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Directory Services Does Not Start If Ntds.dit File Is Missing
Article ID: 240362 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q240362
NoticeThis article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center
(http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=http%3a%2f%2fsupport.microsoft.com%2fwin2000)is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy
When you start a Windows 2000-based domain controller, you may receive the following Lsass.exe error message:
Directory Services could not start because of the following error: The system cannot find the file specified. Error Status: 0xc000000f. Please click OK to shutdown the system and reboot into the Directory Services Restore Mode, check the event log for more detailed information.
This behavior can occur if the Ntds.dit file is missing from the location you specified during the promotion process. By default, the location is the %SystemRoot%\NTDS folder. If the Ntds.dit file is missing, it cannot be re-created or refreshed by other domain controllers, and you cannot log on to Windows 2000 normally. The Ntds.dit file contains your Active Directory, including user accounts.
To resolve this issue, restore the Ntds.dit file to the appropriate location, using either of the following methods:
Method 1: Restoring the Ntds.dit File from Windows 2000 Backup
Method 2: Copying the Ntds.dit File to the Correct Location