When Windows 2000 won't boot - Page 3

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.

 By Brien M. Posey
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Emergency Repair Disk

Another option available to you is the ERD. As you probably know, the ERD is created during the Setup process. It contains a backup copy of the BOOT.INI file, along with several critical Registry keys. Unfortunately, the ERD is useless unless you keep it updated, because the Registry is constantly updated as you make changes to the system.

If you have an up-to-date ERD, simply boot the system off the Windows 2000 boot floppies. When you reach the point at which Setup asks if you want to set up Windows 2000 or repair an existing installation, choose the repair option and follow the prompts. Before the repair process begins, you'll be asked if you want to use a fast repair or a manual repair:

  • A fast repair automatically updates some key system files, the Registry, the boot sector, and the startup environment.
  • A manual repair is most useful when you already know what's wrong with the system and you don't want to overwrite anything you don't have to.

A Full Restore

I always hesitate to use the full-restore option, because you'll lose any data added to the server since the last backup. However, if you have determined that all of the system's hardware is OK, but you still can't get the system to work, restoring from backup may be your last option.

Unfortunately, you can't restore a backup unless Windows 2000 is functional. Therefore, you should format your hard disk and load Windows 2000 from scratch. During this reload, you should load Windows 2000 on a standalone server that isn't a domain controller or a part of a domain. You should also load Windows into a different directory than usual, to avoid interfering with the copy you're about to restore. Once you've loaded this temporary copy of Windows, you can restore your backup. Make sure you restore the System State data along with the usual files. Once the restore has completed, reboot the server. You should now have a functional server. When you're done, you can delete the temporary copy of Windows.

This article was originally published on Jun 13, 2000
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