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Somewhere between 50% and 70% of the times I start my computer, I get the following bluescreen:

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
\SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE
or its log or alternate.
It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.

I recently had to lower the memory clock from 1066MHz to 800 MHz because of data corruptions (random crashes from normal usage, failing shaders and textures in games, screen corruption, things like that...); it's now running slower than the official specification and also has a much slower stepping. I also had to reset the bios to its default values. I've got a Republic of Gamers board with Nvidia chipset and AMD processor.

Once Vista runs, the system seems to be perfectly stable.

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Do a full surface scan of the drive and test it with the manufacturer's tools to see if it's not that. –  user3463 Mar 4 '11 at 16:42
    
Testing... I already though I'd have to write a DOS floppy to use Samsung's disk tools. Then I found their S.M.A.R.T. utility in the external drives section wich leads to a 404 when accessed from the internal drives page... –  Tamschi Mar 4 '11 at 18:33
    
I don't see why you had to change your memory clocking, unless you already had it overclocked in the first place. Try testing the memory with memtest86+ (free). If you think the hard drive may be failing, you can do a low level scan/recovery with Spinrite (commercial) –  brianbaligad Mar 4 '11 at 19:14
    
@Brian It wasn't overclocked - I even looked up the stepping on the maker's site. I'm rather sure it's a problem with the memory addresses: The screen corruption I got a few times moved pixels in an irregular pattern to the right while keeping the colors. (I made a screenshot when it happened.) This seems to be unrelated though, as the error is always the same and occurs when the computer is still cold... –  Tamschi Mar 4 '11 at 19:38
    
I'm doing a "short" self-test with ESWin right now, but the progress bar has stopped at 80% two hours ago (it's a 1TB drive). The SMART data is completely fine though. The read error rate is slightly elevated at 0x1AF, but still far away from the 50% warning. (If I'm reading this right it's less than a tenth of a percent.) –  Tamschi Mar 4 '11 at 21:50

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