stop c0000218 registy file failure

i am unable to load windows keep getting blue screen with stop c0000218 registry file failure after i updated to win xp sp3 it worked for about a week now wont load into anything not even safe mode dont have a boot cd as bought laptop second hand worked perfectly until this also noticed battery lights flashing so guessing i need new battery dont want to buy one if i cant get laptop working again could this have anything to do with it not working its a dell latitude d830 windows xp professional would i be able to reboot using hirens boot cd if so would i need anything else please help its my daughters laptop for school homework shes not happy
Question Info

Last updated July 29, 2018 Views 6,823 Applies to:
If you are seeing a message similar to these:

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SECURITY or its log or alternate. It is corrupt, absent, or not writeable.

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate. It is corrupt, absent, or not writeable.

STOP: c0000218 {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 writeable.

It could be that the referenced file is really missing or corrupt, but I have never seen that to be the case and the usual problem is that XP just can't find the file due to some corruption in the NT File System (NTFS).

The file system can get corrupted from a power interruption, using the power or reset button, pulling the battery, an aborted restart, ungraceful shutdown and sometimes from certain antivirus/antimalware applications like (so far) Norton or AVG that may be out of date.

Describe your current antivirus and anti malware situation:  Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), McAfee, Symantec, Norton, Spybot, AVG, Avira!,  Panda, Trend Micro, CA, Defender, ZoneAlarm, PC Tools, Comodo, etc.

Was the issue preceded by a power interruption, aborted restart, or improper shutdown?  (this includes plug pulling, power buttons, removing the battery, etc.)

If I were you I would boot on a Hiren's Boot CD and run a chkdsk with error correction (maybe
more than once) then see how things look.

Here's how:

Make yourself a Hiren's Boot CD which you can download from here:

The ZIP file is large, so the download will probably take a little while to complete bit it is worth it.  Then unzip the download to extract the Hirens.BootCD.ISO file that will be used to create your new bootable CD.

Creating a bootable CD from a .ISO file is not the same as just copying the .ISO file to a blank CD.  You have to use software that understands how to burn a .ISO file to a CD to create a bootable CD.

In the Hiren's ZIP file are the BurnToCD.cmd file that you can double click to launch it, but I have never used it and prefer to use ImgBurn.

If you need a free and easy CD burning software package, here is a popular free program:

When installing ImgBurn, DO NOT install anything from UniBlue or the Ask toolbar (never install the ASK toolbar for anything).

Here are some instructions for ImgBurn:

It would be a good idea to test your new bootable CD on a computer that is working.

You may need to adjust the computer BIOS settings to use the CD ROM drive as the first boot device instead of the hard disk. 

These adjustments are  made before Windows tries to load.  If you miss it, you will have to reboot the system again.

When booting on the Hiren's CD you will see a menu of options.  Choose the Mini XP option.  Then it will appear that Windows is being loaded and you will be presented with a desktop that has the look and feel of the Windows Explorer interface you are already used to using.

One way to check the disk for errors is to open My Computer and right click your afflicted drive and choose Properties, Tools, Error-checking, Check Now... put a check mark in both the boxes and then Start.

Sometimes that doesn't work, so you can also click Start, Run and in the box enter:


Click OK to open a Command Prompt window and enter the following command (assuming XP is installed on your C drive)

chkdsk  c:  /r

This disk checking can take a long time (perhaps several to many hours) depending on the size of the volume, the amount of data on the volume and what the disk checking finds to do.  You may have to run it more than once.

Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for marking this as the answer.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this response?

Thanks for your feedback.