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  1. Introduction
  2. Capabilities
  3. Structure
  4. The Registry
  5. System and Configuration Files
  6. Security
  7. Application Support
  8. Requirements
  9. Installation
  10. Unattended Installation
  11. Booting
  12. Filesystems
  13. Programs
  14. Control Panel
  15. Tool
  16. Commands
  17. Customization
  18. Environment Variables
  19. Printing
  20. Performance
  21. System Services
  22. Permissions
  23. Groups
  24. User Rights and Auditing
  25. User Profiles
  26. Policies
  27. Network Model
  28. Resource Access
  29. Network Browsing
  30. Protocol Support
  31. RAS
  32. Networking
  33. Backups
  34. Events
  35. Error Handling
  36. Diagnostic Tools
  37. Items to Memorize
  38. Terms
  39. Credits

Windows NT System and Configuration Files

  • NTLDR.EXE - This NT loader program switches the memory from real mode to 32 bit flat addressing protected mode. It also initializes a mini file system to allow file accessing.
  • NTDETECT.COM - Detects hardware and builds the hardware component list for the system.
  • NTBOOTDD.SYS - Used to initialize the SCSI drives that have the SCSI adapter BIOS disabled on the system.
  • BOOT.INI - Displays a menu of possible operating systems to boot to. It supports the setup of one selection to boot to as a default with a time out value. Sections include:
    • [boot loader] section - Specifies the default operating system that will be booted if the time out expires. It also lists the time out value.
    • [operating systems] section - Lists the possible operating systems that can be booted.

    The statement "/NOSERIALMICE=COMX" where X is the number of the com port beginning with 1, will prevent the NTDETECT from probing that port for a mouse at startup.

  • BOOTSECT.DOS- contains the boot sector information for the other operating system and its system files.
  • Ntoskrnl.exe - Based on the hardware component list built by NTDETECT.COM, device drivers are loaded. The hardware abstraction layer code loads after ntoskrnl.exe runs.
  • LastKnownGood - Contains information about the last successful startup and can be used to start NT when problems exist when booting the system. This file contains information copied from the \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\Select key section section of the System Registry. To use LastKnownGood at bootup, press the spacebar when the words OS Loader are displayed then select LastKnownGood from the menu.
  • SMSS.EXE - Session manager which loads system services
  • WINLOGON. EXE - Loaded by the Win32 subsystem, it starts the LSASS.EXE, local security authority program
    • LSASS.EXE - Local security authority program displays the logon screen.
  • SCREG.EXE - This program starts system services configured to start automatically.