System Registry File is Missing or Corrupt: 5 Ways to Fix It

Try a Startup Repair and see if it resolves the issue

by Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Author
Claire likes to think she's got a knack for solving problems and improving the quality of life for those around her. Driven by the forces of rationality, curiosity,... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
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  • The registry is a vital part of your system, but it's also one that you shouldn't be messing around with.
  • If you're not careful, you can make things worse by making changes to the registry manually.
  • Assuming that the system registry file is missing or corrupt, you may run the CHKDSK command or apply other procedures detailed below. 

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The registry is a database that stores a lot of important information needed to keep Windows up and running. When the registry gets corrupted, Windows will not function properly. 

A corrupted registry can cause many issues, including blue screens of death, problems in installing or running programs, slow performance, and even computer freezing.

What causes a corrupted registry?

The Windows failed to load because the system registry file is missing or corrupt error message is common in all versions of Windows. It happens because of:

  • Virus/malware – Viruses and malware are programs designed to damage your computer and steal information from it. That’s why you need a comprehensive antivirus solution.
  • Hardware failure – A hardware malfunction can sometimes render some components useless, which may result in serious corruption in your registry.
  • Accidental deletion of a crucial file in the registry directory – Such deletions more often occur due to improper use of registry editor applications like Regedit by inexperienced users.
  • Improperly uninstalling programs – The improper removal of software from your PC can leave invalid keys behind in Registry, leading to problems such as these. A good uninstaller app should do the trick.
  • Corrupt Windows Updates – A corrupt Windows Update may cause issues with the operating system and create problems with your PC’s hardware and software settings.

What can I do if the system registry file is missing or corrupt?

1. Run the CHKDSK command 

  1. Press the Windows key, type cmd on the search bar, and click Run as administrator.cmd-run-admin-w11 unexpected kernel mode trap windows 11
  2. Type in the following command then press Enter: chkdsk:/f run chkdsk command

2. Run DISM and SFC commands 

  1. Hit the Windows key, type cmd in the search bar, and select Run as administrator.cmd-run-admin-w11 unexpected kernel mode trap windows 11
  2. Type the following command and press Enter: DISM.exe /Online /Restorehealth dism restore
  3. Allow for the command to be executed then type in the next one: sfc /scannow

3. Repair MBR 

  1. Create a bootable Windows 11 USB drive on another PC.
  2. Open the BIOS Settings by pressing the corresponding key shown on the screen. Usually, there can be any of the F10, F2, F12, F1, or DEL keys and it is different for each manufacturer/BIOS.
  3. Now, switch to the Boot tab. Then, under Boot Option Priorities, go to each boot option and press Enter.
  4. Change the boot order to the HDD or SSD you have the system installed on.
  5. Connect the USB drive to your PC and try booting from it.
  6. When the installation window appears, click on Repair your PC.
  7. Next, select Troubleshoot.windows 11 reset pc not working
  8. Click on Advanced options.
  9. Launch Command Prompt on the system.
  10. Type the following commands and press Enter after each: bootrec /FixMbr bootrec /FixBoot bootrec /ScanOs bootrec /RebuildBcd
  11. Exit, remove the installation drive, and try starting the system normally.

4. Run Startup Repair

  1. Hit the Windows key and select Settings.settings windows 11
  2. Navigate Recovery under the System section.system-recovery winget not recognized windows 11
  3. Click on the Restart now button next to Advanced startup.restart-now-button how to enter recovery mode windows 11
  4. Select the Troubleshoot option.windows 11 reset pc not working
  5. Now, click on Advanced options.
  6. Select the Startup Repair option.

Windows 7 users facing the system file is missing or corrupt issue can revert to Windows Last Known Good Configuration setting and see if this gets rid of the issue.

If none of the above work, you might have to perform a clean Windows install and see if this gets rid of the problem. To prevent such issues in the future, the best way to ensure that your registry stays in good health is to only use programs that are intended to modify the registry. 

They will make backups automatically before making any changes so that if something goes wrong, your original copy will be safe and you can revert to it easily. You should also clean your registry often to keep your system efficient.

In addition, always keep your antivirus program up-to-date or opt for antiviruses with offline updates. Should you encounter a corrupt registry in Windows 10, we have a comprehensive article to that effect.

Do let us know which solution fixed this issue for you in the comment section below.

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If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on TrustPilot.com) to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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