Sometimes, a Windows 2000 PC just won't boot, for whatever reason. After you've tried everything else (alternate boot procedures, safe mode, etc.) you may have to go to the emergency repair process. Many tips leave it at that: Do an emergency boot. But then what? This tip, excerpted from Windows 2000 Professional, The Missing Manual, by Sharon Crawford, published by O'Reilly Associates, offers some detailed info for that worst of all situations.
If you can't get your computer started using Windows 2000 Safe Mode or the Last Known Good Configuration, you should use the Emergency Repair Process. Grab your emergency repair disk (ERD). (NOTE: To create an emergency repair disk, go to Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Backup. On the first screen, click on Emergency Repair Disk, and follow the instructions. You might also want to copy these files from Windows/Command to the ERD: fdisk.exe, format.com, scandisk.exe and edit.com.)
- Boot from the Windows 2000 CD or floppy disks.
To start your PC from the Windows 2000 CD, try inserting the CD and then restarting the computer. If that doesn't work on your PC model, you may have to make changes to the boot procedure, as directed by the manufacturer. And if your system doesn't support booting from the CD-ROM at all, boot from the first of the four Windows 2000 startup floppy disks. (You can make boot floppies by running Makeboot.exe, in the Bootdisk folder on the Windows 2000 CD-ROM.
- Press R to specify that you want to repair an existing installation of Windows 2000, then press R again to specify that you want to use the Emergency Repair Process.
Now a choice of manual or automatic appears.
- Press F to let Windows 2000 automatically repair your system, or M to manually specify which actions Windows 2000 should perform.
Using the Fast Repair option is the quickest and most assured way to get your system functioning; it's the best option form most people. If you want to proceed cautiously, press M and then select the options you want to perform.
Caution: Using the Fast Repair option restores a copy of the Windows 2000 Registry that was created when you first installed Windows 2000, erasing any customization or changes you may have made since, such as installing Service Packs. If this repair is too drastic for you, try the Manual option first.
- Insert your up-to-date Emergency Repair Disk and press Enter to begin repairing your system.
If you don't have an ERD, press L to force Windows 2000 to try to locate where Windows 2000 is installed. If it locates your installation, press Enter to accept it. (Next time keep your ERD updated. Your luck won't always be this good.)
To learn more about Windows 2000 Professional, The Missing Manual, or to buy the book, click here.
This was first published in November 2002