Windows 2000 server - very slow boot

Posted on 2003-11-29
Last Modified: 2010-04-13

Network consists of a single Wiindows 2000 server, acting as domain controller and used exclusively for terminal services...  RAID 5 with an Adaptec 2100S controller.

When booting, Windows sits at the "Starting Windows" prompt (with the blue bar scrolling across the screen and the progress bar about 75% finished).  The disk drive lights are flashing continuously for about 12 minutes, and then finally after a total of 15 minutes or more the server gets to the login prompt.  Once its running, the server is fine and doesn't exhibit any problems.

Do I have a bad or misconfigured Adaptec controller?  Its almost like the drive array is getting rebuilt every time the system is booted.  The only error message (level 1) in the Adaptec Storage Manager log is something about the controller not having a battery, but this particular model I don't believe includes one so I think the message is just informational.

Thanks in advance....
Question by:wesvt1

Expert Comment

ID: 9842153
Maybe check out your LAN properties, & ensure that your DNS server address is pointing to itself (use either it's actual IP address or

Expert Comment

ID: 9842722
good suggestion.. I've seen a lot of hangups due to DNS configuratuion

Try this too. It's a really neat tool from Mike Lin

"Startup Control Panel is a nifty control panel applet that allows you to easily configure which programs run when your computer starts. It's simple to use and, like all my programs, is very small and won't burden your system. A valuable tool for system administrators!

Startup Control Panel is compatible with all modern versions of Windows, including Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, and XP."

"The dialog contains six to seven tabs, depending on your system configuration. Each tab represents one place where a program can be registered to run at system startup. These include:
Startup (user) - the current user's Startup folder in the Start Menu.
Startup (common) - the common (all users) Startup folder in the Start Menu. Appears only on NT and multi-user Win9x systems.
HKLM / Run - the Run registry key located in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. These apply for all users.
HKCU / Run - the Run registry key located in HKEY_CURRENT_USER. These apply for the current user only.
Services - system services that are started before the user logs in. Does not appear on NT since it has its own Services control panel.
Run Once - started once and once only at the next system startup.
Deleted - programs go to the Deleted tab when you remove them from another location. They will not run at system startup, but will merely be stored should you ever want to use them again. If you delete an item from the Deleted tab, it is removed permanently.

Each page contains a list of the programs registered at that location. To manipulate them, right-click (or press Shift-F10). You can select multiple items using the Shift and Control keys. Options include:
New... - create a new entry. Note that you can also drag & drop files from My Computer or Explorer.
Edit... - edit an existing entry.
Delete - delete the currently selected entry.
Disable / Enable - disable or enable the selected entry. A disabled program will appear in the list with a special icon, and will not run at system startup. You can also use the checkbox next to an item to enable or disable it.
Run Now - executes the program now.
Send To - moves the entry from the current location to another.

You can also press F5 to refresh the list at any time."

I use it exclusively for all startup issues that include potentially rogue programs.


Expert Comment

ID: 9844382
It's possible it's a drive issue. As stated in the problem description, the HDD lights go nuts. Have you run the SCSI diags on the drives? I would assume you have, but you never know. I let a SCSI drive go south in a RAID 5 array. It wasn't that big a deal, and needed the drive to die. It finally did, but, in so waiting, I lost the array contents.
Not that big a deal, since was on my home system, but, still...
Good Luck!

Author Comment

ID: 9845041
Thanks for your suggestions....

I don't believe it to be a DNS issue or a software issue (although the startupcpl program looks cool).   When booting, you can hear the drives grinding a way and the yellow activity lights are flashing rapidly, but one at a time (not in unison).  After about 15 minutes, finally the drive lights flash in unison (both yellow and green at this time) and on the console you finally see "loading network settings" or (whatever the exact wording is) and in 30 seconds you get the log on.

I suppose it could be SCSI issue, but the Adaptec logs or diagnostics are not indicating any problems....    I'm wondering if I should just purchase another Adaptec controller to swap with the 2100S that is in there.
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Expert Comment

ID: 9845387
Boy, that's a good question. I doubt replacing the controller would be THE solution, though it may be A solution.
If you aren't showing any issues in the SCSI diags, then most likely nothing wrong with the drives.
How have you implemented your RAID? Software or hardware? Assuming the 2100s supports hardware RAID that is... 8-)


Accepted Solution

ldmeyere earned 125 total points
ID: 9846460
Take a look at this, before replacing the adapter : MS technet, article KB157910

"To work around this issue, disable synchronous negotiation in the BIOS on the Adaptec SCSI host adapter."

I have the same problem on a server with a Compaq SCSI-card, but it's Adaptec-based...
I still have to try the solution, though, as I'm scouring the web for some info right now...

If this doesn't work, you can get more info on what it is exactly that takes all this time, by installing BootVis ( ), which can no longer be downloaded from MS, but you can find it at several file-mirrors :


Author Comment

ID: 9857422
Thanks, I'll take a look at disabling the synchronous negotiation setting....   If it works, I'll let you know.   Also, thanks for the bootvis.exe tip.

Expert Comment

ID: 10135179
Dear Friends

I am facing a problem in Windows 2000 server domain network. All my clients are working excellent except some of them. These clients are very slow when applying security policy screen appears before log on screen comes. If u have any suggestions please help me in this matter.


Expert Comment

ID: 10400734
Hi All,

I am also facing same more bad effect as faced by wesvt1 .

From last two weeks i also have expericenced same symptoms, but on last saturday my system take 30 minutes in booting, after restarting processing
hanged in blus progress bar.  I asked my h/w eng. he said that hard disk has been crashed or media is damaged.

Please advice how can i make my hard disk working again.

With Regards,


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