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Can't boot my domain conroller: NTDetect Failed  Please Help!!!!!

Posted on 2004-04-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Help!!

My server was moving very slowly so I rebooted and the "NTDetect Failed" message comes up.

This is my only server, I don't have any backups, and I don't have an Emergency Disk (No I told you so's....)

How can I troubleshoot this?  Can I copy files from the installation CD?

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Question by:a222493
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by:ewtaylor
ID: 10778336
Try powering down and backup doing  a hard reboot. What OS are you running?
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by:a222493
ID: 10778397
I'm running Windows 2000.

I rebooted several dozen times.  I'm trying to use the installation CD to help get things going.

I just noticed that ntdetect.com was missing from the root directory, so I copied it from the CD.  Now I get the following error messege:

Starting Windows.....
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Windows 2000 could not start because of an error in the software.
Please report this problem as :
load needed DLLs for the kernel.
Please contact your support person to report this problem.


Any suggestions?
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10778405
Windows 2000
To resolve this issue in Windows 2000:
Start the computer from the Windows 2000 CD-ROM.
At the "Welcome to Setup" menu select R for repair.
Select Manual Repair.
Select only Startup Environment from the repair options.
When prompted, insert the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD). If you do not have an ERD you can proceed without one.
When the repair process is completed, remove the ERD from the floppy disk drive, and then press ENTER to restart the computer.


KB 242112
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10778410
ah no ERD sorry
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Pete Long earned 250 total points
ID: 10778422
Your only hope is

Repair install

When youve got it fixed post another question and one of us will write you a backup script to at least back up to another PC till you  can save up and buy some backup software!

How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade of Windows 2000
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;292175


Repairing, Recovering, and Restoring an Installation of Windows 2000
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;268106


Differences Between Manual and Fast Repair in Windows
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;238359
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10778551
Or just use ntbackup and point it to a network share...   at least that would be something..  and believe me, you are not the only one that neglects backups..  see it every day..  

I agree, a repair install looks like the only option here...  sadly...
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10778573
One more thing..  I wonder if your hard drive is going south on you..??   Before you go to the trouble of repairing the OS, you might want to run some disk diagnostics on your hard drives..  at least your system partition drive...  You can dnload these diags from the manufacturer, or I can provide you a list of all of them...  but as these experts know, it will fill up this page..  :)

Also, try booting to the Recovery Console and running the chkdsk -r command..  runs a check on the file system of the hard drive..

FE
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by:The_Master_Chief
ID: 10778654
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by:a222493
ID: 10778755
My luck continues...

I follow the steps as outlined in the article above for
1) Insert the Windows 2000 Setup CD into the CD-ROM drive, start the computer, and then press a key to start from the CD-ROM.
2) On the Windows 2000 Setup screen, press ENTER to run the To set up Windows 2000 now, press Enter command.
3) Click Accept to accept the License Agreement.
4) Setup should now detect your installation. NOTE: If the Setup program does not detect a previous installation but just continues to the partitioning screen, there is a problem. An in-place upgrade may not be possible.

Sure enough, the Setup proram does not detect the previous installation, but just continues on to the partioning screen.

Can I somehow perform the install anyway to the directory c:\winnt2 and then point back to the original installation of c:\winnt ?  (Pardon me if this sounds extremely stupid...)

Any other ideas? or am I in big trouble...


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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10778824
Never stupid, but I would definitely ck those drives before continuing on...   You could be at this for the rest of the year if the drives are bad...  
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by:a222493
ID: 10778859
I think that the drive might need to be replaced.  I was hoping that I could get the system back up and running and then use ghost to make an image that I could restore on to the new drive.  (BTW, I did run chkdsk and it seemed to fix a few errors and finish normally.


If I did perform the re-install, I would want to "point back" to the original directory.  Can I do this?
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10779952
This is the tough part..  I have never done a Directory Restore without a backup of the System State..   You would normally use Directory Services Restore mode from the Advanced Startup menu, but since you don't have a backup, I really am at a loss here..  I have a feeling that you will have to rebuild the AD database from scratch, but perhaps another expert may have a workaround.. if so, I would love to hear it..

FE
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by:ewtaylor
ID: 10782997
I guess it is a matter of what he needs to save is it data or the AD Structure? If it is the data you could try slaving the hardrive off a second computer so you can copy things. If it is the AD database I know of no way.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10783092
It looks like you can now access the hard drive with the re-install..  correct..??  If so, the data is still there, but rebuilding the AD will be the issue...  
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by:a222493
ID: 10783447
The drive boots fine now, but my registry is gone (all of the installed programs, AD, DNS...)

All of the software is still on the drive, but the install just created a secont System Root directory (C:\WINNT2).

I think that it's a lost cause...  I purchased a new hard drive, so I'm going to do a complete re-install of everything..  But I'd still like to know if there is a solution.  Might come in handy someday (although I'll be backing up my machine from now on .... ;)

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Assisted Solution

by:Fatal_Exception
Fatal_Exception earned 250 total points
ID: 10784330
There is no solution to your immediate problem, none that I know of at least..   But if you  had a good backup INCLUDING the System State, we could have used ntdsutil to bring your AD structure back to life, and it would have been relatively painless..

So, from here on, when you do your backups, make sure at the very minumum, you backup your System State, which you will find as a checkbox in ntbackup...  BTW:  if you do not have a backup drive (tape or otherwise) you can backup this data over the network to a client, or other member server in your domain...  Just a thought..

Here is a webcast for you to watch, if you have the time...  

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=325560

FE
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11574432
This question needs to be closed out, unless you have a reason to leave it open.  If you would, please accept one of the experts comments, or split the points if more than one expert helped you.  If you do not know how to do this, please go here for help:

How do I close a question?
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/help.jsp#hi9

Closing Questions
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/help.jsp#hs5

Thanks,

FE
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by:jdeclue
ID: 11998676
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
    Split: PeteLong {http:#10778422}; Fatal_Exception {http:#10784330}

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

jdeclue
EE Cleanup Volunteer

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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 12036477
Thanks C101
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