
  3. After a few minutes, you'll see a prompt to press the R key to start the Recovery Console.
  4. When Recovery Console starts, it will prompt you to enter a number corresponding to the Windows XP installation that you need to repair. In most cases, you'll enter "1" (which will be the only choice). If you press ENTER without typing a number, Recovery Console will quit and restart your computer.
  5. Enter your Administrator password. If you don't enter the correct password, you cannot continue.
  6. At the Recovery Console command prompt, type fixmbr and then verify that you want to proceed.
Your damaged MBR will be replaced with a shiny new one, and you should then be able to boot your system normally. In some cases, you may need to repair the boot sector in addition to the MBR. If your system still doesn't boot properly, repeat the steps above, but issue the fixboot command instead.
 
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