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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Whenether I start up my laptop I get this error for some reason:

STOP: C0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file):\System Root\System32\Config\SECURITY or its log or alternate. It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.

I am aware that I can fix this by doing a system restore via the Windows XP CD-ROM, however I got my laptop from dell so they haven't provided my with the XP CD...

So, am I utterly screwed, or is there actually a way I can fix this? Please respond ASAP I have some important files on that laptop!
 

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Hey,

Your best bet would be to complain to Dell until you get a disc. The thing about DELL and other OEM's, is that their hardware is coded into their BIOS and if their install disc find ANY dissimilarities (sp?) you will not be able to reactivate your Windows. i mean, you will, but you have to call Microsoft and explain to them what happened and they should give you a product key. So, make sure you get a disc from Dell.

Now, if you get that disc from Dell and want to perform a repair install, you will lose ALL of your updates. All of the programs that you installed will be intact.

Regards,

Brandon
 

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New post due to new information found.

See if you can find an XP disc from a friend and boot into Recovery mode. Use this command: chkdsk /r. This will check the surface of your HDD for any errors and repair them. If that doesn't work, see if you can get a restore disc from Dell and do a System Restore. Make sure that when you're doing the system restore that there is no hardware attached to the computer that wasn't there with the initial build. Disconnect any external drives as well.

Here is a walkthrough from MS for a system restore:
http://support.microsoft.com/Default.aspx?kbid=307545

Regards,

Brandon
 

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Hi Makg, Hi Robert (Brandon)


Many Dell laptops that shipped with XP have a hidden restore partition, available by pressing a function key as the computer is powering on [for many models, this combination is to press CTRL + F11 simultaneously].

Check at the Dell support website before trying this, and see what options for restoring your model has. Some models have "partial" restores along with a "full" restore. The "full" or "complete" restore often means that you will lose all data entered since the laptop arrived home from the store [the full restore erases the entire drive, and writes a saved drive-image of the original drive-state].

If you have good backups, you can run a full restore, visit Windows Update to grab Critical patches, scan your backups to make sure they are clean, and then restore your backups.

Best of luck
. . . Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help guys. Much appreciated.
OldGrayGary - I made a backup, used restore partition and did a full restore and it worked. Thankyou for the information you provided.
 

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Gary,

Thanks for the bit of info on how to get access to the partition. I've known for a long time that they exist, but never knew how to access them. Glad you got your computer going MakG.

Regards,

Brandon
 

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Hi again

Makg - Nice work getting things going. You may want to keep an aggressive backup schedule for a while, since we still don't know what caused the trouble with the Registry (could have been anything from a power surge to malware to a failing component). Hopefully it was nothing serious - but you'll want to keep a close eye on things. Keep your firewall, antivirus, antispyware running & as up-to-date as you can, and let Windows Updates keep you patched too.

Robert (Brandon) - nice to hear from you & thanks for all your help!

. . . Gary
 
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