"SERVICES.EXE Terminated Unexpectedly with Status Code 128" Error Message When You Start Windows 2000

This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.


When you start Windows 2000 Server and the "Preparing network connections" message is displayed, you may receive the following error message:

The system is shutting down. Please save all work in progress and log off. Any unsaved changes will be lost. This shutdown was initiated by NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM.

The system process C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\SERVICES.EXE terminated unexpectedly with status code 128. The system will shut down and restart.


This issue may occur if there are incorrect references to shared folders in the following registry key:
This issue may also occur if a stale security value is left for shares that no longer exist under the following registry key:


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, follow these steps:
  1. Restart the computer in Safe mode:
    1. Restart the computer.
    2. Press F8 when you receive the "Please select the operating system to start" message.
    3. On the Windows Advanced Options menu, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER.
    4. If you are running other operating systems on the computer, use the arrow keys to select Microsoft Windows 2000 in the list that is displayed, and then press ENTER.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then press ENTER.
  3. Locate and then click the following registry key:
  4. Back up the registry key:
    1. On the Registry menu, click
      Export Registry File.
    2. In the File name box, type
      Shares_RegKey, and then click Save.

      This step saves the Shares registry key to the Shares_RegKey text file, which you can use to restore the key in the future. By default, the file is saved in the My Documents folder. For information about how to restore the key, search Regedit Help for the Import Registry Key topic.
  5. Examine the list of values in the right pane of Registry Editor.

    Notice that the Data column contains the paths to shared folders. For example, you may see a line similar to the following:
    CSCFlags=0 MaxUses=4294967295 Path=E:\NS Permissions=0 Remark= Type=0
    This refers to the E:\NS shared folder.
  6. For each value, use Windows Explorer to make sure that the path displayed in the Data column represents an existing shared folder. Delete all values that do not correspond to shared folders.
  7. Quit Registry Editor, and then restart the computer.

Article ID: 318447 - Last Review: Dec 16, 2009 - Revision: 1