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Last week, I came across the 0xC0000218 STATUS_CANNOT_LOAD_REGISTRY_FILE error, which caused the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) on my Windows PC. It caught me off guard and I had to look for solutions immediately.

In this guide, I’ll share the effective strategies I discovered and applied, with step-by-step instructions.

What Is 0xC0000218 Error?

The 0xC0000218 error, commonly known as STATUS_CANNOT_LOAD_REGISTRY_FILE, is a BSOD that occurs when Windows can’t load the system registry file. It might be because the registry file is corrupted, missing, or inaccessible. 

Imagine your PC trying to read an essential book for instructions, but the book is either missing or illegible. Your system’s registry is a critical component for Windows operation.

What Causes STATUS_CANNOT_LOAD_REGISTRY_FILE Blue Screen of Death?

Several factors can lead to 0xC0000218 STATUS_CANNOT_LOAD_REGISTRY_FILE:

  • Corrupted Registry Files: Essential registry files becoming damaged or unreadable.
  • Faulty or Incompatible Drivers: Drivers conflicting with the system can corrupt registry files.
  • System File Corruption: Critical system files get corrupted, affecting the registry.
  • Malware Infections: Malware can target and damage the system registry.
  • Hardware Failures: Issues with hardware, especially the hard drive, can lead to file corruption.
  • Improper Shutdowns: Sudden power losses or improper shutdowns can impact the registry.


 If you don’t want to troubleshoot the issue manually, you can use BSOD repair tools.

1. Preliminary Checks

  • Restart Your PC
    • Before restarting, ensure all important data is saved.
    • Use the Start menu to reboot your PC.
    • After rebooting, check if the BSOD reappears.
  • Unplug and Plug the External Hardware
    • Turn off your computer.
    • Remove all connected external devices (like USBs and external drives).
    • Power on your PC without them. If the error doesn’t recur, reconnect each device one at a time to identify any conflicts.

2. Identify the Culprit Driver using Event Viewer

Event Viewer in Windows can provide error logs to identify problematic drivers or applications.

  1. Type “Event Viewer” into the Windows search box and open it by clicking on its icon.launch Event Viewer
  2. Search for error logs that are associated with the BSOD incident.Event Viewer summary
  3. Note any drivers or applications that are mentioned in these logs.

3. Find and Uninstall the Problematic Driver

Uninstalling the faulty driver removes potential conflicts with the system.

  1. Right-click on the Start button and choose Device Manager from the menu.
  2. In the Device Manager window, identify the problematic driver, as indicated in the Event Viewer, or look for any driver marked with a yellow exclamation mark.corrupted drivers
  3. Right-click on it and select Uninstall device.Uninstall corrupted drivers
  4. Confirm the uninstallation when prompted.
  5. Repeat this process for any other drivers showing issues.

4. Apply Startup Repair

Startup Repair is a built-in tool that can fix certain system issues preventing Windows from starting, including registry-related problems.

  1. If you can’t access Windows normally, restart your PC and hold the Shift key while selecting Restart to enter Advanced Startup.
  2. In the Advanced Startup menu, navigate to ‘Troubleshoot’> ‘Advanced options’> ‘Startup Repair.’ startup repair option
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. Your system will restart as part of this process.
  5. Select an account to continue. If you have multiple accounts, opt for the one with administrative privileges.choose an account to repair
  6. Enter the password for the account you’ve chosen.enter account password
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the Startup Repair process.

5. Run SFC and DISM Commands

System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) are tools that repair corrupted system files, which can help fix BSODs.

  1. Open Command Prompt or Terminal with administrator rights.
  2. Type sfc /scannow and press Enter. This command scans for and tries to repair corrupted system files.
  3. Once the SFC scan is complete, run the DISM tool by typing DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and pressing Enter.
  4. After running these commands, restart your PC and check if the problem is fixed.

6. Uninstall Recent Windows Updates

New Windows updates can sometimes inadvertently cause system conflicts, leading to BSODs.

  1. Type “Control Panel” into the Windows search box and open it by clicking on its icon.
  2. In the Control Panel, go to the “Programs” section and select Uninstall a program.Uninstall a program Control Panel
  3. Click on View installed updates, which is located on the left side.View installed updates Control Panel
  4. Locate and select any updates that were installed recently, then click the Uninstall button.Uninstall a Windows update
  5. When a confirmation pop-up appears, click Uninstall again.Confirm Update uninstallation

7. Uninstall Recently Installed Applications

Newly installed applications can sometimes cause conflicts with the system, potentially leading to registry errors.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Uninstall a program, found under the “Programs” section.
  3. Sort the programs by their installation date by clicking on the Installed on column header.sort applications on the basis of installation date
  4. Identify and select the most recently installed application, then click the Uninstall button.Uninstall a Program through Control Panel
  5. Confirm the uninstallation when prompted.
  6. Apply this process to each recently installed application.

8. Restore Windows

System Restore can revert your system’s settings to a previous state without affecting personal files.

  1. Restart your system multiple times to trigger the launch of Automatic Repair Mode.
  2. Once your system boots into Automatic Repair Mode, select the System Restore option found under “Advanced options.”
  3. In the following screen, click Next to start the system restore process.
  4. Choose a previously saved restore point.
  5. Confirm and then click Finish.

9. Reset Windows

Resetting Windows can help fix deeper system issues by reinstalling the operating system.

  1. Force restart your PC several times to launch it in Automatic Repair Mode.
  2. Once in Automatic Repair Mode, choose the Troubleshoot option.Windows Troubleshoot option
  3. On the following screen, select Reset this PC.Select Reset this PC
  4. Decide whether to keep your files or remove everything. For a complete reset, it’s advisable to choose Remove everything.Choose if you want to keep your files
  5. Next, choose your preferred method for reinstalling Windows, either ‘Cloud’ or ‘Local’.Select how would you like to Reinstall Windows
  6. Finally, click the Reset button.Click the Reset button to Fix WORKER_THREAD_RETURNED_AT_BAD_IRQL

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In this troubleshooting guide, I’ve explored various methods to troubleshoot and resolve the 0xC0000218 STATUS_CANNOT_LOAD_REGISTRY_FILE BSOD in Windows.

From preliminary checks to more advanced solutions like system restore and Windows reset, every method addresses the specific cause of the issue.

If the problem persists, it’s best to get professional help.

More about the topics: Troubleshooting, windows