When booting up my system this evening (to write a presentation for a 2nd interview tomorrow) I was greeted with the following message

Detail- An I/O operation by the registry failed unrecoverably. The registrycould not read in or write out or flush one of the files that contain the systems image of the registry.

Can anyone help me here please, I am in deep sh*t and have no idea of how to restore my system. It does load up with a default user profile but obviously I'm restricted as to what I can do.

10 Years
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Last Post by joshSCH

is there any data you want? If so just boot up with a bootable live linux cd copy the files and then reinstall windows.


Thanks Sturm but things have just got a little more complicated....

Now when starting up, it is asking me for my system password but everything on the keyboard is disabled except the enter key ?!?!
So, I punch in my password and hit enter and it says, number of attempts 4 or more, system halted, must power down.

I have tried plugging in another keyboard but same response and am now at 7 or more unsuccesful attempts and pulling my hair out.


Any ideas?


so whats wrong with booting up with a live linux cd and saving your data then reinstalling?


To be honest Sturm, I wouldnt even know where to begin with that. I'm not a total newb but Im pretty close but if thats the way to get things back to normal I'll have a go, could you point me in the right direction?


so do you want to go with the linux cd option if so heres what to do:

  1. acquire an iso image of a linux distribution (get a nice newbie friendly one here)

  2. burn the ISO image to a cd-r or cd-rw (note: this is not a data cd. You must select ISO or bootable in your cd burners options)

  3. stick the cd in your computer and reboot. It should but up to an Ubuntu sign. If not make sure that your BIOS is configured correctly to boot from a cd instead of your hard drive

  4. login

  5. open up a terminal it should be under applications->accessories->terminal (I may be wrong about this)

  6. first type su

  7. type cat /proc/partitions This will allow you to determine what partition windows is on. there will be alpha numeric ids for each partition (e.g hda2, sda1, sdb3).

  8. Determine what partition is your windows partition and what id tag it has.

  9. type mkdir /mnt/harddrive

  10. type mount /dev/<yourpartitionhere> /mnt/harddrive

  11. type cd /mnt/harddrive

  12. type ls You should see your windows partition

  13. copy the files you want to save to an external harddrive, thumbdrive or something with the command cp <directory> <filesystem> -r

  14. unmount the external harddrive with the command umount /dev/<whatever> /<whatever>/<whatever>

  15. reboot

NOTE: with ubuntu you might see icons of your harddrive on the desktop. You can click on them and they will take you to that mounted directory. Than you can just copy and paste. It should feel like windows explorer

Edited by pyTony: fixed formating


Actually, you could probably solve this issue very easily with a windows install cd. Assuming that you have xp, boot to the xp cd. Click to install.. You should then be offered to repair a windows installation. Select the appropriate windows partition (there will probably only be one option)

The cd will then install all the OS system files including a new registry.. This option has helped me out a lot..


Guys, many thanks for your help so far.

The problem I have is that I have a system password on my machine so on boot-up thats the first thing it asks for. I cant enter the BIOS or the setup menus as it goes directly to the system password. The weird thing is the keys on the keyboard dont respond (hence not being able to enter the password) but the enter/return key does. When I hit this it tells me that I need to power down because there are too many attempts

I cant get my recovery disk to work as the bios prompts from the hard drive not the cd and Im guessing that will also scupper the Linux fix.

Sorry to be a pain guys, any other ideas as to how I can circumvent the system password or should I throw the machine out the window?


Oh...you have a BIOS password. You have a desktop right? To reset it open up your machine and on the motherboard you can either 1) take out the battery or 2) flip some switch. This should reset your password.


Guys, thanks again for your help, much appreciated. The quickest fix I found was to call Dell (the machine is still under warranty) they picked it up this morning and will replace any busted parts. They reckon its either the OS or the MOBO

Obviously if I had bothered to look at my paperwork first, I wouldn't have had to bother you guys. Doh!

Thanks again though

Embarassed Newb!

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