Restoring Windows 2000 SOFTWARE hive

Posted on 2004-11-24
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I am receiving the following error at bootup:

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

I have managed to get the computer up, by copying an OLD SOFTWARE file from c:\winnt\restore, but this is a VERRY old file.

Is there a way on my Windows 2000 machine to get a most recent SOFTWARE file to get my computer back up and running?
Question by:duemes
    LVL 65

    Accepted Solution

    Hello duemes =)

    If you didn't make any backup of the registry yourself... then i think that you are out of luck here to get any other backed up registry from anywhere else other than the one which you got from the C:\Winnt\Repair folder! =\
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    I have a couple of  long shots for you, but they've worked for me with the system hive in the past.....

    boot from the win2k cd into the command console.
    go to c:\winnt\system32\config directory,  rename software software.old
    copy software.alt to software

    and give that a try..
    if that fails.  you have one more shot..
    undo what you have done.  (delete "system" and rename "system.old" to "system"

    make an ultimate boot cd..  you need a valid copy of xp to do it..

    compile the iso, and burn the disk (assuming you have a machine to do it on..)

    boot from the cd, and from the "start" button,  select "registry tools"
    then select "registry editor pe v0.26"

    it should automatically look for the copy of windows on your hard drive and try to load it.
    if it finds any errors in the hives, it will use the ".alt" files, and the log files to try and rebuild it.

    this fixed a system for me and saved me 4 hours worth of data copy-ing and  system reimaging...

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    er,  replace "system"  with "software"   where applicable above...

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    also ,  when you launch the "registry editor pe v0.26" it will look for and load the registry on the c drive,  not windows itself...
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    I'm also thinking that you will need your original software* files from your config directory.  

    if you have not saved off your "broken" software, software.log, and software.alt

    the software.alt, and the software.log will have been overwritten with inforation from your old one from the
    repair directory..  I'm thinking you will need all 3 of these from the failed software hive for either of my long-shots to work...

    failing that....  you can just reinstall all of your software to populate the software hive..  that will work as well.  provided you have all the installation media you need...


    Author Comment

    I basically wanted to get the computer back up and running...I did that by using the copying an OLD SOFTWARE file from c:\winnt\restore, but this is a VERRY old file.

    The computer booted up...then I just copied all the data I needed and blew a new image ontop of the computer....

    I am sliting points..


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