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A computer that is running Windows Server 2003 stops responding (hangs) during startup, and then it displays a black screen. This problem occurs if you have installed the IPv6 protocol on the computer, and you have assigned many IPv6 addresses to the installed interfaces. This problem is very likely to occur if there are more than 50 IPv6 addresses assigned to the interfaces.
This problem occurs because of a deadlock scenario.
To initialize IP addresses, the IPv6 stack creates many work items, and this behavior requires the system to read the registry. However, when the Session Management Subsystem (SMSS) starts, it sets an exclusive lock on the registry. Then, the SMSS tries to generate work items that are expected to be handled by worker threads. However, assume that the worker thread queue is full and that no worker threads are free. In this scenario, all the worker threads are blocked because they are waiting for the registry lock to be released. Therefore, a deadlock occurs.
A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.
If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.
Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.
To apply this hotfix, you must have Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 installed on the computer. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
889100 How to obtain the latest service pack for Windows Server 2003
You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.
Hotfix replacement information
This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.
The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2, x86-based versions
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2, x64-based versions
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2, Itanium-based versions
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
Some known issues may occur after you apply this hotfix. Refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article to verify your specific issue and apply hotfix 956770 as appropriate:
956770 FIX: You may have problems when you add lots of IP addresses on the network adapter of a Windows Server 2003-based computer
For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates