Yesterday there was an automatic McAfee update. This completed but no restart was indicated as required. A full scan was performed and it completed with no issues being detected. After that I check e-mail and shut down my PC. This morning I powered my PC and an error message came up (Blue screen background) that there was an error due to a Windows system 32 config file is missing or corrupt. The message also said to remove any newly installed hardware (which there was none). I restarted the PC and a boot error comes up saying the Windows system 32 config file is missing or corrupt. Suggest to use the original Windows set up disc and press 'r' to repair. I tried this but all it does try is to reboot with the same message. I tried to restart in safe mode but the same error messge appears.
I don't know what else to do or how to fix this. I do feel that the McAfee update messed up my desktop. Other people have had similar issue in the past but I tried to call support and customer service and all I get is a recorded message to to go to chat (and download an application - can't do that because my PC does not work, or have a credit card handy to purchase premium phone service. If this is going to cost me to fix I will never purchace McAfee products again.
Anyone please help.Message was edited by: jake01 on 8/16/11 1:18:08 PM CDT
That's because it's not a system file, it's a (possibly the) registry hive which has become corrupted. Do you use a registry cleaner, and if so which one?
This problem is well known over on the Microsoft forums and there are many posts there about it. Some of the solutions may not work for you if your 4700 came with a Dell-supplied Windows operating system, but there are a few things you could try.
First, if you have a Dell-supplied Windows CD you will need to go into BIOS to change the order in which the BIOS looks for media containing a system to load. The default probably is for the hard disk to be the first option, but if you're trying to recover from a CD the CD-drive option will need to be first.
I take it that F8 doesn't work for you, so you can't try doing a system restore? I'm not certain that would work anyway, but it would definitely be worth a try before anything else. If you can't even get into DOS-only Safe Mode that makes things more difficult.
The standard Microsoft response is for users first to try the suggestions in KB307545 ("How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting") but it contains the following warning, which might apply to your 4700 :
Warning Do not use the procedure that is described in this article if your computer has an OEM-installed operating system. The system hive on OEM installations creates passwords and user accounts that did not exist previously. If you use the procedure that is described in this article, you may not be able to log back into the recovery console to restore the original registry hives.
There is a thread at answers.microsoft.com started by someone with a Dell Inspirion which may be relevant to your situation. Read through it and follow the links in the replies, and try the suggestions there.
Message was edited by: Hayton on 17/08/11 04:11:09 IST