This article was previously published under Q214762
When you attempt to use a Control Panel tool to change the configuration of a computer running Microsoft Windows NT, you may receive the following error message:
The services database is locked.
This behavior can be caused by a service that is configured to start automatically but cannot be initialized properly.
To identify and prevent a service from locking the services database:
Stop all non-essential services. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Services.
In the list of available services, double-click the service to be modified, click Manual, and then click OK. Repeat this step as necessary with all other non-essential services.
NOTE: If you receive the locked database error message when attempting this step, you can modify the startup parameter of the individual services by editing the registry.For additional information on how to change the service startup values this way, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
158995 Unable to Change the Startup Parameter When a Service Hangs
Once you have changed all non-essential services to start manually, restart the computer.
If you continue to receive the error message, you can change the essential Windows NT services to manual startup (by using the above steps) to identify the service that is locking the database. Essential Windows NT and Windows 2000 services include:
NT LM Security Support Provider
Plug and Play
Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
If you do not receive the error message, you can reset each non-essential service back to automatic startup on an individual basis to isolate the service that cannot start. To do this:
Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Services.
Double-click the service to be modified, click Automatic, and then click OK.