Ntldr Cannot Load Fragmented System Hive

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Article ID: 265509 - View products that this article applies to.
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Your computer may stop responding (hang) during startup from a hard disk that uses the NTFS file system if the System hive file is too large. The System hive file is located in the %SystemRoot%\System32\Config folder.


Ntldr loads various drivers and system files into memory during an early phase of startup. The System hive is usually the biggest file that is loaded and is likely to be fragmented because it is modified often.

If the System hive file is too fragmented, it is not loaded from an NTFS volume, and the computer hangs. This problem does not occur on volumes that use the FAT or FAT32 file system.


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows 2000. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
260910 How to Obtain the Latest Windows 2000 Service Pack
The English version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:
   Date        Time    Size     File name
   07/18/2000  05:15p  213,904  Ntldr


Method 1

Windows 2000 Recovery Console provides basic commands for manipulating files. You can use Recovery Console to recover from this situation. For additional information about using Recovery Console, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
229716 Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console
To recover from this situation with Recovery Console:
  1. Restart the computer and start Recovery Console.
  2. Type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:
    cd \winnt\system32\config
    rename system system.org
    copy system.org system
Copying the System hive file to a new file creates an unfragmented file.

Method 2

  1. Obtain the hotfixed Ntldr file.
  2. Copy the Boot.ini, Ntdetect.com, and hotfixed Ntldr files to a floppy disk.
  3. Boot the computer from the floppy disk. Ntldr is loaded from the floppy disk; it can load the fragmented System hive file on the NTFS volume. If you have configured the floppy disk correctly, the computer boots.

    Note that you may also need to copy the Ntbootdd.sys file to the floppy disk if your computer boots from a SCSI drive.
  4. After you boot the computer, install the hotfix to update the Ntldr file on the system drive.
For additional information, refer to the "Creating a Windows 2000 Startup Floppy Disk" section of the Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows 2000 Service Pack 2.


For additional information about how to install Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 hotfixes at the same time, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
249149 Installing Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 Hotfixes


Article ID: 265509 - Last Review: October 20, 2013 - Revision: 3.3
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbfix kbwin2000presp2fix KB265509

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