My computer is only 2 months old and I cannot reformat it.

By kit444 · 7 replies
Nov 12, 2006
  1. My computer is only 2 months old and I cannot reformat it. It is a HP with windows XP. A laptop. I tried to reformat it and just got a blue screen saying something along the lines of system32/hive file/SAM being corrupted. You do not get installation discs with HP it is internal. I had absolutely no idea what to do, so being only 2 month old I thought it would be still under warrantry.
    I was put through to INDIA. Was on for over an hour,could hardly understand what the guy was saying and when I did, could hardly hear him.
    All he did for the hour was make me go through everything I had done already and at the end of it told me it was my fault as I had not made recovery discs when I first switched the computer on.
    I would have to pay £30 for the discs.
    I asked if I could borrow a friends Windows XP disc to see if that would work but he said "at my own risk". Apparently, when you make the discs, the reinstall system is wiped from the hard drive and he said every computer was different (not generic) so if her discs were not the same exactly (i.e. software etc) it would make mine unusable.
    I found out that SAM means System Admin Manager or something like that and I had the idea of putting another name in and making it admin but I dont want to mess around with it too much, as I am an old silversurfer and dont know much about them. Could anyone help please.
  2. tpfagan

    tpfagan TS Rookie Posts: 43

    SO that we can better help you, let me restate what you described so that we can understand the reformatting vs the installing of windows and where the problem is.

    I haven't dealt with HP in a while, but I seem to recall, they create a recovery partition on some of their systems to recover from a catostphic error. It sounds like you either renamed that partition or removed it. You formatted the hard drive? And now you are trying to re-install windows with the software provided with your laptop and things are not gong well?

    Is this accurate so far? Help me understand the writing between the line and I'll do my best to help.
  3. kit444

    kit444 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    No, I have not reformatted my hard drive. That is the problem. I can't.
    The recovery program is on the hard drive as you say. I hav'nt renamed or deleted it, I would'nt know how to.

    When I go into My Computer heres what it says:
    hard Discs Drives:

    OS (C)
    DATA (D)

    Usually to reformat I press Start, Programs, System Recovery and then PC Recovery. I did this last time and windows shut down and then restarted as usual but this time it went to a blue screen.

    This is what it said

    STOP:c0000218 (Registry File Failure0
    the registry cannot load the hive (file)
    or its log or alternate
    It is corrupt, absent or not writable

    So that is when I phoned HP.
  4. tpfagan

    tpfagan TS Rookie Posts: 43

    Ok, so at this point, do you want to reformat the driver or try to recover the pc. I'm not sure I can help you with recovering the pc as I don't understand the error you orignally described.

    If you want to rebuild the machine (i.e. reformat the machine and reload the OS). I can help with that but with the following warning:

    You must have the drivers for the laptop.
    You will not have a recovery partition.
    You could have a data partition (if you want).
    You will need to reload all of the pre-installed applications that came on the laptop.

    This could be a lot of work.

    I'm not sure how techicnal or comfortable you are with rebuilding a machine, which is why I forewarn you, if you aren't completely comfortable with doing it, then I would spend the £30 and get the recovery disks.

    When technical support mentioned that their are different disk sets for each HP. The disks are by HP model and depending on how old the model is, their can be multiple disk set releases (new drivers, etc) per model.

    - If your friend has the same hp model as you, you can give it a try.
    - If your friend has a differnt hp model, check to see how different the model is from yours.
    - If your friend does not have a HP model, I'm not sure I would try it at all - You might as well rebuild from scratch in this case.

    So in terms of effort and work, here is what you are looking at:

    Easy - Purchase the recovery disks.
    Harder - Load your friends disks (assuming the above criteria is satisfied).
    Hardest - Load your friends disks.

    I have a few HP laptops is the lab that may still have their orignal OS still on it, I'll check it out to try and get a better feel for your situation.

    One final note. Whichever solution path you persue, you laptop will have a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) usually on the bottom. You need to make sure if you restore any type of image on your system, you use the License key from the COA to activate your windows.

    Let me know and I can offer some advice on how to proceed.
    P.S. Can you let me know your laptop model?
  5. okopie

    okopie TS Rookie

    If you have not reformated your HDD the XP install files maybe under "c:\windows\i386" I have used them on a few toshiba's an IBM and I believe HP did the same also. this method would be harder than the restore CD but possibly easier than using a friends disk. (note it is not easy but if you have a desktop I could help out also.
  6. kit444

    kit444 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for you replies. I think I'm going to have to take the easy way out and cough up £30. It's the principle, not the money, with it only being 2 months old I have thought they would have given me the discs.
    Why don't Computer Manufactures given discs out? Is it to save money do you think?
  7. tpfagan

    tpfagan TS Rookie Posts: 43

    There are some disks that they have to provide by law and some that they don't. What you would be paying for is what they are not obligated to provide. And it's usually not to save money, but to make money rather - for when people get into the postion you currently find yourself in...

    Good luck.
  8. tpfagan

    tpfagan TS Rookie Posts: 43

    I was working with someone else who had some corrupt registry files on boot up and came across this procedure. This may be of some benefit to you while you wait for your recovery disks.
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