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Computer Will not start


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Computer Will not start

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Hello All,


My computer which is a Dell Dimension 4600, does'nt start up properly. When I turn it on it displays the Windows XP screen then goes blank and then the Windows XP sceen appears for about 20 seconds, Then the computer make a shut down noise, but stays on and a blue screen appears with a message. It says registry cannot load the hive (file)systemRoot\System32\configure\SOFTWARE log or alternate is corrupt, absent, or not writable. I'm a computer beginner and dont understand all this language. Please can someone tell me whats wrong and how I can fix this as I have a lot of work on this computer.



All Replies
  • nbh001,

    Do not become desparate and reformat your hard drive or run a repair of Windows XP.   Click on Start|Run.  Type notepad and press Enter.  Copy and paste the following text into Notepad:

    copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

    delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

    copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
    copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
    copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security

    Save this as regcopy1.txt

    In Notepad, click File|New.   Copy and paste the following text into Notepad:

    del c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    del c:\windows\system32\config\security
    del c:\windows\system32\config\software
    del c:\windows\system32\config\default
    del c:\windows\system32\config\system
    copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software
    copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system
    copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_machine_security c:\windows\system32\config\security
    copy c:\windows\tmp\_registry_user_.default c:\windows\system32\config\default

    Save this as regcopy2.txt

    Once you have created these two files, save them to a floppy disk.  I assume that the corrupt system has a floppy disk drive.  If not, then let us know.

    When you have completed this step, let us know and we will proceed from there.


  • Thank you so much for replying, but I cannot log on to the computer to get to start and run and then notepad. Can i do this on another computer and then save the file onto a floppy/cd and then try and put into my system. the computer becomes frozen on the blue screen with the message. Please advise further.

    Thank you

  • The instructions look to be from this article:

    The article warns not to use the procedure for an OEM-installed XP and suggests using the Dell recovery utilities instead.

  • thank you for your reply and please expand on dell recovery utilities. i have the dell utilities and recovery cd , if thats what you mean. what is an oem installed xp?

    thanks .

  • nbh001,

    The link given by rdunnill is definitely where the repair procedure comes from.  It has been used successfully by myself and others on Dell systems that shipped with Windows XP.  The Dell Reinstallation CD for Windows XP is nothing more than a standard Microsoft Windows XP disk that is preactivated..  Unlike other OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), Dell's Reinstallation CD for Windows XP does not create OEM-specific user accounts and passwords.


  • In that case, the OP can use the Recover Console of the install disc to perform the above operations.

  • Hello rdunnill

    I'm sorry for the late reply but can please expand on your last post in non-computer language ie, OP, Recover Console. Like I said I'm a computer beginner. I think you may have to talk me through this in ABC formatt.