Export (0) Print
Expand All

Troubleshooting Startup Problems

If your computer fails to complete startup, it might stop, or it might display an error message. This section discusses ways to troubleshoot problems that can prevent Windows 2000 from starting.

The first step in figuring out what causes a startup problem is to determine if the problem occurs before or after the operating system takes control. If you do not see the bootstrap loader screen, the problem might be due to hardware failure. Possible causes also include a faulty MBR or partition table, or a damaged boot sector.

Damage can have several causes, including viruses. Viruses use BIOS calls to install themselves, so they are operating-system independent. Windows 2000 traps BIOS calls while it is running, but cannot protect itself when the computer is multiple-booted by using MS-DOS. For more information about protecting your computer from viruses and recovering from problems with viruses, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://windows.microsoft.com/windows2000/reskit/webresources .

If the problem occurs after selecting Windows 2000 from the bootstrap loader screen, files that are needed by the operating system might be missing or corrupt. For more information, see "Options to Use When a System Does Not Start" later in this chapter.

Problem Occurs Before the Bootstrap Loader Starts

This section describes the problems that might occur between the time you turn the computer on until you see the bootstrap loader screen. Symptoms of problems in this group include the following:

  • The computer hangs immediately after the power-on self test (POST).

  • You do not see the bootstrap loader screen.

  • You receive messages such as:

    • Missing operating system.

    • A disk read error occurred.

    • Insert a system diskette and restart the system.

    • Invalid partition table.

    • Hard disk error.

    • Hard disk absent/failed.

Table 15.4 lists symptoms, possible trouble causes and sources of more detailed information.

Table   15.4 Startup Problems

If You See Messages About or Suspect a Problem with . . .

Possible Problem

Source for More Information

POST routine

The POST routine is inaccessible.

"Hardware Problems" later in this chapter.

System partition

There is no system partition on the first hard disk.

"Disks Concepts and Troubleshooting" in this book.

Master boot record

The MBR is corrupt.

"Disks Concepts and Troubleshooting" in this book.

Partition table

The partition table is invalid.

"Disks Concepts and Troubleshooting" in this book.

Multiple-booting between Windows 2000 and MS-DOS

Bootsect.dos must be restored.

Windows 2000 Server Help.

Boot.ini

The Boot.ini file is missing.

"Problem Occurs after the Bootstrap Loader Starts" later in this chapter.

Bootstrap loader screen

NTLDR, is missing or corrupt.

"Problem Occurs after the Bootstrap Loader Starts" later in this chapter.

CMOS

The CMOS is corrupt, or the CMOS battery is run down.

"Disks Concepts and Troubleshooting" in this book.

Hardware

If you have installed new hardware or new drivers, they could be causing the problem, or a hardware component has malfunctioned.

"Hardware Problems" later in this chapter.

You might not be able to start your computer to troubleshoot the problem. If all of your volumes are formatted by using NTFS, you cannot use MS-DOS-based utilities.

Problem Occurs After the Bootstrap Loader Starts

This section describes problems that might occur after NTLDR starts executing until you successfully log on to Windows 2000.

Using Checked Version of NTDETECT

NTDETECT detects installed hardware components.

There is a debug version of Ntdetect.com on the Windows   2000 Resource Kit companion CD, called Ntdetect.chk. If Ntdetect.com fails to detect all of the hardware that you think it should find, you can use Ntdetect.chk to help isolate the problem. Typically, a mouse or a disk controller is the cause of the problem.

To use the debug version of Ntdetect:

  1. Rename Ntdetect.com to Ntdetect.bak in the root folder of your system partition.

  2. Copy Ntdetect.chk from Support\Debug\I386 to the root folder.

  3. Rename Ntdetect.chk to Ntdetect.com.

The utility Installd, included on the Windows   2000 Resource Kit companion CD, performs the same functions.

Ntdetect.com has the hidden, system, and read-only attributes set when you install Windows 2000. Clear these attributes to make the file visible.

After Ntdetect.chk displays information about the components, press ENTER to continue. Ntdetect.chk next displays information about the current nodes for the controllers and peripherals. Press ENTER at the end of each screen.

When you have finished using Ntdetect.chk, rename Ntdetect.com to Ntdetect.chk and rename Ntdetect.bak to Ntdetect.com.

Using the /MAXMEM Switch

The Boot.ini file has a /MAXMEM switch which you can use specify the maximum amount of RAM that Windows 2000 can use. You can use this switch to troubleshoot memory parity errors, mismatched SIMM speeds, and other memory-related problems. To use this switch, the memory must be contiguous. Never specify a value less than 32 for Windows 2000 Professional.

Include this switch at the end of the ARC path specified in the [operating systems] section of the Boot.ini file. In the following example Windows 2000 Professional is restricted to using only the first 32 MB RAM.

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\winnt="Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect /MAXMEM=32

note-icon

Note

For Windows 2000 Server, use a minimum of 64 MB.

For more information about troubleshooting memory problems, see "Troubleshooting Strategies" in this book.

Using the /SOS Switch

You can add the /SOS switch to the Boot.ini file to have NTLDR display the kernel and device driver names while they are being loaded. Use this switch if Windows 2000 does not start up and you think a driver is missing or corrupted. For information about changing Boot.ini switches, see "Boot.ini Switches" earlier in this chapter.

Hardware Problems

If a device fails to initialize during the POST routine, you might not be able to gain access to it. If you have not changed or added devices since the last startup, check for the following:

  • Controller cards are seated properly.

  • Cables are properly connected.

  • Disks are turned on.

If you have changed hardware or device drivers since the last startup, the problem might be with the new configuration. You should check that:

  • SCSI devices are terminated properly.

  • There are no IRQ conflicts.

  • The BIOS is enabled on only the first SCSI controller (if at all).

During the startup process, the Hardware Profile/Configuration Recovery menu provides options for using alternative configurations. If you have checked the above items and Windows 2000 does not complete startup, try using one of the other configuration options listed in the Hardware Profile/Configuration Recovery menu.

For more information about hardware problems, see "Troubleshooting Strategies" in this book, or see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://windows.microsoft.com/windows2000/reskit/webresources .

note-icon

Note

On NTFS volumes, you need to use Windows 2000-based utilities, such as DiskProbe, to examine information on the volume. DiskProbe is a low-level disk editor that you can use to examine and change individual disk sectors.

If you use the Windows 2000 Setup floppy disks, try using the following utilities:

  • The Computer Management snap-in in Administrative Tools where you can view system information.

  • The DiskProbe tool, a low-level disk editor that you can use to examine and change individual disk sectors.

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft