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Troubleshooting Boot Process - Creating a Windows Boot Disk

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Troubleshooting Boot Process

Creating a Windows Boot Disk

Format a blank floppy, using the option “Quick Format”




Copy the following files from the root of C: to the disk 

ntldr,

boot.ini

ntdetect.com

Restart the computer with the boot disk to ensure it works

Troubleshooting the Boot Process using the Boot Disk Created

Delete ntldr from the root of C: then try rebooting the computer without the boot disk. What happens? Why?

Reboot the computer with the boot disk. What happens? Why?

Copy ntldr back to the root of drive C.

Reboot the computer without the boot disk. What happens? Why?

Delete ntdetect.com from the root of C: then try rebooting the computer without the boot disk. What happens? Why?

Reboot the computer with the boot disk. What happens? Why?

Copy ntdetect.com back to the root of drive C.

Reboot the computer without the boot disk. What happens? Why?

Delete boot.ini from the root of C: then try rebooting the computer without the boot disk. What happens? Why?

Installing Recovery Console so that it appears as a menu option

With Windows running, insert the Setup CD into your CD-ROM drive

Click Start and select Run

Type the following where D: is the CD-ROM drive letter: D:i386winnt32.exe /cmdcons

Follow the instructions on the screen

Reboot and check your boot.ini file to ensure that Recovery Console is now an option

Using Last Known Good Configuration on the Advanced Startup Menu

There are times when you install a driver or modify a service within Windows XP and doing so causes problems. One of the options you have to repair such a situation is a “Last Known Good Configuration”. LKGC is a boot option available by pressing F8 early in the boot. It allows you to boot Windows XP with a version of the registry that existed before you made the changes. This lab will allow you to make a change to your registry and then boot using the LKGC to remove the change. Keep in mind that LKGC only works provided you do not successfully log in to Windows. If you log into Windows, this repair option is no longer available.

Select start, run and type regedit to access the Windows XP registry editor

Find the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServiceslanmanworkstationDisplayName

Double click DisplayName and where it says workstation, change it to say “error”



Close the registry

Open Computer Management

Select Services and Applications click Services

Scroll to the very bottom service which should be workstation. Double click workstation and view the Display name. It should read Error. Confirm this

To fix the problem, you will reboot your computer and select the Last Known Good Configuration. By doing this, you will boot a version of the registry that exists where you did not make this change. You must select Last Known Good Configuration before logging back on to Windows. If you restart and log on normally, the change you made will be permanent

Restart the computer. At the Boot selection menu press F8. This will bring up the Windows Advanced Options Menu

Select Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked).

At the next screen, be sure to select Windows XP Professional if given an option.

After logging on as the Administrator, open Computer Management and confirm that the Display Name is Workstation and not error. Why did this happen?

Booting Into Safe Mode

Safe mode boots using a minimal set of drivers and services, including basic video card settings. If a newly installed or configured device driver or service is causing a problem, safe mode may allow you to fix the problem and then boot normally again.

Restart the computer. At the Boot selection menu press F8. This will bring up the Windows Advanced Options Menu. Select Safe Mode

What is the visual difference between safe mode and a regular boot?

Using System Restore to Return to a Previous Working Version

System Restore is used to return your computer to a previous working condition without damaging data files. It is used to repair incorrect system settings, faulty drivers, or incompatible applications which have caused your system unstable. Windows XP during normal operation is creating snapshots of your system and storing them in a special folder on the hard drive. Using System Restore Wizard you can return to a default restore or you can also create a custom restore point. You should create a custom restore point after a major change in your system, adding new hardware or applications. Note: system restore is not a substitute for regular backups of data files.

Open the START menu ProgramsAccessoriesSystem Tools

Click on System Restore. This opens the system restore wizard

Click on create restore point and then Next

Provide a descriptive name for the restore point so that your can easily refer to it, if you need to restore your computer

Click Close when the Wizard finishes. Note the date and time of the restore point is added automatically

Using Automated System Restore (ASR)

The best way to correct a boot problem is to plan for disaster recovery. Windows XP has an excellent tool called Automated System Recovery (ASR), but it is a 'last ditch' tool to be used when the computer can't boot into any mode, such as safe mode or LKGC. ASR is not the same as System Restore. When using ASR to restore a hard drive the system partition is formatted. ASR is a 2 step process: it backs up important files on the system partition and then creates a floppy disk to be used with the backup files to restore the system. The ASR diskette is machine specific and can only be used to restore files backed up from the same machine. You can not restore files using ASR over a network or from a different machine.

Navigate to ProgramsAccessoriesSystem ToolsBackup

When the Backup wizard appears, click on Advanced mode. This opens the ASR Wizard

Do not execute the Wizard. It will take too long to back up all system information and data files during lab time, but you may wish to use this feature at home to protect your system. Given the size of today's hard drives, ASR only makes sense if your system has a writeable DVD drive, or an external backup USB drive.






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