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

Thanks for the info, John. The Bart PE CD sounds like the way to go.

John John - MVP wrote:
A repair install wouldn't fix it, a repair install does not change the
SAM, user names and passwords are unaffected by a repair install.

The SAM needs to be replaced by a backed up copy, there is a copy of
the SAM in the restore points, you could try one of those. You just
have to use a method other than the Recovery Console to do the
replacement, you can use a Bart PE disk or mount the drive in a USB
enclosure and do it with another Windows installation.


Daave wrote:
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 RAM.

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 the
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, and
obtain the hard disk diagnostic utility from the manufacturer of
your hard drive.


Bruce Chambers

Help us help you:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin
Franklin Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most
do. ~Bertrand Russell

The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest
has killed a great many philosophers.
~ Denis Diderot