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I have dual boot win xp system (both OS win xp).

My Windows XP showed windows\system32\config\"some file" to be missing or corrupt. Without giving a second thought I booted to my working second win xp, deleted five files (system, software, security, sam, default) and copied files from windows\repair folder and just pasted into the config folder without realizing what I was doing.

Now, somehow the system is booting fine but it seems all the system settings have changed; like there is nothing on the Desktop except some windows default icons and no programs are visible in the Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel. Also, one thing I noted is that the systems has created a new administrator folder in the Documents and Settings folder with name Administrator.#### (#### being my computer name). Also, my system has no restore point. However, I do see a restore folder in System Volume Information folder with date one day prior to this incident. Can it somehow be restored with the previous settings?

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4 Answers 4

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Automatic System Restore doesn't work because information about restore points is saved in the registry (that you have just reverted to a blank one).

But if you have that restore point on your hard drive, then you probably can use this trick to restore it:

Restore points contain registry and registry contains information about that specific restore point. What you can do is manually restore just the registry from that restore point, then boot into Safe Mode (normal boot probably won't work yet) and perform automatic system restore - that restore point should show up again.

Restore points are kept in the hidden system directory on your system drive that's called System Volume Information. You'll have to change some privileges to access it. You'll find a restore point there with a folder called snapshot in it, open that folder and you'll find registry hives that you can copy to Windows\system32\config.

Then boot in safe mode and continue with normal system restore.

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Thanks. It worked! You saved my day!!! –  om sai May 23 '13 at 8:57

Unless you can use system restore you are out of luck. You deleted the most current hive files and replaced them with older ones.

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If you can get to System Restore in the windows XP corrupted copy you can try to perform a restore going some days back in the past.

If you can't fix it at all, all you can do is trying to repair corrupt files with chkdsk utility with XP CD.

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This article will help you recover your registry. As grono summarized, you'll have to restore the default copy of the registry to get the system to boot, boot into Safe Mode, restore the latest registry backups from System Restore manually to get a list of all your restore points, then run System Restore.

I had to do this for a friend before. In my case, one of the default backup hives was missing, so I couldn't get the damn thing to boot. I had to restore the missing registry hive straight from the restore point via the command line (if you do this, you still need to run System Restore after a successful boot to get all of the system files in sync with each other).

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Thanks for sharing your story... –  om sai May 23 '13 at 8:58

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