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  1. Introduction
  2. Windows 2000 Professional
  3. Windows 2000 Server
  4. Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  5. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  6. Application Support
  7. System Operation
  8. Disks and Volumes
  9. Filesystems
  10. Configuration Files
  11. Security
  12. Network Support
  13. Access Management
  14. Processes
  15. AD Structure
  16. AD Objects
  17. AD Object Naming
  18. AD Schema
  19. AD Sites
  20. Domains
  21. AD Functions
  22. AD Replication
  23. DNS
  24. AD Security
  25. AD Installation
  26. AD Configuration
  27. AD Performance
  28. Installation
  29. Installation Options
  30. Unattended Installation
  31. Software Distribution
  32. Remote Installation Service
  33. Language
  34. Accessibility
  35. File Attributes
  37. Distributed File System
  38. Control Panel
  39. Active Directory Tools
  40. Computer Management Console Tools
  41. MMC Tools
  42. Network Tools
  43. Network Monitor
  44. System Performance Monitoring
  45. Tools
  46. Managing Services
  47. Connections
  48. TCP/IP
  49. DHCP
  50. Printing
  51. Routing
  52. IPSec
  53. ICS
  54. Fault Tolerance
  55. Backup
  56. System Failure
  57. Services
  58. Remote Access
  59. WINS
  60. IIS
  61. Certificate Server
  62. Terminal Services
  63. Web Services
  64. Authentication
  65. Accounts
  66. Permissions
  67. Groups
  68. User Rights and Auditing
  69. Auditing
  70. User Profiles
  71. Policies
  72. Group Policies
  73. Miscellaneous
  74. Terms
  75. Credits

Windows 2000 Configuration Files

Required files

On Intel based machines:

  • NTLDR - The boot loader
  • BOOT.INI - Contains the boot menu with selections the user can boot from.
  • BOOTSECT.DOS - A boot sector file for DOS for booting DOS or Windows 3.1 or 95.
  • NTDETECT.COM - Detects the hardware for the NTLDR program.
  • NTOSKRNL.EXE - The NT kernel.
  • NTBOOTDD.SYS - Used for booting SCSI devices when no SCSI BIOS is available.

On RISC based machines:

  • OSLOADER.EXE - The RISC boot loader
  • NTOSKRNL.EXE - The kernel
  • NTBOOTDD.SYS - Used for booting SCSI devices when no SCSI BIOS is available.


BOOT.INI is stored in the root directory of the computers primary boot partition and contains the menu of operating systems that may be booted. Has two sections:

  1. [Boot Loader]
    • Timeout - The number of seconds the bootloader waits for the user to select an operating system other than the default.
    • Default - The path of the default operating system that is booted if the user makes no selection
  2. [Operating Systems] - Lists the operating systems that may be booted and their paths using the Advanced RISC Computer (ARC) naming convention which is:
    • scsi(n) or multi(n) - The option scsi(n) is used for SCSI adapters that do not include BIOS support or have it enabled on their adapter. The multi(n) term is used for all other types of hard drives. The value of n indicates the number of the hardware adapter to use.
    • disk(n) - The value of n is 0 if the multi option is used, above, but for SCSI, the value indicates the SCSI bus number.
    • rdisk(n) - The SCSI LUN number. If scsi is used above, this value will be 0, "rdisk(0)". Otherwise this value is 0 for primary or 1for secondary.
    • partition(n) - The partition with the system files. This starts with 1 for the first partition. It does not use 0 to indicate the first partition.
    • \path - The directory with the operating system files with the default being \Winnt.
    Options are:
    • /FASTDETECT=[COMx | COMy] - This was the /NOSERIALMICE option in Windows NT. Useful if hooking up a UPS to the serial port, so Windows 2000 will not probe the port. Without com ports specified, makes the detection of a mouse on serial ports be skipped which is the default setting for Windows 2000.
    • ?/BASEVIDEO - Standard VGA mode is used to load which is needed if the video card drivers are incorrect.
    • ?/CRASHDEBUG - Enables automatic recovery and restart. Can be set from the control panel. Sends debut output to COM1, not a file.
    • /SOS - Displays names of device drivers as they are loaded.
    • ?/NODEBUG - Debugging information is not monitored.
    • /MAXMEM:n - Limits the amount of RAM to be used by NT or 2000.
    • ?/SCSIORDINAL:n - Selects the SCSI controller to be used to boot when there are more than one controller.
    • /NOGUIBOOT - A Windows 2000 switch causes booting without display of the boot status screen.
    To modify this file, you must change its properties so it is not system and read only. Then it may be edited and the properties must be restored when complete.

An example BOOT.INI file:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT40="Windows NT Workstation Version 4.00"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT40="Windows NT Workstation Version 4.00 [VGA mode]" /basevideo /sos
C:\="Windows 95"

Boot Option configuration

The system applet in the control panel may be used to select the default operating system to boot and modify the boot.ini timeout value. The Startup/Shutdown tab supports this function. However it will not allow renaming of the bootable systems. Boot options are not configurable from the registry since it is not loaded at the time the boot selection is made. Most boot option changes are done by editing the boot.ini file directly.