So yesterday I fire up my laptop and get the following error:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-ROM.
Select ‘R’ at the first screen to start repair.
The damn thing just wouldn’t let me proceed. It seemed that my registry values or hive had been corrupted. This consequently ‘fired up’ a lot of wasted hours trying to sort out this issue. After some research, I came across this article, which basically solves the problem in 8 commands, literally!
I’ll summarize it here:
Put in your Windows XP Setup CD in the drive and boot from it. Let it do its thing until it gives you the option (amongst others) to ‘To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R’. If you’ve got a SATA drive like me, then you’re in for some more trouble where it will most likely say that it can’t find your hard drive. You will have to go into the Setup of your machine when you start it and tweak the auto-detect options for the hard-drive (it worked for me) or load the drivers (don’t know how, didn’t do it).
Once you’re in the Recovery Console, select the Windows that you would like to repair (which is usually the first option, as it lists all the places it finds windows directory including the CD you put in!) and it may ask you to enter your Administrator password.
You should be in your Windows directory which may look like this:
Now it is time to type in the magical 8 commands (for better understanding and details on further prompts; refer to the actual article linked above):
- C: CD ..
- C: ATTRIB -H C:\\boot.ini
- C:ATTRIB -S C:\\boot.ini
- C:ATRIB -R C:\\boot.ini
- C: del boot.ini
- C: BOOTCFG /Rebuild
- C: CHKDSK /R /F
- C: FIXBOOT
That should solve the problem and let you log in normally on your machine.