Dec 3 2007

How to recover from the Registry cannot load the hive Blue Screen of Death Error

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Google Query: Stop: C0000218 {Registry File Failure} Registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE

Nothing is more frustrating than a Windows Blue Screen of Death. The Blue Screen of Death will keep your PC from booting and the messages are usually pretty cryptic. This message is no different. What it means is that the SOFTWARE registry key is corrupt.

Fortunately, the fix for this error is not as painful as the message would lead you to believe. The following steps, found on the TechZone Forums must be taken to fix this error:

-Boot your PC from the Windows 2000 or Windows XP CD and go into the recovery console by choosing “R”

-Type the following at the command prompt to replace your current SOFTWARE registry key with a repair copy.
ren c:\windows\system32\config\software software.old
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config

-Then reboot your PC.

If your computer is just part of a workgroup, you should be back in business. However, if you computer is part of a Domain, you may have to reinstall some applications and run:
gpupdate /force

This will refresh group policy. In any case the steps in outlined above should let you log back in to your PC.

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52 Comments on this post


  1. malaikah said:

    i just wanted to say thanks, this post saved my sanity…and my work too.. thanks a million

    November 13th, 2008 at 4:39 pm
  2. hstagner said:


    You are very welcome. I am glad that I could save you some grief.

    November 13th, 2008 at 4:55 pm
  3. Brad said:

    Thanks so much, however i still need help.
    I did as mentioned and this sorted out the problem, once i exited the recovery console the blue screen never came up and windows loaded normally, i was beyond happy at that point.
    Then after i shut down my PC and switched it on again, that blue screen, with the same error came up again :(
    I tried doing what you said again, but it didnt work this time :(

    so now im depressed again…
    im so lost on what to do…

    i dont know if this was the problem, but the pc the error occurs on is windows xp profesional and i used the recovery console on a windows xp home disc…

    December 6th, 2008 at 1:52 pm
  4. hstagner said:

    Hello Brad,

    It is likely the differences in the Windows XP versions that is causing your problem. You are replacing files with this procedure, so you want to use files from the same version of Windows XP. Even the same service pack level. I hope this helps.

    December 6th, 2008 at 8:08 pm
  5. chris said:

    Dear Sir;

    I have this error but cannot rename the system file to system.old. Gives me a access denied message. Can you help?


    December 9th, 2008 at 9:21 am
  6. chrissie said:

    My Sony Vaio did not come with the recovery CD, it said to press F10 key and do the recovery wizard from there…. well I read the info on the screen and it said I will lose everything on my C Drive! I have nothing backed up… so I cancelled it… will it really delete it all… What are my other options? I am running Windows XP 2003 on a Sony Vaio

    December 22nd, 2008 at 4:29 pm
  7. maureenm said:

    Thanks for the information provided on this site. They works like magic. Thanks a million.

    December 29th, 2008 at 5:14 am
  8. Nick said:


    January 13th, 2009 at 6:45 am
  9. scott said:

    thanks a lot. You’re a super man.

    June 17th, 2009 at 12:14 am
  10. hstagner said:

    You are quite welcome! I am glad I could help. Thank you for Reading!

    June 17th, 2009 at 6:44 am
  11. grace said:

    I have not any word to thanks are SUPER.

    August 24th, 2009 at 8:37 pm
  12. maggie said:

    How do you fix that registry cannot load the hive, laptop continuously rebooting problem WITHOUT THE DISK?

    September 4th, 2009 at 6:43 pm
  13. Richard said:

    Wow – still giving thanks for this man.
    Works even on Windows 2000 as well – only difference is instead of c:\windows it’s c:\winnt

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 15th, 2009 at 9:22 am
  14. hstagner said:

    You’re welcome Richard. I’m glad that I could help. Thank you for reading

    November 15th, 2009 at 9:50 am
  15. jgilpin said:

    I followed these directions and now I get the following:

    Line 1 of the inf file \cmdcons\txtsetup.sif is invalad
    setup cannot continue

    February 3rd, 2010 at 3:51 pm
  16. jgilpin said:

    Any help would be appreciated

    February 3rd, 2010 at 3:52 pm
  17. kirk said:

    This procedure removed the C0000218 {Registry File Failure} ….

    but now all the loaded programs appear to be missing.

    When I open All Programs and try to launch MS-Office (Word, Excel)…. get an error stating … “this shortcut only valid for products that are currently installed”.

    Did not makes sense .. so I opened Control Panel – Add/Remove Programs … and the window is BLANK … does not show any loaded programs at all .. either frm the OEM nor mine that I loaded (such as MS-Office, Adobe, etc).

    can anyone help me out – what to do next?

    Thank you.

    March 19th, 2010 at 5:09 pm
  18. Patricia @ registry clean up site said:

    Well worth being retweeted. Thank you. You helped identify errors in my PC. It was slow as ever. Will be reffering this to a lot of my friends!

    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:00 pm
  19. Pam said:

    Thanks for the post on the recovery. I really thought I was going to have to buy a new hard drive and do a data recovery. Saved me tons of time. Much appreciated!!!

    May 17th, 2010 at 12:51 pm
  20. lucky said:

    thanyou very very very millions time man i love you man

    May 23rd, 2010 at 8:57 am
  21. lucky said:

    hey man but when i open my pc a window pop up again and agian again it says welcome to found new hardware wizard and it asks me to press next i click next it apperas again and again and either my toolbar show and my mouse doesn’t work to please please please please help me man

    May 23rd, 2010 at 9:53 am
  22. lucky said:

    i am still waiting for your answer please help mke

    May 29th, 2010 at 7:45 am
  23. Qamar said:

    Thanks, works great

    June 14th, 2010 at 12:24 am
  24. jim said:

    your comment on March 19th, 2010 at 5:09 pm .

    Same problem here. Did you figure it out?

    June 15th, 2010 at 2:07 pm
  25. geschenkideen said:

    I am trying to watch the world cup on my computer, but if I attach the beamer I always get a blue screen after a few minutes. This sucks. Are there any solutions to this problem?

    June 25th, 2010 at 5:42 am
  26. assyagaf said:


    July 5th, 2010 at 3:33 am
  27. sue said:

    I too get this error. Putting in the recovery disk does nothing, starting in safe mode does nothing. Anything I try takes me to the blue screen. Worked fine in the morning, dead in the afternoon.

    July 25th, 2010 at 8:49 am
  28. Srikanth said:

    Hi ..

    thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks

    this helped me alot …..

    once again thank you so much .. :-)
    kepp helping the people

    September 2nd, 2010 at 12:52 pm
  29. kopal singh said:

    thanx for guiding me about what could be done about dat dead blue screen………but i need 2 know dat once i boot my pc……….would i lose all of my saved data and files…….n everything dat i hav on my pc??????? i dont hav a back up.

    October 4th, 2010 at 9:54 am
  30. David said:

    I followed it and got it working but then all the datas from desktop are gone.. sigh.. so I;m going back to normal and go to safemode and then backup the data and should try this again.

    anyways this was useful tip.

    October 11th, 2010 at 9:18 pm
  31. winster said:

    Thanks a lot soooooo much – saved a lot of time

    October 25th, 2010 at 9:09 am
  32. adam said:

    for some reason when i get to the setup menu after booting from cd-rom, my keyboard loses power? can’t select “R”?

    October 27th, 2010 at 7:34 pm
  33. Christian said:

    I got a similar problem, but my windows 2000 is showing this this error

    The registry cannot load the hive (file)

    I have try to use the same method as described here, but it tells me that the system can’t find that file.

    Any suggestion???

    October 28th, 2010 at 2:15 am
  34. Cam Turner said:

    Did not work for me, but that’s ok. I was about to install Ubuntu 10.10 anyways. Hope this works for other people still. Great site.

    November 16th, 2010 at 10:06 am
  35. Diane said:

    This heps a lot…Thanks

    November 25th, 2010 at 12:44 am
  36. Erick said:

    Thanks man! big help

    December 6th, 2010 at 9:26 am
  37. AJ said:

    Don’t use this fix if you don’t want to loose your profile and softwares installed!!! The author didn’t even mention that on his fix!

    December 15th, 2010 at 11:25 pm
  38. Hakan said:

    Great job. You saved the day. Thank you.

    December 17th, 2010 at 10:58 am
  39. KB said:

    You rock. Saved me a lot of pain. Fixed my problem!

    January 18th, 2011 at 10:49 am
  40. Larry said:

    Just ran this fix, it worked, but all documents, desktop, etc is lost. Beware

    January 25th, 2011 at 9:51 pm
  41. Paul Ronco said:

    This worked, but you may run into other problems, and reloading the default SOFTWARE hive alone will reset the user’s profile and render all installed programs useless, as mentioned in a later response. This is how I recovered fully from this error:

    Hope it helps some of you out there who can’t afford to do an entire reinstall.

    February 2nd, 2011 at 2:11 am
  42. Mark said:

    Thanks you so much sir. Your solution worked for me

    March 7th, 2011 at 7:38 pm
  43. bishnu said:

    i say a hundred thanks . for helping me….no body was able to help me except one and only Jishnu in my company…thanks for him toooooo.

    May 9th, 2011 at 10:47 pm
  44. Stratos said:

    Many HUGE THANKS pal, you saved my day!!!!!

    May 22nd, 2011 at 10:51 am
  45. Atti said:

    Thank You Very Much! Worked for me, too.

    June 13th, 2011 at 4:09 pm
  46. Madetech said:

    Pure gold!

    June 15th, 2011 at 2:43 pm
  47. scott said:

    Thanks a lot! It was a very very easy and quick fix. Best wishes.

    July 25th, 2011 at 11:46 pm
  48. naz said:

    Thank you so much, you saved my system,, thanks again

    September 10th, 2011 at 3:14 am
  49. wayne said:

    Thank you thank you thank you. This is THE most helpful info I have found in over a week of searching forums and Microsoft etc. With this info my laptop was up and running in about 2 minutes. THANKS AGAIN MUCH APPRECIATED

    October 1st, 2011 at 1:45 am
  50. erving garnace said:

    sir,i have this problem. It started 2 days ago and the monitor keeps popping the Blue screen of Death and keeps booting itself. I managed to catch the message it contains while displaying the blue screen and it said something like: “Registry File failure – The registry cannot load the hive (file). It is corrupt or not writable. Beginning dump of physical memory. Physical memory dump complete. ” It just keeps rebooting and Windows cannot load properly. I wanted to seek technical assistance but I was hoping that you could help me with this problem and provide me with help so I could fix it myself and do avoid further technical expenses in my part. I tried following this: Boot your PC from the Windows 2000 or Windows XP CD and go into the recovery console by choosing “R”, but when I inserted the Windows XP CD nothing really happens. Im sorry because my knowledge about computers is limited but I do understand a couple or two about it so Im hoping u could help me asap. Thank you!

    November 10th, 2011 at 7:05 am
  51. Larry said:

    hstagner, you’re a flippin’ GENIUS. Thanks for sharing this information. Even after all this time, your fix is solid!

    November 28th, 2011 at 1:56 pm
  52. Vaibhav Joshi said:

    Thanx a Lot!!! You save my valuable time as well as Data God Bless You!!!

    December 13th, 2011 at 3:27 am


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