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When you restart a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 server that is a domain controller, you may receive the following error message:

lsass.exe-System Error: Security Accounts Manager initialization failed because of the following error: Directory Service cannot start. Error Status: 0xc00002e1. Please click OK to shutdown this system and reboot into Directory Services Restore Mode, check the event log for more detailed information.

If you use Event Viewer, you see that the following event is logged:


This problem may occur if the Active Directory directory service contains duplicate cross-reference objects, and these objects represent domains that are in the Partitions container. If there are duplicate cross-reference objects, Windows Server 2003 cannot initialize the Security Accounts Manager (SAM) and Active Directory cannot start. Examples of how you might create a duplicate cross-reference object include the following:

  • You seize the domain naming operations master role while Active Directory is broken for a long period.

  • You seize the domain naming operations master role. Next, you perform an authoritative restore of Active Directory from a backup that was made before you seized the domain naming master role.

Note Microsoft Windows 2000 domain controllers do not verify all the cross-references. Therefore, Windows 2000 domain controllers do not experience this problem.


Hotfix information

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 this specific problem. 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: 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.


No prerequisites are required.

Restart requirement

You must restart your computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later) 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 tool in Control Panel.

Date Time Version Size File name Platform
15-Oct-2003 22:36 5.2.3790.92 1,520,128 Ntdsa.dll x86
15-Oct-2003 23:37 5.2.3790.92 4,008,960 Ntdsa.dll IA-64

This hotfix permits Active Directory to start so that you can remove the duplicate cross-reference objects. After you install this hotfix, remove the duplicate cross-reference objects from Active Directory. Microsoft recommends that you contact Microsoft Product Support Services for help. To contact Microsoft Product Support Services, visit the following Microsoft Web site:;EN-US;CNTACTMS


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.


For more information about cross-reference objects, visit the following Microsoft Web site: For additional information about how to configure Active Directory diagnostic event logging, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

314980 How to configure Active Directory diagnostics event logging in Windows 2000

For additional information about Microsoft 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

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