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XP Pro registry gets corrupt quickly

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  • XP Pro registry gets corrupt quickly

    I have an ASUS CUBX-E mainboard in my PC. For the past three weeks I am facing a strange problem : The registry of windows xp is getting corrupted quite frequently. I have re-formatted and re-installed windows xp pro several times but its registry is getting corrupted frequently, and I get the following error :

    1. "Windows could not start because the file c:\windows\system32\config\system is corrupt or missing."
    2. "Error : \system root\system32\hal.dll missing"

    I have tried repairing the windows installation and the registry using recovery console from the windows xp cd but the errors reappears. Sometimes I get the error within few minutes after windows installation completes. However, I would like to emphasize here that windows xp installs everytime without error. Also Windows XP Pro with SP2 has all the drivers for my PC, so I never have to install any other drivers. So that rules out a driver clash or mismatch.

    My complete PC specs are :

    1. ASUS CUBX-E motherboard with P-III 750 Mhz and 256 MB PC-133 SDRAM [PCI REV. 2.2]
    [Windows xp pro with sp2.]
    2. Hitachi 80 GB HDD as master on promise ATA-100 controller.
    3. LG 52x CD-RW drive GCE-8527B as secondary slave on 440BX IDE
    4. Sapphire ATI Radeon 7000 DDR AGP with 64 MB VRAM (IRQ 11)
    5. Compex RE100ATX Lan card (IRQ 12)
    6. Pctel 56k softmodem (IRQ 5)
    7. Yamaha soundcard (IRQ 10)
    8. Onboard Promise ATA-100 CONTROLLER (PDC-20265) (IRQ 10)
    9. USB ports and hub (IRQ 5)

    I have observed/tried the following :

    1. The problem begins after the installation.
    2. Error 1 is much more common and as per microsoft is related to corrupt registry.
    3. I have also tried using different XP CD but it did not help.
    4. I have low-level formatted the hdd but it did not help.
    5. I have changed the IDE cables but that also did not help.
    6. the hdd has no bad sectors and I have tried using both NTFS and FAT32 install. No help.
    7. The error/errors may appear after the first restart or after a few days. But they DO return.
    8. I have RUN memory diagnostics Memdiag (by microsoft); DocMemory and Memtest86+ (1.70)
    9. TESTCPU program shows no errors in processor, and Sandra2002 benchmarks are OK.
    10. HDD diagnostic DFT v4.05 and v4.06 show NO ERROR in my Hitachi HDD (80 GB).
    11. chkdsk /r sometimes helps (windows is able to start) but it reports NO BAD SECTORS either.
    12. when the PC is running I am able to install my programs (MS-office 2003, Acrobat reader, winrar, etc.) and I get no errors installing or running them.
    13. I have scanned the PC for viruses using Norton 2008 and Mcafee 2008 (Eval. versions) with latest definitions but they found no viruses.
    14. I do get BSODs i XP like : 8E,50,7F,0A,77,24, etc... but anyone who runs windows knows that they are a part of everyday computing.
    But RAM tests show no errors.

    As a last resort I even tried using Windows Me. I was using Me till 3 yrs ago with no problems ever.
    However, it also shows registry corruption but registry recovers on using "scanreg" tool.
    However, if I do not run scanreg and try to boot into safe mode or normal, Me shows "new hardware found" but the hardware name is missing !!!!
    I tried installing the usual drivers I have to install in Me but it rejects them all (No suitable driver found). So which "new hardware" is Me finding and trying to install????

    After "scanreg" Me boots up fine and is stable. The next registry corruption may occur on the next reboot or after a few days, but it inevitably happens.
    Also the errors are more common in XP than Me (since XP uses more resources I guess).

    The Bootlog.txt file of Me shows the following cryptic errors :

    [0010FD1F] ASD: failing Unnamed problem, d=HTREE\RESERVED\0, rc=00000005[0010FD1F]
    [0010FD1F] ASD: failing Unnamed problem, d=HTREE\ROOT\0, rc=00000005[0010FD1F]
    [0010FD1F] ASD: failing Unnamed problem, d=P00000010, rc=00000005[0010FD1F]

    LoadStart = pnpdrvr.drv
    LoadFail = pnpdrvr.drv Failure code is 0002

    LoadStart = DISPLAY.drv
    LoadFail = DISPLAY.drv Failure code is 0002

    LoadStart = vga.drv
    LoadSuccess = vga.drv
    LoadStart = DISPLAY.drv
    LoadSuccess = DISPLAY.drv
    InitDone = DISPLAY
    Init = Display Resources
    InitDone = Display Resources

    [0010FD54] ASD: failing Unnamed problem, d=HTREE\ROOT\0, rc=00000005[0010FD54] : Last line

    Although pnp driver and display driver show failure yet on scanreg Me boots normally and I use a resolution of 1024x768 at 32-bit color !!! Also the drivers seem to load normally later on.

    I have been using this configuration with XP Pro for the last three years without any problems. I am unable to locate any error in the PC RAM, hdd, add-in cards, processor, yet I am repeatedly getting this problem.
    The frequent crashes and BSODs indicate a RAM problem but then why do Memdiag ; Memtest86+ and DocMemory show no error ?????

    I am totally baffled !!! Can anyone help on this?
    Any advise/suggestion would be useful.

  • #2
    Re: XP Pro registry gets corrupt quickly

    Have you tried using a different hard drive? Even a 10GB one would be sufficient and if it has no problems you could image it across to the 80GB and then see what happens.
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2


    • #3
      Re: XP Pro registry gets corrupt quickly

      The drive is not the issue. I have done all possible checks for a drive starting from a full format > removing partitions > low-level format > full media scan : NO ERROR

      Windows Me is now running fine. I think the issue here is the PSU. Since I switched on heating (ambient had dropped to 12 degC and is now 20 degC) Me boots up without errors.

      A bad PSU can simulate ram errors (transient loss of +3.3V) and XP (based on NT core) will never ever forgive any hardware issue. Me coming from Win9x lineage is more tolerant (just as we forgive MS in our daily prayers).

      We don't have a choice, do we ?

      I will observe Me behaviour for sometime and if it behaves well I will try XP re-install and keep you posted.


      • #4
        Re: XP Pro registry gets corrupt quickly

        i know your able to reinstall windows from the CD rom but try a different cd rom drive and see if that resolves it,

        i was getting errors like that and the 0A error was the most frequent, i did think that the issue was bad memory or psu but i havent had the error since ive swapped the cd-rom and my xp was doing the same

        first it showed the "c:\windows\system32\config\system is corrupt or missing" error message so i rebuilt the registry from the recovery console and performed a system restore to a previous state (about a month and a half prior to the error happening) this didnt fix it the registry went corrupt again the very next day

        i then formatted and reinstalled but still couldnt get rid of the stop errors until i switched the cd-rom drive, give it a go it might resolve your trouble,
        Life's a breeze, so spread your wings and fly baby


        • #5
          Re: XP Pro registry gets corrupt quickly

          Sorry, I was unable to reply as this problem is giving me a real headache.

          I noticed that if I boot using a MS-DOS floppy , allow the PC to warm up for a few minutes ; remove the floppy and boot from my HDD then windows reports no registry errors.

          It seems the problem is really related to my PSU as on a cold-boot all the capacitors are discharged and the motherboard draws more power than on a hot-reboot, causing under power to the hdd/ram and thereby causing file / registry errors much more often on cold-boots.

          This would also explain why windows and files get corrupt fast; and why no hardware diagnostics shows no error in RAM, HDD and the motherboard.


          • #6
            Re: XP Pro registry gets corrupt quickly

            Sounds like time for a PSU tester and / or a new PSU - *if* that is the actual problem. It could just be a manifestation of the problem because of bad memory, a failing mobo (not supplying the correct voltage to the RAM / shorting out on cold starts), a failing HD, etc.

            Your explanation makes the *most* sense - but until you get a new PSU / a tester and can verify that it is still not the only possibly scenario.