General discussion

WIndows XP C0000218 Error


When booting up my Dell Dimension PC, I am receiving the following error message

'STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its lor or alternative. It is corrupt, absent or not writable'.

I understand that the OS needs to be recovered from the XP bootup disk but the OS was pre-installed so I do not have a copy of this.

Do you have any ideas where I can obtain this from or how else this issue can be solved.

Many thanks

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I'd do this first

I'm thinking it could also be a bad hard drive or bad RAM. You didn't mention any symptoms that something was going wrong so we'll assume this was a sudden event. To answer your question though, recovery software is only going to be available from the manufacturer. If you need it, you contact them. You may be able to download and run the HD manufacturer's diagnostics program to rule out (or in) the hard drive. You can also download and run something like memtest86 to check RAM. If the RAM is bad, you replace it and your system should boot. If the HD is bad, you need both the recovery software and a new hard drive. If neither is bad, you contact Dell about buying the recovery disks.

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Thanks Steven

Thanks for the post Steven.

I can confirm that no prior issues were experienced and that this was a sudden event.

The HD is manufactured by SeaGate so I will check their site and also look into memtest86 - can this be run from the startup as all I receive is the BSOD.

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Forgot to mention

Seagate "Seatools" and memtest86 (you need to google to find it) can create bootable disks. These will be floppies or CD ROM types. For CD ROM bootables, you need a program that can can burn .iso files. For floppies, you download the executable on another PC and just run it with a blank floppy or two handy.

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Steven you are a legend!


Downloaded SeaTools ran it on the bootup and identified one error on the HD. Seatools was then able to fix the error and we now have power.

Brilliant result, thank you very much your help.

Not only have you saved me

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Great to hear but just to make sure you don't

run out of things to worry about, I'm willing to bet that the Seatools fix was relocate the bad sector to one of its spare locations held just for that purpose. You'll want to keep an eye out for this to happen again by running the program's non-destructive test now and again...and keep things backed up. Good job and thanks for sticking with it.

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