Corrupted SAM Hangs Windows NT Server

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Article ID: 190449 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q190449
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Occasionally, the security accounts manager (SAM) database may become corrupted. If this happens, the Netlogon service may fail to start and access to the server from both the network and the console is prohibited. The following error message may be displayed:

Unable to log you on because the Netlogon service is not running.


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
152734 How to Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 4.

More information

With the addition of the hotfix, if the SAM cannot be loaded on a backup domain controller (BDC) because it is corrupted, the following sequence of events occurs:

  1. The BDC displays a blue screen error message.
  2. The SAM is deleted.
  3. The BDC restarts.
  4. The SAM is re-created with information from the primary domain controller (PDC).
If the SAM is corrupted on the PDC, server, or workstation, a STOP error is raised and the SAM will have to be restored from tape or an emergency repair disk. The STOP error that is encountered is:

STOP: c00000e5 This error indicates that the SAM server has
encountered an internal consistency error in its database. This
catastrophic failure will prevent further operation of SAM.
This message appears on the PDC as a blue screen error message; the PDC then restarts, and this sequence (the error message and the PDC restarting) repeats.


Article ID: 190449 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 3.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
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