A passionate programmer’s findings in the world of internet.

Windows XP: Troubleshooting Blue Screen (c0000218)

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

If you work as computer support at any place, blue screen is inevitable. Haven't seen any blue screens on Windows 7 yet, but having more than ten Windows XP's in the company, I'm keep getting complaint calls.

The initial problem reported:

The computer cannot go past the Windows start up logo screen, then it restarts automatically. After restart, the computer asks whether to go into Safe Mode or to start computer normally.

In my case, the computer hangs or reboots automatically no matter which option I choose.

To get actual problem:

Keep pressing F8 on start up to get into Windows Advanced Options Menu. Then select Disable automatic restart on system failure.

By doing so, the computer will continue to load until the blue screen shows up. That's the place where you could get the error message.

The error I found:

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

The solution for all kinds of registry problem, in short:

Format the damned PC.

The solution for registry recovery, in long:

The five registry files to be recovered are:

  • system
  • software
  • sam
  • security
  • default

Procedures to copy all registry files from C:\windows\repair\ folder to C:\windows\system32\config\ folder:

  1. Using Windows XP installation CD, get into Recovery Mode.
  2. Go to C:\windows\system32\config folder.
  3. Backup the 5 registry files to a temporary folder.
  4. Copy the 5 registry files from C:\windows\repair\ folder to C:\windows\system32\config folder.
  5. Enter exit to restart to computer.

Procedures to get into Safe Mode to copy last known good registry files to be restored:

  1. Upon start up, press F8 and select Safe Mode to get into Windows Safe Mode.
  2. Get into C:\System Volume Information\_restore{XXXX}\RPXX\snapshot\ (Rule: Check the properties of the folder to get the date of the backup. Always take the latest version.)
  3. You will find these files:
  4. Copy the files to another temporary folder, preferably to be in C:\Windows folder.
  5. Rename all the 5 files to its original name, e.g. _REGISTRY_USER_.DEFAULT to default.

Finally, get back to Recovery Mode to replace the files you have found from System Volume Information to registry original folder (C:\windows\system32\config).

Done. You should now be able to start your computer normally.

This same procedure will help you recover all kinds of registry corrupted problem that you ever get.

I am trying to keep this guide simple and short, for myself, because I found that the guide provided by Microsoft is too lengthy. You may refer to the Knowledge Base page if this guide does not make any sense.

Disable Authentication Request when Accessing Network Computers

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

For Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) only. I was installing a new PC and setup network for my client this afternoon. It took me hours to figure out why I failed to access the shared folders on the new PC that I have just installed.

The problem was actually caused by some new changes to functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2. When I double click the new PC in my network places, it asks me to enter username and password.

The fix:
Add the following key to registry of the new PC, with DWORD value '1'.

(Note that you might be taking some security risks when you do this. But, if you are using your PCs in trustable LAN only, it should be fine.)

In addition to that, you may need to turn off your Guest account. I remember I read it somewhere before I found this.

Slow Windows XP Shutdown

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Windows If your Windows XP takes a very long time to shut down, you can try User Profile Hive Cleanup Service provided by Microsoft (yes, Microsoft). The users at digg claimed that it really helps to shorten shut down time. I remember it took a very long time to shut down before I formatted and reinstall my PC not too long ago.

What will it do to your windows?

The User Profile Hive Cleanup service helps to ensure user sessions are completely terminated when a user logs off. System processes and applications occasionally maintain connections to registry keys in the user profile after a user logs off. In those cases the user session is prevented from completely ending. This can result in problems when using Roaming User Profiles in a server environment or when using locked profiles as implemented through the Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP.

On Windows 2000 you can benefit from this service if the application event log shows event id 1000 where the message text indicates that the profile is not unloading and that the error is "Access is denied". On Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 either event ids 1517 and 1524 indicate the same profile unload problem.

To accomplish this the service monitors for logged off users that still have registry hives loaded. When that happens the service determines which application have handles opened to the hives and releases them. It logs the application name and what registry keys were left open. After this the system finishes unloading the profile.

Note that you are required to have a genuine windows to download it. Besides Windows XP, you can use it on Windows 2000, Windows NT and Windows Server 2003 as well.

Vista Performs As Good As WinXP on Same Hardware?

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

I read from digg that says that Vista performs as good as XP on same hardware. How true is it? It was proved by a test run by Daniel A. Begun from CNET.

We expected to see "beta bloat" hamper the overall performance of the Vista beta, but that was not the case. Vista and XP both ran our iTunes encoding test in the same amount of time. Even more surprising, Vista was actually almost 6 percent faster than XP on our Adobe Photoshop CS2 image-processing test. The F.E.A.R. scores were close but not identical. The takeaway from the F.E.A.R. scores, however, is that at least for this one game, DirectX 10 is not only stable, but the current DX 10 beta version is showing comparable performance to DX 9.

After reading that article, I don't think the same way. Well, look at the hardware settings:

We loaded Windows Vista beta 2 (build 5384) and Windows XP Professional SP2 on a 3.2GHz Pentium 4, with 1GB of DDR2 memory running at 664MHz and an ATI Radeon X850 XT graphics card.

How about 800MHz Pentium III, with 512MB of SD-RAMs and Riva TNT2 AGP? I'm sure Windows XP can run very smoothly on such settings, but Windows Vista will not fit into such a machine.

Agree or not? Have your say (shoot me if I'm wrong).

Windows XP Can Run On Intel-based Mac?

Friday, March 17th, 2006

Not too long ago, Windows XP on an Intel Mac was promising to reward $100 to the first person who is able to come up with the solution to make Windows XP dual boot with Mac on the new Intel-based Mac.

Then, with the addition of funds from generous donors, the total prize now had gone up to a whopping $13,854. And, the latest update from the site showed that the prize had been won.