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Windows NT 4.0 Setup Troubleshooting Guide

Last reviewed: July 24, 1997
Article ID: Q126690

The information in this article applies to:
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation version 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server version 4.0

      Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Setup Troubleshooting Guide

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Pre-setup and Text-mode Setup Issues
  • Setup Failure During Reboot from Character-based to GUI-based Mode
  • GUI-Based Setup to First Boot Issues


This troubleshooting guide describes how to overcome problems setting up Windows NT on Intel architecture (x86) computers. These techniques may work for computers that are on the Windows NT Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) and for computers that are not on the HCL--that is, not certified by Microsoft to be Windows NT compatible.

The HCL is a compilation of computers and system hardware that have been extensively tested with Windows NT for stability and compatibility. It is the guide used by Microsoft Product Support Services to determine whether or not a computer is supported for use with the Windows NT operating system.

If you are setting up a computer system that is mission-critical, please see the HCL included in the Support directory of the Windows NT compact disc for a list of computers that are currently certified by Microsoft to be Windows NT compliant. If your system is not included on the list, contact Microsoft for an updated Windows NT HCL.


Pre-Setup and Text-mode Setup Issues

Architecture of Character-based Setup

During the first part of Setup (referred to as character-based Setup), Windows NT examines your system architecture for foundation level information and drivers. This information includes:

   CPU type (x86, MIPS(R), ALPHA, or PPC)
   Motherboard type (PCI, VESA, MCA, EISA, or ISA)
   Hard disk drive controllers
   File systems
   Free space on hard disk drives

Windows NT looks for any devices that must be initialized at system startup in order for your computer to run. Windows NT also constructs a "mini" version of Windows NT, which is used to reboot the system into the Graphical User Interface mode (GUI-mode) portion of Setup. Therefore, it is critical that the information Windows NT gathers at this point is accurate.

Windows NT may incorrectly detect controllers and settings if the system is using nonstandard or proprietary bus components or enhancements that do not follow industry standards; these nonstandard enhancements include SMP 1.1, PCI 2.1, special bus drivers, or caching chips for burst-mode transfer. If the information gathered is incorrect, Setup will most likely fail at a later stage. Incorrect detection is often a symptom of a hardware or configuration problem that may also cause the setup to fail.

Before You Begin Installation of Windows NT


Windows NT is a 32-bit operating system and is very hardware intensive. In MS-DOS and most 16-bit operating systems, hardware is not accessed until it is required. Under Windows NT, hardware drivers are written to and polled much more heavily for input/output (I/O) instructions. Hardware problems that have gone unnoticed or have seemed to be minor under other operating systems are likely to be amplified when running under Windows NT.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

   Windows NT Workstation:

      12 MB of RAM
      VGA level video support
      IDE, EIDE, SCSI, or ESDI hard disk drive
      486/25 processor or better
      CD-ROM drive, floppy disk drive, or active network connection

   Windows NT Server:

      16 MB of RAM
      VGA level video support
      IDE, EIDE, SCSI, or ESDI hard disk drive
      486/25 processor or better
      CD-ROM drive, 1.44 MB or 1.2 MB floppy disk drive, or active network

NOTE: On Windows NT Server, 16 MB of RAM affords minimal functionality; Microsoft highly recommends 32 MB of RAM or more. Microsoft also recommends the following preferred hardware:

      486DX2/50  processor or better
      28.8 v.34 external modem, for remote debugging and troubleshooting
      Windows NT compatible CD-ROM drive

Minimum Space Requirements for Windows NT Workstation and Server:

   Standard Installation                       124 MB of free drive space
   WINNT /b                                    124 MB of free drive space
   Copying I386 directory to hard disk drive   223 MB of free drive space

NOTE: For ease of supportability, Microsoft recommends at least a 300 MB file allocation table (FAT) system partition for systems that do not require security. This space is used for Windows NT installation, pagefile, and MS-DOS 6.22 or Windows 95 installation. The advantage of this configuration is the ability to copy over drivers or boot files in the event of a virus, file corruption, or upgrade problems.

The above disk space requirements assume a standard hard disk drive controller, not an enhanced IDE hard disk drive controller. If you are using a hard disk drive controller that uses a translation mode for addressing the hard disk drive, increase the above sizes by 80 MB.

Disk Format:

To access a disk from Windows NT, the drive must be uncompressed or only compressed with NTFS file compression included in Windows NT 3.51 or 4.0. Windows NT is not compatible with Microsoft DoubleSpace, Stacker, or any other compression software or hardware. The root of the Windows NT boot drive cannot be compressed, or an upgrade or installation will fail. To uncompress the root, use the following command:

   compact c:\ /u

(This example assumes the boot drive is drive C.)

Windows NT supports only the following EIDE addressing schemes:

   Logical Block Addressing (LBA)
   ONTrack Disk Manager
   Extended Cylinder Head Sector (ECHS)

NOTE: The high-performance file system (HPFS) is no longer addressable or convertible under Windows NT 4.0. If you have an HPFS volume, conversion must occur prior to upgrading your system to Windows NT 4.0. If there is no previous version of Windows NT on your system, and the data on an HPFS partition needs to be accessed from Windows NT, you must back up the data on the partition and reformat the partition to FAT or NTFS.

If you use one of the above methods, some implementations require special partitioning utilities and disk preparation utilities. Do not format these drives under Windows NT.

Hardware Configuration:

In order to successfully install Widows NT it is recommended that you obtain the following information:

   Adapter Card      Required information
   ===============   =====================================================
   Video             Adapter or chipset type
   Network Card      IRQ, I/O address, DMA (if used)
                     connector type (BNC, twisted pair, etc)
   SCSI Controller   Adapter model or chipset, IRQ and bus type
   Mouse             Mouse type, port (COM1, COM2, bus or PS/2(R))
   I/O Port          IRQ, I/0 address, DMA (if used) for each I/O port
   Sound Card        IRQ, I/O address, DMA
   External Modem    Port connections (COM1, COM2,and so forth).
   Internal Modem    Port connections or
                     IRQ and I/0 address (for non-standard configurations)

Included on the Windows compact disc is a utility named NTHQ, which will obtain all of the above information in text format. This utility is located in the Support\Hqtool directory.

To use the NTHQ utility:

  1. Go to the <CD-ROM drive>\Support\Hqtool directory.

  2. Insert a floppy disk in drive A.

  3. Run the MAKEDISK utility.

  4. With the disk in the drive, restart the computer.

Also on the Windows NT compact disc is the SCSITOOL utility for obtaining SCSI information.

To use the SCSITOOL utility:

  1. Go to the <CD-ROM drive>\Support\Scsitool directory.

  2. Insert a floppy disk in drive A.

  3. Run the MAKEDISK utility.

  4. With the disk in the drive, restart the computer.

This tool currently only supports SCSI adapters from Adaptec and BusLogic.

NOTE: Windows NT currently does not support the following controller and BIOS enhancements:

   32 bit I/O BIOS switch
   Enhanced Drive Access
   Multiple Block addressing or Rapid IDE
   Write Back Cache on disk controllers
   Power Management features

On some computers, Shadow RAM and L2 Write Back Cache cause detection and hardware problems, including not responding and STOP error messages (blue screens). These features must be disabled at the BIOS level if you experience any problems. Check your computer manual for information on disabling these features.

Verify that there are no Power On Self Test (POST) errors prior to starting Setup, and make certain that each adapter and peripheral device is set to an independent IRQ, memory address, and DMA channel.


Standard Setup:

Installing directly from the compact disc or floppy disks is almost always the best method of setting up your Windows NT system. It offers the best support for alternate Hardware Abstraction Layers (HALs), timing, and third-party drivers. If you have a supported CD-ROM drive, you should choose this setup method.

NOTE: If you lose or misplace the setup disks for the standard setup, run either WINNT /OX or WINNT32 /OX to create new boot disks for a standard setup.

WINNT or WINNT32 Setup:

This method was designed for network installations or for computers with unsupported CD-ROM drives. It builds the boot disks and performs a file copy of the setup directory to the hard disk drive before the setup procedure begins. It is the second best choice.

Installing over a Network

For networks where the Windows NT installation files are kept on a central server, network installations can be accomplished using the WINNT command or by copying the entire I386 directory from the setup compact disc to the hard disk drive and then running WINNT from the local disk drive. This can reduce network traffic and dependency.

NOTE: The method of copying the I386 directory can also be used when there are hard disk drive or driver issues that otherwise block the use of the compact disc.

Unsupported Setup Methods

WINNT /B or WINNT32 /B is used for floppy-less setup. It copies the boot files to the root of drive C and then uses the hard disk as if it were the boot disk. If you have timing issues on your computer, such as problems accessing the hard disk drive or similar error messages, this method can be used, but WINNT is much more reliable. Please note that this method will fail if you are running BIOS-level virus protection.

WINNT /W allows you to set up Windows NT from within Windows, bypassing the drive locking and enhanced driver issues involved with a Microsoft Windows setup. Again, this bypasses many of the Windows NT setup safety features and is not recommended.

WINNT /U is the command for unattended setup. This can only be used on systems where all the components are standard and no user input is required. If there are any problems, the setup will stop until the problem is resolved.

"WINNT /T:" or "WINNT32 /T" is used for specifying a drive where temporary setup files will be placed. If not specified, Setup will attempt to locate a drive for you, attempting the target drive first, and then the boot drive. If neither of these drives are available, Windows NT Setup may fail. In this case, you should use the /T switch to specify a drive other than the target drive or the boot drive.


Windows NT will not install on a system infected by a virus. The troubleshooting guide documents several errors caused by viruses. If your system is infected, please obtain a commercial anti-virus scanner and remove the virus prior to attempting a Windows NT setup. Attempting to remove a virus through other means can render a system unbootable.

Troubleshooting: Pre-Setup and Text-Mode Setup Issues

Problem 1:

When I insert the boot disk, I get the following error:

   Operating System not found

Setup does not begin.

Resolution 1:

Check the system BIOS to make certain drive A is available as a boot drive. If it is and the error still occurs, this is an indication of a bad boot floppy disk or a drive that is out of calibration. To create new floppy disks, format three disks on the computer where you are planning to install Windows NT. Then from the CD-ROM I386 directory, type "WINNT /OX" (without the quotation marks). This builds a fresh set of setup floppy disks.

Problem 2:

Right after I boot the Setup disk, my system stops responding, the floppy disk drive light stays lit, and Setup does not proceed.

Resolution 2:

This is an indication of a corrupted boot disk or a disk controller problem. Run WINNT /OX, as above, to create new floppy disks. The disks created will not be for a WINNT setup but for a standard floppy disk boot setup. If you are using a SCSI controller for your floppy disks, make certain that all internal and external devices are properly terminated.

Problem 3:

When Setup inspects the hard disk drive, the following error appears:

   Setup did not find any hard drives on your computer.

Resolution 3:

Make sure all hard disk drives are turned on and properly connected to your computer. If you are certain the hard disk drives are properly connected, check the following:

  1. Scan the drive for viruses; if the Master Boot Record is infected, Windows NT may not see the hard disk drive properly. Please use a commercial scan program in addition to Microsoft Virus scan. Even if the drive is formatted using NTFS, the Master Boot Record can become infected.

  2. If the hard disk drive is a SCSI drive, the Windows NT compact disc contains the SCSITOOL utility for obtaining SCSI information. To use this utility:

    a. Go to the <CD-ROM drive>\Support\Scsitool directory.

    b. Insert a floppy disk in drive A.

    c. Run the MAKEDISK utility.

    d. With the disk in the drive, restart the computer.

Also, check the following:
  • Is there a valid boot sector on the drive?
  • Are all SCSI devices properly terminated?
  • If you are using a passive terminator, upgrade to an active terminator.
  • Is the BIOS on the boot (initiating) SCSI adapter enabled?
  • Are the BIOSes on all non-initiating SCSI adapters disabled? When the BIOS on a non-initiating SCSI adapter is enabled, it can experience an error at bootup and/or interfere with hardware interrupt 13 calls to the initiating hard disk drive controller, resulting in the inability to boot or random hangs during installation.
  • Was the hard disk drive partitioned and formatted using this SCSI adapter? If not, repartitioning the drive or possibly low-level formatting the drive may be required.
  • Verify that your SCSI configuration adheres to the following standards:

       Standard    Bit    Cable  Pin   Max. x-fer    Max SCSI   Description
                   Width  Name   Cnt.  Rate MB/sec   Devices
       SCSI-1      8      A     50       5           8          Asynchronous
       SCSI-2      8      A     50       10          8          Fast
       SCSI-2      16     A+B   50+68    20          8          Fast+wide **
       SCSI-2      32     A+B   50+68    40          8          Fast+wide **
       SCSI-3      8      A     50       10          8          Fast
       SCSI-3      16     P     68       20          16         Fast+wide *
       SCSI-3      32     P+Q   68+68    40          32         Fast+wide **
          *  = with 1 cable
          ** = with 2 cables
          NOTE: Windows NT currently supports only eight SCSI IDs, including
          the adapter ID.
          Standard: The name of the SCSI standard as defined by ANSI.
          Bit width: The number of bits that are transferred by the SCSI bus
          during the data transfer phase.
          Cable Names: A is most common, P is becoming more popular, A+B is
          currently not popular due to cost and space issues.
          Pin Count: The number of pins in the cable. Refer to the above table
          for specific numbers.
          Max Transfer Rate (MB/sec): Number of bits transferred over the SCSI
          bus in one second.
          Max SCSI Devices: The Maximum number of devices that can be
          connected to the SCSI bus with one host adapter installed.
          Asynchronous: A handshaking protocol that requires a handshake for
                        every byte transferred. (Synchronous transfers a
                        series of bytes before handshaking occurs, increasing
                        the data transfer rate.)
          Fast:         Fast SCSI is an option that doubles the synchronous
                        data transfer speed. The speed is achieved by removing
                        excess margins from certain times and delays. To use
                        the fast SCSI option, high quality cables are
                        required. This option is compatible with normal
                        synchronous SCSI and has:
                         - Up to 10 MB/second over an 8 bit bus.
                         - Synchronous data transfer negotiation required.
                         - Single-ended implementation recommendations: m
                           maximum cable length of 3 meters and active
          Wide:         Wide SCSI is an option that adds a second SCSI cable
                        of 68 conductors. This cable provides a data path for
                        16- or 32-bit data. This path has separate handshake
                        signals and is for data transfer only. The transfer
                        rate is two or four times the present transfer rate of
                        SCSI-1. With the second cable, SCSI-2 remains
                        compatible with the 8-bit SCSI.
    With the release of Windows NT version 4.0, drivers for certain SCSI adapters have been moved from the base operating system to the Windows NT Driver Library (in the Drvlib directory) included on the Windows NT version 4.0 compact disc. Check the following list to determine if any of your adapters are affected by this change. If your computer has an adapter that appears on this list, you must create a driver disk before installing Windows NT version 4.0. Use this disk to install the appropriate driver(s) during Setup, or keep the disk handy and install the driver using Control Panel once Setup is complete.

    The following drivers have been moved:

The following adapters are affected by this change:


      Always IN-2000
      Data Technology Corp. 3290
      Maynard 16-bit SCSI Adapter
      MediaVision Pro Audio Spectrum-16
      Trantor T-128
      Trantor T-130B


      UltraStor 124f EISA Disk Array Controller

Please see the Windows NT Hardware Compatibility List for additional information on these storage adapters.

To create a driver disk for drivers that have been moved to the Driver Library:

  1. Create a blank, formatted 3.5-inch disk.

  2. Copy all files from the following directory to the blank disk:


  3. Label this disk "Drivers Disk."

To install drivers from the drivers disk during Windows NT version 4.0 Setup:

  1. Start Windows NT Setup. During Setup, a message appears stating "Setup has recognized the following mass storage devices in your computer."

  2. When prompted, press S to skip detection, then press S again to display a list of supported SCSI host adapters.

  3. Select Other from the bottom of the list.

  4. Insert the Drivers Disk when prompted to do so, and select your host adapter from this list.

    Windows NT will now recognize any devices attached to this adapter. Repeat this step for each host adapter not already recognized by Windows NT Setup.

    Check the Hardware Compatibility List for notes regarding SCSI adapters and any limitations with specific adapter cards.

  5. If the hard disk drive is EIDE, check the following:

    a. Verify that the system drive is the first drive on the first IDE

          controller on the motherboard.

    b. In the system BIOS, verify that file I/O and/or disk access are

          set to standard. Most computers ship with access set to either 32-
          bit or enhanced access.

  6. If the drive is an IDE or ESDI drive, check the following:

    a. If possible, verify the controller is functional in a different


    b. If the drive is larger than 1024 cylinders, make certain you are

          using a supported disk configuration utility.

    c. Verify the drive is jumpered correctly for master, slave, or single


Problem 4:

Setup does not boot and the following error message appears:

   Setup is unable to locate the hard drive partition prepared by
   the MS-DOS portion of Setup.

   When you run the MS-DOS Windows NT Setup program, you must specify a
   temporary drive that is supported by Windows NT. See your System
   Guide for more information.

Resolution 4:

You are using Setup boot disks that were created while running the WINNT variation of the installation and you are trying to install from a CD-ROM. Create Setup boot disks using WINNT /OX or use the original Setup boot disks to install.

Problem 5:

Windows NT presents an error that there is no valid partition.

Resolution 5:

Refer to "Resolution 3" for hard disk drive troubleshooting information. Make certain you have a valid primary MS-DOS partition on the drive. If necessary, you can create a primary MS-DOS partition using Windows NT Setup or MS-DOS FDISK.

If the drive was originally formatted for the installation of Windows 95, the partition may be marked for FAT 32. Windows NT 4.0 does not currently recognize the FAT 32 format and, therefore, will not install. If this is the case, you must back up all data and create new partitions either from Windows NT 4.0 or from MS-DOS 6.22 in order to continue the installation.

Problem 6:

You cannot select the option to upgrade your current Windows NT 3.x installation.

Resolution 6:

After character-mode setup is complete, the Setup.log file is deleted from the original System32 directory. If the setup failed in the GUI portion of Setup and you try to restart Setup from the Setup boot disks or by using the WINNT or WINNT32 command, NT will not find the Setup.log it requires for validation of the original NT installation.

If an upgrade failed during the GUI portion of setup because of lack of disk space or misconfiguration of hardware, the correct method for recovery is to exit Setup and restart the system; the GUI portion of setup will automatically restart. If the GUI portion cannot restart, you need to create a parallel installation of Windows NT and restore the Setup.log to the original Windows NT System32 directory from your tape backup. If there is no tape backup or you cannot install a parallel copy of Windows NT, you must reformat the hard disk drive if the drive is formatted using NTFS. If the drive is formatted as FAT, use an MS-DOS boot disk and delete or move files until there is enough room for a reinstallation of Windows NT.

Problem 7:

When you try to format the partition, Windows NT gets to x% and then hangs.

Resolution 7:

Refer to "Resolution 3" for hard disk drive troubleshooting information. Make certain your hard disk drives do not have caching enabled. Set drive controllers that have caching capabilities to Write Through, not Write Back. If necessary, format the drive to approximately 5-10 MB less than the actual size of the partition first selected.

Problem 8:

Setup hangs while copying files to the hard disk drive.

Resolution 8:

This is indicates one of two problems:

  • The incorrect HAL is being loaded.

    Restart Setup. As soon as the "Windows NT is examining your hardware configuration" message appears, press F5. This takes you to a menu with various HAL s listed. If you are running Windows NT on a Pentium computer with a single processor, choose the single processor HAL. If you are running Windows NT on a Compaq or Sequent computer using an OEM HAL, select Other and insert the disk provided by that manufacturer.

  • Setup is using reserved memory.

    Disable "Video Shadow RAM" and/or "32-bit Enhanced File Throughput" in the computer's BIOS.

Setup Failure During Reboot from Character-based to GUI-based Mode


During the reboot from character-based to GUI-based Setup, Windows NT is loaded for the first time. Windows NT tries to find a valid hard disk drive and partition, poll the adapters, and test the bus. This is the most likely point of failure, when the drivers are loaded into memory and multi-threading is initialized.

STOP Messages (Blue Screens)

Text mode STOP Messages or "blue screens" are used to identify and debug hardware and software problems that occur while loading or running Windows NT. When a mission critical operating system fails, is preferable to generate an obvious error message, such as the blue screen, rather than to simply fail in an "invisible" manner and possibly corrupt data. The blue screen consists of a STOP message, the text translation, the addresses of the violating call, and the drivers loaded at the time of the STOP screen. The STOP screen gives you and a Product Support Services Engineer the necessary information to locate and identify problem areas.

STOP messages indicate where the error has occurred at both the address and driver levels; for example:

   *** STOP: 0x0000001E (0xC0000047,0xFA8418B4,0x8025ea21,0xfd6829e8)
   Unhandled Kernel exception c0000047 from fa8418b4 (8025ea21,fd6829e8)
   *** Address fa8418b4 has base at fa840000 - i8042prt.SYS
   *** Address 8025ea21 has base at 8025c000 - SCSIPORT.SYS

The STOP message identifies the type of exception, and the exception indicates where the problem occurred; that is, whether it was user mode (involving user-mode operating system software) or kernel mode (involving operating system, third-party drivers, or hardware). The third and fourth line describe which components were immediately involved and at what addresses. For example, if the above error occurred during Setup, the problem might be in the driver that involves the SCSI portion of the operating system. If you receive this error during Setup, you should make certain the SCSI controller you are using is compatible with Windows NT and that the IRQs, SCSI Ids, and termination are correct on the computer. If you are sure all of the above are correctly configured, you can try swapping out the SCSI controller card for another and try installing again.

For more information on STOP messages, see the Windows NT Resource Kit.

Troubleshooting: Character-based to GUI-based Mode Setup Failures

Problem 1:

After removing the third setup disk from my computer and rebooting, a blue screen stating "STOP: 0x0000007b Inaccessible Boot Device" appears and Setup stops there.

Resolution 1:

This indicates a problem accessing the boot disk using Windows NT's driver. See "Resolution 3" of Part 1: Troubleshooting: Pre-Setup and Text- mode Setup Issues.

Problem 2:

After removing the third setup disk from the computer and rebooting, a blue screen with the location "0x4,0,0,0" appears, and Setup stops there.

Resolution 2:

This usually indicates the presence of a virus in the boot record of the system. See "Resolution 3" of "Part 1: Troubleshooting: Pre-Setup and Text-mode Setup Issues"; this is a variation of the problem above.

Problem 3:

Your system hangs when rebooting into character-based setup.

Resolution 3:

The Windows NT 4.0 compact disc is bootable through the El Torrito "no emulation" specification. If your system has the ability to boot from a compact disc, but does not support "no emulation mode," remove the compact disc and restart the computer. Once Windows NT Setup has restarted, insert the installation compact disc.

Problem 4:

Instead of rebooting from text mode into GUI mode, the error message "NTOSKRNL.EXE is missing or corrupt" appears.

Resolution 4:

If you are installing to a drive other than drive C and the primary drive is FAT, edit your Boot.ini file and change the partition information by doing the following:

  1. Remove the Read Only and System File attributes from the Boot.ini file. At an MS-DOS or OS/2 command line, type:

          attrib -s -r c:\boot.ini

  2. Edit the BOOT.INI file and change the partition number for Windows NT. Change the Windows NT line to the following:

    For IDE drives:

          multi(0)disk(x)rdisk(0)partition(y)\winnt="Windows NT on ?:"

    For SCSI drives:

          scsi(0)disk(x)rdisk(0)partition(y)\winnt="Windows NT on ?:

    where x is the drive number, y is the partition number, and ? is the drive letter where Windows NT resides.

If you are using the Special Step-Up CD-ROM for Windows NT, note the following:

The Special Step-Up Edition of Windows NT 4.0 can be used to upgrade from Windows NT 3.5 or 3.51 to Windows NT 4.0. You can also use the Special Step-Up Edition to install Windows NT 4.0 into a new directory. The Special Step-Up Edition cannot be used to upgrade or install over Windows NT version 3.1.

However, if the Windows NT 3.1 installation CD is available, you will be able to create a parallel installation using the Step-Up edition. If you are using the NTFS file format under Windows NT 3.1, please note that these files will no longer be accessible from Windows NT 3.1 after Windows NT 4.0 has been installed because of an alteration in the file formatting and translation.

NOTE: To install Windows NT 4.0 over an existing Windows NT 4.0 installation, only the full retail version can be used.

Problem 5:

During the reboot from text-mode setup to GUI-mode setup, the following error message appears:

   HAL.DLL is missing or corrupt.

Resolution 5:

This error message occurs when a computer that is not listed on the Windows NT HCL is using an ASUSTECH (ASUS) dual-processor motherboard with only one processor present.

NOTE: HCL certifies complete systems, not individual motherboards.

You can work around this problem by setting the J14 jumper (on the motherboard) for a dual-processor computer, even though the computer has only one processor.

Problem 6:

When you install Windows NT on a multiprocessor computer, the following error message appears:

   HAL: Bad APIC version. HAL: This HAL.DLL requires an MPS version 1.1
   system. Replace HAL.DLL which the correct HAL for this system. The
   system is halting.

Resolution 6:

This error message occurs when a computer attempts to boot with a symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) hardware abstraction layer (HAL) on a computer with Multi-Processor Specification (MPS) architecture that currently has only a single processor.

  • To work around this problem, install Windows NT using Custom Setup and verify that the computer type is not identified as an MPS machine. If Setup detects the system as an MPS machine, change the machine type to AT Compatible.


  • Edit the Txtsetup.sif file on the Setup boot disk. In the [HAL] section change:

          mps11_mp    = halmps.dll  ,2,hal.dll
          mps11_mp    = hal.dll  ,2,hal.dll
       This forces the standard ISA/EISA HAL to be loaded.
  • If you are running Windows NT 4.0, select a different kernel and HAL when you boot Windows NT. If a second processor is added later, you may need to manually copy and rename the correct HAL file.

Problem 7:

You need to install other files during the reboot between text-based and GUI-based Setup, but cannot catch the boot menu when Windows NT reboots to GUI-mode Setup.

Resolution 7:

Boot from a system disk. If you need to access the previous operating system multiple times, boot from the previous operating system and, with a text editor, modify Boot.ini to pause indefinitely by changing the timeout value to "-1", as follows:

  1. Remove the Read Only and System File attributes from the Boot.ini file.

  2. At an MS-DOS or OS/2 command line, type:

          attrib -s -r c:\boot.ini

  3. Edit the Boot.ini file and change the timeout line to look like this:

          [boot loader]

This change cannot be made through Control Panel, because valid values are 0-999.

After you make this value a negative number, the following error message appears:

   Invalid Timeout Entry

You can disregard this error message.

Problem 8:

An error message appears when you reboot into GUI-mode Setup. If the error is hardware related, you may receive an error message from the BIOS or from Windows NT in the form of a blue screen with a stop error message containing a hexadecimal number at the top of the screen, such as:

   0x00000080, 0x0000007f, 0x0000007a, 0x00000077,
   0x00000077,0x00000051, 0x0000002f, 0x0000002e, or, 0x0000002d.

Resolution 8:

Check your system for viruses, or for hard disk drive corruption. For a virus scan, please use any available commercial virus scanning software that examines the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the drive. Viruses can infect both FAT and NTFS file systems.

These errors may also be a result of hard disk drive corruption. If you are using the FAT file system, use Scandisk or other MS-DOS-based hard disk drive utilities. If you are using the NTFS file system, try to reboot a previous version of Windows NT to run CHKDSK /F /R. If you cannot boot from a previous version of Windows NT, try to install to a parallel directory to run CHKDSK /F /R.

Another common cause of the above STOP message is failing RAM. Use a diagnostic utility to test the RAM in your computer.

Check that all adapter cards in your computer are properly seated. You can use an ink eraser or Stabilant-22 to clean the adapter card contacts.

Finally, if all the above fail to correct the issue, take the system motherboard to a repair facility for diagnostic testing. A crack, scratched trace, or bad component on the motherboard can also cause these problems.

Problem 9:

On rebooting from character-based to GUI-based Setup, the screen shows that NTOSKRNL is loading, then before or at the version screen, either of the following stop codes appear:




Resolution 9:

This may indicate the presence of a third-party driver at the system level that is incompatible with the version of Windows NT you are upgrading to, or a corrupted driver that did not get copied correctly during the text- mode portion of Setup.

Try installing Windows NT into a clean directory. If it installs correctly, try to access the first tree and replace the corrupted file or remove the files associated with any suspect third-party drivers.

If you are unable to install Windows NT into a separate tree, check all essential hardware, including adapter cards, drive controllers, and so on. If you have nonessential adapter cards in the system, remove them and try the installation again.

Also verify that the essential hardware in use is Windows NT certified and has up-to-date firmware, if applicable.

Problem 10:

After you reboot, the video does not come back; that is, it stays "black" or the video is skewed.

Resolution 10:

This problem normally occurs if either the video is not resetting correctly during the reboot, or the video is sharing an IRQ.

Power down your computer and bring it up again. If the video works, you will probably need to power down the computer each time you restart Windows NT. This problem is video and system BIOS related.

If, after power down, the system comes back in an unusable state, check for IRQ and memory conflicts with other cards on your system. If you are using a PCI-based system, make certain the video is not using IRQs 2, 9, or 12.

To recover from an incorrect video driver or parameter, select the VGA-only mode from the boot menu and then reconfigure the video display driver from the Video tool in Control Panel.

GUI-Based Setup to First Boot Issues


During the GUI portion of Setup, Windows NT installs the drivers, creates accounts, configures the network settings, and builds the system tree. If there are hardware problems or conflicting hardware settings, Windows NT probably will not succeed in installing or upgrading.

Problems after the final reboot of Windows NT Setup are normally due to incorrect information either in the Boot.ini file or in the hardware configuration.

In Windows NT 4.0, the GUI portion of Setup can now be restarted. If the installation halts due to an incorrect hardware setting or account information, turn the system off and back on, and the GUI portion of setup will restart.

Troubleshooting: GUI-based Setup to First Boot Issues

Problem 1:

The following error message appears during GUI-mode Setup:

   External library procedure NtPathToDosPath reported the following
   error. 'Unable to open the specified symbolic link object.'

Resolution 1:

This error indicates that the path to the installation media is no longer accessible. This error occurs when you have added new hardware to the computer (for example, a SCSI controller, a SCSI CD-ROM drive, or an ATAPI compatible CD-ROM drive) before running Setup, but without adding the device drivers in the original Windows NT installation first.

When Windows NT Setup reboots the computer to continue GUI-mode Setup, Windows NT only finds devices installed under the previous version of Windows NT (because you are running in the context of the original Windows NT installation.)

To correct this problem, reboot to the original installation if possible, and add the appropriate driver.

If no hardware has been added, make certain the hardware is accessible under the original version. If the hardware was not supported under the previous version, remove the hardware, complete the installation, and add the device once Setup has completed.

Problem 2:

When you attempt to install a driver located in the Drvlib directory on the Windows NT version 3.5 CD-ROM during GUI-mode Setup, the following error message appears:


   The external library procedure, CopySingleFile, reported the following
   error:  Unable to do the specified file copy operation.

You can continue (ignoring the error), retry the operation, or exit Setup. If you choose to ignore the error, Setup may not be able to completely and/or correctly install the software.

Resolution 2:

This problem occurs when you install Windows NT from an unsupported CD-ROM or network drive.

Setup copies contents of the I386 directory from the Windows NT CD-ROM to the local hard disk. When you reach GUI-mode Setup, communication to the unsupported media or the network drive is terminated.

To work around this problem, copy the required drivers from the Drvlib directory on the Windows NT compact disc to the local hard disk or to a floppy disk.

Problem 3:

When you start GUI-mode Setup with multiple CD-ROM drives, one of the following messages appear:

   Please insert Windows NT Workstation/Server disk # <disk number>


   Please insert Windows NT Workstation/Server CD-ROM.

Resolution 3:

To set up Windows NT 4.0 on a computer with multiple CD-ROM drives installed:

  • Choose the CD-ROM drive that has first priority. You cannot view which CD-ROM drive has priority on your computer, but you can follow this list of priority:

          SCSI devices
          IDE (ATAPI) devices
          Non-SCSI devices in the following order:  Sony(R), Panasonic(R),


  • Place the Windows NT 4.0 CD-ROM in each CD-ROM drive until the CD-ROM drive that has priority on your computer accepts it for copying files.

Problem 4:

During the network portion of Setup, you do not want to install an adapter card but want to install the protocols to preserve bindings and settings. (This might be due to requiring a newer driver for your network card, or the use of a third-party driver for Remote Access Service (RAS) or server capabilities.)

Resolution 4:

If the computer is only a server or workstation, not a primary or secondary domain controller, when you are prompted for a network adapter, choose the MSLoopback adapter and proceed with the installation of the networking as normal. Once the system is operational, you can go back and remove the MSLoopback adapter and install the correct adapter or third- party driver.

Problem 5:

Is it important to create an Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) when requested?

Resolution 5:

In most cases, an Emergency Repair Disk and a tape backup are your primary tools for disaster recovery. If you choose not to create an Emergency Repair Disk, you are greatly diminishing the chances of recovering an installation in the event of hardware or software failure.

Problem 6:

During GUI-mode Setup, the system hangs at random intervals, either during file copies or between screens.

Resolution 6:

This usually indicates problems with computer interrupt conflicts, video, or the SCSI bus.

  1. Reconfirm hardware configuration if the problem appears to be hardware interrupt related (for example, you install the network card and the system stops responding [hangs]).

  2. If the video appears to be failing after reboot during an upgrade, you should:

    a. Power down the system and then try again to boot into GUI-mode


    b. Modify the Boot.ini file to boot to VGA-only mode during GUI-mode

          Setup, as follows:

          1. Remove the Read Only and System File attributes from the Boot.ini
             file. At an MS-DOS or OS/2 command line, type:
                attrib -s -r -h c:\boot.ini
          2. Open the Boot.ini file with a text editor and change the default
             line to include the "/basevideo" flag.
The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication.

This document is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS DOCUMENT.

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Additional query words: 4.00 prodnt tshoot
Keywords : kbsetup ntsetup NTSrvWkst
Version : 4.0
Platform : WinNT
Issue type : kbtshoot


Last reviewed: July 24, 1997
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