Friday, December 21, 2012

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

Fellow troubleshooters, please READ this in full before implementing a solution.

One of our clients had this error message displayed on boot "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM". I immediately decided to repair Windows which took a good 1 hour and more. After the repair i had to validate windows before i could login, it wouldnt do that though i clicked yes on the prompt. I then booted into safe mode with command prompt and typed the command "rundll32.exe syssetup, SetupOobeBnk", with uppercase and lowercase as typed and without quotes (this command increases the validation time to 30 days allowing to login). The command ran and i restarted, to my surprise i reached at the same boot screen i did before 1 hr, saying "Windows could not........ SYSTEM". Having no other bright idea, i called my colleague who advised to do the following. THIS IS THE ACTUAL SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.

Boot to Mini Xp (this is from Hirens Boot cd, an amazing tool, a must have for every techy) and follow the steps
1. Rename the file c:\Windows\system32\config\system, to systemold.
2. Copy the file c:\Windows\repair\system and paste in the folder c:\Windows\system32\config.
Restart the computer and the problem is solved in less than 10 mins.

Well, not for me. Since i had done the repair (which wasnt required in the first place), i still needed to activate windows. I logged in, and tried to go in programs-> Activate windows. The window wouldnt open. I tried windows update, wouldn't open. Tried to open internet explorer, would close. I figured windows activation would be connected to internet explorer. Thankfully i had chrome installed. I downloaded and installed the latest internet explorer and activated windows normally. Now everything was fixed.
So the most important lesson here is, Always search a bit and consult a colleague before implementing a possible solution, Happy toubleshooting :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Computer/Server Serial Number from command line

Explaining a customer to find the serial number of a machine, can be a cumbersome task. At times it might even result in failing to get one, and requiring the IT person to visit the site. Here's the simple command to retrieve the Serial number and model name of a machine ( pc and server )

Type in command prompt

wmic bios get serialnumber 
wmic csproduct get name

Handy !!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

HP Laserjet 1200 Windows 7 64 bit Drivers

This particular printer when installed and shared on Xp 32 and 64 bit computers, works perfectly fine. But when connected ( through USB cable ) to a Windows Xp machine and shared ( through network ) to Windows 7 64 bit/ Vista 64 bit, the printer wouldn't print, even after giving the right drivers downloaded from the HP website.
Following is the step by step process given on Hp forum to get it working , i have tried and tested it myself, almost a sure shot bet.

1. Disconnect the printer from the desktop computer on the network. Then, connect the printer directly to the Window 7 64 bit (or Vista 64 bit) machine using the USB cable. The machine loads the correct driver automatically.
2. Print a test page. (This is an important step.)
3. Disconnect the printer from Windows 7/ Vista 64 bit and reconnect it back to the Xp machine
4. Open the list of printers of the Windows 7/ Vista 64 bit computer , find the LaserJet printer. Right click and open "Printer properties" (not the "Properties" at the bottom of list).
5. Find the "ports" tab. Change from the USB port (DOT4_xxx) to the network connection. If you do not know how to change it to network connection, click "Add Port", then click "Local Port". Type "\\your_Xp_pc_name\your_shared_printer_name" (This is just an example.). Click OK to save it.
6. Print another test page.



Printer is now configured.