Chapter 27: Troubleshooting Startup continued
If the startup problem occurs immediately after updating or installing a specific device driver or application You can restore previous system settings by using the following features:
The preceding options are not limited to troubleshooting startup problems, but also apply to any problem affecting the operating system.
If you are still unable to start your system in normal mode You can restart your computer in safe mode and disable services and software that might be interfering with the startup process. Try disabling the following:
If the problem prevents you from starting in safe mode You can try the following:
Using the Last Known Good Configuration restores previous drivers and also restores registry settings for the subkey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet. Windows XP Professional does not update the LastKnownGood control set until you successfully start the operating system in normal mode and log on.
When you are troubleshooting, it is recommended that you use Last Known Good Configuration before you try other options, such as safe mode. However, if you decide to use safe mode first, logging on to the computer in safe mode does not update the LastKnownGood control set. Therefore, Last Known Good Configuration remains an option if you cannot resolve your problem by using safe mode.
To access the Last Known Good Configuration startup option
If Windows XP Professional starts without displaying a menu similar to that shown in Figure 27-4, restart your computer. Press F8 after the firmware POST process completes but before Windows XP Professional displays graphical output.
When Windows XP Professional starts, it reads status information from the file systemroot\Bootstat.dat. If Windows XP detects that the last startup attempt was unsuccessful, it automatically displays the message and startup options that are shown in Figure 27-1.
Figure 27-1 Startup options when your system cannot start
For more information about the Last Known Good Configuration, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and also see "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
Logging on to the computer in safe mode does not update the LastKnownGood control set. Therefore, if you log on to your computer in safe mode and then decide you want to try Last Known Good Configuration, the LastKnownGood control set is still available.
In safe mode, Windows XP Professional uses the minimum set required to start the graphical user interface (GUI). The following registry subkeys list the drivers and services that start in safe mode:
To access safe mode
If Windows XP Professional starts without displaying the menu shown in Figure 27-4, restart your computer. Press F8 after the firmware POST process completes but before Windows XP Professional displays graphical output.
You can also select a safe mode option from the startup recovery menu that appears when Windows XP Professional detects that the startup attempt was unsuccessful. For more information about the startup recovery menu, see "Restoring to the Last Known Good Configuration" earlier in this chapter.
For more information about safe mode, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center and "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book. Also see article Q202485, "Description of Safe Boot Mode in Windows 2000," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find this article, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.
Windows XP Professional provides a feature called Device Driver Roll Back, which can help you restore system stability by rolling back a driver update.
To roll back a driver
You are prompted to confirm that you want to overwrite the current driver. Click Yes to roll back the driver. The roll back process proceeds, or you are notified that an older driver is not available.
For more information about Device Driver Roll Back and about using System Information to check for unsigned drivers, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center. Also see "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
When you need to restore to an earlier system setting, you can select a restore point that was created when the system functioned correctly. Restore points are registry "snapshots" that System Restore creates, stores, and manages. System Restore copies monitored files to data stores on hard disk before Windows XP Professional overwrites, deletes, or changes the files.
When Windows XP Professional is running in normal mode, System Restore creates restore points in the background without user intervention. You can also manually create restore points, for example, before installing new hardware or software. In safe mode, you can use restore points but you cannot create them.
To start the System Restore wizard
For more information about System Restore, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and see also "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
Problems with applications that run at startup can cause logon delays or even prevent you from completing Windows XP Professional startup in normal mode. The following subsections provide techniques for temporarily disabling startup programs:
Disabling Startup Programs by Using the System Configuration Utility
System Configuration Utility allows you to disable startup programs individually or several at a time. You can also disable certain startup programs that do not use the registry to store configuration information but that instead use the Win.ini file. For example, on x86-based computers, you can use this tool to disable 16-bit startup programs.
To disable a startup program by using the System Configuration Utility
To disable specific startup items, select the Startup or WIN.INI tab, and then click to clear the check boxes that correspond to the items you want to disable. You can also click Disable All on the Startup and WIN.INI tabs to disable all items on each tab.
If you change any startup setting by using the System Configuration Utility, Windows XP Professional displays the following message when you log on:
You have used the System Configuration Utility to make temporary changes to some of your system settings.
The preceding message and the System Configuration Utility continue to appear each time you log on until you restore the original startup settings by clicking Normal Startup under Startup Selection on the General tab. To permanently change a startup setting, you must move or delete startup shortcuts, change a Group Policy setting, or uninstall the application that added the startup application.
For more information about the System Configuration Utility, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and also see "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
Disabling Startup Programs by Using the SHIFT Key
One way you can simplify your configuration is to disable startup programs. By holding down the SHIFT key during the logon process, you can prevent the operating system from running startup programs or shortcuts in the following folders:
The windir folders exist only on computers that are upgraded from Windows NT 4.0.
To disable the programs or shortcuts in the preceding folders, you must hold down the SHIFT key until the desktop icons appear. Holding down the SHIFT key is a better alternative than temporarily deleting or moving programs and shortcuts because this procedure only affects the current user session.
To use the SHIFT key to disable programs and shortcuts in startup folders
Disabling Startup Programs by Using the Group Policy Snap-in
You can use the Group Policy MMC snap-in to disable programs that run at startup. Before you use this snap-in, you must be familiar with Group Policy concepts, and you must understand how to view registry entries and change local Group Policy settings.
For information about Group Policy and about using the Group Policy snap-in, see "Planning Deployments," "Managing Desktops," and "Authorization and Access Control" in this book, and see "Group Policy" in the Distributed Systems Guide of the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit. Also see "Using Group Policy" in Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and see the Change and Configuration Management Deployment Guide link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.
If you are uncertain which startup programs to disable, you can view the registry startup information that appears in certain registry subkeys. For information about viewing registry entries, see "To open Registry Editor" in Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and also see Table 27-10, Table 27-11, and Table 27-12.
To disable startup programs by using the Group Policy snap-in
Disabling this Group Policy deletes the computer or user Run subkey described in Table 27-10.
If you enable the preceding Group Policy settings, the programs listed in the corresponding registry subkeys no longer start automatically when a user logs on to the system.
Table 27-10 Registry Subkeys That List the Programs That Run at User Logon
You can change additional Group Policy settings that might help you simplify your computer configuration when you are troubleshooting startup problems. Table 27-11 lists the registry subkeys that are controlled by the Group Policy setting Do not process the run once list. If you enable this Group Policy setting, the system ignores the programs listed in the following RunOnce registry subkeys the next time a user logs on to the system.
Table 27-11 Registry Subkeys That List the Programs That Run Once
Table 27-12 lists the computer registry subkey that is controlled by the Group Policy setting Do not process the legacy run list. The programs listed in this registry subkey are a customized list of programs that were configured by using the system policy editor for Windows NT 4.0 or earlier. If you enable this Group Policy setting, the system ignores the programs listed in the corresponding registry subkey when you start your computer. If you disable or do not configure this Group Policy setting, the system processes the customized run list that is contained in this registry subkey when you start the computer.
Table 27-12 Registry Subkey That Lists Customized Legacy Programs
Group Policy changes do not always take effect immediately. You can use the Gpupdate (Gpupdate.exe) tool to refresh local Group Policy changes to computer and user policies. (Gpupdate replaces the secedit /refreshpolicy command used in Windows 2000 to refresh Group Policy settings.) After you refresh the policy, you can use the Group Policy Result (Gpresult.exe) tool to verify that the updated settings are in effect. For more information about using Gpupdate, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center.
Disabling Startup Programs for Computers on a Network
If your computer is on a network, additional steps might be required to disable startup programs that are started by Group Policy settings, roaming user profiles, logon scripts, or scheduled system management tasks. You can also contact your network administrator and request network test accounts that exclude items, such as logon scripts, that you know are not causing problems on other computers.
To check Group Policy settings, you can use the Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) MMC snap-in (Rsop.msc) or the Group Policy Result (Gpresult.exe) tool to view the policies currently in effect for your user and computer accounts. The information provided by these tools can assist you with troubleshooting or help you determine the policy settings that might affect your results.
You can also prevent Group Policy, logon scripts, roaming user profiles, scheduled tasks, and network-related issues from affecting your troubleshooting by temporarily disabling the network adapter and then logging on by using a local computer account.
To disable a network adapter
If you use roaming user profiles and do not want to disable the network adapter, you can temporarily switch to locally cached user profiles. Making this change preserves local diagnostic changes in case you need to log off and log on, or restart the computer. This change also prevents the roaming user profile from overwriting your diagnostic changes each time you log on to the computer.
To switch from roaming user profiles to locally cached user profiles
For more information about roaming user profiles, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and also see "Managing Desktops" in this book.
Manually Disabling Startup Programs
You can use the registry editor Regedit.exe to disable the registry entries for startup programs. For a list of registry subkeys that contain entries for service and startup programs, see "Logon Phase" earlier in this chapter. Changes made by using the registry editor might not take effect until you restart the computer.
You can also prevent startup programs from running by using Windows Explorer or Recovery Console to temporarily move shortcuts in the following folders to another location on the hard disk:
The windir folders exist only on computers that are upgraded from Windows NT 4.0.
For the startup program changes to take effect, you must log off or restart the computer and log on again.
For more information about disabling startup programs, see article Q270035, "How to Modify the List of Programs that Run at When You Startup Windows," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find this article, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.
Ending Processes and Applications That Are Not Responding A startup program or a process that stops responding can cause delays or prevent you from logging on to Windows XP Professional. A process is an instance of an application, including the set of system resources that run an application. By using Task Manager, you can view and selectively end applications and processes, allowing the startup process to continue.
When you are in normal or safe mode, you can also use Task Manager to gather system information, such as CPU and memory statistics.
To start Task Manager
As Figure 27-2 shows, you can select the Applications, Processes, Performance, and Networking tabs. The Applications and Processes tabs provide a list of active applications and processes, some of which run in the background and might not show activity. You can use the End Process button to end most of the items listed. Save all data before ending any process because this action can cause the system to stop responding.
Figure 27-2 Task Manager
You can also customize Task Manager to display more information on the Processes tab.
To display more information on the Processes tab
To obtain more information about Task Manager, open Task Manager, and on the Help menu, click Task Manager Help Topics.
In addition to using Task Manager, you can also end processes by using two command-line tools:
Task List displays information similar to that displayed by the Task Manager Processes tab. For each process, Task List displays useful information, such as the name of the process, the process identification number (PID), and the amount of memory used.
To end a process, run Task Kill by using the process ID or any part of the process name, such as the title of the application window, as a command-line parameter. For more information about Task List and Task Kill, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center.
Preserving the Core System Processes When you are deciding which processes to temporarily disable, avoid ending the processes that are listed in Table 27-13. This table lists the core processes that are common to all systems running Windows XP Professional. Knowing the core processes is useful because the source of an application or service-related problem is most likely due to non-core processes.
Table 27-13 Core System Processes
* You cannot use Task Manager to end this process.
For more information about threads, processes, and services, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center.
When you troubleshoot startup issues that are related to system services, a useful technique is to simplify your computer configuration so that you can reduce system complexity and isolate operating system services. To decrease the number of variables, temporarily close all applications or services and start them one at a time until you reproduce the problem. Always close applications first, before attempting to disable system services.
This section helps you do the following:
Using Service Tools to Diagnose and Resolve Startup Issues
Windows XP Professional provides tools that can help you troubleshoot services:
Disabling Services with the System Configuration Utility
The System Configuration Utility allows you to disable system services individually or several at a time. You can also disable certain services that do not use the registry to store configuration information, but that instead use the System.ini file. For example, on x86-based computers, you can use this tool to disable 16-bit services.
To disable a service by using the System Configuration Utility
If you change any startup setting by using the System Configuration Utility, Windows XP Professional prompts you to return to normal operations the next time you log on. A prompt and the System Configuration Utility appear each time you log on until you restore the original startup settings by clicking Normal Startup under Startup Selection on the General tab. To permanently change a startup setting, use Control Panel, change a Group Policy setting, or uninstall the application that added the service.
For more information about the System Configuration Utility, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and also see "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
Disabling Services by Using the Services Snap-in
When diagnosing startup problems, you can use the Services snap-in (Services.msc) in safe and normal modes to view service information or to temporarily disable a service that is causing problems (for example, a driver mentioned in a Stop message). You must have administrator permissions to disable or change the service startup type. Certain startup changes are not in effect until you restart the computer.
To disable a service by using the Services snap-in
As Figure 27-3 shows, the Services snap-in displays the name, description, status, and startup type for each service.
After disabling the service, try to start your computer in normal mode. If your system starts in normal mode, you can research a permanent solution for the problem by checking technical information resources.
Startup type settings remain in effect even after you restart the system. You must use the Services snap-in to restore the original Startup type setting. On the General tab of the Services snap-in, you can specify the following startup types for services:
Figure 27-3 Services snap-in
Managing Services by Using Sc.exe
As an alternative to using the Services snap-in, you can use Sc.exe, a command-line tool that communicates with the Service Control Manager and displays information about services running on your computer. Sc.exe enables you to gather the same type of information obtainable from the Services snap-in and to perform many functions including:
For troubleshooting startup, the sc query and sc config commands are the most helpful. The report that follows is an example of the information you can obtain by typing sc query at the command prompt:
For more information about Sc.exe, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center.
Determining Service Dependencies
Some services and drivers that rely on other components are initialized before starting. If a service or driver does not start, the cause might be a dependency requirement that is not met. You can obtain a list of dependencies by using any of the following methods:
You can also check the Event Viewer System log to obtain information about services that do not start due to dependency issues.
For more information about the Services snap-in, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center. For more information about adding or changing service dependencies for troubleshooting purposes, see article Q193888, "How to Delay Loading of Specific Services," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find this article, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.
Determining Which Services and Processes to Temporarily Disable
When you are troubleshooting, the method for determining which services and processes to temporarily disable varies from one computer to the next. The most reliable way to determine what you can disable is to gather more information about the services and processes enabled on your computer.
These Windows XP Professional tools and features generate a variety of logs that can provide you with valuable troubleshooting information:
Error Reporting Service Windows XP Professional provides a Windows error reporting service that monitors your system for problems that affect services and applications. When a problem occurs, you can send a problem report to Microsoft and receive an automated response with more information, such as news about an update for an application, service, or device driver.
For more information about the Error Reporting service, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and also see "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
Dr. Watson If an application error (also known as a program exception) occurs, the Dr. Watson application debugging tool (DrWtsn32.exe) records information about the problem to a log, DrWtsn32.log, located in the systemdrive\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\DrWatson folder. This log contains the following information:
The task and component lists are useful for duplicating the conditions under which an application error occurred. Using the lists as a reference, you can add or remove programs and services until you reproduce the problem. For more information about the Dr. Watson tool, including an overview of the log file and an explanation of the debugging files, see "Setting up Dr. Watson" and "Using the Dr. Watson log file" in Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center.
Boot Logging Boot logging lists the files that successfully and unsuccessfully processed during startup. Boot logging enables you to log the Windows XP Professional components that are processed when you start your computer in safe mode and also in normal mode. By comparing the differences between the two logs, you can determine which components are not required to start.
You can enable boot logging by using either of these methods:
Windows XP Professional records in a log, windir\Ntbtlog.txt, the name and path of each file that runs during startup. The log marks each file as successful (Loaded driver) or unsuccessful (Did not load driver). Boot logging appends entries to Ntbtlog.txt when you start your system in safe mode. Comparing normal mode and safe mode entries enables you to determine which services run in normal mode only. The following lines are sample Ntbtlog.txt entries:
Loaded driver \SystemRoot\System32\DRIVERS\flpydisk.sys
If you cannot start your computer in normal mode, start it in safe mode. For the services that run only in normal mode, disable those services one at a time, trying to restart your computer in normal mode after you disable each service. Continue to individually disable services until your computer starts in normal mode.
For more information about boot logging, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center.
System Information If a startup problem occurs inconsistently and if you can start Windows XP Professional in safe or normal mode, you can use System Information to view driver and service name, status, and startup information.
System Information enables you to create lists of drivers that were processed during safe and normal mode startup. By comparing the differences between the two lists, you can determine which components are not required to start Windows XP Professional. For diagnostic purposes, you can use this list of differences to help you determine which services to disable. In safe mode, disable a service and then try to restart the operating system in normal mode. Repeat this process for each service until you are able to start in normal mode.
To view service or driver information
A related tool, Systeminfo.exe, enables you to view system information, such as processor type, firmware version, and network information, from the command prompt. For more information about System Information and Systeminfo.exe, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center.
Event Viewer (Eventvwr.msc) You can use Event Viewer (Eventvwr.msc) to view logs that can help you to identify system problems. When you are troubleshooting, use these logs to isolate problems by application, driver, or service, and to identify frequently occurring issues. You can save these logs to a file and specify filtering criteria.
Event Viewer provides three logs for computers running Windows XP Professional:
To use Event Viewer to obtain driver and service error information from the System log
A related command-line tool, Event Query (Eventquery.vbs), enables you to search the event logs by using specified criteria. For troubleshooting, using Event Query enables you to view the Event logs for entries related to specified event properties, including date and time, event ID, and user name.
For more information about using Event Viewer, click the Action menu in Event Viewer, and then click Help. For more information about Event Query, click Tools in Help and Support Center.
If you find that recently installed software causes system instability or if error messages consistently point to a specific application, you can use Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel to uninstall the software. If you suspect that an application is causing conflicts, uninstalling software can verify your suspicions. You can then reinstall applications after locating Windows XP Professional updates or other solutions.
For more information about adding or removing programs, see "Add or Remove Programs overview" in Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and also see "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
Infrequently, startup files and critical areas on the hard disk become corrupted. If the corruption is extensive, it might prevent you from starting Windows XP Professional in normal or safe modes, or from using the installed Recovery Console or using the Last Known Good Configuration startup option. In these situations, you can run Recovery Console from the Windows XP Professional operating system CD.
To start Recovery Console from the Windows XP Professional operating system CD
A menu that lists one or more Windows XP Professional installations appears.
From Recovery Console, you can attempt to replace corrupted files with undamaged copies stored on removable disks, such as a floppy disk or the Windows XP Professional operating system CD.
To use the CD-based Recovery Console, you must set the CD-ROM as the primary boot device (the first item listed in the boot order). If the CD-ROM is not listed as a boot-order option in the computer firmware, you cannot start your system by using the Windows XP Professional operating system CD. You must use startup floppy disks to start Windows XP Professional Setup. For more information about startup floppy disks, see the Getting Started Guide, which comes with Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional.
To install Recovery Console as a startup option for x86-based systems
In the preceding command, drive represents the letter of the CD-ROM or network drive that holds the Windows XP Professional installation files.
Using Recovery Console to Disable Services
If you are unable to start Windows XP Professional in normal or safe mode, the cause might be an incorrectly configured driver or service that has caused a Stop message. Stop messages might provide information about the service or driver name, such as a file name. By using Recovery Console, you might be able to disable the problem component and allow the Windows XP Professional startup process to continue in normal or safe mode.
To enable or disable services by using Recovery Console
The computer displays the service or driver name, startup type, and possibly a friendly driver or service name. Record the name of the driver or service that you want to enable or disable.
enable drivername start_type
Possible values for start_type are:
For more information about Stop messages, see "Common Stop Messages for Troubleshooting" in this book.
Using Recovery Console to Restore the Registry Keys HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE\SYSTEM and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE
If the previously discussed recovery methods do not enable you to start Windows XP Professional, you can try replacing the System and Software files, which are in the systemroot\System32\Config folder, with a backup copy from the systemroot\Repair folder. The System and Software files are used by Windows XP Professional to create the registry keys HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE. A corrupted copy of the System or Software file could prevent you from starting Windows XP Professional.
Try other recovery methods before using the manual procedure that follows. The manual procedure enables you to start the operating system, allowing you to perform further repairs by using Windows XP Professional tools.
When using the following procedure, do not replace both the System and Software files as part of a single attempt to start the computer. First, replace one file, and then test whether this action resolves the startup problem. If the problem persists, copy the other file. Which file you decide to replace first (the System or Software file), depends on the information that the Stop error displays (hardware or software related).
Using Recovery Console to replace the System file
copy system <drive:\path\filename>
copy software <drive:\path\filename>
If they exist, save backups of other files that use file names that start with "system" or "software," such as System.sav or Software.sav.
If you are still unable to start your computer, consider performing a parallel operating system installation or an ASR restore operation. For more information about these two recovery options, see "Performing a Parallel Windows XP Professional Installation" and "Saving System Files and Settings by Using Automated System Recovery" later in this chapter. For more information about Stop messages, see "Common Stop Messages for Troubleshooting" in this book.
Consider these points when you replace the System or Software file with a backup copy from the systemroot\Repair folder:
To update the systemroot\Repair directory, use the option to save system state in Backup (Ntbackup.exe). Whenever you perform a backup operation with the System State option enabled, Backup updates the repair folder.
For more information about Backup and saving system state, see "Backup and Restore" in this book. Also see "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
For more information about Recovery Console, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and also see "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
Recovery Console Alternatives
For x86-based systems, you have another option in addition to Recovery Console for accessing FAT16 and FAT32 partitions. If the FAT16 and FAT32 partitions were formatted by using an MSDOS startup floppy disk (FAT16), or an emergency boot disk created in Microsoft® Windows® 95 OSR2, Windows 98, or Windows Me, you can start your computer by using these startup floppy disks. Using the floppy disk method starts the system in a command-line environment that enables read and write access to the disk without using Recovery Console. You can pre-configure startup disks to include commonly used tools and additional drivers that provide CDROM or network access.
For information about creating and using a FAT16 or FAT32 emergency boot disk, see Windows 95 OSR2, Windows 98, or Windows Me Help. You cannot use an MSDOS boot disk or an emergency boot disk to view the contents of NTFS volumes.
Each Boot.ini file contains two sections:
[boot loader] Contains settings that apply to all the Windows XP Professional installations on a computer.
[operating systems] Contains settings that apply to a specific Windows XP Professional installation on the computer.
The default= line in the [boot loader] section points to the default operating system.
For multiple-boot systems that have Windows XP Professional and another Microsoft operating system, such as Windows 2000 Professional, additional entries might appear in the [operating systems] section as shown:
When more than one operating system is installed on a computer, a startup menu appears that is similar to the one shown in Figure 27-4.
Figure 27-4 Example of a startup menu for multiple-boot systems
The Boot.ini file uses the Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) naming convention to define the path to a Windows XP Professional installation. If the contents of the Boot.ini are incorrectly changed or the file becomes corrupt, you might not be able to start Windows XP Professional. To detect and correct Boot.ini problems you need to understand ARC paths.
ARC paths use the following formats:
Windows XP Professional can use any of the preceding formats to locate the systemroot directory.
Multi( ) Syntax The multi( ) syntax instructs Windows XP Professional to rely on system BIOS calls to load system files. To achieve this, Ntldr uses interrupt 13 (also called INT-13) firmware instructions to locate Ntoskrnl.exe and other systemroot files needed to start Windows XP Professional. The multi( ) Boot.ini syntax is used for all controllers that provide INT-13 support for ATA and SCSI disks. Table 27-14 describes the multi( ) parameters, which follow this syntax:
Table 27-14 describes the multi( ) parameters.
Table 27-14 Multi( ) Parameters
SCSI( ) Syntax The scsi( ) syntax informs Windows XP Professional that the startup SCSI controller does not support INT-13 calls and that a device driver, Ntbootdd.sys, is needed to access files on the boot partition.
The scsi( ) parameters follow this format:
Table 27-15 describes the SCSI( ) parameters.
Table 27-15 SCSI( ) Parameters
Signature( ) Syntax The signature( ) syntax shares similarities with the scsi( ) syntax and was implemented to support Plug and Play scenarios where you install additional drive controllers to your system. Windows XP Professional Setup determines whether to use the signature( ) syntax during installation. The signature( ) syntax is valid for systems equipped with either ATA or SCSI hard disks. The signature( ) parameters follow this syntax:
The signature( ) syntax instructs Ntldr to locate the disk with the signature that matches the first value in parentheses, regardless of the controller number associated with the disk. A disk signature is a globally unique identifier (GUID) that is extracted from information in the MBR and written to the disk during the text-mode portion of Windows XP Professional Setup or during previous Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional installations. This 128bit hexadecimal number uniquely identifies the disk.
If you see the signature( ) syntax used in the Boot.ini file, it means that Ntbootdd.sys is required to access the boot partition and one or both of the following conditions exist:
Whenever possible, configure your storage controller to use INT13 BIOS calls. Consult the documentation for the storage adapter to determine the correct hardware settings.
Table 27-16 describes the signature( ) parameters.
Table 27-16 Signature( ) Parameters
NTBootdd.sys File Ntbootdd.sys is a copy of a storage controller device driver that resides on the root of the startup partition. Ntbootdd.sys is used when the Boot.ini specifies the scsi( ) syntax or when the signature( ) syntax is used for disk controllers with disabled firmware.
The Ntbootdd.sys file can be used for ATA disks, depending upon the type of controller used. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for hardware and driver installation when using add-in Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) ATA controllers with Windows XP Professional.
Boot.ini Parameters and Options The Boot.ini file consists of two sections, [boot loader] and [operating systems]. You can customize the startup process by editing these sections. Table 27-17 lists parameters for the [boot loader] section.
Table 27-17 Boot.ini [Boot Loader] Parameters
Table 27-18 lists optional parameters that you can append to the ARC paths contained in the [operating systems] section of the Boot.ini file. For example, the following optional parameters limit memory usage to 64 MB:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\Windows="Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /MAXMEM=64
Table 27-18 Boot.ini [Operating System] Parameters
Editing and repairing the Boot.ini file When you install Windows XP Professional, the hidden file attribute for Boot.ini is set by default. To edit the Boot.ini file, you can use the following tools:
Bootcfg.exe is a new command-line tool for Windows XP Professional.
To use Bootcfg.exe to view or edit the Boot.ini file
For more information about Bootcfg.exe, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center.
To use the System Configuration Utility to edit the Boot.ini file
You can move individual Boot.ini lines up or down, or you can add Boot Options settings to each ARC path by selecting the check box associated with each parameter.
For more information about the System Configuration Utility, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, also see and "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
To use Control Panel to edit the Boot.ini file
Clicking Edit causes Notepad to read the contents of Boot.ini for editing. For multiple-boot systems, the option that you select in Default operating system updates the Boot.ini default= ARC path entry in [boot loader].
When you install Windows XP Professional, the hidden and read only file attributes for the systemdrive\Boot.ini file are set by default. Before using the following procedure, you need to clear these attributes by typing attrib %systemdrive%:\boot.ini -h -r at the command prompt.
To use Notepad or another text editor to edit the Boot.ini file
Replacing a Damaged Boot.ini If your system fails to start due to a damaged Boot.ini file, you can use the following methods to replace the file or to correct errors.
The bootcfg command is a new addition to the Windows XP Professional Recovery Console.
To use the Recovery Console bootcfg command to rebuild a Boot.ini file (Automatic Method)
Windows XP Professional scans the hard disks on your system and checks for Windows installations. You can then rebuild the Boot.ini file.
To use Recovery Console to create a new Boot.ini file (Manual Method)
For more information about installing and using Recovery Console, see "Using Recovery Console" earlier in this chapter and "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book.
A list appears containing hard disk and partition information for Windows XP Professional and other operating systems, such as Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0. Record and use this information to correct errors to an existing Boot.ini file, or to create a new Boot.ini file by using a text editor, such as Notepad, on another computer. (You must use another computer because Recovery Console does not provide text-editing tools.)
When you are trying to copy an existing Boot.ini file to a floppy disk to edit on another computer, be aware that floppy disk write access is disabled by default. For information about using Recovery Console to enable write access to floppy disks, see "Tools for Troubleshooting" in this book, and also see article Q235364, "Description of the SET Command in Recovery Console," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find this article, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.
Bootcfg.exe is a new command-line tool that allows you to add or change Windows XP Professional startup parameters stored in NVRAM. Always use Bootcfg.exe to avoid typing errors that can occur when manually editing settings. For more information about Bootcfg.exe, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center.
To safeguard against corrupted NVRAM data, Setup writes the boot manager entry that corresponds to a specific installation to a file named BootNNNN. Table 27-19 describes a possible scenario where BootNNNN files are written to disk after you install Windows XP Professional three times on the same system (as part of a multiple-boot configuration). In addition, separate WINNT50.x folders exist for each Windows XP Professional installation.
Table 27-19 WINNT50.x Folder and BootNNNN File Details and Locations
In the preceding table, the value of x can vary. For example, if you have also installed two non-Windows-brand operating systems on the computer, the values for x in Table 27-19 could be 3, 4, and 5, representing three successive Windows XP Professional installations. Setup determines the value of NNNN based on the NVRAM boot id entry used during installation, and the value of NNNN depends on the number of boot entries present. Therefore, it is possible for identically named BootNNNN files to exist in two different EFI\Microsoft\WINNT50.x directories.
You can recover from problems caused by corrupted or deleted NVRAM settings by using Nvrboot.efi, which is a menu-driven tool. The Nvrboot.efi tool enables you to restore boot manager startup options saved to BootNNNN files. If the boot manager option that allows you to select one or more Windows XP Professional installations is missing, Nvrboot.efi enables you to restore any or all entries by doing the following:
The steps that you must follow to run Nvrboot.efi vary by computer manufacturer. For more information about starting and using Nvrboot.efi, review your system documentation. Methods that the EFI boot manager might provide to start Nvrboot.efi include startup menu items similar to the following:
Nvrboot.efi also provides other options, such as appending startup parameters listed in Table 27-18.
For more information about using Nvrboot.efi, see article Q298872, "How to Modify NVRAM with Nvrboot.efi," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find these articles, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.
To perform a parallel installation of Windows XP Professional
If more than one usable disk partition exists, Setup displays a list from which you can select. Setup also allows you to create new partitions or delete existing ones. If installing to the same partition as the existing Windows XP Professional installation, Setup prompts you for a file name (for example, Windows.tmp).
Complete the parallel installation and start the second Windows XP Professional installation. You can now access files on other volumes and copy them to a safe location.
If you have a recent ASR backup set to use, you can begin an ASR restore by using the Windows XP Professional operating system CD to start your system. During the text-mode setup phase, wait for the Press F5 to run Automated System Recovery (ASR) prompt to appear. Respond to the prompt by pressing F5, and follow the instructions on the screen.
For more information about ASR or about using Backup to save system state information, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center. Also see "Backup and Restore" in this book.