System32 Corrupt error, leading to complete hell. (Computer issues)

WillisIVIIXWillisIVIIX Registered User
edited November 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
System specs:
Windows XP Professional
AMD Athlon Dual Core 2 GHz
TFORCE TF7025-M2 Mobo
Geforce 275 GTX
2GBs Corsair DDR2 ram
Westell 250 GB HDD

The situation so far:
Randomly my desktop started hard freezing, no mouse movement, no keyboard activity you name it. Then after resetting, it started giving me various warnings during boot to windows, the most common was, "\windows\system32\config\system is missing or corrupted. try to repair etc..." and a lsass.exe error which wasn't as common. I found this fix LINK but instead of going through that first, I read about how some usb devices could also cause the problem. Only two new things were connected to the rig recently, a wired 360 controller and a usb printer. So I unplugged those first and everything booted fine, then after about 15 mins or so the desktop hard froze again, and the same system and lsass.exe corrupt errors occurred.

So I figured what the hell, I'll just do a clean install of windows, it's been about a year since I did it last might as well, and everything was going fine until after about a day and windows reinstalling SP3 it crapped again. Same freeze, same corrupt errors. Now only things plugged into the usb slots are my keyboard and mouse.

I then decided to attempt the linked fix by going through the XP recovery console. After fighting through it to do the registry file swipe, I finally get it done. Now the desktop "seemed" ok, until I attempted to install my wireless card. Now I receive a "The InstallShield Engine (iKernel.exe) could not be launched. The RPC Server is unavailable" error. I've searched and found this fix LINK, there's two options in the link and neither work. There is no dcom service in services and going through the dcomcnfg option, it closes when I double click computers. I was going to try a registry wiper but the lack of installing has halted movement.

Right now I have the machine running on idle since I can't install anything, waiting to see if it hard freezes again. I would do another clean install of windows but I'm sure it would just continue this cycle leading me back to this point, as it has twice now. What I'm interested in is figuring out exactly where and what the problem is. I can't hammer down if it's hardware or software. I'm on the fence on whether I should just give up on the rig and piecemeal together a new box. Although the concern is I'm not sure what device or devices may be dying and I would be doing a lot for nothing. A friend is pushing that the PSU is pretty much shitting the bed, I'm not so sure since nothing has pointed me in that direction.

Anyone experience anything like this or has any more tips I'd greatly appreciate it, it's been about 6 days of head scratching and my scalp is getting raw.

WillisIVIIX on


  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited November 2010
    if your doing a clean install and it's messing up, then it could EASILY be a failing hard drive.

    Viscountalpha on
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Could be. Also could be flaky/bad RAM or a bad RAM controller. That's easy enough to test for and does not require a working operating system; run memtest86. Alternatively, download and burn yourself a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD, which includes memtest86 plus a plethora of other tools including various tools that can test your disk. You boot straight off that, then run your tests there.

    DrFrylock on
    Pheezer wrote: »
    I would strongly recommend reading DrFrylock's post thoroughly and considering all of his points individually.
  • WillisIVIIXWillisIVIIX Registered User
    edited November 2010
    Ironically I had just run Memtest......... On my brother's box. Didn't know about the ultimate boot CD. Going to try that after a nap.

    The HDD failing had crossed my mind, as it's the oldest device, I think it's pushing 6 or 7 years old, that's typically the life cycle for most of my hard discs.

    WillisIVIIX on
  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited November 2010
    I bet your S.M.A.R.T. reporting says you have a ton of errors on that drive.

    Viscountalpha on
  • SpudgeSpudge Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    If you have an XP CD, you can rebuild the SYSTEM file in recovery console. Here are the official instructions

    You could probably get away with just replacing the SYSTEM file instead of doing the full instructions, but if you need them that page shows the entire process

    Spudge on
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  • WillisIVIIXWillisIVIIX Registered User
    edited November 2010
    Well Viscount you are correct, the HDD seems to have kicked the bucket. I just got Ultimate Boot CD as per your advice Frylock and I can't run the HDD Diagnostic, and it's a Western Digital HDD not a Westell.... Wth was I thinking? Anyways I get a DRQ error the moment the test starts and it asks for a restart.

    Anyways everything says replace the SATA cable (I did) and if the problem continues replace the drive, so that's an easy fix but I figure if the box is going to be down and out for a while I might as well test everything I can.

    Thanks guys you were a big help.

    WillisIVIIX on
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