Multiple machine Windows XP BSOD unable to load registry

A small office I support has had 4 out of 10 machines in the last week start BSOD'ing unable to load registry.  Seems like too many to be a co-incidence.  Anti-virus finds nothing, windows updates are current.   3 machines are Dells, 1 a Gateway, so can't isolate to single hardware.  A new virus?  Power surge?  Lightening?  Bad windows update applied?  No glaring hardware erros in event viewer.  Got me puzzled.
shoepukeAsked:
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sayed_maherConnect With a Mentor Commented:
shoepuke,

if it happened all simultaneously, it sounds to me like you have a small issue with your electricity. HD's crashed or were surged, destroying some of the sectors on the disk, which caused the registry and hive files not to be loaded. My advice, change your powerbars to power surge protectors + make sure you have a UPS for all the computers. That way they wont turn off suddenly and or be effected by power surges. No fault of your own, happens to us all.

Good luck,
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Gunter17Commented:
What is the specific error?

I have seen two machines the last week intermittently be unable to load the system hive. A chkdsk in safemode fixes the issue for a few days, but it returns. Tried in-place upgrading one of them as well, to no avail.
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keith_opswatConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Here download this file

http://majorgeeks.com/BlueScreenView_d6200.html

It will analyze your BlueScreen Of Death dump files and tell you what's causing your issues.

If that program doesn't tell you what it is at least do a copy and paste of your BSOD dump files
Here's  a MIcrosoft article on how to view the Dump Files if the first program doesn't help you. Top link will do more of the work for you so I recommend that one first.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315263
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shoepukeAuthor Commented:
THe exact BSOD msg is:
STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
  The registry cannot load the hive (file):
  \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE
  or it's log or alternate.  
  It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.

I will analyze the dump files next time I'm in their offices (later this week probably unless they call me before then).
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keith_opswatCommented:
Here's how to fix it...

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545


Here's another website with directions. It seems complicated but I guarantee you it's a simple fix. I do not need any more information from you on this. I've come across this issue many times before with XP. If you have anymore issues feel free to contact me directly @ keith[at]opswat[dot]com
I'll be able to reply faster and answer any technical questions you have while working on it if you email me there.

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_sys32.htm
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shoepukeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tips for fixing the registry, but what I'm really looking for is the cause since 4 machines had this happen at the same time.  I had googled the problem and found out how to fix it, but what i really need is tips for finding the cause, which I suspect is a new virus?  Bad windows update?  Hoping someone else has seen the simultaneous corruption of the registry on multiple machines and found and eliminated the root cause.
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