The problem started just like another post on this forum with a "Registry File Failure Stop: c0000218 Cannot load the file stemroot\system32\config\software its log or alternate is corrupt, absent or not writable."
I followed the steps in MS KB307545 using Recovery Console, but c:\windows\repair\system file was not found. At that point, I was able to log into recovery console using a blank administrator password, but now I get the message "The password is not valid. Please retype the password."
Next, I attempted the repair option on the XP reinstallation disk. It appeared to cycle through the process, but then it states, "Setup is being restarted" and I get an error message as follows: lsass.exe-system error "When trying to update a password this return status indicates that the value provided as the current password is not correct." I am not updating a password or even using a password; it just continutes to reboot and display this message.
Following a tip I found on a forum, I downloaded a password editor from http://home.eunet.no...rdahl/ntpasswd/ to reset my administrator password. It indicated that my password was indeed blank, but recovery console still won't accept it.
I have also read that these lsass.exe errors can be do to Sasser worm. My Norton is up to date, so I doubt that, but I'm not sure how to check for it since I can't get past the XP screen. I can access a DOS prompt using the Dell recovery CD, but my DOS is really rusty.
Any advice would be most appreciated!