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straka01
05-04-2010, 01:43 PM
A friend has just dropped in a Compaq Presario Notebook PC that wont boot up. It's running XP pro.
This is the message it comes up with (on a blue screen):
STOP: C0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
\systemroot\system32\config\SAM
or its log or alternative.
It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.

I've tried going into the CMOS where there a disc checking feature - it passes this fine.

I've tried booting from a OS disc - get's to the place where you have 3x options: Load OS, Repair 'r' or exit. But if I try either of the first two options it comes back with:
Setup did not find any hard discs drives on your computer. Setup cannot continue.

Now I've no idea what she's done but I do know she has been using it mainly for emails, skype and the odd oberon game.

As far as I'm aware it has AVG free virus scanner and Zone alarm firewall - but I don't know whether they were updated within the last few months.

Any ideas to get the OS booting up would be appreciated.

Speedy Gonzales
05-04-2010, 02:05 PM
Here (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830084). Sounds like its a SATA hdd, why the XP cd cant find it. You may have to restore it or use the restore cd's/dvd

feersumendjinn
05-04-2010, 02:18 PM
Go into your bios/setup (press F10 I think, should tell you on POST screen), and change your boot order to CD first, then your OS cd will boot.
(Does sound as if the HDD has died/corrupted :crying)

straka01
05-04-2010, 02:23 PM
I inserted the first recovery CD - booted to where you have 3x options - repair, format HDD back to factory settings or exit. Tried Repair - initially looked promising but again came up with the same error on a blue screen.

straka01
05-04-2010, 02:25 PM
Go into your bios/setup (press F10 I think, should tell you on POST screen), and change your boot order to CD first, then your OS cd will boot.
(Does sound as if the HDD has died/corrupted :crying)

The boot sequence is Floppy(although there isn't a floppy drive), then CD then HDD.

I was wondering if the settings for the SATA drive had changed - might go and have a look.

feersumendjinn
05-04-2010, 02:31 PM
Try turning over the laptop (unplug mains power and battery first), remove cover over HDD and make sure it's fully plugged in (may have shaken loose).

straka01
05-04-2010, 02:51 PM
OK, took out HDD & put it back in securely. Also did the same with the RAM.
Restarted - same problem.

CMOS settings I set to default - same problem persists.

wainuitech
05-04-2010, 02:53 PM
Sounds like a corrupted registry. You may be able to fix it if you wind back system restore. (as long as thats not damaged as well) - it will either work or it wont.

To do this you either need to be able to boot into safe mode with command prompt, have a bootable CD that will allow it to run system restore, something like UBCD4Win (http://www.ubcd4win.com/) - or do it manually with the XP CD via the recovery console.


I can post the manual method if you want - it is quite long.

straka01
05-04-2010, 02:56 PM
The CMOS has a diagnostics facility - I ran it before and it passed. But I'm running it again. It's called a Primary Hard Drive Self Test. Has two stages & takes about half an hour......

straka01
05-04-2010, 03:05 PM
Sounds like a corrupted registry. You may be able to fix it if you wind back system restore. (as long as thats not damaged as well) - it will either work or it wont.

To do this you either need to be able to boot into safe mode with command prompt, have a bootable CD that will allow it to run system restore, something like UBCD4Win (http://www.ubcd4win.com/) - or do it manually with the XP CD via the recovery console.


I can post the manual method if you want - it is quite long.

I've tried using the recovery CDs & also used a XP pro OS CD, and in both cases, when I press 'R' it comes up with the same message about corrupt reg hive files.
It won't boot up enough to get into safe mode - doesn't even start loading windows.

What seems odd to me is that the CMOS tests the HDD (and it passes the test) - but the Recovery CD process and the Repair facility can't find it!

wainuitech
05-04-2010, 03:24 PM
Recovery CD's wont do anything apart from put the system back to how it was when brand new, wiping all data along the way.

Booting the recovery CD's doesn't shouldn't have any effect because of the current state of the reg, as you are running from the CD's NOT the HDD. You would get all sorts of warning about wiping data thats all.

When you say pressing R errors with corrupt reg hive files, is this the second time you press R as in doing a repair install or the very first time you have the option after pressing F8 - You dont even have to have a OS on a Drive to boot into the recovery console from the XP CD - as long as the drive is formatted it will load it fine.

Note: The Recovery Console from the XP CD and the repair option as per the recovery CD's are two different things.

straka01
05-04-2010, 03:41 PM
The Recovery CDs - when I install the 1st one - comes up with 3x options: 1/ REPAIR, 2/ FORMAT & RELOAD BACK TO ORIGINAL FACTORY CONDITION and lastly 3/ QUIT. Pressing 'R' for repair brings up the same error: STOP: C0000218 {Registry File Failure} etc.

When I try to boot from the XP OS CD I can get to the 1st blue screen with the 3x options - 1/ REPAIR, 2/ INSTALL OS or 3/ EXIT. (This is the 1st window to press R). Again, the result is the same STOP error code if I press REPAIR.
If I press INSTALL - it says it can't because there's no Hard Drive!

Driftwood
05-04-2010, 03:45 PM
Any way you can slave the hard drive to another system. It may be dead or dying.

straka01
05-04-2010, 03:51 PM
How do I do this on a laptop??

Speedy Gonzales
05-04-2010, 04:16 PM
Remove it then install it in a desktop

Driftwood
05-04-2010, 04:18 PM
You have to remove the hard drive & you will need an adaptor.
It may not be the problem, but it will ellimate the possibility.

Speedy Gonzales
05-04-2010, 04:35 PM
If its SATA change it to IDE mode in the BIOS. Then it may work

wainuitech
05-04-2010, 05:04 PM
Just out of Interest, when the Laptop boots, can you look at the display, and see CD drives etc, as well as the HDD being listed. Sometimes it flashes past quickly, other time you may have to tap the tab ( or some other key) to tell it to show.

IF the standard XP CD cant see the drive, it may be sata, a few things - either do what speedy suggested, or you will have to slipstream the sata drivers into a CD, or get the sata drivers from compaq.

If its a sata drive and you want to try and fix it Via another PC, you wont need an adapter, only a PC what has a spare sata port on the board, 1 sata cable and power plug.

If you can get it to boot into the recovery console system restore may repair the damaged reg files (with instructions) as long as system restore has not died as well.

straka01
05-04-2010, 05:52 PM
No CD drives or HDD is listed at boot - it doesn't get that far.
I tried changed the mode to IDE - no luck.

I have another identical Compaq laptop of my own that's working fine - can I get the SATA drivers off there, load them on a CD or flash drive and install them somehow? When I can't boot to the HDD, is there a way of loading them on?
What's the name of the drivers I'll need?

Speedy Gonzales
05-04-2010, 06:25 PM
No you have to download the sata drivers, and either extract them to floppy, or slipstream them onto a windows CD. You have to find out WHAT chipset that thing uses

straka01
05-04-2010, 06:38 PM
Not being familiar with SLIPSTREAMING (just looked it up on WIKIPEDIA) let me clarify what I need to do.
Find out the Intel Chipset, download the SATA drivers, and <i>somehow</i> slipstream them onto the XP pro OS CD. Is that right?

wainuitech
05-04-2010, 07:04 PM
If you want to try the system restore option - in post #8 I put a link to UBCD4Win - this "should" boot OK from the optical drive, its a 255MB Download that you can make a bootable repair CD from, one of the MANY options is to run windows system restore - it also ( from Memory) allows you to run the command prompt to run various fixes as well.

Some antivirus software detects it as a virus, its NOT - just some of teh tools in it appear to be viruses. simply disable your AV while its downloading.

To slip stream you would use a program like Nlite (http://www.nliteos.com/) - download the sata drivers, then pays to copy the whole XP CD to the Working HDD, work through the process, and make a new XP CD.

straka01
05-04-2010, 07:51 PM
I'm downloading UBCD4WIN 3.5.0 now - it's 255mb! I've received 22% at present.

I made a mistake - the OS is XP Home.

I have an XP Home CD as well and tried that to Repair - same result - bummer.

I'm thinking that if this boot CD doesn't work I have 2x options:
Tell her to take it to a PC Repair shop, or get a new HDD for the Laptop and install the OS freshly for her.
I do these repairs for free in my spare time - trouble is, when they're time consuming - it eliminates all my spare time completely. Not good for my family life.

Thanks everyone for your help.

When this download completes I'll try booting from the Optical Drive. Will keep you posted.