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Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt

So you booted your Windows based computer this morning and you found out you cannot boot to Windows. You received the following error message:

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

Ok, don't panic. Let's get you back into Windows and get your cannot boot error fixed. The fix may surprise you on how easy it can be.

The first thing you will need to do is to get back into Windows so that you have access to the corrupt registry file. You will need to boot to the Recovery Console, and install a repair file. I have explained how to do this previously in a newsletter. Read the newsletter on how to install the repair file. Vista and Window 7 users need to read this newsletter. If you have access to an XP, 2003, 2008, Vista or Window 7 machine return here after installing the repair file.

Now install Registry Drill, use the Load Hive feature in Registry Drill to load the corrupt Registry file into Windows XP or newer version of Windows. The repair we are going to make does not work on Windows 2000 or older versions. However, if the damaged file is from a 2000 machine, it can be repaired on a XP or newer machine.

The Registry files are databases, and if the database structure of the corrupt file is not damaged; Registry Drilll will be able to remove the data that is causing Windows not to boot. You will then be able to install the repaired file back into your system.

When Registry Drill loads the file you will get a message that says either: The file has been repaired and some data has been removed. Or The file is not a valid Registry File. If the database structure was not damaged you will get the first message. If you are unlucky you will get the second message. In which case you will need to follow the instructions in my other newsletter.


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