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Cannot load hive file...

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Airscrew, Jan 24, 2007.

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  1. Airscrew

    Airscrew Thread Starter

    Jan 24, 2007

    I have a big problem, and want to solicit some advice before taking the next step.
    I am not a techie admin, but working at home as a competent user, but with limited hardware and software tools to hand.

    WinXP pro SP2, Dell laptop (ie limited hardware options), very standard set-up, C0000218 error, cannot load hive file.
    Starting in SAFE mode, or SAFE with command, or LAST known config, all fail with C0000218 as above.

    I have daily user data backed-up to a USB drive, so no problem there.

    I have a full copy of c:\, AND a full backup of c:\windows from Dec21 on the USB drive.
    However, there is no hive file ('software.' is that correct??) on either backup. Viewing hidden and system files is enabled.
    I can now see that I should have used the system files option separately. (Why doesnt XP do this at boot time anyway, for autorecovery??)
    I also have no EBD....

    Using an NTFS4DOS bootdisk, I can 'see' the 'software.' hive file size 23Mb, so there is disk and file integrity.
    CHKDSK shows no errors at all.
    The .SAV file is from 2000, probably how old th m/c is, and only 630k. Therefore I think of very limited use here.

    I tried to make a copy of the file before tampering.
    COPY generates a 6.8Mb file (only!! - is this a big clue??)
    COPY /b /v still only generates 6.8Mb, but gives no error code.

    Other than than, the system is untouched.

    I use CCleaner roughly every 2 or 3 months, which has created registry backups (last was Dec21 also), but these are incremental, and I think internal to CC, so I think are of limited/no use. Right??

    I have a set of XP boot disks, which I think is my next step.
    But I think that will then generate major rework.
    I cannot find much info online about 'what to do AFTER restarting XP' with boot disks.

    Q 1.
    Is there more I could try in DOS or with other tools (file recovery??, before using the bootdisks.

    Q 2.
    If I use the bootdisks, how much of the system should I expect to recover (or lose).
    Potential problem is that this m/c was legally purchsed from a previous employer, but I do not have the original XP CD.

    Other thoughts.
    I have a <<<really>>> old Dell laptop side-by side, with access to the USB drive userdata, so no time pressure.
    This m/c is not connected to the problem m/c at present. Will a serial connection work under DOS, and maybe be of help?
    If I need to manipulate the hive file 'offline' (its bigger than 1.44Mb), can I enable the USB(v1) port under DOS??

    Suggestions and Caveats (ie DO NOTS) please....

    Best, AirScrew
  2. 1069


    Sep 7, 2004
    Hi Airscrew and welcome to TSG :)

    Take a look here - it looks as if it may be useful
  3. Airscrew

    Airscrew Thread Starter

    Jan 24, 2007
    Hi 1069,
    I dont have access to the recovery console (disk), so I need another plan.

    should I use the XPboot disks(ettes) I downloaded, and if yes, what do I do once I have XP booted up...???

    Thanks for any info...
  4. Airscrew

    Airscrew Thread Starter

    Jan 24, 2007
    Just to complete this, incase anyone searches on this.

    It looks like I had a corrupted SOFTWARE registry file.

    I found (many google searches) that the registry backups are in Windows/Repair (hidden ofcourse).
    I downloaded an NTFS4DOS utility, and from the DOS a:\ prompt, made a backup COPY of System32/config, and then COPY'ed the 5 hive files from /repair to /config.

    It Booted staight back-up with no probs, and I have now done a CHDSK /F (it STILL saw no errors!!), and a System Backup.

  5. 1069


    Sep 7, 2004
    Many thanks for the feedback. Glad that you were able to fix it. :)
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