Fixing a Win XP Media Center Edition laptop

clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User
edited October 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
crossposted from Moe's:

So I'm fixing a friend's laptop (Dell Inspiron E1705). When I first got it, it would get an error on boot that NTOSKRNL was corrupt or missing. Tried copying over a new one from my XP Pro SP2 CD and still got the same error.

Nuked that partition, created a new one and booted from his Dell provided XP MCE install disc. Have a couple hiccups along the way, as I get prompted to find the location of various files and I have to manually point it to \I386 for them. Install finishes, and I get a new error, that Windows\System32\Config\System is missing or corrupt.

Odds things: They have the hard drive split into 4 partitions, 1 called MEDIADIRECT thats FAT32 and sized 2047 MB, 1 FAT partition thats 47 MB, another FAT32 thats 5020 MB, and finally the C: partition thats NTFS and 107356 MB.

So anyone got any ideas what I can do to fix this damn thing?

clsCorwin on

Posts

  • theclamtheclam Registered User
    edited October 2009
    "Windows\System32\Config\System is missing or corrupt" means that the registry is bad.

    Do this:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

    However, if you're getting it immediately after a reformat, then you've either got a bad Windows disc, bad hardware, or you're doing something seriously wrong during the install.

    theclam on
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  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    XP MCE was a weird install, to the point that you could tell it to skip extremely necessary files, and the entire second disc, and it would still "complete" the installation, albeit only to launch in a nigh-unusable state. As long as you pointed the installer to the location of the file and didn't cancel or skip it, and the progress bar advanced, it should have installed the files it asked for.

    I have no idea why they have anything formatted in FAT32, other than that it might be some kind of Dell restore partition.

    Ah, here we go.

    http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/mediadirect.htm
    Some Dell notebook computers include a special Dell MediaDirect feature. MediaDirect enables you to watch DVD movies, slideshows, or listen to music without having to boot the complete XP operating system. MediaDirect is installed in a special partition on the hard disk, but is hidden so you cannot see it when XP is booted normally. When the computer is off, pressing the MediaDirect button will boot the MediaDirect partition instead of XP.

    matt has a problem on
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  • clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Yes, peregrinefalcon pointed me to the recovery thing, but I found that if you install windows normally, it'll break their recovery option, so... damn.

    Better question, can I just use my XP Pro SP2 CD and use his CD key from MCE, or use my key and then change it to his afterwards?

    clsCorwin on
  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    An MCE key and XP Pro disc aren't compatible, unfortunately.

    matt has a problem on
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  • BeazleBeazle Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    If you have a Dell Branded WinXP disk (PRO, Home, Media) you do not have to put in a key when you install it. The Dell WinXP disk will look and see if you have a Dell BIOS and will not ask you to put in a product key or activate it. If they have all thier stuff backed up I would wipe the whole disk removing all the FAT32 partions and then make one big C: drive.

    Beazle on
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