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Status 0xc000014c, Windows Failed to Load Because the System Registry File is Missing or Corrupt Error
Lori writes in with a troubleshooting question
Question: We have a Dell Dimension C521. We are unable to do a start up. We keep going to the start up with pick a mode. We have done the F8 key, start in safe mode, even tried to download Vista again and get "Status 0xc000014c, Windows failed to load because the system registry file is missing or corrupt.
Windows boot manager
We do not have the start up or recovery disk. We had moved and figure it was left or more possibly lost in the move. Can you help us? We contacted Dell and it is going to cost approx. $100.00 to 150.00. We are quite computer illiterate so simplified terms would be appreciated. We have our fingers crossed and hope you don't come back and say it is fried. Thanks.
Answer: If you could borrow a Vista disk from someone you can boot to it and try the Vista recovery options such as the System Repair or System Restore.
If not then you can try to download a Vista recovery disk which should give you the same repair options. We have not tested any of these so try them at your own risk.
You most likely want the 32 bit version of the recovery disk.
Free download - click the link that says "Download Windows Vista 34-bit (x86) Recovery Disc" even though it's a typo and should say 32-Bit.
Pay for version - Choose Windows Vista 32-Bit Recovery CD
The problem will be that you will need to be able to burn these to a CD so you will need a working computer with burning software on it.
If you can afford the Dell recovery disks then that may be your easiest option besides borrowing a Vista disk. Keep in mind that if you use the recovery disk then any files or programs you added after you bought your computer will be wiped out so hopefully you have a backup.