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STOP: c0000218 when starting up XP Pro on dual boot system

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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Start up my dual boot system and a message out of the blue says:

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
\SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE
or its log or alternate.
It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.
Beginning dump of physical memory
Dumping physical memory to disk:


This message pertains to XP Pro OS only. I am able to read and backup HD data from the Vista OS that is also installed on the same disk.  I ran seagate diagnostics on the maxtor drive in question and it said the drive PASSED the SMART test, but it reported Long DST FAIL and Short DST FAIL (Seagate tools seem to have replaced the old maxtor diagostics).
I remember it was a hateful chore to install this dual boot, but if I'm about to lose the drive it seems to me I should bite the bullet and install a new HD.  Can you advise whether it is even worth trying to repair the XP Pro OS, since I have been able to save my data?  And if not, where will I find the best instructions for installing an XP Pro/Vista Ultimate dual boot?
Thanks for any advice:
Olivia


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Thanks for the useful responses.  can i just do normal boot into vista os and then run chkdsk, or do i have to boot off the vista disk itself?
You should be able to boot in to your Vista installation and run chkdsk from there since they are on different partitions.

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The good news is that I ran chkdsk on the XP drive and replaced bad clusters in file 10214 of name\windows\system\config\software.  I then used the XP recovery console to run fixboot (successful). I carefully chose the correct partition (XP Pro C: drive), but somehow managed to corrupt the vista OS partition. Boot section repair w vista recovery console brought the Vista partition back. Now when I try an XP boot I no longer get an error message, but the process hangs on the XP Pro screen with a cursor that moves but with no welcome, no sign-in options.
When I try to use the XP recovery console to run fixmbr on the xp pro partition I get the following message:
WARNING: this computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record. Fixmbr may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This could cause all the parts of the current hard drive to become inaccessible.  are you sure you want to write a new MBR?
What does this mean and what should I do?  I looked at my drive in disk management, and the only thing unusual there is that the operating  system drive shows THREE partitions, not two.  C: XP Pro OS, D: Vista OS, and "E: Boot files" w 999 Mbs. I sure don't remember creating that E: partition, though anything is possible.
So my question is: should I proceed with the fixmbr? Would bcd or vistabootpro be safer? (the temporary loss of my Vista partition made me gun shy).  Thanks so much for your help.  olivia
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actually, that was how I repaired the vista boot partition.  the fixmbr is to fix the xp os.  I no longer have the 218 error message, but when i select the xp os as my boot system i get to the blue xp screen and hang.  no welcome or sign in option.  would the fixmbr fix that?  should I risk their warning that it may cost me access to all my data?  would a boot repair utility be safer?  or is this even a boot problem?  Thanks.  olivia
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Maybe the drive letter assignment inside xp is ruined. Start vista, open regedit, import the registry file x:\windows\system32\config\software (importname "removemeafterwards" for example) by selecting the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE-hive and choosing "load hive from the file menu. Then navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon and do step 3 of http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249321. Afterwards select removemeafterwards and select unload from the file menu.
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x: is of course a substitute for the drive letter where xp resides on as seen from vista.

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Commented:
so sorry.  I need a little more guidance on this.  I'm pretty fearless and follow directions, but i want to be sure i understand what i should do. I loaded the hive and named it removemeafterwards. Here's what I saw when I navigated to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon\Userinit:reg_SZ:D:\windows\system32\userinit.exe.  
But D: is the drive for the XP OS.  Is this my problem?  
should I change this entry to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon\userinit:Reg_SZ:userinit.exe   ?
The microsoft doc says that after i do this i should restore the system boot drive letter as in Q223188.  Will I need to do this as well?











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Change it like you said and unload the hive and close regedit and reboot to xp and then let's see.

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Commented:
did not fix the problem.  still hangs on page right b4 welcome (or, i mean, gets to page, does not say welcome or give sign in options, just shows logo and floating srrow that i can move.  I also tried changing to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon\Userinit:reg_SZ:C:\windows\system32\userinit.exe and had the same problem.  I did notice that on the disk that has the two os's there are actually 3 partitions.  the third  partition is "Boot Files (E:) and it is a 999MB NTFS file. healthy, primary" . contains a $drvmig$ file and empty system volume information file.  No Idea where it came from.  is this normal?  also i noticed that the  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon\Userinit:reg_SZ:D:\windows\system32\userinit.exe was actually HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon\Userinit:reg_SZ:D:\windows\system32\userinit.exe, ending with a comma.  I removed the comma when I changed it.  right?  grasping at straws here, because it's a foreign language for me.  did see https://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_21777626.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+account+dell+hang+home+page+user+window+xp which describes symptoms, but don't know how relevant it is. what should i try next?  would it be possible to just leave the good vista os on D: and reinstall XP pro to C:, or do I have to start from scratch? Thanks.  olivia
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Don't you agree I should just do the complete xp then vista waltz? We've had enough problems.
there is a famous german transvestite named olivia jones. not me.  the parties must be something else!
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Yeah, if you don't mind, do it - this will at least be a predictable result.
About OJ: that's the one I mean, she hosted parties in Hamburg at the Cafe Keese back in the days house music ruled in Hamburg more than 10 years ago.

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Commented:
do you thing she'd the one who wants my oliviajones.com moniker so much??  (i've never developed it)

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Commented:
thank you so much for your continued interest in this problem

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