OT: Need help from a PC guru

paul stenquist pnstenquist at comcast.net
Wed Oct 7 13:47:13 EDT 2009

My daughter has a custom built PC. It's about four years old, and I'm  
not sure what processor is in it. It runs Windows XP and was fine  
until recently. Now she can't seem to get it to boot, and she can't  
afford to get help. I'm useless when it comes to PCs. Here's her  
description of the problem. Can anyone give us a clue?

On startup I get this error message: "Windows XP could not start  
because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS 

Its extremely common. Its reportedly easy to fix. However...not  
mine... I cannot reinstall the system software .  (I am doing it  
right; however it still wont install). What could be wrong? What else  
can I do before spending actual money trying to repair this.

(PS- when I try to reinstall the system software (windows XP) it   
stops midway and then either goes back to the error message or locks  
up and  I have to restart it...at which time it goes.back to the error  

Thanks for any and all clues.

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