Re: Registry cannot load the Hive (SAM) file error... and Windows fails to boot.

Well, I'll be dipped in shiitake mushrooms!

I retract my erroneous statement. And thanks for the correction.

In that case, OP should consider a Repair Install, no? I would normally
recommend the good 'ol manual System Restore, but since that needs the
RC, that ain't gonna work...

John John - MVP wrote:
Daave wrote:
Recovery Console runs completely independently; the SAM file doesn't
even enter the equation.

Yes it does, Daave. You need authentication to logon to the Recovery
Console, if the SAM hive is corrupt you will not be able to

If RC hangs, there may be something wrong with your CD, CD drive, or

Bubsy wrote:
I booted from the CD ROM, went into the Recovery Console and got to
the point where it says
1: C:\Windows

which windows installation would you like to log onto?

I select 1

The Recovery program then hangs. I think the problem is that the SAM
file is corrupt and I don't think the Recovery Console can run with
that file missing.


"Bruce Chambers" <bchambers@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Bubsy wrote:
I'm running Windows XP home. The system appeared to shut down
normally the other day. When I started it the next morning, it
failed to go into Windows and rebooted. Chkdisk ran and said that
the recycled folder has a non zero file size. The system then
rebooted again. Once again it tried to check the disk and said it
had an invalid time stamp in ms dos sts, the system rebooted, then
same series of events and I got an error saying that hyberfil.sys
had an error... system rebooted.

I got a "STOP 0000218 registry file failure. The registry cannot
load the hive (file)\ systemroot\ system32\config\SAM or its log
or alternate. It is corrupt, absent or not writable"

I have another bootable hard disk clone of the drive from 2008
that I installed replacing the existing C drive. When I started
Windows, it said that Windows failed to start on the last
attempt. I guess something was written to the bios because that
clone drive did start when I tested it after making it a clone.
It ran chkdisk, said all was fine, the rebooted. Same thing
happened again and again. I can understand that the Windows
registry files may be corrupt on the existing C boot drive, but
why the cloned drive from last year wont work is beyond my
comprehension. I can boot the computer with a Windows 98 emergency
boot disk, go
to a C: prompt and copy to and from the C drive and a floppy disk.
In addition, from the DOS prompt, I'm able to view all files and
directories on the existing C drive, and they appear to be
correct. The computer booted from the Windows XP CD and I went to
restore console but cannot run a restore since is cannot access
the SAM file.

I have an Award V6.00PG bios.

I do have a recent backup of the C drive on an external disk.

Any ideas as to what might be preventing windows XP from starting?
I cannot go into safe mode either, the computer reboots. But the
computer accepts the Win 98 emergency boot disk and allows me to
access my C drive. But... I cannot delete hiberfil.sys because of
its attributes.



How to Recover from a Corrupted Registry that Prevents Windows XP
from Starting;en-us;307545

Once you've recovered, you might want to look here, as well:

How to Troubleshoot Registry Corruption Issues;en-us;822705

You should also run diagnostics on your RAM, in case it is
defective and failed to properly write the registry file back to
the hard drive during the seemingly normal shutdown, and the
manufacturer's diagnostics on the hard drive, as it reported
errors. Use MemTest86 ( to check the RAM,
obtain the hard disk diagnostic utility from the manufacturer of
your hard drive.


Bruce Chambers

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