Why won’t my Windows XP computer boot after the power was shut off?

NissanGTR December 9, 2011
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This problem stared last night when my brother removed the PC power cable from the wall socket in a haste to turn off the computer.

I get the following error when i try to boot into Windows XP.

“STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The session manager initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc000026c (0x00000000 0x00000000)
The system has been shut down.”

It gets to the “windows xp..loading” part fine, but then it displays this message. I have tried booting into all safe modes, last known config that worked…debug mode… but I got the same result.

Is there anyway I can fix this problem without having to format my PC?

I can still run Windows 7 (and access win xp’s C: drive) just fine so I can use that in case a corrupt file is to be replaced.

I have looked around the internet and all I find are methods where you have to boot into XP and install a software. Which is not possible in my case because I can’t even get to the login screen.

  1. Anonymous
    December 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    The reason for STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error} can be have multiple sources

    • Anonymous
      December 11, 2011 at 5:36 am

      Formatting is an option, but for that i would have to make room for 30 GB of data on some DVDs or a portable drive. But i dont have that kind of free space on my computer.

      That second method you suggested didnt work either.
      Any other ideas please? I really need to fix my XP partition. :(

    December 10, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Hello, did the operating system try to start a disk check at startup?  Do you have an XP installation disk?  If you have an XP installation disk, you will have to use and install the recovery console to run commands?   Here is what microsoft has to say:


    • Anonymous
      December 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

      I have the Disk, but I see no option about recovering or repairing the system when I boot from it.

      • FIDELIS
        December 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm

        Hello, if you want to do a system repair, you could try the following.  Make sure to have your license handy in case you need it:

        -- insert xp installation disk in disc drive
        -- restart computer
        -- make sure to enter BIOS to change boot order to cd/dvd
        -- when it asks you to press key to use cd, press any key
        -- if you need to install sata drivers, press F6 and insert media where drivers are
        -- select to setup windows xp now press enter
        -- press F8, for agreement
        -- make sure to select the xp installation
        -- once xp installation is selected, press R for a system repair
        -- installation will delete unneeded files from old installation
        -- installation will copy new files from cd
        -- installation will start and all you have to do is wait for installation to finish
        -- input language and device if needed
        -- computer will restart
        -- once restarted you can finish making changes
        -- make sure to update your system with windows update

        When system is repaired, check in your drive for a folder with the name old.version or something similar. 

        • Anonymous
          December 11, 2011 at 5:34 am

          I cant see where it says "press F8 for ...". I've googled around and other tutorials have it in theirs. 
          What is wrong with my DVD? or am I doing something wrong?

        • FIDELIS
          December 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm

          Hello, when you get to the agreement page, make sure to scroll down to the end of the agreement by pressing the page down key in keyboard.  Once you get to the end of agreement by pressing the page down key, press the F8 key.  Sometimes if you press the F8 without scrolling down the agreement, it won't let you continue. 

  3. Mike
    December 10, 2011 at 7:19 am

    The following Microsoft KB explains how to solve this problem.

    As in your case that translated into:

    1. boot up in Windows 7
    2. navigate to "Windowssystem32config of your XP installation and make a backup of the "SYSTEM" and the "SOFTWARE" file
    3. click start, type regedit in the search box and open the registry editor
    4. click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    5. click on "File > load Hive"
    6. navigate to "Windowssystem32config" of your XP installation and select the "SYSTEM" file to be loaded (you will also have to give it a name e.g. "TEST" but it doesn't matter)

    7. navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINETESTControlSetxxxControlSession Manager and delete any "PendingFileRenameOperations" entries
    do this for all ControlSets available (ControlSet001, ControlSet002, ...)
    8. if present do the same for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINETESTCurrentControlSetControlSession Manager
    9. click on TEST on the left side and select "File > Unload Hive"

    10. click on "File > load Hive"
    11. navigate to "Windowssystem32config" of your XP installation and select the "SOFTWARE" file to be loaded (again, give it a name e.g. "TEST2")

    12. navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINETEST2MicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion
    13. remove any "PendingFileRenameOperations" within the "RunOnce" and "RunOnceEx" keys
    14. click on TEST2 on the left side and select "File > Unload Hive"

    • Anonymous
      December 10, 2011 at 11:49 am

      I am really glad that u answered.
      But it didnt work.. I still get the same message.

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