Solved xp system32\drivers\pci.sys missing or corrup

November 10, 2011 at 10:59:09
Specs: Linux i686
When starting, system says "system32 drivers pci.sys is missing... use repair console"
would like to "expand" file from recovery disk to c:, but when I execute the command, the system says "access is denied". To remedy this, tried to use the SET command to set AllowAllPaths = true, but get "Set command is disable, enable by using Security Configuration and Analysis snap-in." However, I don't see how to do this from within the "repair" console.

Is there any way around this, or another approach altogether. I don't have the original XP disk, only an upgrade disk and the recovery disk. I'd prefer not to have to do a clean load.


See More: xp system32\drivers\pci.sys missing or corrup

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✔ Best Answer
November 11, 2011 at 10:29:07
See response 8

"I note that there's a "drivers cache" folder in Windows. Does this provide any help?"

C:\Windows\Driver Cache\i386

NO. pci.sys is not in it.

The ONLY place pci.sys is, is in C:\Windows\System32\drivers. or possibly
C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386

There is no pci.sy_ on my entire C drive either.

There are backup copies of some drivers in
C:\Windows\System32\dllcache
(the dllcache folder is normally hidden in Windows)
- *.dll files, some *.sys files, *.exe files, etc. - but not pci.sys .


If there is no (Drive letter):\Windows\System32\\drivers folder (or if there was no \drivers folder until you made it) your Windows installation is severely damaged.

(My \drivers folder has 338 files total inc. in sub-folders and 4 sub-folers that have a small number of files in some folders, three whch it appears were made by Windows when I installed it, the other made by AVG later. )

Your hard drive may be in the process of failing.

.Test your hard drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics.

E.g.
Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

Do the long test.

The Dos bootable versions of SeaTools can test the hard drive when Windows will not load properly, or even when the drive has no data on it.

If the drive itself passes the test, any data problems on the drive can be fixed one way or another.
...............

If the drive itself DOES NOT pass the test, you MAY still be able to get your personal data off of it - see the last paragraph in this post.
............

It the drive itself passes the test,

"The recovery disk is a "Reinstallation CD" that came with the system (Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop")."

In that case it can be used the same way as a regular XP CD with the same model to run a Repair installation of Windows procedure.

NOTE that you need the Product Key that's on the official Microsoft label on the outside of the case.
If you can still read that, that''s good.
Use magnification to read it if you have difficulty reading tiny characters, otherwise some characters can be mis-read e.g. 8 and B .

( If you can't read all of it because it's worn or someone was too vigorous cleaning the outside of the case, the Product Key the Windows installation was using can be found even if Windows isn't working if you remove the drive and connect it to another computer that has XP on it (don't boot from your drive on the other computer), if there's nothing wrong with certain data in Windows on the drive.
E.g. Search for: Keyfinder and see the "hit" on the Jellybean....... web site, at the bottom of the page where you can download Keyfinder, click on the Keyfinder FAQS link.

If the hard drive is SATA, the sockets for SATA data and SATA power are identical to those on a desktop (3.5") drive - you can connect to any desktop computer that has SATA drive controllers and a spare SATA data header.
- or- an external drive enclosure for a laptop (2.5") SATA drive - it can be connected to any computer with a USB port, but the USB port MUST be able to supply the full 500ma USB spec current
- or - an inexpensive USB to laptop SATA drive adapter (it has circuitry between the connectors) - it can be connected to any computer with a USB port, but the USB port MUST be able to supply the full 500ma USB spec current

If it's IDE, you need
- an inexpensive laptop drive (2.5") IDE to desktop IDE data / power adapter, you connect to an IDE cable on a desktop computer (the laptop drive is set to master by default)
- an inexpensive USB to laptop IDE drive adapter (it has circuitry between the connectors) - it can be connected to any computer with a USB port, but the USB port MUST be able to supply the full 500ma USB spec current
- or - an external drive enclosure for a laptop (2.5") IDE (a.k,a PATA) drive - it can be connected to any computer with a USB port, but the USB port MUST be able to supply the full 500ma USB spec current )


See response 10:
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...

Scroll down to:

"- If that doesn't help, you can try running a Repair installation of Windows"


If it has a SATA hard drive....

Installing XP and SATA drive controllers, SATA drives; the SATA drive controller bios settings.
See response 2:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...

I stated in that....

"The detailed info about how you set the SATA controller mode or similar - it varies
depending on the bios version - is probably in the manual for your mboard model, in the descriptions of settings in the bios.
If you need help with that, you must provide us with the make and model of your mboard."

That's assuming you have a generic desktop system with a retail mboard model in it.

If you have a brand name system, similar applies, but we usually cannot find what you see in a brand name system bios version regarding that to refer you to on the web.

Whatever the setting is, when the files intially loaded from the XP CD cannot find SATA drives, it's presently set to SATA or AHCI in the bios, it's changeable, and at least one other choice is an IDE compatible mode of some sort.
.....

If the Repair installation of Windows procedure doesn't solve your problems, then you must install XP from scratch.

If you have any personal data on the partition Windows itself was installed on that you DO NOT want to lose, BEFORE you install XP from scratch, boot the computer from something that can read all the files on the drive, such as a Linux CD or the Ultimate Boot CD, and copy the data you don't want to lose to elsewhere. ALL of your personal data is at C:\Documents and Settings\(your user)\( files and sub-folders of your user), unless you saved your data in a location elsewhere deliberately.




#1
November 10, 2011 at 15:36:04
Pci.sys Error When Starting Windows
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330181
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/319136
When you start Windows, you could receive an error similar to:
File is missing or corrupt: C:\Winnt\System32\Drivers\Pci.sys
To restore the file, either perform an in-place upgrade or expand the file from the Recovery Console:
1. Start the Recovery Console.
2. Select the installation you wish to access.
3. Enter the Administrator password.
4. Enter MAP to determine the drive letter assigned to the CD-ROM.
5. Type: Expand <CD-ROM drive:>\i386\pci.sy_ c:\Winnt\System32\drivers /y.
You should receive: pci.sys1 file(s) expanded.
6. Type exit to terminate Recovery Console.

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#2
November 10, 2011 at 16:46:58
I've gone through to step 5 but the response is "Access is denied". I assume that this means that I can't access any folders above the root level. I've tried to do a "SET Allow
AllPaths = True" to enable access to the Windows folder, but the response is "the SET command is currently disabled. ..... can only be enabled by using the Security Configuration and Analysis snap-in". However, there doesn't appear to be a way to invoke this within the repair console, and the system won't start to the point that I can get to a "run" command.

Is there a way around this?


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#3
November 10, 2011 at 16:51:56
"Is there a way around this?"
Maybe Safe mode.

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Related Solutions

#4
November 10, 2011 at 16:56:32
Another way.

Automatic Recovery CD for Unbootable PC
http://www.computing.net/howtos/sho...


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#5
November 10, 2011 at 18:53:13
It's not the repair console.
It's the Recovery Console you accesss by pressing R for Repair, as it says af the top of the screen when you access it.

There are some XP systems that have pci.sys in C:\NT\system32\drivers but most have it in C:\Windows\system32\drivers

Are you dual booting Linux and XP ?

On my system, which originally had SP2 updates and I installed SP3 updates on, there is a second identical copy of pci.sys in C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386

You could boot the computer using any CD that has an operating system on it that can read all the files on the drive Windows is installed on e.g. a Linux CD or the Utltimate Boot CD, and if you have
(drive letterr):\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386'\pci.sys, copy it to (drive letter):\Windows\system32\drivers

or

if you have (drive letter):\NT\ServicePackFiles\i386'\pci.sys, copy it to (drive letter):\NT\system32\drivers
.............

Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console for advanced users
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

Excerpt:

Restrictions and limitations of the Recovery Console
When you use the Windows Recovery Console, you can use only the following items:
•The root folder
•The %SystemRoot% folder and the subfolders of the Windows installation that you are currently logged on to
•The Cmdcons folder
•The removable media drives such as the CD drive or the DVD drive

Note If you try to access other folders, you may receive an "Access Denied" error message.
,,,,,,,,,

You haven't said what this Recovery CD is.
If it's an XP CD or a computer brand name supplied XP Re-installation CD or similar, pci.sy_ is in the \i386 folder ,
If it's one of the disks for a multi-disk archive that must be installed one CD after the other, I have no idea which folder pci.sy_ would be in on what CD.


If pci.sy_ is in \i386 on it, substitute \i386 for \(folder where it's located) in the following.

E.g. If your drive the recovery CD is on is F, if you type this at the

C:\Windows prompt

expand F:\(folder where it's located)\pci.sy_ C:\Windows\System32\drivers /y

it will work !

Note that the drive letter of the optical drives are not necessarily the same as they were in Windows.

E.g. if you wanted to confirm pci.sy_ is on F
type: F: (Enter)
type: dir (Enter)

You should see the folder where pci.sy_ is, listed

If it's an XP CD, that's \i386

type: C: (Enter)
to go back to the C:\Windows prompt


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#6
November 11, 2011 at 08:00:04
The advice seems right on target, but I'm still stuck. From the Recovery Console, I can do a DIR of \windows\system32 (there is no \drivers folder) but anything I attempt that would write gets a response of "access is denied". This gets me back to the inability to use the SET command to set AllowAllPaths = True and the inability to invoke the "Security Configuration and Analysis snap-in" or the Group Policy snap-in to get the SET command allowed.
I was able to expand pci.sys to the C root directory, but can't copy it from there to the \drivers folder - or create a drivers folder.

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#7
November 11, 2011 at 09:05:16
NOTE
Sometimes the pci.sys file actually is corrupted or missing, but often Windows will display that message when something else is wrong but it can't tell you what is wrong, and in the latter case placing a good pci.sys in the right place on your hard drive won't help, but you can usually fix whatever the problem is by running the Repair installation of Windows procedure.

You haven't told use what this 'Recovery CD" is.

If it's an XP Re-installation CD or similar that came with a brand name computer, then the files on it are identical to those on a regular Microsoft OEM XP CD with the same SPx updates or no SP updates, except that a few *.oem files have probably been modified such that you CANNOT use the CD to install Windows from scratch or run the Repair installation of Windows procedure unless the CD came with the same brand name model.
...................

This will work in any case !

"There are some XP systems that have pci.sys in C:\NT\system32\drivers but most have it in C:\Windows\system32\drivers

Are you dual booting Linux and XP ?

On my system, which originally had SP2 updates and I installed SP3 updates on, there is a second identical copy of pci.sys in C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386

You could boot the computer using any CD that has an operating system on it that can read all the files on the drive Windows is installed on e.g. a Linux CD or the Utltimate Boot CD, and if you have
(drive letter):\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386'\pci.sys, copy it to (drive letter):\Windows\system32\drivers

or

if you have (drive letter):\NT\ServicePackFiles\i386'\pci.sys, copy it to (drive letter):\NT\system32\drivers "
.............

You could do that, or if it's not there , copy the pci.sys you extracted in the root folder to (drive letter):\Windows\system32\drivers
or
(drive letter):\NT\system32\drivers , whatever applies.

...........................................................

I have NEVER had to use the SET command in the Recovery Console.

I have no idea what is on your "Recovery CD". It could be it doesn't have all the files on it necessary to make AllowAllPaths = true to work.
......

I'm assuming your Windows installation you loaded in the Recovery Console is C:\Windows

In XP, the drive letter it's found on can be DIFFERENT - NOT C.
.
If your drive letter is different, then all mentions of C: must be changed to that drive letter.

When you type this at the C:\ Windows prompt, or C:\ anything, you should see you DO have a \drivers folder.

cd \windows\system32\drivers

You should be able to access anything in the \windows folder and sub-folders of it !

You could also try typing this

cd \windows\ServicePackFiles\i386
..........

At present I have only a dual boot system for Vista and XP that is using a third party multi-boot program . When I boot using the XP CD and load the Recovery Console, I have to re-set that third party program's configuration afterwards to restore the multi-boot feature, so I would rather not do that to confirm what I've said works fine.



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#8
November 11, 2011 at 10:23:49
Update.

I have another system that XP Home is not working properly on and it needs to be re-loaded. I tried the OEM XP Home with that to load the Recovery Console.

The Windows installation loaded by the Recovery Console is C:\Windows.

CONFIRMED that they work......................

cd \windows\system32\drivers

At the C:\windows\system32\drivers prompt,
typing
dir pci.sys (Enter) finds it there

cd \windows\ServicePackFiles\i386

At the C:\windows\ServicePackFiles\i386 prompt
typing
dir pci.sys (Enter) finds it there

At the C:\windows\ServicePackFiles\i386 prompt
typing
copy pci.sys C:\Windows\system32\drivers (Enter)

works fine.


(That system also had SP2 updates on the original XP CD used to install Windows and I installed the SP3 updates in Windows.)

Typing
set /? (Enter)

shows how to use SET, and the last line says

"The SET command is an optional Recovery Console command that can only be enabled by using the Group Policy snap-in."

So, that's the default error message you get when you use SET when that snap-in has not been used, and I have no idea how to do that.

You DO NOT need to use the SET command in your case,


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#9
November 11, 2011 at 10:24:00
Sorry for not using the right terminology. The recovery disk is a "Reinstallation CD" that came with the system (Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop"). I've been using a Linux Ubuntu netbook for internet access, not dual booting the laptop.

I've created an Ubuntu disk and have run it from the laptop CD so I can create a system32\drivers folder and move the pci.sys file from the root to the folder (the one I created with the expand command to the root directory). I did that sucessfully. On restart, the computer said it was missing isapnp.sys. After putting that in the drivers folder, restart asked for ntfs.sys. It appears I need to build the entire drivers folder - don't know how many files this is, but it's probably impractical.
I note that there's a "drivers cache" folder in Windows. Does this provide any help? Or is there another approach that might work?


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#10
November 11, 2011 at 10:29:07
✔ Best Answer
See response 8

"I note that there's a "drivers cache" folder in Windows. Does this provide any help?"

C:\Windows\Driver Cache\i386

NO. pci.sys is not in it.

The ONLY place pci.sys is, is in C:\Windows\System32\drivers. or possibly
C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386

There is no pci.sy_ on my entire C drive either.

There are backup copies of some drivers in
C:\Windows\System32\dllcache
(the dllcache folder is normally hidden in Windows)
- *.dll files, some *.sys files, *.exe files, etc. - but not pci.sys .


If there is no (Drive letter):\Windows\System32\\drivers folder (or if there was no \drivers folder until you made it) your Windows installation is severely damaged.

(My \drivers folder has 338 files total inc. in sub-folders and 4 sub-folers that have a small number of files in some folders, three whch it appears were made by Windows when I installed it, the other made by AVG later. )

Your hard drive may be in the process of failing.

.Test your hard drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics.

E.g.
Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

Do the long test.

The Dos bootable versions of SeaTools can test the hard drive when Windows will not load properly, or even when the drive has no data on it.

If the drive itself passes the test, any data problems on the drive can be fixed one way or another.
...............

If the drive itself DOES NOT pass the test, you MAY still be able to get your personal data off of it - see the last paragraph in this post.
............

It the drive itself passes the test,

"The recovery disk is a "Reinstallation CD" that came with the system (Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop")."

In that case it can be used the same way as a regular XP CD with the same model to run a Repair installation of Windows procedure.

NOTE that you need the Product Key that's on the official Microsoft label on the outside of the case.
If you can still read that, that''s good.
Use magnification to read it if you have difficulty reading tiny characters, otherwise some characters can be mis-read e.g. 8 and B .

( If you can't read all of it because it's worn or someone was too vigorous cleaning the outside of the case, the Product Key the Windows installation was using can be found even if Windows isn't working if you remove the drive and connect it to another computer that has XP on it (don't boot from your drive on the other computer), if there's nothing wrong with certain data in Windows on the drive.
E.g. Search for: Keyfinder and see the "hit" on the Jellybean....... web site, at the bottom of the page where you can download Keyfinder, click on the Keyfinder FAQS link.

If the hard drive is SATA, the sockets for SATA data and SATA power are identical to those on a desktop (3.5") drive - you can connect to any desktop computer that has SATA drive controllers and a spare SATA data header.
- or- an external drive enclosure for a laptop (2.5") SATA drive - it can be connected to any computer with a USB port, but the USB port MUST be able to supply the full 500ma USB spec current
- or - an inexpensive USB to laptop SATA drive adapter (it has circuitry between the connectors) - it can be connected to any computer with a USB port, but the USB port MUST be able to supply the full 500ma USB spec current

If it's IDE, you need
- an inexpensive laptop drive (2.5") IDE to desktop IDE data / power adapter, you connect to an IDE cable on a desktop computer (the laptop drive is set to master by default)
- an inexpensive USB to laptop IDE drive adapter (it has circuitry between the connectors) - it can be connected to any computer with a USB port, but the USB port MUST be able to supply the full 500ma USB spec current
- or - an external drive enclosure for a laptop (2.5") IDE (a.k,a PATA) drive - it can be connected to any computer with a USB port, but the USB port MUST be able to supply the full 500ma USB spec current )


See response 10:
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...

Scroll down to:

"- If that doesn't help, you can try running a Repair installation of Windows"


If it has a SATA hard drive....

Installing XP and SATA drive controllers, SATA drives; the SATA drive controller bios settings.
See response 2:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...

I stated in that....

"The detailed info about how you set the SATA controller mode or similar - it varies
depending on the bios version - is probably in the manual for your mboard model, in the descriptions of settings in the bios.
If you need help with that, you must provide us with the make and model of your mboard."

That's assuming you have a generic desktop system with a retail mboard model in it.

If you have a brand name system, similar applies, but we usually cannot find what you see in a brand name system bios version regarding that to refer you to on the web.

Whatever the setting is, when the files intially loaded from the XP CD cannot find SATA drives, it's presently set to SATA or AHCI in the bios, it's changeable, and at least one other choice is an IDE compatible mode of some sort.
.....

If the Repair installation of Windows procedure doesn't solve your problems, then you must install XP from scratch.

If you have any personal data on the partition Windows itself was installed on that you DO NOT want to lose, BEFORE you install XP from scratch, boot the computer from something that can read all the files on the drive, such as a Linux CD or the Ultimate Boot CD, and copy the data you don't want to lose to elsewhere. ALL of your personal data is at C:\Documents and Settings\(your user)\( files and sub-folders of your user), unless you saved your data in a location elsewhere deliberately.



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#11
November 13, 2011 at 06:29:43
Thanks for your advice. As you suggested, I used my Linux disk to back up the recent documents that had been changed since the last backup to an external drive. Bought a new hard drive, installed it and loaded XP. Long process, but back in operation. An educational experience.

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#12
November 13, 2011 at 09:20:38
We're glad to hear you found a solution !
.....

Did you test the original hard drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics ?

If no, there may be nothing wrong with the drive itself.
....

Did you try running the Repair installation of Windows procedure with the original drive ?

If no, that may have cured your problems without you having to do the many things you need to do when you install Windows from scratch, although running it can't cure all problems. It takes less than an hour to run.

If that doesn't fix your problems, THEN you have no choice except installing Windows from scratch.
...........

XP doesn't have the drivers built in for most things that first came out after XP was first released, circa 2001, and it doesn't have some of the drivers built in for things made before that.

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.

Load the main chipset drivers first.

Windows does not have the built in support for USB 2.0 controllers and devices , or recognizing hard drives larger than 137 gb hard drive manufacturer's size as their full size, unless SP1 or later Windows updates have been installed in Windows.

The XP CD you use has to have at least SP1 Windows updates integrated into it in order for it to have the built in support for recognizing hard drives larger than 137 gb hard drive manufacturer's size as their full size.

If the XP CD has no SP Windows updates at all, all drives equal to or larger than 137 gb hard drive manufacturer's size are recognized by Windows as ~ 128 gb binary size, and Setup will have only software partitioned and formatted that size, max.
You can only add the rest of the drive's space - the un-alollocated space - on the drive after SP1 or later updates have been installed in Windows by using a third party program to do that, if you don't want to lose the data on the original partition. E.g. the freeware Easeus Partition Master Home Ediition .

The built in support for USB 2.0 controllers and devices is NOT installed in Windows until AFTER the main chipset drivers have been installed.
.......

If your XP CD does not have SP3 updates included.....

See Response 6
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...
starting at
"If your XP CD does not have SP3 updates included, the best time to load them is right after you have installed Windows from scratch...."
.....

Automatic Update does NOT install SP1, SP2, or SP3 Windows updates automatcally, although it can download them.
Once the SPx updates have been downloaded, when you run it, you have to respond to a screen that asks you if you want to install them - give your permission.
NOTE that sometimes that screen where you give your permission is BEHIND one or more other windows on the screen - minimize other windows if you don't see that.

Otherwise, Automatic Update will install all the other (Express) updates eventually, but It takes the least amount of time to get all the Windows Updates installed if you go to the Microsoft web site and use the Windows Updates page Express search to do that, as many times as it takes, until no new updates are found
.....

Setup installs Internet Explorer 6 - it's no longer supported properly on many web pages - install a newer version. I recommend IE 8 - IE 9 still has bugs, IE 7 never was supported by all web sites, and IE 8 is as stable and as bug free as an IE version can be, when all the Windows updates have been installed for it.

Install it even if you don't use the IE browser. Some of the files installed are not specifically only for the IE browser and all internet browsers benefit from those having been installed.


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