Article ID: 269075 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q269075
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
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SYMPTOMS

When you restart your Microsoft Windows 2000-based computer, you may receive the following error message:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEMced
Note The letters "ced" at the end of the error message are not really part of the error message. The previous screen included these letters and was not completely erased when the error message appeared.

You may also receive the following error message:
System hive error

CAUSE

This behavior can occur if one of the following conditions is true:
  • A Promise Technology, Inc. ATA66 PCI controller card is installed in the computer. This issue typically occurs during the Windows 2000 installation process.
  • The System hive in the registry is damaged or missing.

    Windows 2000 may be unable to load the registry if it is too large. This issue can occur when a process writes too much data to the System subkey in the registry. The System subkey is designed to contain only the information that is necessary to boot the computer.

    Computers that are based on Intel architecture or ARC (RISC) architecture can only use 16 megabytes (MB) of memory at this stage of the boot process. The System registry subkey has to share the 16 MB with the loader, kernel, HAL, and boot drivers. In some instances, the size of the System subkey may be 13 MB or larger.

RESOLUTION

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

To resolve this issue, use the appropriate method.

Remove the Promise Technology ATA66 PCI Controller

If this issue occurs during the Windows 2000 installation process and a Promise ATA66 controller is installed in your computer, remove the Promise Technology ATA66 PCI controller card, check your BIOS settings to make sure that the IDE controller on your motherboard is enabled, and then run Windows 2000 Setup again.

Restore a Backup of the System Hive

IMPORTANT: This procedure will not work on an active directory domain controller, because if you use the REPAIR folder system hive, then you are no longer a domain controller.

Use the Repair Console tool to replace the backup copy of the System hive from the repair folder. If the Repair Console tool is not installed on your computer, you can run it from the Emergency Repair process:
  1. Use the Windows 2000 CD-ROM or the Windows 2000 Startup disk to start the computer.
  2. When you see the "Welcome to Setup" message, press R for "repair."
  3. Press C to run the Recovery Console tool.
  4. Select the installation that you want to repair.
  5. Type the administrator password.

    If the computer is a domain controller, type the password for Directory Services Restore Mode when you are prompted to do so.For additional information about the Recovery Console tool, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    239803 How to Change the Recovery Console Administrator Password on a Domain Controller
    223301 Protection of the Administrator Account in the Offline SAM
  6. At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following commands, pressing ENTER after you type each command:
    cd system32\config
    ren system system.old
    ren system.alt systemalt.old
  7. If you have run the Emergency Repair Disk Wizard from Windows Backup and Recovery tools, copy the backup of the System hive from the %SystemRoot%\Repair\Regback folder.

    If you have not run the Emergency Repair Disk Wizard, copy the default System hive from the %SystemRoot%\Repair folder.

    IMPORTANT: You need to restore the most recent copy of the System hive. You also need to reinstall any hardware device drivers or programs that run as services that you installed since the last time that you updated your Emergency Repair Disk.

    To copy the default System hive, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    copy c:\winnt\repair\system c:\winnt\system32\config
    To copy the System hive that was backed up the last time that you ran the Emergency Repair Disk Wizard, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\system c:\winnt\system32\config
  8. At the command prompt, type exit, and then press ENTER to restart your computer.

Reduce the Size of the System Hive

If a large number of resources are shared on the computer, the registry may become too large. To resolve this issue, use the following steps.
  1. Start registry editor (Regedt32.exe).
  2. Locate and click the following key in the registry:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Share
  3. On the Registry menu, click Save Key.
  4. In the File name box, type Shares.new, and then click Save.
  5. Locate and click the following key in the registry:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  6. On the Registry menu, click Load Hive.
  7. In the list of files, click the System.old file, and then click Open.
  8. In the Key Name box type System.old, and then click OK.
  9. Locate and click the following key in the registry:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Select
  10. Note the setting for the Default value.
  11. Locate and click the following key in the registry
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System.old\ControlSetx\Services\LanmanServer\Shares
    where x is the number that you noted in step 8.
  12. On the Registry menu, click Save Key.
  13. In the File name box, type Shares.old, and then click Save.
  14. Restore the Shares.new key to the System.old registry hive:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System.old\ControlSetx\Services\LanmanServer\Shares
  15. Click the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System.old key.
  16. On the Registry menu, click Unload Hive.
  17. Quit Registry Editor.
  18. Restart the computer to the Recovery Console.
  19. At the command prompt, type the following lines, pressing ENTER after you type each line:
    ren system system.org
    ren system.old system
  20. At the command prompt, type exit, and then press ENTER to restart the computer.

MORE INFORMATION

For additional information about how to obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310994 Obtaining Windows XP Setup Boot Disks
For additional information about System hive limitations in Microsoft Windows Server 2003, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
302594 The System Hive Memory Limitation Is Improved in Windows Server 2003
The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Properties

Article ID: 269075 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 7.6
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbprb kbtool KB269075

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