SAM Failed to Initialize in Windows

Published: 25th March 2009
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Windows 2000 and later versions use a database to store user's passwords called Security Accounts Manager (SAM). The database is saved as a registry file. Adding to some levels of protection to stored passwords, this database uses hash format. Now since it's the part of Windows registry, if SAM file goes corrupt or is found to be missing user may need to reinstall Windows as a solution. Windows reinstallation requires the user to restore data from backup, so if an updated backup exists the user has no issues like complete or partial data loss. In case, the backup is missing, Data Recovery software will be required for File Recovery.

The error message when the SAM file is missing or corrupt is as follows:

"Security Accounts Manager initialization failed because of the following error: A device attached to the system is not functioning.
Error Status: 0xc0000001.
Please click OK to shut down this system and reboot into Safe Mode, check event log for more detailed information."

The error is more specific in Windows XP Home and Professional Editions. In order to resolve this issue we may have to reinstall Windows when Windows Advanced Options, Recovery Console fail along with Windows Repair (or there is no option to do repair). Usually registry file issues can be taken care of through Recovery Console. But in this case password file is causing the problem, so user can't authenticate when prompted for. However, if user has been using Backup utility to timely backup the system, SAM can be restored using backup through Restore Wizard. But if SAM fails to restore, we can copy it from C:WINDOWSrepair and paste it to C:WINDOWSsystem32config. In this case, the user loses all accounts and groups created.

But if Windows reinstallation lefts as the only option, we need to backup all data, format the partition and reinstall Windows. We need to be careful while taking data backup as when data backup fails to restore the required files (due to partial backup or backup media errors), Data Recovery Software will be needed. So, log report and backup itself must be verified after taking backup.

Data Recovery applications are the utilities that use scanning algorithms to logically extract lost data. To use Data Recovery Software, we need to install it on a different bootable hard drive or a working system other than the affected hard drive. Then we need to attach the affected hard drive (as an external drive or as slave disk) to the new drive or system and use the recovery utility to scan the drive.

Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is the numero uno Data Recovery software. The software uses advanced scanning algorithms to carry out in-depth recovery. It is compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 2003 and 2000. The Data Recovery Software supports FAT16, FAT32, VFAT, NTFS and NTFS5 file systems based Windows partitions and volumes. The software is known for its various restoration options and efficiency to recover data in all logical data loss scenarios.

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