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I accidently deleted a unsaved file for VPC, so when I start the VPC get: the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

The following steps I did to get windows running for data

 1. Insert the Windows XP startup disk into the floppy disk drive, or insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted to do so. 
2. When the “Welcome to Setup” screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console. 
3. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console. 
4. When you are prompted to do so, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
5. At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following lines, pressing ENTER after you type each line:
md tmp
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default
 
6. Type exit to quit Recovery Console. Your computer will restart.

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

 

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