Manual Windows 2008 Registry Restore

After a Windows Update the lovely “Blue Screen of Death” appeared on one of our servers. Frantic to find a solution, “Boot to the last known working configuration” wasn’t working. A system restore was a last resort option.

Here’s what the error consisted of:

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
\Systemroot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE
or its log or alternate.
It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.

To resolve the issue I:

  1. Boot to the Windows 2008 Server Install DVD
  2. Click “Repair Computer” on the second screen
  3. Open a command prompt on the second or third prompt
  4. Change directory to C:\Windows\System32\Config\
  5. Rename “SOFTWARE” to “SOFTWARE.BAK”
  6. Copy “RegBack\SOFTWARE” to that directory
  7. Reboot

This restored the SOFTWARE registry to its previous state before the Windows Update. I then had a pending list of Windows Updates to install again. But I’ll leave that for another day for now to see if anyone else is having issues.

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