You cannot start your computer after you modify the permissions in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, or in Windows 2000

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Article ID: 883275 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

This article describes error messages that you may receive after you modify some security permissions on your computer that is running Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000. This article discusses how to resolve these issues on each operating system. It also discusses how to resolve a paging file issue that you may experience after you resolve the security permissions issue.

SYMPTOMS

After you modify the security permissions for the system boot partition, you may experience one or more of the following issues:
  • When you start the computer, you receive the following Stop error message on a blue screen:
    STOP: 0xC000021A {Fatal System Error}

    The session manager initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xxxxxxxxx. The system has been shut down.
  • When you try to perform a repair operation, an in-place upgrade, or a parallel installation of Microsoft Windows, you receive the following error message:
    NTLDR is MISSING

CAUSE

These issues may occur if the SYSTEM account does not have the required permissions to provide access to the system files and to the system folders.

RESOLUTION

To resolve these issues, reset the permissions on the Windows boot partition to include the Everyone group. To do this, follow the steps for your operating system listed in the following sections.

Note Before following the steps for your operating system, you will need to have the following prepared:
  • For Windows Server 2003: an Automated System Recovery set

    For additional information on Automated System Recovery in Windows Server 2003, click to view the following Microsoft Web site: http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/Library/eb397b22-aa00-4beb-9fea-f7e7a0cb706b1033.mspx
  • For Windows XP: an Automated System Recovery set For additional information on Automated System Recovery in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    818903 Automated System Recovery overview in Windows XP
  • For Windows 2000: a boot disk
You can also complete the following steps if you have a drive or partition where you can install an operating system.

Microsoft Windows Server 2003

  1. Start the computer by using a Windows Server 2003 Automated System Recovery (ASR) set. If you cannot access Windows after you start the computer this way, perform a new installation of Windows Server 2003 onto a separate partition or drive.

    Warning If you install a new installation of Windows Server 2003 in the same folder as the existing installation, you will delete the existing installation, including all the existing accounts.

    During the parallel installation of Windows, you may receive a message that is similar to the following:
    NTLDR, ARCLDR, and NTDETECT.COM could not be copied to drive C.
    You can safely ignore this message.

    If you receive a "Missing NTLDR" error message or a "Missing operating system" error message, update the Boot.ini file of the ASR set to point to new Windows installation. For example, update the Boot.ini file to the following:
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\winnt2 = "Microsoft Windows Server 2003" /fastdetect
    When the installation process has completed, use the ASR set to log on to the new installation of Windows Server 2003.
  2. After you log on to the new installation of Windows Server 2003, take ownership of the original system root folder, and then assign the appropriate permissions. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type Explorer.exe, and then click OK.
    2. Expand My Computer, expand the drive that contains the original system files, right-click the folder that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    3. On the Security tab, click Advanced.
    4. On the Owner tab under Change owner to, click the account that you want to grant ownership to, and then click OK two times.
    5. Right-click the folder that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    6. Click Add, type Everyone, click Check Names, and then click OK.
    7. On the Security tab, click Everyone, click Full Control, and then click OK.
  3. Restart your computer, log on to the original installation of Windows Server 2003, and then reset the Windows permissions. To reset the Windows permissions, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type Explorer.exe, and then click OK.
    2. Expand My Computer, expand the drive that contains the original system files, right-click the folder that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    3. On the Security tab, click Administrators, click Full Control under Allow, and then click Apply.
    4. On the Security tab, click System, click Full Control under Allow, and then click Apply.
    5. On the Security tab, click Everyone, click Remove, and then click OK.

Microsoft Windows XP

  1. Start the computer by using a Windows XP ASR set. If you cannot access Windows after you start the computer this way, perform a new installation of Windows XP onto a separate partition or drive.

    Warning If you install a new installation of Windows XP in the same folder as the existing installation, you will delete the existing installation, including all the existing accounts.

    During the parallel installation of Windows, you may receive a message that is similar to the following:
    NTLDR, ARCLDR, and NTDETECT.COM could not be copied to drive C.
    You can safely ignore this message.

    If you receive a "Missing NTLDR" error message or a "Missing operating system" error message, update the Boot.ini file of the ASR set to point to the new installation of Windows XP. For example, update the Boot.ini file to the following:
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\winnt2 = "Microsoft XP Professional" /fastdetect
    When the installation process has completed, use the ASR set to log on to the new installation of Windows XP.
  2. After you log on to the new installation of Windows XP, take ownership of the original system root folder, and then assign the appropriate permissions. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type Explorer.exe, and then click OK.
    2. Expand My Computer, expand the drive that contains the original system files, right-click the drive that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    3. On the Security tab, click Advanced.
    4. On the Owner tab under Change owner to, click the account that you want to grant ownership to, and then click OK two times.
    5. Expand My Computer, expand the drive that contains the original system files, right-click the drive that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    6. On the Security tab, click Add, type Everyone, click Check Names, and then click OK.
    7. On the Security tab, click Everyone, click Full Control, and then click OK.
  3. Restart your computer, log on to the original installation of Windows XP, and then reset the Windows permissions. To reset the Windows permissions, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type Explorer.exe, and then click OK.
    2. Expand My Computer, expand the drive that contains the original system files, right-click the folder that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    3. On the Security tab, click Administrators, click Full Control under Allow, and then click Apply.
    4. On the Security tab, click System, click Full Control under Allow, and then click Apply.
    5. On the Security tab, click Everyone, click Remove, and then click OK.

Microsoft Windows 2000

  1. Start the computer by using a Windows 2000 boot disk. If you cannot access Windows after you start the computer this way, perform a new installation of Windows 2000 onto a separate partition or drive.

    Warning If you install a new installation of Windows 2000 in the same folder as the existing installation, you will delete the existing installation, including all the existing accounts.

    During the parallel installation of Windows, you may receive a message that is similar to the following:
    NTLDR, ARCLDR, and NTDETECT.COM could not be copied to drive C.
    You can safely ignore this message.

    If you receive a "Missing NTLDR" error message or a "Missing operating system" error message, update the Boot.ini file on the Windows 2000 boot disk to point to the new installation of Windows 2000. For example, update the Boot.ini file to the following:
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\winnt2 = "Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
    When the installation process has completed, use the boot disk to log on to the new installation of Windows 2000.
  2. After you log on to the new installation of Windows 2000, take ownership of the original system root folder, and then assign the appropriate permissions. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type Explorer.exe, and then click OK.
    2. Expand My Computer, expand the drive that contains the original system files, right-click the folder that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    3. On the Security tab, click Advanced.
    4. On the Owner tab under Change owner to, click the account you want to grant ownership to, and then click OK two times.
    5. Right-click the folder that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    6. On the Security tab, click Add, type system;administrators, click Check Names, and then click OK.
    7. On the Security tab, click Everyone, click Full Control, and then click OK.
  3. Restart your computer, log on to the original installation of Windows 2000, reset the Windows permissions, and then remove the Everyone group. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type Explorer.exe, and then click OK.
    2. Expand My Computer, expand the drive that contain the original system files, right-click the folder that contains the original system files, and then click Properties.
    3. On the Security tab, click Administrators, click Full Control, click SYSTEM, click Full Control, and then click Apply.
    4. On the Security tab, click Everyone, and then click to clear the following check boxes:
      • Full Control
      • Modify
      • Read & Execute
      • List Folder Contents
      • Read
      • Write
    5. Click OK.

MORE INFORMATION

When Windows starts, you may receive an error message that is similar to the following:
Limited Virtual Memory Your system has no paging file, or the paging file is too small.
To resolve this issue, follow the steps for your operating system.

Windows Server 2003

  1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties. The System Properties dialog box appears.
  2. In the System Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
  3. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Performance. The Performance Options dialog box appears.
  4. In the Performance Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
  5. On the Advanced tab, click Change. The Virtual Memory dialog box appears.
  6. Under Drive [Volume Label] in the Virtual Memory dialog box, click the drive where you want to create a new paging file or where you want to modify an existing paging file.
  7. Use one of the following methods:
    • To create a new paging file, click Custom size, type a paging file size in the Initial size (MB) box, and then type a larger paging file size in the Maximum size (MB) box.
    • To increase the paging file size, type a larger paging file size in the Maximum size (MB) box.
  8. Click Set, and then click OK three times to close all the dialog boxes.

Windows XP

  1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties. The System Properties dialog box appears.
  2. In the System Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
  3. Under Performance, click Settings. The Performance Options dialog box appears.
  4. In the Performance Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
  5. Under Virtual memory, click Change. The Virtual Memory dialog box appears.
  6. Under Drive [Volume Label] in the Virtual Memory dialog box, click the drive where you want to create a new paging file or where you want to modify an existing paging file.
  7. Use one of the following methods:
    • To create a new paging file, click Custom size, type a paging file size in the Initial Size (MB) box, and then type a larger paging file size in the Maximum size (MB) box.
    • To increase the paging file size, type a larger paging file size in the Maximum size (MB) box.
  8. Click Set, and then click OK three times to close all the dialog boxes.

Windows 2000

  1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties. The System Properties dialog box appears.
  2. In the System Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
  3. On the Advanced tab, click Performance Options.
  4. In the Performance Options dialog box, click Change. The Virtual Memory dialog box appears.
  5. Under Drive [Volume Label] in the Virtual Memory dialog box, click the drive where you want to create a new paging file or where you want to modify an existing paging file.
  6. Use one of the following methods:
    • To create a new paging file, type a paging file size in the Initial size (MB) box, and then type a larger paging file size in the Maximum size (MB) box.
    • To increase the paging file size, type a larger paging file size in the Maximum size (MB) box.
  7. Click Set, and then click OK three times to close all the dialog boxes.

REFERENCES

For additional information about how to apply the default NTFS file system security to a Windows 2000 boot partition, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
237399 The default NTFS permissions are not applied to a converted boot partition
For additional information about how to perform a parallel installation of Windows 2000 or of Windows Server 2003, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
266465 How to perform a parallel installation of Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003
For additional information about how to modify the Boot.ini file, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
311578 How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows 2000
For additional information about the "NTLDR is missing" error message, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
318728 How to troubleshoot the "NTLDR is missing" error message in Windows 2000
For additional information about how to resolve the "NTLDR is missing" error message in Windows Server 2003, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
320397 You receive an "NTLDR is missing" error message when you start your computer
For additional information about how to use a boot disk, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
101668 How to use a Windows boot disk to prevent boot failure in Windows 2000 or Windows NT

Properties

Article ID: 883275 - Last Review: October 30, 2006 - Revision: 3.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbsecurity kbpermissions kbtshoot kbprb KB883275

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