LabMice.net - The Windows 2000\XP\.NET Resource Index
Home | About Us | Search

Last Updated December 10, 2003

Troubleshooting
  Where to Start
  General Guides
  Boot.ini files
  Boot & Startup Issues
  Emergency Repair Disks
  Error Codes
  Event Logging
  Dr Watson
  Hang Conditions
  How to Guides
  Memory Dumps
  Memory Leaks
  Performance Tuning
  Recovery Console
  Task Manager
  Technical Articles
  Win2k Install Bugs
  WinNT Upgrade Bugs
  Win9x Upgrade Bugs

 Related Resources
  Hardware Guides
  Interoperability
  Printer Mgmt
  Registry
  Service Packs
  Utilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Troubleshooting Boot and Startup Issues

Although Windows 2000 includes a Recovery Console to help troubleshoot and repair a system that won't boot, diagnosing and fixing the problem can still be aggravating. There are a number of issues that can cause a system to fail to boot, and we've tried to list as many as we could find here.
Where to Start...
When Windows 2000 won't boot
A server crash is always a nightmare. Follow these techniques to track down the source of the problem and get back online as soon as possible. Source: EarthWeb (June 13, 2000)

How to Boot Windows 2000-Based Computers When You Use a Debugger Program
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 295553 - This article describes the commands that you can issue from a kernel debugger so that you can initiate reboots of your computer while it is in Safe mode. 

HOW TO: Determine if it Is Possible to Start Windows 2000 with the Keyboard Unattached Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 320466 - This step-by-step article describes the issues that are related to starting a Windows 2000-based computer without an attached keyboard. Note that this is not possible on all computers because of specific firmware restrictions in the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS).

How to Disable a Service or Device that Prevents Windows 2000 from Booting
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 244905 - If a service or device driver is started automatically and is incompatible with the current version of Windows 2000, the service or device driver may not allow Windows 2000 to remain running long enough for you to shut down the service or disable the outdated device driver.

How to Perform Clean-Boot Troubleshooting for Windows 2000 and Windows XP 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 281770 - Many issues that are experienced while running the Windows operating system occur because of the use of an incompatible or corrupt program that you are running simultaneously. To help determine if this is the case, you have to either perform a "clean boot", or restart Windows without these programs starting. This article describes how to perform clean-boot troubleshooting to determine if the problem in question is with the core operating system or with a program loading in the Windows environment. 

HOW TO: Recover a Windows 2000 Server that Does Not Start 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 301645 - This step-by-step article describes how to recover a Microsoft Windows 2000 Server-based computer that does not start. 

HOW TO: Replace a Driver on a Windows 2000-Based Computer That Will Not Start  
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 313670 - This step-by-step article describes how to replace a driver on a Windows 2000-based computer that will not start. 

HOW TO: Troubleshoot the "NTLDR Is Missing" Error Message in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 318728 - This step-by-step article describes methods that you can use to troubleshoot the "NTLDR Is Missing" error message that you may receive when you try to start Microsoft Windows 2000.

HOW TO: Troubleshoot Startup Problems in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 315396 - This article describes general procedures that you can use to troubleshoot startup problems in Windows 2000. 

HOW TO: Use Recovery Console on a Computer That Does Not Start in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 301645 - This step-by-step article describes how to recover a Microsoft Windows 2000 Server-based computer that does not start.

Recovering from NT Startup Failures, Part 1
This action usually results in a STOP error or blue screen, which indicates that the system Registry or a particular hive file failed. Registry Corruption The system Registry is the heart of an NT installation. Physical damage means that something (usually disk-related corruption) has scrambled the Registry hive files (e.g., the SOFTWARE or SYSTEM files in the \%winntroot%\system32\config folder). Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (Sept 1999)

Recovering from NT Startup Failures, Part 2
In "Recovering from NT Startup Failures, Part 1," September 1999, I discussed common causes of Windows NT startup failures and introduced you to several techniques that you can use to prevent and quickly recover from NT boot disasters. This disk contains a copy of the system Registry and provides crucial information that you need to use NT Setup's Repair process to locate and repair a damaged NT installation. Most IT shops perform regular system backups and create updates of the NT ERD. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (Nov. 1999)

Repairing the Master Boot Record
One of the most important parts of your system's hard disk is the Master Boot Record (MBR). Without a valid MBR, it's impossible to boot the system from the hard disk. Source: EarthWeb

Using System.alt to Recover the System Hive
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 151247 - If your system fails to boot because the System hive is corrupt, it may be possible to rename the System.alt file to System to recover Windows NT. This file is located in the Systemroot\System32\Config directory. It is recommend to first try to use the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) to recover the System hive. Information on using the ERD can be found on page 49 in the Installation Guide. Renaming the System.alt file should only be used as a last resort after you have tried to recover the system using the ERD. If the Windows NT system files are located on a Windows NT File System (NTFS) partition you will need to boot into another installation of Windows NT to rename the file. If the Windows NT files are located on a FAT partition you can boot from a bootable MS-DOS diskette to rename the file.

Known Bugs and Issues...

Black Screen on Boot
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 155053 - When you restart a Microsoft Windows NT x86-based computer, the computer stops with an empty, black screen immediately after the power-on self test (POST) is completed. The master boot record (MBR), partition tables, boot sector, or NTLDR file is corrupted 

'Blue Screen' Error When You Use Partition Magic 3.x to Dual Boot Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 269360 - When Partition Magic is installed on your computer and you try to dual boot Windows 2000 with another Microsoft Windows-based operating system, you may receive a "blue screen" STOP error message when you use the boot manager to boot to Windows.

Boot Menu Is Not Displayed and Timeout Value Is Not Used
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 242443 - If you install Windows 2000 on a computer with no other operating system installed, no Boot menu is displayed when you start the computer. Windows 2000 starts automatically without pausing to display any choices. Changing the Timeout value in the Boot.ini file does not have any effect. 

Cannot Boot After Installing on Drive Connected to PCMCIA SCSI Adapter
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 210761 - If you install Windows 2000 on an external SCSI drive connected to a PCMCIA SCSI adapter or on a drive in a docking station, the computer may not boot after the initial portion of Setup finishes. 

Cannot Start Windows 2000 with a Large Number of DNS Zones
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 259930 - When you try to start your computer after you have added several thousand DNS zones, you may receive the following error message: \\winnt\system32\config\system file is missing or corrupt. This problem can occur if the System hive is equal to or greater than 16 megabytes (MB). If the System hive is full, you may not be able to start your computer 

Cannot Start Windows NT 4.0 After Installing Previous Version 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 155119 - If you install a previous version of Windows NT on a computer running Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 no longer starts, or you may receive one of the following error messages: 

Cannot Start Windows XP After You Install Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 283433 - When you attempt to start Windows XP after you install Windows 2000, you may receive the following error message: 

Computer Is Slow to Start and Event ID 7001 Messages Are Logged in the System Event Log
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 312945 - When you restart your Microsoft Windows 2000 Server-based computer, you may find that the computer appears to stop responding (hang) and takes an unexpectedly long time, up to 30 minutes, to start. When the computer starts, you may see Event ID 7001.

Computer Shuts Down at Startup After You Install Windows 2000 Security Rollup Package 1 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 318650 - When you restart your Windows 2000 Server-based computer after you install Windows 2000 Security Rollup Package 1 (SRP1) from the Windows Update Web site, you may receive the following error message: 

Computer Stops Responding When Starting Dual Boot with PowerQuest Partition Magic 3.x
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 284839 - When you start a dual-boot computer that is running Microsoft Windows 98 and Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, and using PowerQuest Partition Magic 3.x, you may find that the computer stops responding. 

Computer with Large Number of Partitions Starts Slowly 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 274349 - When you start your computer and it has a large number of partitions defined in the Disk Management MMC snap-in, startup may take an excessively long time to complete. Your computer may appear to stop responding (hang) while the "Starting Windows 2000" message is displayed, and the status bar may pause between 50 and 70 percent. 

"Disk Read Error Occurred" When Converting Boot Drive to NTFS
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 222996 - After you successfully install Windows NT/2000 on a system partition that uses the FAT16 file system and then convert that partition to the NTFS file system, you may receive the following error message when you restart your computer:

Drive Letter Changes After You Restart Your Computer
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 325040 - When you shutdown, and then restart your computer, you may experience one of the following symptoms: The computer may intermittently not restart Windows. Instead, the start-up sequence may select a drive that is different from the typical drive to start the computer. When this problem occurs, you may receive the following error message:
Windows 2000 could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information

Error Message: Windows 2000 Could Not Start Because the Following File is Missing or Corrupt: \Winnt\System32\Config\Systemced
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 269075 - When you restart your Windows 2000-based computer, you may receive the following error message: Windows 2000 could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEMced  

Err Msg: Windows NT Could Not Start...Ntoskrnl.exe 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 124550 - When you attempt to start Windows NT, you may receive the following error message: 

Event 2506 When Starting Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 238316 - When you start Windows 2000, the following error message may be displayed in the system event log: 

Event ID 2506 When You Start Windows 2000 
When you start Windows 2000, the following event ID message may be logged in the System event log: Event: 2506 Source: Server The value named IRPStackSize in the server's Registry key LanmanServer\Parameters was invalid. The value was ignored, and processing continued

Hardware Malfunction Results in System Error Message
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 222973 - During the Windows NT boot process, the computer may stop responding (hang) and the following error message may appear: *** Hardware Malfunction Call your hardware vendor for support *** The system has halted ***  

Hewlett-Packard T-10 Server Hangs on Boot
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 253246 - After you install Windows 2000 on a Hewlett-Packard (HP) T-10 server, the server may stop responding (hang) at startup. 

Long Pause During Windows Startup Process  
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 242518 - After you choose to start Windows from the Boot menu, you may experience a long delay (or pause) before your computer finishes starting. Note that this delay may range from 10 seconds to a minute. Also, this delay occurs before the ...

Monitor Displays a White Screen at Startup and Windows 2000 Stops Responding 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 305227 - After you start your computer, the monitor may display a blank white screen and the computer may stop responding. 

NetBIOS Scope ID Causes Windows 2000 Domain Controller to Stop Responding on Boot
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 255195 - When a Windows 2000 domain controller has a NetBIOS scope ID defined, it may appear to stop responding (hang) during boot with a "Preparing Network Connections" message. If the computer is allowed to sit for two hours or longer, the boot process may finish. 

No Desktop or Blank Desktop After Logging On to Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 256194 - When you log on to Windows 2000, you may see a blank desktop or no desktop. When this occurs, you can press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to start Task Manager, but Explorer.exe is not listed in the list of running tasks or processes. Starting a new instance of Explorer.exe does not resolve the issue. 

Ntbtlog.txt File Not Written When Boot Logging Is Enabled
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 275735 - After you enable boot logging to troubleshoot Windows 2000 startup issues, The Ntbtlog.txt file may not be written. 

Ntldr Cannot Load Fragmented System Hive
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 265509 - Your computer may stop responding (hang) during startup from a hard disk that uses the NTFS file system if the System hive file is too large. The System hive file is located in the %SystemRoot%\System32\Config folder. 

Reasons Why Windows NT Does Not Boot From a Shadow Mirror Drive 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 167045 - Microsoft Windows NT supports Disk Mirroring and Disk Duplexing of the operating system partition. This article is intended to help clarify why the shadow drive does not always boot and how to ensure that it will boot in the case of a primary disk failure. The most common symptom when trying to boot from the shadow drive is that the system will hang after POST with a blinking cursor and no boot menu options are displayed.

Removing the Linux LILO Boot Manager
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 171611 - This article describes how to remove the LILO boot manager from the Master Boot Record (MBR). 

Slow Boot or Error Messages in Windows 2000 After Installing Roxio Easy CD Creator 5.0
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 298583 - Immediately after you install Roxio Easy CD Creator 5.0 Platinum, you may receive an error message on a blue screen and the computer may stop responding (hang), or the computer may take a long time to start. 

Startup Problems When Transferring System Hard Disk to a Backup Computer
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 268066 - A Microsoft Windows NT-based or Microsoft Windows 2000-based server may not start up if its system hard disk is transferred to another computer that is a different model. For example, a user may transfer a system hard disk to a backup computer 

"STOP 0x0000007B: INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE" Error Message When You Start Your Computer
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 287043 - When you start your computer after you install a new motherboard, you may receive the following error message on a blue screen:
STOP: 0x0000007B: ( parameter1 , parameter2 , parameter3 , parameter4 ) INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE

Unable to Contact DHCP Server with RIS Boot Disk
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 255952 - When you start a Remote Install Service (RIS) client by using the Remote Install boot disk you created with the Remote Boot Floppy Generator (Rbfg.exe), you may receive the following error message: 

Unable to Log on if the Boot Partition Drive Letter Has Changed
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 249321 - After you try to log on to your Windows 2000-based computer by using a valid user name and password, the the Loading your personal settings dialog box is displayed, followed by the Saving your settings dialog box. However, the desktop does not appear, and the Welcome to Windows logon screen is displayed again. 

Using Norton Disk Edit to Backup Your Master Boot Record
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 166997 - The master boot record is required to boot your computer. Having a current backup of your master boot record is an excellent way to ensure that, in the event of a virus or hardware failure, you will be able to recover your system in the shortest amount of time possible. 

Windows NT/2000 Seems to Hang During Boot and Slow Performance
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 157910 -  After you install Windows NT version 4.0 on a computer configured with a Quantum XP-32150 SCSI hard disk connected to an Adaptec AHA-1542b SCSI controller, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms: 

Windows 2000 Advanced Options Boot Menu Missing at Startup
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 249000 -  When you attempt to start Windows 2000 in a dual-boot configuration, you may experience any of the following issues: 

Windows 2000 Hangs at "Preparing Network Connections" Screen on Multiple-Processor Computers 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 266132 - Windows 2000 may stop responding (hang - on multiple-processor computers during startup when the "Preparing Network Connections" screen is displayed. When this problem occurs, you may find the following entry in the registry: 

Windows 2000 Loses Date and Time on Every Boot
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 243883 -  After you install Windows 2000 and reboot, you may receive a message stating that the system's date and time are invalid. When this occurs, the date may be set for January 1, 1601, or another invalid date, and the clock may be counting the time from 12:00 A.M. If you reset the date and time correctly and boot to another operating system (such as Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 95, or Microsoft Windows 98), the date and time remain accurate after rebooting. However, the problem occurs whenever you boot into Windows 2000 

Windows 2000 Shuts Down When You Try to Restart Your Computer
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 298925 - When you try to restart your computer, your computer may not restart; instead, your computer may shut down. 

Windows Does Not Start After PcAnywhere 9.0 Installation 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 317051 - When you restart your computer after you install Symantec pcAnywhere 9.0, you may receive the following error message: Winlogon.exe has generated an error log. and then your computer does not complete the startup process. Your computer may also restart automatically.

Windows NT Does Not Boot to a Partition That Starts More Than 4 GB into Disk
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 197295 X86-based computers running Windows NT do not start if the "multi()" syntax is used in the Boot.ini file and the first sector of the partition to which Windows NT is installed is 4 GB or more into the disk. 

You Cannot Start a Newly Promoted Domain Controller After You Remove Windows 2000 SP2 SRP1 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 319783 - If you install Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Security Rollup Package (SRP1) on a computer that is not a domain controller, and then you promote that computer to a domain controller, you cannot start the newly promoted domain controller. 

Your Computer May Pause with a Black Screen If You Press ESC During Startup 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Artilce Q311799 - If you press the ESC key while your computer is starting, your computer may pause with a black screen. If this problem occurs, you can press any other key to resume the startup process. 

 

Entire contents
© 1999-2003 LabMice.net and TechTarget
All rights reserved

This site and its contents are Copyright 1999-2003 by LabMice.net. Microsoft, NT, BackOffice, MCSE, and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft Corporation in no way endorses or is affiliated with LabMice.net. The products referenced in this site are provided by parties other than LabMice.net. LabMice.net makes no representations regarding either the products or any information about the products. Any questions, complaints, or claims regarding the products must be directed to the appropriate manufacturer or vendor.