Error Message: Stop c000021a {Fatal System Error} The Session Manager Initialization System Process...

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Article ID: 317189 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you start your Windows NT 4.0-based computer, you may receive the following error message:
Stop c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The session manager initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc0000017 (0x00000000, 0x0000000) The system has been shut down.
After you receive this error message, your computer may restart so quickly that you are unable to obtain the details of the memory address. This symptom may prevent Windows NT from being able to write a valid Memory.dmp file. You may be unable to resolve this issue by disabling all third-party services, or by repairing your Windows NT installation by using an ERD.

CAUSE

The error message that is listed in the "Symptoms" section of this article is often caused by pending file-rename operations that are scheduled in the Windows NT registry, but that cannot be completed.

Programs or Setup programs may schedule a file to be renamed on the next restart of Windows NT if the program is prevented from renaming a file because the file is in memory.

Windows NT checks a registry key for file-rename operations to be completed early in the boot process. If the file-rename operation cannot be completed because the file or folder does not exist, the error message that is listed in the "Symptoms" section of this article is generated.

RESOLUTION

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

To resolve this issue:
  1. Create a parallel installation of Windows NT.For additional information how to do so, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    259003 How and Why to Perform a Parallel Installation of Windows NT 4.0
  2. Start your computer to the parallel installation of Windows NT, and then start Registry Editor.
  3. On the Window menu, click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE on Local Machine.
  4. On the Registry menu, click Load Hive.
  5. Type the path to the System hive of the prior installation, typically %systemroot%\system32\config\system, and then click Open.
  6. When you are prompted for the name of the key, type TEST, and then view the following registry entry:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TEST\Select
  7. Note the setting for the Current DWord value in the preceding registry key. This is typically 0x1, and is represented as CURRENT:Reg_Dword:0x1. This value indicates that the "CurrentControlSet" for your original Windows NT installation corresponds to ControlSet001 in this window. A value of 2 would indicate that the "CurrentControlSet" for your original Windows NT installation would correspond to ControlSet002, and so on.
  8. Locate the following registry key
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TEST\ControlSetXXX\Control\Session Manager
    where XXX is the CurrentControlSet that you identified in the preceding step.
  9. Under the Session Manager key, note and then delete any PendingFileRenameOperations entries.
  10. Click the TEST hive, and then click Unload Hive on the Registry menu.
  11. On the Registry menu, click Load Hive.
  12. Type the path to the Software hive of the prior installation, typically %systemroot%\system32\config\Software, and then click Open.
  13. When you are prompted for the name of the key, type TEST2.
  14. Remove any PendingFileRenameOperations entries in the following registry keys:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TEST2\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TEST2\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnceEx
  15. Click the TEST2 hive, and then click Unload Hive on the Registry menu.
  16. Quit Registry Editor, and then restart your original installation.

Properties

Article ID: 317189 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 2.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 5
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6a
Keywords: 
kbenv kberrmsg kbprb KB317189

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