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Microsoft KB Archive/252325

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Knowledge Base

Running Out of Memory Can Cause Loss of Cryptographic Keys (Machine GUID)

Article ID: 252325

Article Last Modified on 2/20/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition

This article was previously published under Q252325

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


Running out of memory can cause the system to regenerate the cryptographic keys. These keys are associated with the computer's Globally Unique Identifiers (GUID) in the registry; the changed GUID becomes inaccessible to any other servers, services, or programs.

In this scenario, a Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) service may be unable to start or stop.


When the Cryptographic Service Provider (CSP) cannot read the cryptographic keys (machine GUID) and an "Out of memory" error message occurs, the CSP creates a new machine GUID by overwriting the original value. The new machine GUID cannot be accessed unless the GUID is known.


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows 2000. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

260910 How to Obtain the Latest Windows 2000 Service Pack


WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To work around this problem, back up the machine GUID from the registry. You can then restore it when a problem occurs, and then reboot the server.

You can back up the machine GUID value from the following registry location:



Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows 2000 Service Pack 1.

Keywords: kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbenv kbfix kbqfe kbwin2000sp1fix KB252325