Intelligent Computing. Computer help at your fingertips!

   Follow me on
I compute on facebook is Intelligent computing. Located in Coos Bay Oregon. Local On-Site service is QuickTech. Servicing PC and Mac.
(541) 260-2839
Networking help
Windows Help
Computer Shopping

I love helping people help themselves. If an article helped you consider giving a few dollars. Thanks.


Your Best Outlet

 It's okay to save Money

Computer service-

Coos Bay, North Bend, Lakeside, Hauser, Coquille, Myrtle Point, Bandon, Reedsport, Coos River, Allegany, Fairview and others. Call for more information.


Manual Recovery of Windows registry, c:\windows\system32\config\system - software, or corrupt hive file or hal.dll errors with no CD.   

This information is supplied without warranty. It can help if done correctly. Use at your own risk. If this Fixes your problem please give $2 with paypal link at the bottom of this article.

This article may help with the following stop error messages.

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


Windows XP could not start because the following File is missing or corrupt:


This stop message

Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate

This system error

Unmountable boot volume

Don't forget to listen to your computer to see if it has the "Clunk of death" in the hard drive before starting any windows repairs.

Recovering from a corrupt hive, windows system32/config file errors or even some registry stop errors like c0000218 can be easy if you know how to get into system restore without windows being able to load. In an earlier help page I wrote about using a Windows XP disk and using the recovery console to get to a very primitive but effective DOS like screen (command prompt) that allows the user the ability to put the files from the system restore folder into the system32 config folder to restore the registry.

This time I am going to do the repair without the aid of a live CD. I am using another computer to move the files. It can be done by using the run command from the start menu in XP.

First you need to have another computer and an adapter for the hard drive. If you don't have an adapter you can plug the hard drive into the inside of the computer that works. (This article assumes you know how to do this.)

Once you have the drive working on the functional computer, check to see what drive letter it ends up in the new computer. (This is important since you will need to know what drive letter to use in the run command.) I will be using the command prompt the same way I did with the XP CD only this will be from a Windows Command Prompt instead.

Click RUN
Type CMD
Hit the "ENTER" key

You should now see a black window with white lettering. The following commands will be typed into the command prompt window.

1. Type: cd \

( Reminder: between "cd" and "\" there should be a "blank space" otherwise  the command won't work. These are similar to old DOS commands where spaces had to go between each command so DOS knew where one command stopped and another started.)

Note: this is when you will have to know what letter the drive ended up being in the computer. For this example we will say it ended up being drive E:


2.Type:  E: thats E with the colon symbol. Then hit enter.

3.Type: Cd system~1\_resto~1

4.Type: dir

Then click enter

NOTICE: When you hit enter it will list all the restore points folders like "rp1", "rp2" we have to see the last restore point to copy the file from a recent backup. If the restore points have more than one page then you have keep on hitting the key to view the last restore point folder.


NOTICE: It is a good rule of thumb to choose the files from the restore point folder which the second to the last one.


5.Type: cd rp {with the second to the last restore point no. } (Note: Example: cd rp9. if rp10 is the last restore point. where last restore point no. =10)

Then click enter

6.Type: cd snapshot

NOTICE: Now the command Prompt will look like the example below.


( Note : restore point 9 assumed for clarity of the content, you have to go to the last restore point folder as described in the previous lines) Now according to the error message we have to copy the appropriate file from the restore point folder.



NOTE: The appropriate command should be used according to the error message. But often times I do both to make sure they match each other.


If the file "system" is corrupted

Type: copy _registry_machine_system e:\windows\system32\config\system

Then click enter


If the file "software" is corrupted

Type: copy _registry_machine_software e:\windows\system32\config\software

Then click enter

Type: Exit 

Now you should be able to remove the hard drive from the computer and put it back into the computer that was not working. Start the computer and see if it comes up without the error message.

If it does start correctly then you are finished.

If it does not start correctly go through the above steps again going back to a lower number in the restore points.

If it still does not start correctly you should stick the hard drive back in the working computer.
Go back to the command prompt
Type E: and hit ENTER When the prompt shows you as being on that drive,
Type chkdsk /r and hit Enter. This will do a very thorough scan of the hard drive including a surface and file scan.
The computer may tell you that it can not access the drive correctly and ask you if you want to check it on the next reboot (keep in mind that this is a time consuming process and can take several hours. Also if you have used a USB adapter, the system may not know where to find that drive till Windows starts up so you may get an error at boot.) if the error message comes up and you want to scan the drive then click okay and then reboot the computer. After you have scanned the drive take it out of the computer and put it back in the original computer and try rebooting.

If the computer will still not start a Windows Repair Install may fix the problem but keep in mind that once you start the Windows Repair Install that you will be removing all system restore points.  If a repair install does not work then it may be time to back up the data on the drive and reinstall Windows from scratch.

Once again I remind you that once you have recovered your system you need to check your drive with software that can detect a bad drive. No sense in having the thing working again and have it quit after your repair. Better to know the drive is bad and replace it than go through all this just to have the drive die and loose it all again.   

If this helped give $2 dollars with the PayPal Make a Donation button.

Please leave a comment with your Donation. Thanks... Dale
This recently added counter saves unique visitors. It does not count return visitors.