Weirdness after Windows operating system reinstall

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QUESTION :

I have reinstalled my OS succesfully. I have turned off and restarted a few times and it was fine. A few hours later, when I turned it on, there was an error on the screen:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or
corrupt:

WINDOWSSYSTEM32CONFIGSYSTEM

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.

So I intended to repair it by reinstalling all over again.I boot to the Windows installation CD:

Press any key(with blue background)

text below:

  • Setup is loading files (windows executive)
  • Setup is loading files (hardware abstraction layer)

I was waiting for half an hour, and nothing changed. I repeated the process several times and still nil.

Please give advice and solutions about where the problem is. Is it with the hardware, Windows CD, or both?

ANSWER :

Most likely is an hardware issue, to be specific, RAM.

The mentioned file / file structure is the one most used when windows is being used, thus being the first to go when the system is running over a bad RAM module.

Another indication is the fact that when you tried to install windows again, the setup can’t perform properly.

e.g.,

With windows 7 setup, the black screen mentioning several files at the bottom, while presenting a message like “Windows is loading files…”, means that the setup if loading each one of those files into the computers RAM modules.

Continuing, all the way until it asks you about your hard drive, being this the first time that the windows setup interacts with your HDD, and starts writing to it.

So, all points to a bad RAM module, and I strongly recommend that you test the RAM modules present on that computer (I use memtest and it works great):

memtest86+

memtest86

It is possible that you are having a hard drive failure.

An Ubuntu LiveCD may be able to diagnose your problem for certain. Zuul’s answer addresses other diagnosis possibilities and options.

If so, you should purchase a new hard drive or perhaps consider a solid-state drive, if one interests you. Unless you have data elsewhere on the drive, a freshly installed operating system is not worth salvaging, so you should dispose of the drive (i.e. turn it into an ashtray, mail it to me, throw it away).

Matching symptoms:

  • Windows XP was able to boot successfully, but not after some reboots.
  • Blue Screen of Death
  • A critical boot file suddenly goes inaccessible.

(Windows XP was identified by “Setup is loading files (hardware abstraction layer)...“.)

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