How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting

Posted by tech master  |  at  2:35 PM No comments

When you try to start or restart your Windows XP-based computer, you may
receive one of the following error messages:



Windows XP could not start because the following file is
missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM



Windows XP could not start because the following file is
missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE



Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot
load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or
alternate



System error: Lsass.exe

When trying to update a password the return status indicates that the value
provided as the current password is not correct.





Manual steps to recover a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from
starting


The procedure that this article describes uses Recovery Console and System
Restore. This article also lists all the required steps in specific order to
make sure that the process is fully completed. When you finish this procedure,
the system returns to a state very close to the state before the problem
occurred. If you have ever run NTBackup and completed a system state backup, you
do not have to follow the procedures in parts two and three. You can go to part
four.


Part one

In part one, you start the Recovery Console, create a temporary folder, back up
the existing registry files to a new location, delete the registry files at
their existing location, and then copy the registry files from the repair folder
to the System32\Config folder. When you have finished this procedure, a registry
is created that you can use to start Windows XP. This registry was created and
saved during the initial setup of Windows XP. Therefore any changes and settings
that occurred after the Setup program was finished are lost.



To complete part one, follow these steps:


1. Insert the Windows XP startup disk into the floppy disk drive, or insert
the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.

Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the
CD-ROM drive if you are prompted to do so.

2. When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery
Console.

3. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation
that you want to access from the Recovery Console.

4. When you are prompted to do so, type the Administrator password. If the
administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.

5. At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following lines, pressing
ENTER after you type each line:


md tmp

copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak

copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak

copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak

copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak

copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak



delete c:\windows\system32\config\system

delete c:\windows\system32\config\software

delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam

delete c:\windows\system32\config\security

delete c:\windows\system32\config\default



copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system

copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software

copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam

copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security

copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default


6. Type exit to quit Recovery Console. Your computer will restart.

Note :- This procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed to the C:\Windows
folder. Make sure to change C:\Windows to the appropriate windows_folder if it
is a different location.



If you have access to another computer, to save time, you can copy the text in
step five, and then create a text file called "Regcopy1.txt" (for example). To
use this file, run the following command when you start in Recovery Console:                                                                                                                                                             


batch regcopy1.txt

With the batch command in Recovery Console, you can process all the commands in
a text file sequentially. When you use the batch command, you do not have to
manually type as many commands.


Part two

To complete the procedure described in this section, you must be logged on as an
administrator, or an administrative user (a user who has an account in the
Administrators group). If you are using Windows XP Home Edition, you can log on
as an administrative user. If you log on as an administrator, you must first
start Windows XP Home Edition in Safe mode. To start the Windows XP Home Edition
computer in Safe mode, follow these steps.



Note Print these instructions before you continue. You cannot view these
instructions after you restart the computer in Safe Mode. If you use the NTFS
file system, also print the instructions from Knowledge Base article KB309531.
Step 7 contains a reference to the article.

1. Click Start, click Shut Down (or click Turn Off Computer), click Restart, and
then click OK (or click Restart).

2. Press the F8 key.



On a computer that is configured to start to multiple operating systems, you can
press F8 when you see the Startup menu.

3. Use the arrow keys to select the appropriate Safe mode option, and then press
ENTER.

4. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot system, use the arrow keys to select
the installation that you want to access, and then press ENTER.

In part two, you copy the registry files from their backed up location by using
System Restore. This folder is not available in Recovery Console and is
generally not visible during typical usage. Before you start this procedure, you
must change several settings to make the folder visible:


1. Start Windows Explorer.

2. On the Tools menu, click Folder options.

3. Click the View tab.

4. Under Hidden files and folders, click to select Show hidden files and
folders, and then click to clear the Hide protected operating system files
(Recommended) check box.

5. Click Yes when the dialog box that confirms that you want to display these
files appears.

6. Double-click the drive where you installed Windows XP to display a list of
the folders. If is important to click the correct drive.

7. Open the System Volume Information folder. This folder is unavailable and
appears dimmed because it is set as a super-hidden folder.



Note This folder contains one or more _restore {GUID} folders such as
"_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".


8. Open a folder that was not created at the current time. You may have to
click Details on the View menu to see when these folders were created. There may
be one or more folders starting with "RPx under this folder. These are restore
points.

9. Open one of these folders to locate a Snapshot subfolder. The following path
is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:

C:\System Volume
Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot

10. From the Snapshot folder, copy the following files to the C:\Windows\Tmp
folder:

• _REGISTRY_USER_.DEFAULT

• _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SECURITY

• _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE

• _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM

• _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SAM

11. Rename the files in the C:\Windows\Tmp folder as follows:

• Rename _REGISTRY_USER_.DEFAULT to DEFAULT

• Rename _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SECURITY to SECURITY

• Rename _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE to SOFTWARE

• Rename _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM to SYSTEM

• Rename _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SAM to SAM

These files are the backed up registry files from System Restore. Because you
used the registry file that the Setup program created, this registry does not
know that these restore points exist and are available. A new folder is created
with a new GUID under System Volume Information and a restore point is created
that includes a copy of the registry files that were copied during part one.
Therefore, it is important not to use the most current folder, especially if the
time stamp on the folder is the same as the current time.



The current system configuration is not aware of the previous restore points.
You must have a previous copy of the registry from a previous restore point to
make the previous restore points available again.



The registry files that were copied to the Tmp folder in the C:\Windows folder
are moved to make sure that the files are available under Recovery Console. You
must use these files to replace the registry files currently in the
C:\Windows\System32\Config folder. By default, Recovery Console has limited
folder access and cannot copy files from the System Volume folder.


Part Three

In part three, you delete the existing registry files, and then copy the System
Restore Registry files to the C:\Windows\System32\Config folder:

1. Start Recovery Console.

2. At the command prompt, type the following lines, pressing ENTER after you
type each line:

del c:\windows\system32\config\sam



del c:\windows\system32\config\security



del c:\windows\system32\config\software



del c:\windows\system32\config\default



del c:\windows\system32\config\system



copy c:\windows\tmp\software c:\windows\system32\config\software



copy c:\windows\tmp\system c:\windows\system32\config\system



copy c:\windows\tmp\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam



copy c:\windows\tmp\security c:\windows\system32\config\security



copy c:\windows\tmp\default c:\windows\system32\config\default


Note Some of these command lines may be wrapped for readability.

3. Type exit to quit Recovery Console. Your computer restarts.

Note This procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed to the C:\Windows
folder. Make sure to change C:\Windows to the appropriate windows_folder if it
is a different location.



If you have access to another computer, to save time, you can copy the text in
step two, and then create a text file called "Regcopy2.txt" (for example). To
use this file, run the following command when you start in Recovery Console:

batch regcopy2.txt


Part Four

1. Click Start, and then click All Programs.

2. Click Accessories, and then click System Tools.

3. Click System Restore, and then click Restore to a previous RestorePoint.


 




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