Windows NT

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E-mail: Wayne Dixon
Last Updated On: 05/31/2001

Windows NT Boot Sequence

Boot Sequence and Typical Boot Sequence Errors

The boot files required by Windows NT are completely different from those used by other versions of the Windows operating system and DOS. Windows NT does not have an MS-DOS Command Prompt Only mode such as that included with Windows 95/98 (although MS-DOS consoles are available from within the GUI). If Windows NT is the only operating system installed the computer always boots to the Windows NT login prompt using the sequence listed below. In the case where multiple operating systems (i.e. Windows NT and Windows 95/98) exist in a dual boot configuration, a boot menu allows selection of the second operating system.

Boot Sequence Screen Shots

The following screen shots are typical of a dual boot configuration between Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and MS-DOS 6.2.

If Windows NT is the only operating system contained on the computer, the only items listed in the menu will be "Windows NT Workstation Version 4.0" and "Windows NT Workstation Version 4.0 [VGA mode]". Choosing VGA mode boots Windows NT using standard VGA video drivers. Network functionality is still present in VGA mode, and all other protected mode drivers are loaded. Windows NT will automatically load the default operating system if one is not chosen within the given time period (in this case, Windows NT Workstation Version 4.0).

If you are experiencing difficulties booting to Windows NT, pressing the space bar at this point allows you to select the Last Known Good Configuration. This overwrites the current registry with a known good copy (the last successful boot).

This is the final screen displayed before entering the GUI. Notice that the service pack version is listed on this screen. In this example, Service Pack 2 is installed, and the system contains 2 processors and 128 MB of RAM.