How to troubleshoot startup problems in Windows Server 2003

For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 315396 .

For a Windows XP version of this article, see 308041 .

Summary

This article describes procedures that you can use to troubleshoot startup problems in Windows Server 2003.

A successful Windows startup includes the following phases:
  • Initial phase
  • Boot loader phase
  • Kernel phase
  • Logon phase
If a problem occurs during any of these phases, Windows may not start correctly, and you may experience the following problems:
  • The computer stops responding (hangs).
  • You receive an error message.
If a startup problem occurs after you click Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on either the boot loader menu, or when you receive the "Please select the operating system to start" message, files that the operating system needs may be missing or damaged. Windows provides several options that you can use to troubleshoot this issue, including safe mode, the Recovery Console, and an Automated System Recovery.

How to start the computer by using the last known good configuration
How to start the computer in safe mode
Use Event Viewer to identify the cause of the startup problem
Use System Information to identify the cause of the startup problem
View the safe mode boot log file
Use Device Manager to identify the cause of the startup problem
How to use System Configuration Utility
Create a clean environment for troubleshooting
Isolate problems by using system startup options
Isolate problems by using Selective Startup options
Isolate problems by using the Startup tab
Troubleshoot System Services
Troubleshoot the System.ini file
Troubleshoot the Win.ini file

Troubleshoot the Boot.ini file

Only system administrators and advanced users should try to change the Boot.ini file. Steps for troubleshooting Boot.ini are beyond the scope of this article.

For more information, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To do this, go to the Microsoft Support website.
Reset System Configuration Utility to normal startup
Use the Windows Recovery Console
Confirm that your hard disk or file system is not damaged
How to use Automated System Recovery
Create an ASR disk set by using Backup
How to repair your installation of Windows

How to use the Microsoft Support website to find a solution

If you cannot resolve the problem by following the steps in this article, you can use the Microsoft Support website to find a solution to your problem. The following list describes some of the services that the Microsoft Support website provides:
Properties

Article ID: 325375 - Last Review: Jul 12, 2013 - Revision: 1

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