Computer Cant read Config File


Senior Member
My son's computer will not boot up saying that the config file is corrupt or missing. I tried the recovery disks that came with the computer and they cant read the file either in recovery mode.

Is there any way to salvage everyting without formatting the hard drive?
There are a few ways to recover from this, but probably the best way is to get a new hard drive, install the OS on it and then add the bad drive back to the system as a second drive. That way you can attempt to recover anything you might need before reformating or doing any other type of recovery.

Then go to Microsoft's knowledge base and look up the error your getting, and use the recovery procedure that looks best given your circumstances and situation. READ all the info about the procedures first - some will not preserve data or will make possibly unwanted changes to your system.

Good luck!
I dont understand why they have a recovery partition on the hard drive and you dont have access to it to reinstall windows only and keep your other information. Even with the disks it wont let me re-install windows.

If I had a new copy of windows could I re-install and not loose everything else?
Sounds like a corrupt registry to me. You usually can fix this by using the recovery console on the XP setup disc, but not sure if that's accessible through the OEM restore disc.

Might be time to invest in a USB IDE chassis, so you can plug the drive into another system, and fix it that way (or at least back it up).

You can install a new copy over the existing install, technically without losing too much, but I have had good and bad experiences with that method.

If you have access to a Bart PE based bootable disc (or know an IT guy locally), you could probably use that as well (basically running XP from CDrom).

Yet another way of preserving data is by using the Acronis TrueImage rescue disc, which can take a snapshot, then you could mount the image file later as a virtual HD.
I had a corrupt registry file a while back and had to jump through hoops to get it restored, but it was possible. I was not able to get anywhere using the recovery console, so I went looking. The KB article I used successfully was this one:

HOWEVER, my install was not an OEM install, and that KB article specifically says it may not work with OEM installations.

Most OEM installs require you to create a restore CD or use a special recovery CD they supply to restore the system, but this is usually just a completely new install and overwrites everything to put th origina factory install on the disk. I.e. you'll lose your data.

I think the safest bet is to get another hard drive...

Good luck!
I got another drive and loaded everything from the restore disk on that. I hooked up the old drive as a slave to try and salvage what I could and the new drive got corrupted so I wiped them both out. Had to have been a virus.

Now I cant get windows to work correctly.

Its a mess............... but the machine is only 3.5 years old so I will keep at it until I get it right.
OK I formatted the hard drive and installed a brand new version of Media Center. The ethernet adaptor does not have a driver and so I cant get on the net with it.

Its an HP Pavillion 725n and I went to HP and downloaded all of the drivers but that did not resolve the problem.

Does anyone have any ideas??
Does device manager show the network card is installed ok? What other devices are missing their drivers?
Device manager shows there is a problem because there is no driver installed. There is one other missing but I cant remember what it is. Its in my sons room so I cant check it at the moment.

Might be "PB Buss" driver??
Probably the HP buttons driver, is it under "Human Interfaces Devices"? I checked out the 725n, I don't see any drivers listed for that machine on the HP site, but it looks like it has an nforce2 chipset, so I would download the nforce2 drivers from
thanks!!!!! I will try that in the morning.

My son is trying soooo hard to be patient but he is only 9 and his computer is sorely missed.

Looks like those drivers are exactly what I needed. The ethernet is now working so I can access the net.

I am loading Norton and all of the winows updates and I will put my sons videocard back in next. After that I will give it a once over but I think this will fix everything.

THANKS for all of the help!!!
As luck would have it when I put the video card back in it screwed everything up........ Off to wrestle some more.

Edit: All fixed.... My Bad...... I forgot to disable the on board video card.