Bad 'software' Registry file makes PC endlessly reboot

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Fred, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. Fred

    Fred Guest

    My father's PC (W2K Pro, SP4) constantly reboots at startup. It gets to the
    white "Starting up" screen, but when the blue progress bar hits the end, the
    PC spontaneously reboots.

    I checked out various Usenet posts about this, and they all say to restore
    the 'c:\winnt\system32\config\software' file (which is the Registry, yes?)
    from a backup, but we have none. Don't laugh -- our data isn't lost, as
    we install all apps and docs on another drive. So we can still use this
    data *if* we could just reboot.

    I've successfully replaced the above file with the default file that Windows
    created at install (from 'c:\winnt\repair\') but this obviously boots the PC
    without any application Registry entries, meaning we have to re-install all
    the apps to get them working again. But we're hoping to avoid that (there's
    a LOT of apps) and somehow fix the bad 'software' file some other way (from
    DOS, it would seem).

    BTW, Windows doesn't report that the 'software' file is bad or corrupt -- the
    PC simply reboots. We can't boot into Safe Mode (or any other mode) either.

    Any ideas? Thanks!
     
    Fred, Jan 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. If you could manage to disable the auto reboot function you would probably
    get blue screens with error messages and know where you have to look to get
    the problem fixed. But since you can't get into Windows... I think you have
    to reinstall..
     
    Sjoerd Kuilman, Jan 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. Fred

    °Mike° Guest

    °Mike°, Jan 8, 2004
    #3
  4. Fred

    Alien Zord Guest

    Did you rename the 'software' registry hive before you "successfully"
    replaced it? If not then its permanently lost, if yes then running "chkdsk
    /r" from the repair console may be able to fix it.

    For future ref: to backup registry hives in Win2k launch Backup, click
    Emergency Repair diskette and tick "Also backup the registry".
     
    Alien Zord, Jan 8, 2004
    #4
  5. Fred

    Geoffw Guest

    boot from CD and run repair ?

    Geoff
     
    Geoffw, Jan 8, 2004
    #5
  6. Fred

    Fred Guest

    I'll answer all questions with this one post:
    Can't boot into Windows (as stated), so not an option.
    Didn't help.
    Sure, but then what? We're not PC experts. :)
    I copied it as another name, so yes, it never got lost.
    Didn't help, in fact chkdsk gave an error (can't recall what).

    Now the good we fixed the problem by restoring the "system" hive instead
    of the "software" hive. I read on Usenet that the "system" hive is usually the
    one that goes bad, so we tried it, and it worked! We could now boot up, and all
    his apps run, and the only minor annoyance was the need to reinstall the device
    drivers for a few items (video card, audio card, modem). :) So... I hope our
    experience and this info helps someone else in future!

    Now, what app can we download to backup the system and software hives in future
    on a daily basis? Seems to me that such an app would save this hassle in future!
     
    Fred, Jan 9, 2004
    #6
  7. Fred

    Enkidu Guest

    NTBackup that comes with the OS will backup the registry hives etc as
    "System State".

    Cheers,

    Cliff
     
    Enkidu, Jan 9, 2004
    #7
  8. Fred

    Fred Guest

    Is that Windows Backup, or some other thing? In any case, I'd prefer a
    backup app that runs from DOS, because if the OS is hosed (as his was)
    then a Windows backup app will be quite useless (how can one restore from
    Windows if Windows can't boot?).
     
    Fred, Jan 10, 2004
    #8
  9. Fred

    Guest Guest


    You could try this:

    The Registry Repair Utility download for Windows 2000-based computers

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...01-2C68-4DE8-9229-CA494362419C&displaylang=en

    HTH



    Ha®®y

     
    Guest, Jan 10, 2004
    #9
  10. Fred

    Tricon Guest

    Tricon, Jan 10, 2004
    #10
  11. Fred

    Fred Guest

    We did try that, but it didn't help. My best guess is that his Registry
    wasn't "damaged" as such, but simply had "bad" entries that a repair util
    simply weren't aware of, and thus didn't "fix". Repair tools only fix
    corrupted data etc, and a "bad" entry isn't corrupt, per se.
     
    Fred, Jan 12, 2004
    #11
  12. Fred

    PuppyKatt Guest

    Virus?

    : My father's PC (W2K Pro, SP4) constantly reboots at startup. It gets
    to the
    : white "Starting up" screen, but when the blue progress bar hits the
    end, the
    : PC spontaneously reboots.
    :
    : I checked out various Usenet posts about this, and they all say to
    restore
    : the 'c:\winnt\system32\config\software' file (which is the Registry,
    yes?)
    : from a backup, but we have none. Don't laugh -- our data isn't lost,
    as
    : we install all apps and docs on another drive. So we can still use
    this
    : data *if* we could just reboot.
    :
    : I've successfully replaced the above file with the default file that
    Windows
    : created at install (from 'c:\winnt\repair\') but this obviously boots
    the PC
    : without any application Registry entries, meaning we have to
    re-install all
    : the apps to get them working again. But we're hoping to avoid that
    (there's
    : a LOT of apps) and somehow fix the bad 'software' file some other way
    (from
    : DOS, it would seem).
    :
    : BTW, Windows doesn't report that the 'software' file is bad or
    corrupt -- the
    : PC simply reboots. We can't boot into Safe Mode (or any other mode)
    either.
    :
    : Any ideas? Thanks!
     
    PuppyKatt, Jan 15, 2004
    #12
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