Intelligent Computing. Computer help at your fingertips!

   Follow me on
I compute on facebook is Intelligent computing. Located in Coos Bay Oregon. Local On-Site service is QuickTech. Servicing PC and Mac.
(541) 260-2839
Networking help
Windows Help
Computer Shopping

I love helping people help themselves. If an article helped you consider giving a few dollars. Thanks.


Your Best Outlet

 It's okay to save Money

Computer service-

Coos Bay, North Bend, Lakeside, Hauser, Coquille, Myrtle Point, Bandon, Reedsport, Coos River, Allegany, Fairview and others. Call for more information.


System restore in recovery console.

I have worked very hard to try each fix listed on the site and put easy to follow step by step instructions on each page.  If this helps you fix your problem please donate with the Paypal link at the bottom of this article to keep this site going for the next time you need help. This information is supplied without warranty. It can help if done correctly. Use at your own risk. Thanks... Dale

This covers some helpful resolutions for:

Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:


Windows XP could not start because the following File is missing or corrupt:


This stop message

Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate

This system error

Unmountable boot volume


Also may help with system restore when system restore doesn't work in normal or safe mode.  

You can also do this repair with a Live cd like Bart's PE or UBCD4Win disk. If you have one of these click the link for your type of disk for instructions.

If you have a hall.dll error upon boot up try this article first. Click here to fix your hal.dll error.


Note: This troubleshooting step is usually used for the specific issue indicated above but it may also work for BSOD issues which recently occurred and you're unable to boot to either safe mode or normal mode.

Important! Stop and read this. Before starting this process, Please do yourself a favor and stick your head by your computer and listen. If you hear a louder than usual click noise that's out of the ordinary, "SHUT OFF YOUR COMPUTER" and do not restart it till you can make a backup of your drive. This may be the clunk of death for your hard drive.

Click here to read about the Click or Clunk of death in a hard drive.


Okay now lets get started.

A: First, The basics. You will need a Windows XP CD. If you only have a recovery disk set like the ones from a HP or Compaq, they will not do what you want. You can normally use a Dell disk, also retail box disks (XP Purchased from the store), or some OEM versions of XP will work (most of these will have the Microsoft hologram on them). You can also download a boot up Floppy disk set from Microsoft here:   There are a few other places with bootable CDs on the net, but the easiest thing to do if you don't have an XP CD is to borrow a Dell or Retail box disk and get right to work. If you cant find a boot disk set and don't want to make a floppy disk set, you can use an Umbuntu disk (see article here) or another Linux based live CD version like Knoppix

If your computer already starts at the CD rom first, or you know how to make it go there skip to part C:

B. The next step is to make sure that your CD rom is the first drive your system starts at (or the floppy if you have to use the floppy disk set). If you are using a Dell then most of the time you can go directly to a boot menu by clicking the F12 key, I believe that some HP's and Compaq's do this as well. If not, then the most common keys to get into the Bios (Cmos) are:

Delete (DEL on many keyboards), F1, F2, or F10 will normally get you there.

If your system doesn't go to the bios screen with one of these keys pressed several times right after you start the computer then consult the manufacturers website or owners manual. Once you are in the bios you want to find the boot section. there are so many different versions of bios that I could build a whole section of this site just telling you about the bios. The 2 most common places are:

B1: On the main bios screen a tab that says BOOT. Highlight the section by using the right arrow key on the keyboard, then highlight the first boot by using the down arrow and change it to "CDROM" or "ATAPI CDROM" by using the + or - keys on your keyboard or sometimes  you can click enter and then use the arrow keys on your keyboard. To make this change then click enter again when you have picked the CDROM. (If you are booting to the A: drive then you would choose FLOPPY as the first boot drive)

after you have made the change, then use the right arrow key to highlight Exit and then click enter as long as the Exit Saving Changes is highlighted. You may also be able to exit saving your changes by clicking the F10 Key

B2: On the main Bios screen you will see a choice of "ADVANCED". If you use the arrow keys to get to the advanced choice then click enter you should see "BOOT" or in some Bios it will already have the drive order listed. If it says BOOT then highlight that using the arrow keys and click enter to show the boot order of your drives. Then using the arrow and the + or - keys make the first boot the CD rom, or floppy drive depending on which you have to boot with. Click the ESC key till you get to the main Bios screen, then use the arrow keys to highlight the choice that implies you will be saving the settings you just made and click enter.

After doing one of the above mentioned choices your computer should reboot and automatically try to start at the drive you told it to boot to. Now ON to Step C:


C. After you know that the computer will boot to the correct drive, insert your disk into the appropriate drive. If you have more than one cd rom or floppy drive you may find that your system only checks one drive before going to the hard drive for boot up. If this happens you can just move the disk to the other drive and restart your computer.

When you get the system started and it finds your startup disk you will see a screen that says Press any Key to boot from CD. I normally use the space bar as my any key and then you should see a blue screen that says Windows setup in the left hand corner. Wait untill you see the welcome to setup screen and then click the "R" key to get to the Recovery Console How long it takes to get to each of these depends on the speed of your system, but I will tell you that it will take a few minutes to finally get to the Console.

Once you are at the Recovery Console you will be given at least one choice of Windows installations. Normally the choice you want is the number 1 choice. Click the number 1 key at the "top" of the keyboard and click enter.

NOTE: at this point your numbers to the right of your keyboard are turned off. If you insist on using these keys for your numbers remember to hit the Numbers Lock key before clicking a number over there or your computer will automatically reboot and you will have to wait through the previous steps to get back to the console. I know because I've done it several times out of habit and had to wait it out again.

You will be given a message asking for the administrator password. Unless someone or something has messed with your computer there is no password so you just click the enter key.

If your computer insists you have a password and you never had one before or it isn't working with your password, "CLICK HERE" to see how to fix a corrupted password.

This will bring you to a prompt that says:


Type:  cd \  and then click enter

( Note: between "cd" and "\" there should be a "blank space" otherwise  the command won't work. If you find that a command hasn't worked make sure you typed it correctly. These are similar to old DOS commands where spaces had to go between each command so DOS knew where one command stopped and another started.)

You are now at the ROOT of the drive where it all begins. The Prompt should now say C:\>

Now type: CHKDSK /R and click enter.

The chkdsk / r command also includes the P command and will also look for lost recoverable information in bad sectors.

This Disc check takes some time especially if you have a lot of information on your drive, so you should go take a break now and come back periodically to check on the progress. It has taken as much as several hours for this on some machines I've worked on, so be patient.

Now after the chkdsk has run type: FIXBOOT  then click enter.

It may prompt you with a warning but continue through it and once fixboot has finished type: EXIT and click enter.

Your system should reboot and when it does click the F8 button to get a windows start menu. Use the up or down arrow to highlight the LAST KNOWN GOOD CONFIGURATION and click enter. If it was a simple drive error this should have fixed it.

If you still get a system32 error reboot the system to the Recovery Console and follow the steps below.



I. Boot to Recovery Console as described above.


II. Restore  the registry with the steps below.

1. Type: cd \

( Reminder: between "cd" and "\" there should be a "blank space" otherwise  the command won't work. These are similar to old DOS commands where spaces had to go between each command so DOS knew where one command stopped and another started.)


2.Type: Cd system~1\_resto~1

If it gives an error "Access Denied" while accessing the folder, follow the method below

Type: cd \ 

Then click enter

Type: cd windows\system32\config 

Then click enter

Type: ren system system.bak 

Then click enter

(note the spaces between ren and system, and then between system and system.bak)

Type: exit

Then click enter

 now the computer should restart, then follow steps 1-6 of the article.


3.Type: dir

Then click enter

NOTICE: When you hit enter it will list all the restore points folders like "rp1", "rp2" we have to see the last restore point to copy the file from a recent backup. If the restore points have more than one page then you have keep on hitting the key to view the last restore point folder.


NOTICE: It is a good rule of thumb to choose the files from the restore point folder which the second to the last one.


4.Type: cd rp {with the second to the last restore point no. } (Note: Example: cd rp9. if rp10 is the last restore point. where last restore point no. =10)

Then click enter

5.Type: cd snapshot

NOTICE: Now the command Prompt will look like this


( Note : restore point 9 assumed for clarity of the content, you have to go to the last restore point folder as described in the previous lines) Now according to the error message we have to copy the appropriate file from the restore point folder.



NOTE: The appropriate command should be used according to the error message. But often times I do both to make sure they match each other. Also, there is a SPACE between "copy" and the underscore and also a space between system or software and the c:


If the file "system" is corrupted

Type: copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system

Then click enter


If the file "software" is corrupted

Type: copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software

Then click enter

Type: Exit 

Then click enter to restart computer and boot to the hard drive normally.


If this does not work, then you should try an earlier restore point. Normally 2 or 3 more restore points back. If that does not work your drive may be corrupt. At this point you will have a couple of different options.

1: You can copy your drive to a new drive and then try again. Make sure the software you use copies the restore folder with the rest of the windows system. Some do not move the system restore folder over to save time and space, but you can manually tell the program to move the restore folder. I use Casper XP, and it has the option to move the restore folder.

NOTE: Only do step 2 if the above has failed. Step 2 will remove all system restore points from your system and as far as I can tell they will be gone forever unless you have a copy of your hard drive. Also this should remove all MS updates and service packs and you will have to do your windows updates over again.

2: Another is to start the system from the cd as described previously and then, instead of loading the command prompt by clicking "R" at the first recovery prompt, you tell it to install windows and after you click the F8 key to agree to the End User License, you then will be given a chance to recover a previous version of windows (if the installation software does not recognize a previous version of windows !!!"STOP"!!!, or you will loose everything on the drive). Carefully follow through that repair setup wizard and that may also fix your problem.

Please check your drive with a diagnostic program like Western Digital's

WD Diagnostics to see if there is a problem with the drive. Many times there is no problem, but its better to play it safe than loose your stuff after you just recovered it.


Here are a few comments from people who were helped.
   It worked! I've spent almost two days trying to get into my pc! I posted my issue on forums and tried MS KB to no avail. Thank you so much!      "Brad"
   Man I hate having to fix my windows PC's and your synopsis of how to replace config directories through recovery console really did the trick.  Thanks for making the internet a useful place.        "John"
   Your restore instructions got me out of a sticky wicket. Thank you!         "J"
   Saved my A__ with this Dell 1505 laptop ~ I thought I'd lost my whole hard drive but with your notes I was able to restore it to 4 days ago!  Thanks!  Good Job!               "Anthony"

If this helped you, give with the PayPal Make a Donation button.

Please leave a comment with your Donation. Thanks... Dale
This recently added counter saves unique visitors. It does not count return visitors.

New green wave generator design. Check it out at