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Blue Screen - Registry File Failure

Last response: in Windows XP
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September 22, 2011 9:31:55 PM

Hi THG;

My Dell laptop is crashing to blue screen before Windows can load. And I can't get into Safe Mode. I'm using XP service pack 3.
This is the blue screen error message.

STOP: c0000218 (Registry File Failure)
The registry cannot load the hive (file)
SystemRoot\system32\Config\SOFTWARE
Or it's log or alternate

A google search found sometimes contradictory suggestions.
And searching the forum here didn't find any thing that looked useful.

Any ideas on why this happened?
And more important - any advice on how to handle this problem?


September 22, 2011 11:26:17 PM

I had found that kb article but the warning about OEM copy of Windows XP has me concerned.
So it's OK for me to go ahead and use that anyway? Is there a geek to ordinary person translation?
Any advice on how to get started right?
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September 23, 2011 2:24:01 AM

You can use and xp install cd to copy your registry over from an older version. If system restore was not enabled you can copy a stock registry from the CD(doesn't matter if its OEM or Retail) but it will be like a fresh machine. You'll have to reinstall all your programs, etc. I recommend trying a chkdsk /f or /r first. It most likely won't work but it might.
Those are the caveats I have to add to the KB link, otherwise it's spot on. Good luck, let us know how it goes
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September 23, 2011 6:18:15 AM

How it happened? Something corrupted the Windows Registry files
A momentary power interruption, or an unexpected shut down or a problem at startup are pretty common causes.
An issue with a software program or malware/virus infection could also cause this problem.

I think the OEM version warning is there mostly for that automated Guided Help method. It assumes a Retail copy of WinXP is installed.
The Manual method is flexible enough to cover a Retail or a OEM version.

Translation:
There is a 4 Part process which is geared toward being able to run System Restore which will reset Windows to an Earlier Date before the problem occurred.

Part One will hide the corrupted Registry files and replace them with a fresh but basic Registry to allow the laptop to boot.
That note about creating a batch file to run all those commands at once is the best option for Step 5.

Part Two is done with the laptop booted up in Windows Safe Mode. This part is aimed at finding a System Restore point's copy of the Registry files to use for the repair.

Part Three is replacing the Registry files from the Restore point in place of the corrupt registry files the were hid in Part One.
A batch file is a great option for this step as well.

Part Four is aimed at doing a normal System Restore to an Earlier Date to finish things up.

On a difficulty scale of 1-10, 10 being hardest this is about an 8.
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September 23, 2011 6:32:50 AM

A couple options to think about:
Making changes to the operating system (OS aka WindowsXP) should not affect your personal files and data. However, you might want to back up anything thats truly important to you - just in case.

Use a bootable Live CD to gain access to the hard disk without having to boot the hard disk and it's corrupted OS.
These are often called Rescue CDs since they will let you copy off important personal files to back them up. A UBS thumb driver or external hard disk are good options here.
Although it's Linux I think most people can figure out how to use Ubuntu Desktop. It's a window type mouse user interface. It's definitely NOT windows but it IS similar enough to use. http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu
About 3 or so on the difficulty scale.


Another option:
If you have enough free disk space on the laptops hard disk you could partition the hard drive and do a fresh install of WinXP into the new partition. After doing that it would seem as though there were a 2nd hard drive on the laptop where all the user data files would be located.
A variation would be making a partition on the hard drive without the OS install. You could copy all the personal user files and data over into the new partition before you go about doing the OS repair.
About 5 on the difficulty scale, I think.


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