Oh no, It's the blue screen of death

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Thread Starter
Jan 18, 2007
Ok, I know very little about computers. I have this stupid Dell laptop that is always giving me problems. Is Dell supposed to be good? Cuz it's not! Anyway, when I tried to turn it on yesterday, I couldn't get the power to come on. I left it alone for a while and then I turned it on again. It finally came up with a black screen that said something like there was a power failure the last time windows closed or something. It asked me if I wanted to boot up normally or in safe mode or the last known good settings. So I picked normal. Then it went to the blue screen with this error:

STOP: c0000218 Registry File Failure
The registry cannot load the hive (file)\system root\system32\config\software
or it's log or alternate
It is corrupt, absent or not writable
Beginning dump of physical memory
Physical memory dump complete
Contact your system administrator or tech support group for further assistance

uhhh....I'm not really computer saavy, but.... Physical memory dump? That can't be good. Can anyone tell me what I should do? If my computer is toast, is it possible to get files off my hard drive? Please help!
Dec 9, 2000
It's a bad error. It is either soved by doing a windows "reinstall" -- not necessarily a "clean" install -- or by using the recovery console to do a 3 part recovery. If you do a reinstall first -- this cannot be done.

If you do this improperly -- you will lose data if you still need to do a reinstall. If it does not work and you want to do a reinstall -- you must copy back the registry hives you backed up to their original "system" folder.

Here are the directions:


If you do not have an XP CD download cmdcon.cab from Elvandil's post here: http://forums.techguy.org:80/t395729&highlight=recovery+console.html

Unzip and burn the cmdcon.iso file to CD. With Nero or Roxio you should only need to "open" the file and it will start the burner's ISO burning program.

DeepBurner can also be used to burn ISO files, I recommend the “portable” version:


Once that is done, you need to boot with either that or the Home XP CD to the Recovery Console. You may need to ensure that the CD drive is the first boot drive in the BIOS setup if it just boots to the same screen. Setup is accessed by looking for the key to press on the first data you see on the screen -- often F2

Directions are given here:


There are several things to note about this operation.

1 > it is not a "reinstall" of Windows, but a method of accessing System Restore.

2 > all command lines are one line with appropriate spacing -- the doc file does not always reflect this.

3 > you must complete all 3 parts for it to be a proper restore.

4 > in the first part of this document you are given the command:

copy C:\windows\repair\system C:\windows\system32\config\system

you may get a "file not found" when running this command. If you do, substitute this command instead:

copy C:\windows\repair\system.bak C:\windows\system32\config\system
Jan 9, 2007
Unless there was anything REALLY important on that computer, you should do a reinstall of windows. It removes any other bugs or spyware you may have on there and it will also fix windows in case any of the files were missing. However, if you have already been successful with the system recovery then you should run a virus/spyware scan, and to make sure all windows files are intact go to start>run>cmd> sfc /scannow this will check and make sure, as i said, that all windows files are safe and intact...
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