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Thread: Repeated problem with Win2K PRO - Please advise

  1. #1
    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    Repeated problem with Win2K PRO - Please advise

    I have gotten this error 4 times in a row in the past month. I had reinstalled Win2K PRO as a clean install and had taken a Ghost image of it right after the install.

    I was using Win2K happily when suddenly one day when I rebooted, I got this blue screen error message :

    STOP: C0000218 {Registry file failure)
    The registry cannot locate the hive (file):
    \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE
    or it's log or alternate.

    It is corrupt, absent or not writable.


    The system would not boot from that point on. I just took the Ghost image I had taken before and restored the system.

    The system worked OK for a few days and again one day when I rebooted after uninstalling a new printer, I got the same error again. This routine has happened 4 times so far.

    Can anyone here help me figuring out why this happens? Or how to prevent this from happening? Could this be the result of a virus or a trojan on my system?

    Norm, Sid, TonyT, Anyone?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sid's Avatar
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    This is usually a problem with systems that are overclocked. Are you overclocking?

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    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    Nope. No overclocking.

    The only common denominator between the repeated crashes is the Ghost image, which I have been reusing to restore my OS every time I got the crash.

    Do you think I should try reinstalling from scratch? It would take ages, which is the reason why I stick to ghost, but if it is ghost giving the problems then maybe I should scratch Ghost.

    Also, I have noticed that this happens only after some uninstall of some random software. The last crash was due to the uninstall of a printer driver for a HP printer I was returning to the store.


    BTW: Thanks for the link Tony. I am checking it out right now.

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  6. #6
    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    My system is up and running now anyway thanks to Ghost, but I expect this to happen again soon. I have restored my OS 4 times so far. I wonder if this is due to a HD problem.

  7. #7
    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    Happened again today.

    It has to be Ghost that is causing this problem. I am going to just re-install W2k without Ghost.

  8. #8
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Ugliest error you'll ever want to see on 2K and XP.

    I've seen that happen several times on some clients computers. and even mine once the one time I used a brand new Maxtor HD I got for free (I should have known), even after reinstalling...it's happened again. HD failure. When the area where system32 directory lives...is starting to fail.
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  9. #9
    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    YOSC:

    Is this a symptom of HD failure? I thought it was a faulty Ghost image.....

  10. #10
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    I would run error checking on the drive to see what's up.

  11. #11
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Originally posted by neo960
    YOSC:

    Is this a symptom of HD failure? I thought it was a faulty Ghost image.....
    In the several cases I've come across it (mostly clients, but also one case myself at home)....I've gone through the trouble of restoring the original HIVE as some of the link above may point to (the first HIVE that's backed up upon initial install), as well as done a reinstall. It's come back to bite me shortly afterwards (days up to weeks...it came back).

    In my cases...new HD and a fresh install and all was well. In some cases, as the links above show..you may have bad RAM where the area of the RAM the registry happens to load into is bad.

    Bad Ghost image? I doubt it. Ghost is good at checking, and....if you can boot up successfully at least once from that Ghost image...then I doubt it's a bad image. I've ghosted hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times...the only time I've seen a Ghost image go bad...wasn't a specific small problem within the image....like a few bad files, but it was the FAT that blew up a couple of times, which is why I always partition and format drives manually before Ghosting them now (even though Ghost is supposed to do that itself).
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    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    Funny....I ran the Western Digital Diagnostics utility on the drive and found no errors.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Sid's Avatar
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    When I originally posted the part about OCed systems, I was referring to the memory not running at the oced speed. It could very well be bad memory.

  14. #14
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Originally posted by neo960
    Funny....I ran the Western Digital Diagnostics utility on the drive and found no errors.
    May well be memory in your case then...the couple of times I've come across this show stopping error...once I restored the original HIVE for the customer....the computer came back a month later with the same error. So the next time...tossed the Maxtor and gave her a new HD....haven't heard from her since.

    Another time it happened to me, on my SBS2K server. Replaced the HD and reinstalled from scratch. Hadn't reared its head again.

    The other time or two I've come across it, was a basic desktop where re-imaging a master clone image fixed it.

    I just know it's an error that I don't like coming across. Even restoring the original HIVE is a pain in the butt, and requires reinstalling all your software because that original HIVE is a backup from the first boot of the machine, so the OS doesn't know about any software you've installed since then.
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  15. #15
    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    YOSC,

    You seem not to like Maxtor HDs. Are they really that bad? What brand of HD is good in your opinion?

    PS: I had been eying the Maxtor 160GB hard drive which was on sale at staples for $109 to replace my potentially faulty western digital HD.

  16. #16
    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    Grrrr.....It happened again today.

    So the only solution is to either replace the memory (or) replace the hard drive? Is Maxtor a good brand?

  17. #17
    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    Now when I try to reboot, I get the message from the initial BIOS/RAM check screen "RAM Error: Unable to R/W".

    So the guy who built the PC for me has cheated me. The PC is still under warranty, but the store owner has sold his business and skipped town.

    Can anyone give me any advice on how to shop for memory and what brand is supposed to be reliable and good and not too expensive? I have 1 Gig of RAM. Please help!


    Edited to add: Since no one is answering this question here, I will open this issue as a new thread in the hardware section.
    Last edited by neo960; 09-04-03 at 07:25 PM.

  18. #18
    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    I guess this is still due to the bad memory, but I got a new error with win2k boot:

    "Cant find WinNT\System32\Config\System. The file is unavailable or corrupted".

    I booted into the Win98 boot and checked the directory. The system file and the system.alt file were there. I checked the system.log file and it had the word "Dirt..." in it:

    -------
    regf  bG8    _  o n 1 \ W I N N T \ S Y S T E M 3 2 \ C O N F I G \ s y s t e m F L I B S Y S T E M \ R E G I S T R Y \ M A C H I N E \ C L O N E \ R E G I S T R Y \ U S E R \ R E G I S T R Y \ M A C H I N E \ S Y S T E M \ C U R R E N T C O N T R O L S E T \ S E R V I C E S \ E V E N T L O G \ R E G I S T R Y \ M A C H I N E \ S Y S T E M \ C U R R E N T C O N T R O L S E T \ C O N T R O L \ B O O T L O G \ R E G I S T R Y \ M A C H I N E \ S Y S T ﺅDIRT  
    -----------


    There was another log file in the same dir called userdiff.log and it also had the same string in it:


    -----------
    regf  @28      1 \ W I N N T \ S Y S T E M 3 2 \ C O N F I G \ u s e r d i f f DIRT
    ----------------

    Maybe a virus? I have just ordered replacement memory from crucial. Hopefully this will fix the boot time bluescreen problems with Win2K.

  19. #19

    Question Win 2000 Pro

    have you tried restoring registry from the recovery console, also the MBR as well, Later

  20. #20
    Advanced Member neo960's Avatar
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    Re: Win 2000 Pro

    Originally posted by ppanther68
    have you tried restoring registry from the recovery console, also the MBR as well, Later
    Nope. I just restore the system from a Ghost image. It is good for a couple of reboots and then I get the blue screen again. Luckily I have most of the apps I need are installed in the ghost image and so I do not have to reinstall much of my stuff except for a few apps.

    I have been restoring the system once every couple of days for the past month. It sucks.

    Hopefully the new memory from crucial will alleviate this problem. If it doesn't then I do not know what to do.

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