2000 & XP PC's lock up, force restart, and fail due to missing files on restart.
Posted on 2004-10-13
Over the last two days we have seen the following issue repeat itself on 6 workstations (either 2000 or XP). The machine suddenly locks up, forcing the user to reboot. Upon restarting the machine the user recieves either on of these error message:
cannot find \windows\system32\hal.dll
cannot find \windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
It's hard to reload, as most of these machines are not equiped with a floppy drive. We've tried windows repair option, but a windows repair disc is required. We created a windows repair disc off of a similar machine. The machine gets further along in the boot process (to the windows display), and then the infamous blue screen of death appears. I'm assuming since we don't have a repair disk made from these specific machines...with reg files, etc not matching up?
As it stands it appears that our only option is to complete a full reinstall of the OS, but there HAS to be an easier way. More importantly, we need to identify what is causing the issue?
Instantly, most people look at the possibility of a Virus. We have not been able to find any reason to believe this is the case. We run a symantec managed enterprise, with updates automatically recieved via ftp from symantec. these updates come out once a day, as opposed to the "basic" every thursday "automatic" release from symantec. We check for the update evevy two hours. We have not had a virus oubreak since implementing this technology. Our exchange server is protected in the same way.
Where we are more focused on in regards to the issue is a recent change to our network. We are preparing for the migration from 2000 to 2003, and had to add a new DNS, DHCP, & Terminal Services Licensing server, while taking the other one/s offline. This was done at night, and the next day is when the problems began. There are no errors in the event logs indicating a problem with DNS, DHCP, and AD seems to be replicating just fine.
Our goal is to find a solution to the problem once it has occured, and prevent the solution from occuring again. Thanks for your help everyone!