How to troubleshoot startup problems in Windows Server 2003

Applies to: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition (32-bit x86) More

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.

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.

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: