Windows XP

Windows XP


Corrupted or Missing \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG[]

If you get the error:

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

1. Insert and boot from your Windows XP CD. 2. At the first R=Repair option, press the R key 3. Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.

  Typically this will be #1

4. Enter in the administrator password when requested 5. cd \windows\system32\config 6. Depending on which section was corrupted:

  ren software software.bad or ren system system.bad

7. Depending on which section was corrupted

  copy \windows\repair\system
  copy \windows\repair\software

8. Take out the CD ROM and type exit

Low Virtual memory error[]

An error message: "Virtual memory minimum is too low. Windows is increasing the size of the virtual memory paging file."

Answer: The virtual memory is the space your computer uses when it runs short of RAM memory. The paging file is the place where Windows handles your virtual memory settings. If your computer wants to change it, you should go ahead and let it because XP will adjust the setting to meet the current memory needs. I do not recommend changing these settings manually as Windows can manage the size much more efficiently than the user can. Making your virtual memory setting larger will increase the number of addresses and will make Windows lazy.

Adding more RAM may also be of benefit as this will reduce the need for virtual memory to be used in the first place. For running Windows XP, I suggest at least 384MB. In general, adding more RAM is the most cost effective means of boosting a computer's performance.

I recommend buying quality RAM from a reputable company. Some cheap (unbranded) RAM can on occasion be defective resulting in 'unexplained' crashes or freezes. Brands to look for are Mushkin, Crucial and Kingston. To determine the price and availability for a particular computer, select its manufacturer and then the model from the menus on Crucial's site:

Reinstall System Restore[]


The problem I'm having is when trying to start System Restore a window pops up saying 'System Restore has encountered a problem and needs to close'. Then when I go into System Properties & click on the System Restore tab I get a couple of different errors. One time it will say: 'Run DLL as an App has encountered a problem and needs to close', the other message says: An exception occurred while trying to run "C:\Windows\system32\shell32.dll" or "C:\WINDOWS\system32\sysdm.cpl". This is in a box with RUNDLL in the title bar & it has a big red ball with a white 'X' in the screen.

Possible solution:

In this case, I recommend trying to reinstall System Restore, here's how:

1. You will need to be able to view hidden files, so go to Start>> Control Panel>> Folder Options>> View tab. Under Advanced settings, place a checkmark in: "Show hidden files and folders". Then uncheck: "Hide extensions for known file types". Click Apply, then OK to exit.

2. Open Windows Explorer, then go to Windows>> inf folder. Open the inf folder and find a file named: sr.inf

Right click this file and select "Install" from the resulting menu.

Note: This procedure will delete all restore points from your old installation and recreate a fresh installation of System Restore.

PC runs slow[]

Question: My computer is really slow lately. I have noticed a bunch of programs running in the background when I hit CTRL>>ALT>>DEL. What can I do to reduce the number of programs running?

Answer: There is a free program that you can run to help you determine the programs that you can stop from running. It is called Process Explorer.

"The Process Explorer display consists of two sub-windows. The top window always shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, whereas the information displayed in the bottom window depends on the mode that Process Explorer is in: if it is in handle mode you'll see the handles that the process selected in the top window has opened; if Process Explorer is in DLL mode you'll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded. Process Explorer also has a powerful search capability that will quickly show you which processes have particular handles opened or DLLs loaded." [More]

Once you have Process Explorer installed and running:

1. Click on the CPU column to sort processes by percentage of CPU usage. 2. Select the process that's using most or all of the CPU percentage. 3. Right click the selected item and from the options listed, select 'Google'.

This will invoke a Google search on this process which will give you enough information to make an informed decision whether or not to stop this process.