"Security Accounts Manager Initialization Failed" Error Message When You Start Windows XP

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Article ID: 316751 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you start your Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional-based computer, you may receive the following error message:
Security Accounts Manager initialization failed because of the following error: A device attached to the system is not functioning.
Error Status: 0xc0000001.
Please click OK to shut down this system and reboot into Safe Mode, check event log for more detailed information.
When you start the computer in Safe mode, you receive the same error message.

CAUSE

This issue may occur if the Security Accounts Manager file (SAM) is corrupted or missing.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, either restore or replace the SAM file.

Note You cannot use the repair process or the recovery console to resolve this issue. These methods require authentication, which cannot occur if the SAM file is corrupted or missing.

To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Restore the SAM File from Backup

If you used the Backup utility in Windows XP to back up the system state, you can restore the SAM (and all other registry settings) from the disk or archived copy by using the Restore Wizard or the Automated System Recovery Wizard.

Note ASR is not supported on Windows XP Home Edition.

For additional information about using the Backup utility in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
309340 HOW TO: Use Backup to Restore Files and Folders on Your Computer in Windows XP

Method 2: Copy the SAM File from the Repair Folder

If you cannot restore the SAM file by using the Windows Backup utility, copy the SAM file from the following location
C:\WINDOWS\repair
and paste it to this location:
C:\WINDOWS\system32\config


Note When you do this, you will lose all accounts or groups that had been created. You will also need credentials that were valid at the time that the ASR was run. This will restore the SAM back to the last instance that Automated System Recovery (ASR) was run, or to when the system was first installed. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Do either of the following:
    • Start the computer from another operating system (if you have a multiple-boot system).

      Note If Windows XP is installed on an NTFS file system drive, you must start the computer from an operating system that can access the NTFS drive (for example, Microsoft Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows NT). If Windows is installed on a FAT32 drive, you can start the computer by using Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) or Microsoft Windows 98.

      -or
    • Perform a parallel installation of Windows XP, and then start the computer from the parallel installation.

      For additional information about how to perform a parallel installation of Windows XP , click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
      316941 HOW TO: Install Windows XP
  2. Click Start, click Run, type cmd (or command if you are using Windows Me or Windows 98), and then click OK.
  3. At the command prompt, type each of the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:

    copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam


    Note This procedure assumes that you have Windows XP installed in the following default location:
    c:\windows
  4. Restart the computer by using the original installation of Windows XP.

Method 3: Reinstall Windows XP

If you cannot restore the SAM file by using either Method 1 or Method 2, you must reinstall Windows XP to replace the SAM file.

Note You must use the New Installation option to replace the SAM file. If you perform use the In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) option for Windows XP, the SAM file is not replaced. This method may require that you reformat the partition that Windows XP is installed to. Before you continue with this method, make sure that you have a backup of your My Documents folder, or select an option to install Windows XP to a different partition than where Windows is currently installed.

For additional information about how to install Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
316941 HOW TO: Install Windows XP

Properties

Article ID: 316751 - Last Review: July 11, 2006 - Revision: 3.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbsiteserv300sp1fix kbprb KB316751

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