After recovering from Corrupt Registry

Posted on 2007-07-27
Last Modified: 2010-04-13

This morning we had to reboot a server and it came back with the error:  Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: windows\system32\config\software.

I ran the Recovery Console and  copied the corrupt file from the repair folder.  I can now boot up windows and login.  However, the programs dont work, I cant ping anything and it takes for ever to login.  

My question is do I need to reinstall the software and drivers that were installed?  This server was running SQL 7 with quite a few databases, will I be able to get those back?

The OS is Win2K Server SP4

Question by:awilliams2469
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    The correct way to restore the Registry is by restoring the System State. I hope you have a recent backup.

    Author Comment

    Yes, I have a System State backup.  The problem I am having is that the Backup Exec Agent no longer works and when I try to reinstall it I get an error about Windows Installer not being installed right.  

    I tried to reinstall Windows Installer and it seemed to finish fine without errors but I still cant get the BE Agent installed.  

    I did a restore of the SystemState files to a different directory on a different server and all the restore was successful with all the files being there.  

    Can I simply take the software and system registry files from the restore and copy them into the System32\Config directory?

    Im sure its not that easy but if I have the SystemState files on a different server how can I restore them onto the broken server without using Backup Exec?

    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    Unluckily I am not a user of Backup Exec so can't give you first-hand advice on that point. Hope someone who is will help out soon here.

    "Can I simply take the software and system registry files from the restore and copy them into the System32\Config directory?"

    Not quite sure, may work on a non-domain controller. I suppose you can try it if all else fails, but better to wait until you can try the normal ways first. Is this a domain controller?

    I ran across these links that may be helpful in case you haven't seen them yet:


    Author Comment

    I was able to completely restore the server by renaming the Software hive to software.bak then running a registry repair tool on the hive.  It fixed quite a few errors and then I went into Recovery Console and moved the repaired hive back into the config folder and renamed it back to software.

    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    Excellent. Very glad to hear that.

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