perform clean-boot troubleshooting for Windows 2000

o perform clean-boot troubleshooting, it is necessary to make changes and restart the computer several times to determine if the problem is with something in the operating system environment and, if this is the case, what specific component.

The overall structure of clean-boot troubleshooting that is presented in this article is categorized in the following way:
  1. Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking Support
  2. Removing Registry Entries
  3. Testing User Profiles
  4. Disabling Third-Party Services
  5. Uninstalling Programs

Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking Support

The first step to troubleshoot potential environmental issues is to start in Safe mode or in Safe mode with networking support. If the issue is with a program that does not depend on network connectivity, Safe mode is appropriate. If the issue is with a network program, and you are using a network adapter to connect to a network, Safe mode with networking support may let you test the networking program, including browser issues.

Note You cannot use Safe mode with networking support when you use a modem or PC Card connection to a network, because modem drivers and PC Card drivers do not load in Safe mode or in Safe mode with networking support.

To start in Safe mode, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Shut Down.
  2. Click Restart, and then click OK.
  3. As the computer restarts, press F8.
  4. Select Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking, and then press ENTER.
If you start in Safe mode or in Safe mode with networking support, and you can perform an operation normally, one with which you were previously experiencing issues, the issue is most likely due to an issue with the environment. Refer to the "Removing Registry Entries" section in this article for information about how to determine what program components may be causing the issue.

Note: You may not be able to test some operations in Safe mode because not all services and devices load in Safe mode or Safe mode with networking support. For example, you cannot test multimedia issues that involve sound, or suspend or hibernate issues in Safe mode. Also, any network programs that rely on the Remote Procedure Call Subsystem (RpcSS) do not work because the RpcSS service does not load in Safe mode with networking support.

If you boot into Safe mode or Safe mode with networking support and the issue still occurs, there may still be an environmental issue; many Function or Filter drivers installed by third-party software may still load in Safe mode.

Therefore, it may be necessary to take an additional step to test and remove third-party drivers in Safe mode.

Removing Registry Entries

If you no longer encounter problems running programs in Safe mode, the issue is mostly likely due to programs that are loading while the Windows 2000 computer is booting.

Programs that are a part of the boot process for Windows 2000 are generally added to one of the following locations:
  • The Startup folder under the Programs menu.
  • The Run line for all users in the registry.
  • The Run line for particular users in the registry.
  • The "load" entry for all users in the registry.
Note: Because the registry is the location for all computer and program settings for Windows 2000, it is necessary to make a backup of the registry and particular registry entries in case you are no longer able to boot after editing the registry.

To back up the Windows 2000 registry:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup.
  2. On the General tab, click Emergency Repair Disk and follow the provided directions.
The Startup folder icons are loaded from two locations. To remove these entries:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Taskbar and Start Menu Properties.
  2. On the Advanced tab, click Advanced.
  3. Open the Startup folder for the user account with which you logged on, and then click Cut on the Edit menu.
  4. Create a SysDriversBak folder, create a UserStartup folder under the folder, open the UserStartup folder, and then click Paste.
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 2 and navigate to the All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup folder.
  6. Click Cut on the Edit menu, navigate to the SysDriversBak folder, create an AllUsersStartup folder, and then click Paste.
To remove values for the Run line in the registry for all users:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  3. Open the Run key and note the entries on the right pane.
  4. For each value except for the Default value, click the value, click Export Registry File on the Registry menu, navigate to the SysDriversBak folder, and then save the file using the following naming convention
    HKLMRun_(valuename)
    where (valuename) is the name of the value that you are exporting.
  5. Click Delete on the Edit menu.
  6. Repeat these steps for each value under the Run key.
  7. Check the related RunOnce and RunOnceEx keys to see if a program was not completely installed and repeat steps 3 through 5, except that you need to change the naming convention to reflect RunOnce or RunOnceEx.
To remove values for the Run line in the registry for the user account with which you are logged on as:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  3. Open the Run key.
  4. Highlight the first value below Default (value not set), click the value, click Export Registry File on the Registry menu, navigate to the SysDriversBak folder, and then save the file using the following naming convention:
    HKCURun_(valuename)
    where (valuename) is the name of the value that you are exporting.
  5. Click Delete on the Edit menu.
  6. Repeat these steps for each value under the Run key.
  7. Check the related RunOnce key to see if a program was not completely installed and repeat steps 3 through 5, except that you need to change the naming convention to reflect RunOnce.
To remove value data under "load":
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows
  3. If the value "load" (without quotation marks) has any value data, click Export Registry File on the Registry menu, navigate to the SysDriversBak folder and save the file as HKCUload.
  4. Double-click the "load" value and clear the value data.
  5. When you have completed these steps, restart your computer, and test.
If the problem no longer occurs, then you should merge the values in the following suggested order:
  1. Startup icons from both the All Users group and the user account with which you log on
  2. HKCURun_ values
  3. HKLMRun_ values
  4. HKCUload
To add the icons for the Startup menu:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Windows Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the SysDriversBak folder that you created earlier, open the AllUsersStartup folder, click Select All, and then click Copy on the Edit menu.
  3. Navigate to the following folder, and then click Paste:
    \Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  4. Navigate to SysDriversBak\UserStartup folder, and then click Copy on the Edit menu.
  5. Navigate to the following folder, and then click Paste:
    \Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
    where username is the name of the user that you have logged on as.
  6. Restart your computer and test.

Testing User Profiles

Sometimes, a user's specific information may be corrupted, but other users on the same computer may have no problem. To determine if this is the case, log on as a new user or create a new user account, and then test it.

Note: Sometimes, a program may work correctly when you log on with the default Administrator account only. Older programs may have this problem.

If the default Administrator profile becomes corrupt, you need to reinstall Windows 2000 to correct this problem.

All user-specific configuration information (which is displayed in Registry Editor as HKEY_CURRENT_USER) is stored in the Ntuser.dat file in the \Documents and Settings\username folder.

Disabling Third-Party Services

It is sometimes necessary to disable third-party services that are installed to eliminate problems. Safe mode and Safe mode with Networking do not load third-party services, so if Safe mode works, the problem may be due to a third-party service that is loading.

The following table is a partial list of core operating system services that load; however, this varies according to the services that are installed and the version of Windows 2000 that is in use:

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