Sunday, February 03, 2008

Windows XP Issue with HP Pavilion ze5570us

We have a notebook computer that works quite nicely except that Windows XP will have its security file (SAM) every so often. It happened again about 3 days ago and I fixed it today. Last time it happened was July 2007. Before that I think it happened 2-3 times.

When it first happened, Windows would boot up and give a message that a file was corrupted. I could not get to a desktop even in safe mode. The restore CDs that came with the computer will do a complete reformat and install of the computer so all data will be lost. I tried boot disks and could not get to windows. Eventually, I tried to boot up in Linux and see the file system. I could so I then transferred files to USB memory drives. Once all our user files were copied I ran the reformat CDs but encountered another issue. The 4th disk was defective. After dealing with HP support numerous times I finally was able to get new set of disks for $48. They worked and I restored the system back the best I could.

After that files we worked were stored to external USB so when the next time it happened it would be easier to start over. It happened again but this time I found that using Linux to see the file system I could access the /windows/system32/config directory where the corrupted file was and it could be replaced by the files in the /windows/repair directory. After doing this some things still seemed out of date but I did not have to reformat the system. After getting applications back on I made a backup point in Windows XP.

I cannot figure out why this happening but I am glad I have a better procedure for repairing the system. I did run a bootable memory test for about 16 hours to see if the memory on the PC was having issues but it recorded no errors found.

Eventually, I new notebook will needed to replace it since at the rate it is going it will fail 2 more times this year.

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