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XP Loop / Can't load ...config/sam


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#1
brookspw

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Here is the original message I got:

Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file): \systemroot\system32\config\SAM

1. Tried chkdsk -- says all is fine
2. Tried chkdsk /p /r -- gets to varying percentages of completion, but ultimately fails
3. Booted from the XP CD, but different things happen each time in rotation
-- can get to recover console
-- can get to c:\windows prompt
-- Never get to screen "Press any key to boot from CD" but have not yet followed your instructions to
boot from CDROM.
4. I followed the following instructions found elsewhere but when I got to step 7 on the 3rd copy line -- it tells my that copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak can't be completed because it can't find the source ...config\sam

Step One

1/ Insert the Windows XP CD into the CD-ROM and restart your pc

2/ At the ‘Welcome to Setup’ screen press R to start the recovery Console

3/ The Recovery Console will now open and the list of Windows installations will appear

4/ As you only have one installation on your PC you need to press the number which is relevant to your installations location. This, obviously will typically be 1

5/ When requested type in your Administrator password. If you haven’t set an administrator password, then simply press Enter

6/ The Recovery Console command prompt window will now appear

7/ At the Command prompt type the following, pressing Enter after you have typed 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
8/ Now type Exit to exit the recovery console

9/ Finally restart your pc


Ok, here's the weird part -- I am currently (out of nowhere) able to get into windows and it will work for a while before crashing again. Since I can get in...is there anything I can do to fix this from INSIDE windows that is easier/shorter or short of totally reinstalling XP and having to reload all drivers, etc.?

Thanks a TON. Phillip

Edited by brookspw, 10 January 2010 - 03:33 PM.

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#2
The Skeptic

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I would start with checking the hardware first.

1: RAM test. Download memtest from my links below. Follow the instructions to create a bootable CD, boot with the CD and let the test run at least for one complete pass.

2: Can you identify the hard disk manufacrurer? If yes, download the correct diagnostic tool from this list. Again, create a bootable CD and run a complete test.

If the hardware shows no problem then you can either run XP repair, as described in the link in my signature, or you can reformat. Personally I hardly ever run XP repair, preferring to walk the extra mile (or two, or three) and clean format.
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#3
brookspw

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Wow, you are the man. At least you are the man so far.

I am typing on the problem computer as we speak.

I did the memtest application. First time through it said, first, volume is dirty. I am assuming this means dust in the HD? Can I clean it with compressed air?

On part 1, file verification, (on first pass) said 4 segments/parts were unreadable.
Part 2, replaced/repaired a whole bunch of stuff...stopped at 87% complete.

Rebooted.
Part 1 -- this time, all was fine, did it quick, no errors or problems.
Part 2 -- bunch of repairing/replacing orphaned somethings. Finished 100%.
Part 3 -- not sure what it was, but if finished and auto rebooted...and here I am, working just fine.

Now -- is this temporary or is it fixed? What would you do at this point to either verify...or proactively prepare to be better able to fix it if/when it crashes again?

Thanks,
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#4
The Skeptic

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There isn't much that you can do because you don't know the root of the problem. It could be a failing hard disk (which I doubt) or corruption due to lots of causes. Lets hope for the best.
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#5
brookspw

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There isn't much that you can do because you don't know the root of the problem. It could be a failing hard disk (which I doubt) or corruption due to lots of causes. Lets hope for the best.

Ok. I went to the maxtor hd diag site you suggested. I downloaded it ON THE PROBLEM computer. Clicked run. Nothing. Are you saying I should put the ISO version on a bootdisk and run it that way? If so, if it detects no problems does that rule out HD or can the problem be intermittent?

Thank you very much.
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#6
rshaffer61

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Download the ISo cd version. Use a program like burncdcc to burn the image to a cd. It has to be burned as a ISO or Image disk or it will not be bootable.
If you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files get Burncdcc from my signature...it is a small FAST no frills iso burning program...

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its puppy-2.16-seamonkey-fulldrivers.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....
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#7
brookspw

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Download the ISo cd version.
make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....

Thanks. Not sure about getting into the bios...but it did boot from disk for the memtest iso so I guess it already is.

I'll report back. Can a HD work sometimes...and not work at others?
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#8
rshaffer61

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I'll report back. Can a HD work sometimes...and not work at others?

Yep happens all the time.
Skeptic has you on the right track with the scans he is requesting. It looks like the hard drive is his next step. Be patient and he will take good care of you.
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#9
The Skeptic

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Has the prblem been back?
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#10
brookspw

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Has the prblem been back?

Nope. I will run the maxtor HD test tonight.

What would memtest have fixed (or is that coincidence?).
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#11
brookspw

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Download the ISo cd version. Use a program like burncdcc to burn the image to a cd. It has to be burned as a ISO or Image disk or it will not be bootable.
If you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files get Burncdcc from my signature...it is a small FAST no frills iso burning program...

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its puppy-2.16-seamonkey-fulldrivers.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....

I do not know how to do this. I burned it .iso on disc. When I boot it goes straight to windows and doesn't run the diagnostic. Back when it wouldn't boot windows and skeptic had me do the memtest.iso...it did boot to the memtest. Not sure what is different or why it won't boot cd.
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#12
The Skeptic

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In post no. 3 you described the test and the results of the test that you ran with Memtest. To me that looks odd because memtest does not perform any repair, it just shows if there are any errors in the RAM. It looks much more like a hard disk test.

If the computer is stable you don't need further testing. If, hoever, you still want to run a hard disk test download Seagate/Maxtor's diagnostic tool from here. Download the file, install it like you do with any other program and run it from within windows. Since your computer runs well you do not need the bootable CD.
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#13
brookspw

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Memtest -- went about 30 minutes. It would say "repairing" this file, "repairing", "relocating" or action items like that. It has worked perfectly since I ran it.

I reordered bios to boot from CD and ran maxtor diag and it does say it is failing. So...I guess I'm replacing the hard drive. I really appreciate your help.

Can you point me to a layman's instructions for replacing the harddrive? I assume I can reinstall XP from my reinstallation CD with the product key on my computer?
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#14
rshaffer61

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Memtest -- went about 30 minutes. It would say "repairing" this file, "repairing", "relocating" or action items like that. It has worked perfectly since I ran it.

This really doesn't sound like Memtest. Did you see windows like this?

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-2.11.iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-2.11.iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-2.11.iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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#15
The Skeptic

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Can you point me to a layman's instructions for replacing the harddrive? I assume I can reinstall XP from my reinstallation CD with the product key on my computer?


You have to buy a hard disk with a volume that suit your needs. There is only a small price difference between different volumes. Buy a disk that has the same cable connector as the old disk. This will simplify things. If you buy a SATA disk then you just have to replace it with the old disk, and that's it. If you buy an IDE (ATA) disk then you have to make sure that the disk is jumpered correctly. If you have only one hard disk then it should be jumpered as "single" or "master".

Yes, you can reinstall XP from the CD, using the product key. just booy with the CD and follow the instructions.
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