Syed Jahanzaib Personal Blog to Share Knowledge !

September 10, 2011

Windows 2003 could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM [SOLVED]

Today morning I received the following error while starting my windows 2003 R2 base file server in my office.

Windows 2003 could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

I was able to solve it using following method. (I thought it might be useful to share this knowledge for others)

  1. Start the computer by using the Windows 2003 CD. At the “Welcome to Setup” screen, press R to repair, and then press C to start the Recovery Console.
  2. Type the number for the appropriate Windows installation, and then type the Administrator account password.
  3. To copy the SYSTEM file from the WINDOWS\Repair folder to the WINDOWS\System32\Config folder, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    copy c:\winnt\repair\system c:\winnt\system32\config\SYSTEM

    If you receive a prompt to overwrite the file, press Y, and then press ENTER. (You can also copy all the files one by one, as console doesn’t allow you to use * wild card )

  4. Restart the computer.

And you will see your windows booting normally.


  1. thanks buddy …thanks for this technical query , actually i m looking for this type of technical query list questions with solution like this have u got /made any list of this type of question bcoz m working on MCITP 2008 & R2 and windows exchange server 2007/ 2010…plz do send me if u have any bcoz i m working on2nd line support on windows server 2008 and send me technical interview questions with answers of MCITP 2008 & r2 …i have been on yr technical question on 2003 part 1-2-3..but i need it for MCITP 2008 my email id is, i have already subscribed u as well


    Comment by mayurgandhi — September 10, 2011 @ 3:21 PM

  2. given access denied


    Comment by Vishal — June 23, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

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