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April 10, 2008 4:10 PM   Subscribe

(**HighAlert** TechQuestionoftheDay) So my laptop is not able to load windows and keeps giving me the blue screen of death with "system/system32/config/software." Please help.

Oh man, I really did not need this to happen. I was on my laptop yesterday morning and recieved a windows update. I allowed it to restart and all it does is bring up the windows load screen then cycle to the blue screen and mentions something like "cannot load hive file (something, something) registry... dumping physical memory".Then it mentions something about the afore mentioned file path. Then it cycled back to the BIOS and gives me the option of starting up in the various safe modes or the last known configuration. I ran a quick hard drive diagnostic on the setup page and it it returned: (tests 1-7: failed). Not good. I have no idea what to do now. I am calling upon all the resident tech nerds on MeFi to help me in my time of need. The reward is one (1) internets. May the force be with you.
posted by Brandon1600 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Can you boot into Safe Mode?
posted by trinity8-director at 4:22 PM on April 10, 2008


I'd boot from an ubuntu/knoppix/whatever live rescue CD, and try to mount the hard disk from there. If possible (and I'm suspecting this would be 'no'), I'd image the whole disk with dd, and then try to copy your pr0n/valuable financial data off, and then wipe the drive and reinstall windows.

This all depends upon having some external storage handy and being, like me, too lazy to really diagnose a Windows snafu.
posted by pompomtom at 4:34 PM on April 10, 2008


Sorry, should say, do the imaging with dd FIRST, then try to mount it and actually copy files.
posted by pompomtom at 4:35 PM on April 10, 2008


Before doing something as drastic as what PPT suggests, here are lesser solutions:

1. Try to boot in safe mode.

2. If that fails, try using the Windows install disk and tell it to do a "repair".

3. If you don't have a Windows install disk, then I guess you have to resort to more drastic measures.

If you can see the Windows load screen, it means the drive is not trashed, or at least not totally. A trashed drive would yield a BIOS error. The symptoms you're seeing suggest that some of the basic Windows files are available, but at least one critical one is not. That's what "repair" is for.
posted by Class Goat at 4:42 PM on April 10, 2008


thanks guys. I forgot to mention that i did try all the safe mode and other options and all it does is just cycle like i described. I do have backup disks so I will try that when i get home. Any other suggestions or similar experience is still welcome.
posted by Brandon1600 at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2008


I'd try with the Windows repair disc first. If that doesn't work and you're geek-oriented there's lots of information out there about Linux live CDs you can use as repair disks.

As an Ubuntu Linux user, I'd suggest looking into using this opportunity to escape the Micro$oft world. =D
posted by expletivization at 8:23 PM on April 10, 2008


Last time I encountered this, I was able to get into recovery mode, and run chkdsk, and fdisk /mbr. Came back after that. Does it stop so that you can read the blue screen, or just dump and reboot? If it is the latter, after you fix this, go into the advanced system properties, and set it to not auto-reboot upon BSOD. You will find this better for any future similar issues you may encounter.
posted by kellyblah at 9:12 PM on April 10, 2008


Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
posted by Class Goat at 9:27 PM on April 10, 2008


Hey guys thanks for the advice. I am having to use my computer at work to access the intertubes, so I wont be able to try any of this till tonite. I am only semi geek-oriented so I am going to be sending some pm's to a few of you. And no, it does not stop on the blue screen; it just keeps cycling regardless to what mode I put it in . Thanks again.
posted by Brandon1600 at 10:22 AM on April 11, 2008


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