How to Fix a Windows/System32/Config/System Error

By James Johnson

If you've recently started your computer only to find an error stating the message: "Windows/System32/Config/System Error," it's quite possible that a simple Windows repair function can save your OS from a complete reinstallation. Of course the option to restore your PC from the recovery CD is also an option, and therefore both offerings must be explored.

Step 1

Begin by placing your Windows Recovery CD into the CD/DVD drive and closing the drive. Next power on your computer and wait for the "Press any key to boot from CD" message to appear. Press any key to enter the Windows Repair/Restore screen.

Step 2

Wait until you see the "Press R" to restore option or "Press Enter" for a fresh install. Press the "R" key. You will now be asked to choose the installation of Windows you want to repair. If you only have one OS on your PC, choose the one option you want to repair and press "Enter."

Step 3

Enter your administrator password if prompted, then type in "cd \windows\system32\config" without the quotation marks. You will want to make sure that the "ren system system.bad" error occurs, at which point you'll type "copy\windows\repair\system" and let the files copy to your computer.

Step 4

Remove the CD from the drive and reboot your computer to test if the copied system files have successfully been repaired.

Step 5

Press the "Enter" key to do a fresh install of Windows over your current version if the "Repair" function does not work. Simply allow the installation to proceed until complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pressing "Enter" and following the provided steps will completely delete any files on the drive your Windows OS is installed on. If possible always back up your information to avoid data loss.