Windows NT

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Last Updated On: 08/05/2004

Troubleshooting Windows NT

Troubleshooting the Boot Process

The following table lists common boot sequence errors and their causes.

Error Message
Non-System disk or disk error Usually indicates a boot sector problem.
BOOT: Couldn’t find NTLDR. Please insert another disk NTLDR is missing or corrupted.
Fatal System Error: 0x00000067… NTDETECT v1.0 Checking Hardware NTDETECT failed NTDETECT.COM is missing or corrupted.
I/O Error accessing boot sector file multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)parition(1):\bootsect.dos BOOTSECT.DOS is missing. Occurs after user attempts to boot another operating system from the Boot Loader Operating System Selection Menu.
System boots directly to NT without displaying a boot menu BOOT.INI is missing or corrupted. The operating system will continue to load provided that NT is installed into the default C:\WINNT directory).
Windows NT could not start because the following file is missing or corrupted: \winntroot\system32\ntoskrnl.exe Please reinstall a copy of the above file Occurs when BOOT.INI cannot be found, and NT attempts to load from a nonexistent C:\WINNT directory (NT is installed into a directory by another name). Displayed after the Last Known Good menu prompt.
Inaccessible boot device Indicates that a drive referenced in the BOOT.INI is malfunctioning or not correctly configured.

Check the following if the system will not boot to Windows NT:

  • Disable any Virus scanning software
  • Check BIOS settings for the hard drive and floppy drive, restore BIOS defaults, and clear NVRAM.
  • Verify that no hardware has been added that conflicts with IRQ 10 and 11 (typically used by SCSI adapters - if system boots to SCSI drive), or 14 and 15 (used by onboard IDE controllers.
  • Attempt to boot using the Last Known Good Configuration.
  • If video is corrupt when booting normally, try booting to VGA mode.
  • Disable any ROM shadowing in the BIOS. Windows NT only requires the BIOS code to boot.
  • Finally, use the Emergency Repair Disk by booting to the setup diskettes, and choosing the Emergency Repair Disk option (see the section entitled “Using an Emergency Repair Disk”).

Last Known Good Configuration

During the Windows NT logon process, current configuration information from the registry is copied to a control set called Last Known Good. Last Known Good is a copy of the most recent control set used to successfully boot Windows NT.
When Windows NT is selected from the Boot Loader Operating System Selection menu, the system loads the default control set. There are only two conditions that cause the system to load the Last Known Good configuration:

  1. When the system is recovering from a severe or critical device driver loading error.
  2. When the Last Known Good configuration is selected during the boot process.
Booting from the Last Known Good configuration provides a way to recover from problems such as the following: A driver recently added to the system is causing problems.
Modified value entries in the registry prevent the system from booting properly.
The Last Known Good option is used only in cases of incorrect configurations. It will not solve problems caused by corrupted or missing drivers or files.

When a last known good configuration is selected, a warning message inside of Windows NT 4.0 will inform the user of this new registry selection.

Below is a sample stop error, or "blus screen of death".