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Windows Startup Error: 0xc000014c

Upon starting Windows Vista or later you receive an error:

    Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:

    1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.
    2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."
    3. Click "Repair your computer."

    If you do not have this disc, contact your system administator or computer manufacturer for assistance.

    File: \Windows\system32\config\system
    Status: 0xc000014c
    Info: Windows failed to load because the system registry file is missing, or corrupt.

This may occur if the registry database has an inconsistency (not necessarily corruption).

The Registry Editor in Windows XP and later can recover registry files with inconsistencies, but it only does it when the hive is loaded.

  1. On a system that is unbootable due to a registry problem, boot the system using the operating system media and choose “Repair”. However, do not perform any recovery or system state rollbacks. Let Windows perform its usual startup repair analysis, until you can open a Command Prompt.

  2. Run Regedit.

    (This displays the registry of the recovery system.)

  3. In the left pane, click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

  4. Choose FileLoad Hive.

  5. Navigate to the file referenced in the startup error. In this example, it is \Windows\system32\config\system.

  6. Enter a dummy name when prompted for the Key Name, eg “Test”.

    Registry Editor will show the hive mounted under the key name specified. At this point, Registry Editor has already performed database consistency repair on the hive file if required.

  7. Close Registry Editor.

  8. Shut down and reboot.

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