inaccessible_boot_device - after Multiprocessor Upgrade

Posted on 2003-12-08
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I have a problem with a recent Dell server upgrade I recently did.  I have a 1600sc with two Xeon processors in it.  Apparently I didn't let Windows 2000 Server know there were two processors when I did the upgrade so it only installed the single processor driver for the machine.  I went into Computer Management and opened the COMPUTER item listed in Device Manger.  Under that icon I noticed it said Single Processor PC so I upgraded that driver to ACPI Multiprocessor PC (included driver from Microsoft).  This is the same driver my other 1600sc is using with two processors.

The machine then asked me to reboot, and I said YES.  It begins to boot up and gets past the bios (the bios posts reads two processors as well).  Once it gets to the Loading Windows 2000 Server screen it quits about two thirds of the way and give a stop error of "inaccessible boot device".  I have gone into the recovery console and tried the FIXBOOT utility as well as replacing the SYSTEM hive (winnt\system32\config\system) with the default hive (winnt\repair\system), but had no success upon reboot.

I am not familiar with all the tool available to me in the recovery console, but I was hoping that I could adjust the processor driver back to the original somewhere in the recovery console.  The only other variable that I must mention is that I have a RAID 5 (PERC4/SC card from Dell) configuration on the boot drive.  It is a 36 gig raid divided into a 10gig (C Drive) and 27 gig (D Drive).  The boot partition is the C drive of this RAID.  I am able to access both partitions once I load the special PERC drivers and enter the recovery console as Administrator.

If for some reason I can not recover this machine I was considering doing a Parallel Install on the C drive and then trying to RESTORE the registry so that I would keep all the files in place on the C & D drive and once the registry hive was replaced I it would operate as it used to without needing to install all the programs again.;EN-US;266465

Any comments or feedback or help on getting this machine fixed would be greatly appreciated.

Question by:a_d_m_i_n

Expert Comment

ID: 9901318
have you tried running in the recovery console.
chkdsk /r

thats what i usually do when i get inaccessible_boot_device error.

LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 9902504
You might want to take a look at these:

Stop 0x7B or “0x4,0,0,0” Error

How to Move a Windows 2000 Installation to Different Hardware

Expert Comment

ID: 9909994
Sorry, but I fear the worst for you.

I believe it's generally accepted that you cannot change the number of processors running on a W2K server OS.  You need to re-install windows.  I personally don't know if a repair installation will do the trick, but I doubt it.

Best of luck.
How your wiki can always stay up-to-date

Quip doubles as a “living” wiki and a project management tool that evolves with your organization. As you finish projects in Quip, the work remains, easily accessible to all team members, new and old.
- Increase transparency
- Onboard new hires faster
- Access from mobile/offline

LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 9910596
How to Move a Windows 2000 Installation to Different Hardware;en-us;Q249694

This includes switching to multiprocessor ;-)
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Luc Franken
ID: 9968699
a_d_m_i_n, some feedback please..
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

Luc Franken earned 250 total points
ID: 10090108
I think I gave enough information to get this problem solved.

Expert Comment

ID: 20801767
Guru this is not the solution but rather how to prevent Inaccessible_Boot_Device in the first place.

Microsoft has written a KB on how to change the HAL system on a W2k OS with Inaccessible_Boot_Device error WITHOUT reinstalling!!!

What is key in this, and what I learned from causing 4 hours downtime in a semiconductor factory is:

You CANNOT swtich between ACPI HAL and non-ACPI HAL under any circumstances!!!!!

You can only switch between SINGLE or multi-processor of the same type that was chosen during install!!!!!

Standard PC = non-ACPI single processor OS and cannot be changed at all!!! conveys this matrix and that Windows 2003 does not let you FUBAR a system like 2000 does.

HAL (or Hardware Abstraction Layer) is changed via the computer type at the top of device manager.

This is the interface between your hardware and the OS that everything interacts with.

You cannot change this type because the PnP device tree in the registry is totally different between the two and when you try to boot one OS type with a hardware tree of another type created only during initial OS installing, it cannot find ANY hardware including the drive controller and thus the misleading error inaccessible_Boot_Device.

Read this entire article BEFORE changing the HAL at all.  With this info you can enable SMP safely and revert back quickly if you screw up.

Be sure you have the appropriate bootable OS CD that is the proper service pack.  If you have one but not the right service look up SLIP STREAMING to apply your SP to an OS installation image.  Also ALREADY have a floppy with your boot controller driver ready so you can initiate WIndows 2000 Setup with drive access.  Remember to verify your server has a floppy drive that Setup recognizes as A drive and get a compatible USB floppy drive if you need to.

Be sure to hit F6 and F7 so you can load your hard drive driver AND pick the CORRECT HAL.

When you run the emergency repair process to fix your HAL screwup, it will ask what to do with each file it finds that is different from the CD.  Hit ESC for EVERY FILE EXCEPT:


This way you won't revert hundreds of OS files that were updated from patches and FUBAR it.
You cannot recover from this if you do without restoring a backup.

Be sure to hit F6 and F7 so you can load your hard drive driver AND pick the CORRECT HAL at the start of setup so setup knows what set of the above files to push from the CD.;EN-US;237556

Featured Post

How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails

Join & Write a Comment

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Server 2008 Server 2003 Server 2000 12 640
Recovering backup .Qic files on Windows 7 6 2,136
Remote Desktop Software 6 440
Corrupted W2K  serverregistry 2 144
NTFS file system has been developed by Microsoft that is widely used by Windows NT operating system and its advanced versions. It is the mostly used over FAT file system as it provides superior features like reliability, security, storage, efficienc…
In this article, I will show you HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Windows on a VMware Windows virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) Host Server, using the VMware Host Client. The virtual machine has Windows Server 2016 instal…
Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.
When you create an app prototype with Adobe XD, you can insert system screens -- sharing or Control Center, for example -- with just a few clicks. This video shows you how. You can take the full course on Experts Exchange at

758 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

19 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now