This article was previously published under Q216207
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If your startup system files or the Windows NT registry is corrupted or changed, you can use the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) to return the system to a bootable state. This article provides information on the repair process and how to use the ERD.
Maintaining a current ERD is just as important as having a current computer backup. When you make configuration changes to your computer (such as installing new software, changing software configuration, altering network configuration, hardware changes, or operating system updates), you should update your ERD with the Rdisk.exe or the To Do List, which starts Rdisk.exe for you.
The purpose of the ERD is to restore a computer to a bootable state; it is not a replacement for regular backups. You can use the ERD to replace damaged system files, restore damaged or incorrect registry information, and rebuild the startup environment.
When your run Rdisk.exe, an ERD is created that includes:
System registry hive (System._)
Software registry hive (Software._)
SAM and security database registry hives (Sam._ and Security._)
Default user profile (Default._)
New user profile (Ntuser.da_) version 4.0 only
This information is stored in the Winnt.sbs\Repair folder, which is created during installation. This folder is updated when the floppy disk is updated.
Creating an ERD
In the Manage Server Console To Do List, there is an option to create an ERD. Microsoft Product Support Services recommends that you create an ERD during Setup so that you have the proper tools available in case recovery becomes necessary.
Start the ERD process using either of the following methods:
Click Start, click Run, type Rdisk.exe, and then press ENTER.
In Management Console, click More Tasks, click Manage Disks, and then click Create an Emergency Repair Disk to start the ERD process.
Click Update Repair Info, and then click Yes (this ensures the repair information is current).
A message asking you if you want to create an Emergency Repair Disk appears. Click Yes, insert a blank floppy disk, and then click OK.
A few dialog boxes appear. When the dialog box containing the message, "Windows NT repair information contains security sensitive data," appears, click OK, and then click Exit.
Using the ERD
Rename the Winnt.sif file to Winnt.bak on BackOffice Small Business Server (SBS) Setup Disk 2.
It is recommended that you create a backup set of boot floppy disks for this procedure. For additional information about creating boot floppy disks for SBS, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Start up using Setup Disk 1, and then insert Disk 2 when you are prompted to do so.
Press R when the following message is displayed:
Welcome to SetupThe Setup program for the Microsoft Windows NT operating system version 4.0 prepares Windows NT to run on your computer.To learn more about Windows NT Setup before continuing, press F1.To set up Windows NT now, press ENTER.To repair a damaged Windows NT version 4.0 installation, press R.To quit Setup without installing Windows NT, press F3.
Choose the options you want to repair, click Continue, and then press ENTER when the following message appears:
As part of the repair process, Setup will perform each of the optional tasks shown below with an "X" in its check box. To perform the selected tasks, press ENTER to indicate "Continue."If you want to select or deselect any item in the list, press the UP or DOWN arrow key to move the highlight to the item you want to change. Then press ENTER. [X]Inspect registry files. [X]Inspect startup environment. [X]Verify Windows NT system Files. [X]Inspect Boot Sector. Continue (perform selected tasks)F1=Help F3=Exit ESC=Cancel
Explanation of these Options
Inspect Registry Files This option takes you to a second screen. It attempts to load each file that is selected from the screen into the registry to determine if it is corrupted. If Setup determines that part of the registry is corrupted, it recommends that the file be restored. You can accept or ignore the recommendation.
Inspect Startup Environment This option checks the boot files such as Ntldr, Ntdetect.com, and so on.
Verify Windows NT System Files This option uses the Checksum program to verify that each file in the installation is good and matches the files that were originally installed. If files are missing or corrupted, they can be restored from the installation disks or CD-ROM.
Inspect Boot Sector This option repairs the boot sector on the boot drive and reinstalls Boot Loader functionality.
Press ENTER to let Setup detect the mass storage device, or press S to specify a device. (If you choose S, you need the mass storage driver disk provided by your manufacturer.)
Insert Disk 3, and then press ENTER. Setup displays any detected mass storage devices. If no mass storage devices are detected, you can specify any at this point. Press ENTER to continue.
Insert the Emergency Repair Disk, press ENTER, and then press ENTER again. A message is displayed asking you if you want to check for corruption on the hard disk. You can press ENTER to check for corruption, or press ESC to skip this process.
Select the items you want to repair, click Continue, and then press ENTER. This brings you to a screen that looks and functions just like the screen in step 4.
Follow the instructions on the screen. A prompt appears if problems are found (such as non-original files, and so on).
A message appears saying the repair is finished. Remove any floppy disks or CD-ROMs from the computer, and then restart the computer.
For additional information, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
129037 Windows NT 3.5x and 4.0 Emergency Repair Process Screens
150497 How to Repair Windows NT System Files Without a CD-ROM Attached
126464 Repair Disk Utility Does Not Update SAM and Security Hives
122857 RDISK /S and RDISK /S- Options in Windows NT
164471 Replacing System Files Using a Modified Emergency Repair Disk
165418 Before Installing a Windows NT Service Pack
166157 ERD Err: 'The following value in the setup information file'
162788 RDISK Error: 'One Or More Configuration Files Were Not Found'