Registry file failure (STOP: C0000218)

  tallboy 09:44 16 Apr 2009

When I switched on my Mesh PC (Athlon 1.8GHz processor running Windows XP) this morning, it came up with several Corrupt file messages. Once it had completed its start-up proceedure I decided to switch to an earlier restore point in the hope of fixing the problem.

When the PC re-started (as part of the restore process) I got the 'Blue Screen of Death' with the message:

STOP: C0000218 (Registry File Failure) The Registry cannot load the hive (file) \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log alternative. It is corrupt, absent or not writable.

I have the Windows XP installation disk and earlier this week,for the first time, I made an image of the C drive on my external drive using O&O DiskImage 3.5 Pro - although of course, I could do have the DiskImage s/w running to restore it!

The regitry has been backed up (using Registry First Aid) - but without Windows running, how can I restor it?

Any ideas as to how to fix this unwelcome problem would be appreciated.

  Graphicool1 09:52 16 Apr 2009

Can you start in 'Safe Mode'.

  crosstrainer 10:01 16 Apr 2009

Read carefully.....If you have a full retail copy of your O/S then this should work....Otherwise read on through the article.

click here

  Graphicool1 10:04 16 Apr 2009

To get into 'Safe Mode' when you turn your PC on keep tapping the 'F8' key. Select 'Safe Mode'. It might take a while to get into Windows, because it'll do a few checks. Once in Windows Safe Mode you should be able to run your first aid.

  crosstrainer 10:12 16 Apr 2009

Won't load without the registry hive file I'm afraid :((

  tallboy 21:19 16 Apr 2009

Thanks for the suggestions crosstrainer & Graphicool1.

I am part-way through the manual process suggested in the Microsoft KB article. However, when I tried to copy the software file in C:\windows\system32\config to the specified tmp directory, I get the message 'The system cannot find the file specified.'

If I switch to the config directory and list the files, the software file is there (it is large - 46243840 bytes) with the attributes -a------ With the limited command set available in the Repair Console, is there a way to rename it to something else, since if I try to delete it or load the software file from the repair directory I get the message that the file cannot be found (in the case of deletion) or copied (In the case of trying to copy the repair version over - presumably because I have not been able to delete the corrupt file)

Any suggestions as to how to get over this 'impass' would be appreciated.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:41 16 Apr 2009

EAsiest way is to do a windows repair if you have a full XP disk.
Repair XP by install over the top of existing system

1. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order in the system BIOS so the CD boots before the hard drive. Check your system documentation for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

3. Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER.

DO NOT choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R", (you Do Not want to load Recovery Console).

4. Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

5. Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair.

6. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot.

Do not press any key to boot from CD when the message appears.

Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact.

Repair XP
click here

  tallboy 22:37 16 Apr 2009

Many thanks for the quick reply Fruit Bat.

I'm just running a full Chkdsk on the C: drive, so once that has completed I'll do a Windows repair install if Chkdsk doesn't fix the boot sector and allow me access to the current software file mentioned above.

  tallboy 20:53 17 Apr 2009

Well, Chkdsk /F ran its course identified some errors, fixed them and enabled me to continue with the Microsoft procedure suggested by crosstrainer. However, now the PC power supply has decided to fail! The PC is 8 years old and admittedly running Chkdsk on a 280GB hard drive will put pressure on the power supply for quite a few hours - but what a time to fail! Hopefully I'll get a replacement PSU in the next few days so that I can continue the hives repair.

Incidentally, I notice in the Windows tmp folder that there is a large (42GB) software.rmbak file which was created last October (probably the time of another crash.) Since the current repair process creates a new software file, do I need to keep the software.rmbak file? (If not, I can regain 42GB of storage - which would be useful.)

  crosstrainer 07:47 18 Apr 2009

Is this a Research Machines PC? (Hence rmbak)

This would be an original backup file with drivers etc specific to your PC.

You COULD delete it, after you are sure that all drivers etc. are working correctly.

  tallboy 08:23 18 Apr 2009


No, my PC is a Mesh Althon 1.8GHz, so I'm not sure what created the .rmbak file

Once the machine is working OK again I'll move it to my external drive for 'safe keeping' for a while - just in case I need it.

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