How to Troubleshoot a Stop 0xC0000218 Error Message

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Article ID: 156640 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

A Windows-based computer displays the following Stop error message:
Stop 0xc0000218 (0xe11a30e8, 0x00000000, 0x000000000,0x00000000)
UNKNOWN_HARD_ERROR
-or-
Stop: 0xc0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
\SystemRoot\System32\Config\SYSTEM or its log or alternate.
It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.
NOTE: The parameters in parentheses are specific to your system configuration and may differ each time.

CAUSE

A Stop 0xc0000218 error message means that a necessary registry hive file could not be loaded. This error message can occur if the file is corrupt or missing. To resolve this issue, you can reinstall the operating system and restore the registry files from a backup. The registry files may have been corrupted because of hard disk corruption or some other hardware problem.

This error message can also occur if the driver has corrupted the registry data while loading into memory, or the memory where the registry is loading has a parity error. In the latter case, turn off the external cache and check the memory chips.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
  1. Start your computer by running the Recovery Console, run the chkdsk /p command on the drive, and then restart your computer. Test to determine whether the issue is resolved. If the issue is resolved, do not complete the remaining steps. If the issue is not resolved, go to step 2.
  2. When Windows loads, press SPACE BAR when the "Load Last Known Good" message appears.
  3. Complete a parallel installation, and restore the registry files from a tape backup. To do so:
    • Reinstall Windows in a separate folder.
    • Restore the damaged registry hive from backup. This procedure is specific to the backup application that you used to make a backup. Consult the documentation of your backup application or consult the vendor if you need assistance. Typically, this procedure requires you to restore a system state backup to an alternate location, and then copy the appropriate registry files to the %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\config folder of the damaged operating system.
    • If you do not have a tape backup, include the backup of network servers and production workstations.
    NOTE: If Windows is stored on a FAT partition, you can restore the files by using another computer and by copying the registry hive files to the %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\Config subfolder.

MORE INFORMATION

If the Stop error message was caused by a hardware problem (for example, bad sectors on the hard drive), the drive may require a low-level format, repartition, reformat, and a restore of the entire system from a tape backup to clear up the problem. Although this would be the most drastic case, if the Stop error message was caused by a physically bad sector, the sector must be relocated with a low-level format.

For more information about a similar problem that occurs in Microsoft Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307545 How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting

Properties

Article ID: 156640 - Last Review: February 27, 2007 - Revision: 5.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbhowto kbnetwork KB156640

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