I'm attempting to fix my wife's PC, an Athlon XP 1800. Last Tuesday, it would not boot Windows, stating that \windows\config\system was missing or corrupt. Attempting to restore it did nothing. I copied her data - 9GB worth - to another computer, formatted the drive, reinstalled XP and SP1. Then I installed the applicaitons that were on before (Office 2000, Mozilla, RealPlayer, iTunes, MSN Messenger). Got everything working. All this time the floppy drive was not connected and it was set to not present in the CMOS.
I get the machine home and connect the floppy drive. After enabling the drive in CMOS, I try to start XP. I get a blue screen stating that an invalid config was present. I then disconnect the floppy and disable it in CMOS and try again. It boots into XP. Great! I shut it down, reconnect and reenable the floppy drive and restart it. It would not boot Windows, stating the \windows\config\system was missing or corrupt.
Of course, after seeing that message again I really wanted to throw the computer out of the window, but my wife would kill me if I did that.
Here are the contents of the machine:
Athlon XP 1800+
384MB PC133 RAM (1-256MB, 1-128MB)
40GB WD Caviar hard disk
OptoRite 48x24x48 CD-RW
ECS K7SEM motherboard (SIS 630/730 chipset, built-in video/sound/network)
Generic 56k PCI Winmodem
USB internal card reader (connects to USB header on motherboard)
She doesn't do 3D gaming, so the built-in video is sufficient for her use. Primary uses are email, downlaoding video files and web browsing.
Thanks ahead of time!