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I had a server pc with the following error.

\windows\system32\config\system is corrupt or missing

As to fix it i replaced the files instructed here Problem solved and I was able to boot up to windows desktop. But now none of the usb ports recognize any of the usb devices such as mouse, keyboard, thumbdrive nada... The usb mouse powers up (the light at the bottom lids up) but no functionality. Has anyone experienced this kind of behaviour any tip is really appreceiated.

PS:There is no PS2 ports for both mouse and keyboard.

Edit: Same behaviour persists in Safe mode also.

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Were you ever able to solve this on your own? – Oliver Salzburg Jul 30 '12 at 23:35

I think the normal thing to do at such times is run the Windows System File Checker.

sfc /scannow

Just a thought: If you cannot use mouse/kbd, if the network is configured,
have you tried a remote-desktop from another machine?

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I cannot managed to type or point the mouse other than in Bios settings. I slaved the drive to another computer and thats how i managed to replace the corrupted file. – user16877 Nov 5 '09 at 15:26
No i havent i m not sure if it is configured anyways. But worth the shot. The strage part is i cant even go type in safe mode with command line. – user16877 Nov 5 '09 at 16:14
The problem isn’t with the system files, it’s with the data in the HKLM\SYSTEM branch of the registry, so unfortunately SFC wouldn’t help in this case. – Synetech Mar 27 '10 at 19:38

If you have a Windows install disc handy, you may try to repair the system. Check out this pretty comprehensive guide (which I did not write).

There are a couple things to note:

  1. You may not have the repair option available. There is a warning in the linked guide about this. If you proceed without the repair option, you'll blast your Windows, and Documents and Settings, directories.

  2. You should make sure your install disc has SP2 on it. If you have an original disc you can slipstream SP2 onto it (because my rep is so low, I can't post two links--but just search for 'slipstream xp' for a bunch of hits on how to slipstream a disc).

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Like SFC, a repair-install will only fix system files (and registry settings); it won’t repair third-party drivers. (It could help if a repair-install did the hardware detection phase of a Windows installation, but I don’t believe it does.) – Synetech Mar 27 '10 at 19:43

I would try to get VNC or enable Remote Desktop if you have have Pro if possible.

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Been there, done that. :)

Okay so do you have any method of input to Windows? If not, how do you shutdown or restart? Do you have a serial mouse (assuming the system has a serial port) or something available? How about another USB keyboard or mouse (specifically a different make, model, etc.; something that Windows does not already know about)?

If you do have an alternative input device (frankly, either mouse or keyboard is fine since you can set up either to do the work of both), then use that. Windows should detect the new hardware and install it regardless of what the data in the HKLM\SYSTEM branch used to be. If you don’t have an alternative input device, try plugging in your USB keyboard/mouse into a different USB port. Windows should still detect a new device and install the drivers and configure the new port.

If you now have the ability to use a keyboard or mouse, then you will have to open up Device Manager and look through the USB devices that are giving you trouble. The easiest thing to do would be to select Show Hidden Devices in Device Manager, then unplug the device, then uninstall the device (in Device Manager), then plug it back in. That way Windows should reinstall the drivers cleanly.

If there is still problems with the devices, then it will probably require some more, unpleasant work to fix, though you you shouldn’t have a problem since you restored a backup of the registry rather than fixing the corrupt one.

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