Troubleshooting Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional

Troubleshooting Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional

by Jerry Joyce, Marianne Moon

Paperback(2000 ed.)

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Overview

Trouble with your Windows 2000 system? Confounded by error messages? With this handy "Troubleshooting" guide, it's easy to pinpoint — and solve — your own software problems. Fast! Each section opens with a troubleshooting chart to help quickly diagnose the source of the problem. It offers clear, step-by-step solutions to try right away, plus a full chapter of things to do to stay out of trouble or learn a new trick. Continuous support via the Troubleshooting "Latest Solutions" Web site provides monthly updates on additional problem solving information. Books in the "Troubleshooting" series are colorful, superbly organized, and easy to read, giving even novice users the confidence to fix it themselves — without calling tech support or wasting time on futile trial and error. This book shows how to troubleshoot accessing and organizing information, running programs, networking, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735611658
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Publication date: 01/01/2001
Series: Eu-Undefined Series
Edition description: 2000 ed.
Pages: 333
Product dimensions: 7.42(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.64(d)

Read an Excerpt

Starting up

  • Windows won’t start correctly
    • Source of the problem
  • I can’t repair the computer because I can’t start it
    • Source of the problem
    • How to fix it
    • More about booting
  • Windows takes a long time to get started
    • Source of the problem
    • How to fix it
  • Windows keeps reconfiguring my computer
    • Source of the problem
    • How to fix it
    • Hardware profiles are for special situations


Starting up

Windows won’t start correctly

Source of the problem

Despite all the safeguards built into the system, there are many ways to break Windows. Not only can you mess it up by deleting essential files or making the wrong settings, but hardware or software that isn’t fully compatible with Windows 2000 can do some evil things to the system. For example, you might try using an old device driver for your modem because there are no Windows 2000 drivers available for the modem. Some drivers might work just fine, but others will cause a system failure. If you used software to create your own CDs on a computer running Windows 98, you might find that your system locks up when you install the software on a computer that’s running Windows 2000. Although there’s no substitute for checking the software and hardware compatibility lists before you install or modify anything on your computer, Windows does provide a couple of other safeguards. If the system isn’t working correctly, you can try starting Windows using the settings that worked previously. If that doesn’t work, you can usually start the system in Safe Mode, with only minimal features available, and then try to fix the problem.

How to fix it

  1. Start Windows. When you see the "Starting Windows" message on the black screen, press the F8 key. (Depending on your computer, you might need to do this very quickly.) If your computer is set up to run more than one operating system, you can press the F8 key when you’re prompted to select an operating system. When you press the F8 key, the Windows 2000 Advanced Options menu appears, offering you several choices. Use the Down arrow key to select the Last Known Good Configuration item, and press Enter. In the Hardware Profile/Configuration Recovery menu that appears, you can select a different hardware profile if your computer has one, or you can start with the default profile. If you created a backup profile before making any major hardware changes, and if you’ve since reversed the hardware changes, select the backup profile, and press Enter. Otherwise, wait for the default profile to be used and for the computer to start.

  2. TIP:
    For information about creating and using hardware profiles, see "Windows keeps reconfiguring my computer" on page 268.

  3. If Windows starts normally, reverse whatever you did that caused the problem. If you installed a program, remove it. If you installed a hardware driver, remove it. If you discover that whatever you did has already been reversed, be happy—it means that Windows ignored the cause of the problem when you started up using the previous configuration.
  4. If Windows didn’t start normally, restart the computer, and press the F8 key to return to the Windows 2000 Advanced Options menu. Now you must select the startup option you want. Determine what you need to do, use the arrow keys to select the appropriate option, and then press Enter to start Windows in the mode you selected.
    • Safe Mode: Starts Windows with no network connections and without most of its drivers. Use this option to correct settings, remove programs or drivers, or fix network problems.
    • Safe Mode With Networking: Starts Windows with network connections but without most of its drivers. Use this option if any resources you need are on the network, or if someone is going to try to fix your computer from another computer on the network.
    • Safe Mode With Command Prompt: Starts Windows without network connections, without most of its drivers, and with the command prompt only. Use this option only if you have special utilities that run from the command prompt and/or you have detailed instructions about repairing your computer from the command prompt. Repairing the system from the command prompt is not for the timid.
    • Enable Boot Logging: Starts Windows normally, and records startup information to the ntbtlog.txt file (in the WINNT folder). It’s useful in diagnosing the startup problem. If the system fails to start correctly, restart in Safe Mode, and examine the log.

  5. Log on to the computer as the Administrator, and change the settings or remove the program or driver that’s causing the problem. Then restart the computer and see whether it will start in Standard Mode.

  6. TIP:
    If you don’t have the Windows 2000 Professional Setup disks, see "I can’t repair the computer because I can’t start it" on page 264 for information about creating the disks.

  7. If you were unable to correct the problem in Safe Mode, you need to go to the next level of repair. If your computer is on a large network with a domain, get help from your network administrator. If you’re on a small network or you have a stand-alone computer, insert the Windows 2000 Professional CD, and then restart Windows and try to get the computer to boot from the CD (some computers require you to press a key to boot from the CD). If the computer doesn’t boot from the CD, shut down Windows and the computer, insert the first of the four Windows 2000 Professional Setup disks into the floppy disk drive, and restart the computer. Step through the setup process, and, in the Welcome To Setup section, press R to begin the repair process. In the Windows Repair Options section, press R to use the emergency repair process. Specify whether you want to use the automatic or the manual repair process, and whether you want to use your emergency repair disk, if you have one. Complete the process, restart Windows, and see whether you’ve repaired the problem.
  8. If none of the foregoing has solved the problem, you might need to repeat the repair process, this time choosing to install a new copy of Windows. However, consult a repair professional first, because this is the last resort.

I can’t repair the computer because I can’t start it

Source of the problem

There are two ways to start your computer when you need to use the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional CD to repair the operating system. If your computer supports it, you can insert the CD and boot directly from it. If your computer doesn’t support booting from the CD, you’ll need to use a set of four floppy disks to start the system. If you can’t find the boot disks, don’t worry—you can create a whole new set of the disks from the Windows 2000 Professional CD. Regardless of the way you start your computer, you’ll enter Windows 2000 Setup, where you can either reinstall Windows 2000 or use repair tools to fix a serious problem.

How to fix it

  1. The first step is to assemble the pieces you need to work with. You will, of course, need the Windows 2000 Professional CD. If you need to create the Setup disks, you’ll need four blank formatted floppy disks and access to a working computer. (You can also use disks that contain material you don’t need any more—the process of creating the Setup disks will delete anything on the disks.) Label each disk as "Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Setup Disk," and number the disks consecutively.

  2. WARNING:
    In a corporate network environment, Windows is usually set up using special deployment tools over a network or from a specially designed CD. If you need to fix the system, but you didn’t install Windows 2000 on your computer and don’t have the Windows 2000 Professional CD, check with the network administrator about the methods and tools he or she uses to repair problems. Trying to run the Setup program on a system that was set up over a network can cause serious problems.

  3. If your computer can boot from a CD, and if the computer is turned off, turn it on; if it’s running, restart it. As soon as the computer has power, quickly place the CD in the CD drive. Watch the screen for any instructions about booting from the CD (usually a message telling you to press any key). Wait for the computer to start and for Windows Setup to start. Follow the instructions to run the parts of Setup that you want to use.
  4. If you need to create the Setup disks, insert the Windows 2000 Professional CD into the CD drive of any computer running Windows or MS-DOS. If you’re prompted to log on as another user, click the option to log on as yourself. (You don’t need Administrator permission to create these disks.) If you’re asked whether you want to upgrade your operating system, click No to cancel any automatic installation. (This might occur if you’re using a computer that’s running an operating system other than Windows 2000.)
  5. If the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional CD window appears, click Browse This CD. If this window doesn’t appear, in My Computer, double-click the CD.
  6. (Image unavailable)

  7. In the folder window for the CD, double-click the BOOTDISK folder. Double-click MAKEBOOT in the BOOTDISK folder. When the Command Prompt window opens, type the letter of the floppy disk drive (usually a), insert the first floppy disk into the drive, and press any key. Wait for the information to be copied, and then insert the second floppy disk when prompted. Repeat for the remaining two disks, making sure to insert them in the correct order. When all four disks have been created, close the BOOTDISK folder window and close the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional CD window.
  8. (Image unavailable)

  9. Return to your broken computer. Insert the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Setup Disk 1 in the floppy disk drive, and start the computer. Follow the instructions, placing each disk in the drive as needed. When prompted, place the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional CD in the computer’s CD drive, and follow the instructions for repairing the existing installation or installing a new copy of the operating system. If you install a new operating system, you might lose many of your settings and might need to reinstall your programs. Installing a new copy of the operating system should be your last resort.

More about booting

Booting from the CD is by far the quickest way to start Setup and the repair process. Although most computers that support Windows 2000 will boot from a CD, some have had this option disabled in the computer’s setup (the BIOS, or basic input/output system). If your computer won’t start from the CD, check its documentation to see whether it does support booting from the CD and, if so, how you can enable booting from the CD in the computer’s settings.

Windows takes a long time to get started

Source of the problem

You arrive at your desk, turn on your computer, and wait for Windows to start up so that you can log on and get to work—and you wait…and you wait…and you wait. Why is it taking so long? Well, it does take Windows a little time to load the items that it needs to function properly, but that time can be greatly affected one way or the other by the speed of your computer and your network connections, and especially by the way you’ve set up the computer. You can usually speed up Windows’ startup time by tweaking those settings so that Windows doesn’t have to work so hard to get started.

How to fix it

  1. Start Windows, and watch as it starts up. Note what it does and where it seems to slow down. If, for example, you’re logging on to a network, see whether it’s that process that causes a major slowdown. If you’re dialing in to the network, you should expect a delay, depending on the speed (or lack thereof) of the connection and the time the server takes to verify your account. If you have a direct connection to a network that has a domain, the logon should be fairly quick. If it’s slow, ask the network administrator whether it’s possible to speed up the network logon.

  2. TIP:
    Don’t leave a CD or a removable disk in its drive unless you need it. When Windows starts, it tests each drive, and, if it finds a CD or a disk, it reads the contents, which adds to the startup time.

  3. Most startup delays occur immediately after you’ve logged on. At that point, Windows is working on all the extra, time-consuming tasks it’s been assigned—displaying the contents of open windows, for example, and restoring network connections. To prevent an open folder window from appearing when you start Windows, close all your folder windows before you log off or shut down Windows. To eliminate or reduce the number of network connections that Windows has to restore, disconnect any network drives you don’t need. To do so, in My Computer, right-click the mapped network drive, and click Disconnect on the shortcut menu.
  4. The next step is to determine which programs are starting automatically when Windows starts, and to prevent them from doing so if you don’t always need them at startup. On the Programs submenu of the Start menu, point to Startup, and examine any programs listed on the submenu. These are the programs that start automatically when you start Windows or when you log on. Drag any program you don’t need at startup from the Startup submenu into another location on the Start menu. You’ll be able to start the program when you need it by clicking its name on the Start menu. If you do leave programs in the Startup folder, make sure they’re not configured to run tasks that could take a long time (otherwise, be prepared to wait uncomplainingly for the task to be completed). For example, if you have a mail program in the Startup folder and you’ve configured it to download an address book each time it starts, the startup time will increase substantially.
  5. Not all programs that start automatically are shown on the Startup submenu. To see which other programs are set to start when Windows starts, on the System Tools submenu of the Start menu, click System Information. In the left pane of the System Information window, double-click the Software Environment item to expand it, and then click Startup Programs. In the right pane of the window, note the programs that are listed, and then close the System Information window. Most of these programs probably do need to start when Windows starts, but, if you identify a program that shouldn’t be included, check the program’s documentation for information about preventing it from starting automatically. Sometimes you’ll need to uninstall and then reinstall the program, using different installation choices so that it isn’t set to start automatically.
  6. (Image unavailable)

  7. Programs can be scheduled to run in other ways too. To see whether a program is scheduled to run when you log on, on the System Tools submenu of the Start menu, click Scheduled Tasks. In the Scheduled Tasks window, see whether a task is scheduled to be run at logon. If so, right-click the task, and click Properties on the shortcut menu. In the dialog box that appears, either clear the Enable check box on the Task tab to prevent the task from being run, or, on the Schedule tab, reschedule the task, and then click OK. Close the Scheduled Tasks window when you’ve finished.
  8. (Image unavailable)

  9. Yet another way a program can be set to run when you start Windows is with a logon
  10. script—a set of special instructions that are run at logon. If you created the logon script, we’ll assume that you know how to edit it to remove unnecessary programs. If you didn’t create the script, don’t try to modify it—you could create a situation in which you can’t log on at all. Instead, try to obtain an updated script from the network administrator or from the person who created the logon script.
  11. Another long delay in logging on can occur if your computer is set to use offline files, either from your network or the Internet. For information about modifying the way offline files are synchronized, see "Windows takes a long time to shut down" on page 248.

Windows keeps reconfiguring my computer

Source of the problem

When you add hardware to or remove it from your computer, the change is usually detected when you start Windows, and Windows makes the proper adjustments to your system. This is usually a good thing. However, if you routinely use your computer in two or more different configurations, this repetitive detection and reconfiguration can be annoying and time consuming. For example, if you use a scanner connected to a serial port in one configuration, and you use the same serial port for a modem in another configuration, you’ll have to spend time working with Windows to configure one of the devices each time you change the configuration and restart Windows. Fortunately, Windows provides a simple and convenient way to avoid this problem: you can create a separate hardware profile on your computer for each different configuration you use. When you start Windows, all you need to do is select the profile you want to use, and Windows is all set without installing, uninstalling, or disabling support for different pieces of hardware.

How to fix it

  1. Windows usually starts with a single profile on your computer that records your current configuration. This profile will be your starting point, so make sure the computer is configured properly for one of your configurations. If you made any changes to the configuration, restart the computer. Log on to the computer as the Administrator.
  2. What you’re going to do is copy your main profile and then modify it to create a second profile. To copy the profile, right-click My Computer, and click Properties on the shortcut menu. On the Hardware tab, click Hardware Profiles. In the Hardware Profiles dialog box, click your current profile if it isn’t already selected, and click Copy.
  3. (Image unavailable)

  4. In the Copy Profile dialog box, accept the proposed name or type a descriptive name for the new profile, and click OK. In the Hardware Profiles Selection section, click the option to wait until you select the profile. Click OK to close the Hardware Profiles dialog box, and click OK again to close the System Properties dialog box.
  5. Although you’ve created a new profile, any hardware changes you make now will be stored in the original profile. To set up your new profile, shut down Windows. Make any hardware changes you want, and then start the computer and Windows. During the startup process, you’ll see the Hardware Profile/Configuration Recovery menu. Use the Down arrow key to select the profile you just created, and press Enter.
  6. Log on as the Administrator, and do whatever you need to do to configure the hardware on the computer exactly as you want it. Test your setup to verify that everything is working properly.
  7. If you’ll be using one profile most of the time, right-click My Computer, and click Properties on the shortcut menu. On the Hardware tab, click the Hardware Profiles button. Click the profile that you want to be your default profile, and use the Up arrow, if necessary, to move the profile to the top of the list. In the Hardware Profiles Selection section, click the option to automatically use the first profile, and set the number of seconds to a value long enough to allow you to select a profile at startup.
  8. (Image unavailable)

  9. If at some point you find that you use one profile exclusively, and you’d prefer not to see the Hardware Profile/Configuration Recovery menu at startup, you can delete the profile you no longer use. To do so, right-click My Computer, click Properties on the shortcut menu, and, on the Hardware tab, click the Hardware Profiles button. In the Hardware Profiles dialog box, click the profile you don’t use, and click the Delete button. Click OK, and then click OK again.

Hardware profiles are for special situations

Profiles are used primarily with portable computers, but they can be used in any system on which you have two or more configurations. A portable computer that has a docking station usually has two profiles—one for when the computer is docked and the other for when it’s undocked. In most cases, Windows creates these profiles automatically. When you start the computer or change the docking state, Windows usually detects whether the computer is docked and selects the appropriate profile. Create additional profiles only if you’re having problems. You can also create a profile before you make extensive changes to your system. That way, if the system doesn’t work correctly after the changes, you can restore the hardware setup to the way it was, and then start Windows using the profile for the original configuration.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  Page x
About this book  Page xi
    How to use this book  Page xi
Troubleshooting tips  Page xiii
    How to troubleshoot  Page xiii
    The Troubleshooting web site  Page xvii
Access to the computer  Page 2
    I can’t make changes to my computer settings  Page 4
    Too many people can access my files on the network  Page 6
    Other people can access the files on my computer  Page 8
Date and time  Page 10
    The date or the time is incorrect  Page 12
    The date or the time is in the wrong format  Page 14
Desktop  Page 16
    I can’t get the Desktop to look the way I want  Page 18
    My Desktop needs some serious housecleaning  Page 20
    Some Desktop items are missing  Page 22
    Some Active Desktop items aren’t working properly  Page 24
    The Active Desktop is disabled  Page 26
Dial-up connection  Page 28
    I can’t log on remotely  Page 30
    I can’t set up an automatic remote connection  Page 32
    I can’t connect to my Internet service provider  Page 34
Disk storage  Page 36
    The disk is full  Page 38
    I can’t open a file or folder  Page 40
    It takes such a long time to find a document  Page 42
    I’m denied permission when I’m working on a removable disk  Page 44
Dual boot  Page 46
    An operating system won’t start  Page 48
    My Windows 95/98/Me installation eliminates dual booting  Page 50
Encryption  Page 52
    My files aren’t encrypted  Page 54
    I can’t decrypt my files or folders  Page 56
Faxes, receiving  Page 58
    Fax isn’t configured for answering and storing faxes  Page 60
    I can’t receive a fax  Page 62
    I can’t read a fax  Page 64
    A fax call doesn’t wake the computer  Page 66
Faxes, sending  Page 68
    I can’t send a fax  Page 70
    The faxes I’ve been sending look weird  Page 72
    The information on my fax cover page is wrong  Page 74
Folders  Page 76
    I can’t get my folder windows to look the way I want  Page 78
    My folder windows don’t display all the information I need  Page 80
    I can’t open my folders in separate windows  Page 82
    My folder windows aren’t set up for certain types of files  Page 84
    I can’t manage my folders  Page 86
Games  Page 88
    My game won’t run  Page 90
    My mouse doesn’t work in some games  Page 92
    I can’t play an Internet game over a shared connection  Page 94
Hardware installation  Page 96
    The device wasn’t detected  Page 98
    The device was misidentified  Page 100
    The device doesn’t work  Page 102
Internet Explorer  Page 104
    It takes so long to download web pages  Page 106
    I don’t like the font or the font size on some web pages  Page 108
    Web pages in other languages are unreadable  Page 110
Internet Sharing client  Page 112
    My network connection to the ICS host computer is broken  Page 114
    My computer uses the wrong connection to connect to the Internet  Page 116
Internet Sharing host  Page 118
    I couldn’t get ICS installed  Page 120
    I installed ICS, but I can’t find other computers  Page 122
Keyboard  Page 124
    My keyboard doesn’t work  Page 126
    My keyboard doesn’t have the characters I need  Page 128
    Characters are repeated when I don’t want them to be  Page 130
    I get characters I don’t expect on the screen  Page 132
    I can’t navigate Windows with the keyboard  Page 134
Logging on  Page 136
    I can’t log on  Page 138
    I’m not required to use a password to log on  Page 140
    I can log on only locally  Page 142
    Someone else’s name is listed when I log on  Page 144
Modems  Page 146
    My modem isn’t detected  Page 148
    My modem can’t dial a phone number  Page 150
    I can’t exchange data over my modem  Page 152
    My modem is really slow  Page 154
Mouse  Page 156
    My mouse doesn’t work  Page 158
    Parts of my mouse don’t work properly  Page 160
    I can’t control my mouse  Page 162
    I can’t find or follow the mouse pointer  Page 164
    The mouse pointer looks strange  Page 166
Multiple monitors  Page 168
    The secondary display adapter isn’t working  Page 170
    The computer starts on the wrong monitor  Page 172
    My programs, windows, and dialog boxes are displayed on the wrong monitor  Page 174
    My monitors are in the wrong place or are the wrong size  Page 176
Outlook Express  Page 178
    I can’t manage my messages on the mail server  Page 180
    I spend too much time (and money) on line  Page 182
    My e-mail messages are mixed up with other people’s mail  Page 184
    Someone out there might be reading my mail  Page 186
Power options  Page 188
    My screen is resting when I need to work  Page 190
    My computer doesn’t wake up correctly  Page 192
    Hibernation doesn’t work as I expected it to  Page 194
    There’s no Standby option  Page 196
    My computer won’t go into Standby mode  Page 198
    Standby doesn’t work as I expected it to  Page 200
Printing, local  Page 202
    My printer doesn’t work  Page 204
    I try to print a document, but nothing happens  Page 206
    The printer isn’t performing as I expected  Page 208
    The separator page is wrong or is missing  Page 210
    Some people are unable to use my printer  Page 212
Printing, network  Page 214
    The printer isn’t set up for my system  Page 216
    MS-DOS programs won’t print over the network  Page 218
Programs  Page 220
    I can’t manage my programs  Page 222
    My program suddenly stopped working  Page 224
    A program that ran in an earlier version of Windows won’t run now  Page 226
    An MS-DOS program won’t run  Page 228
Screen  Page 230
    My screen crashes at startup  Page 232
    My screen’s performance is really slow  Page 234
    I can’t change my screen’s display settings  Page 236
    The screen flickers and is hard to look at  Page 238
    Part of the Desktop is missing  Page 240
Shutting down  Page 242
    I can’t shut down Windows  Page 244
    I’m working, and Windows suddenly shuts down  Page 246
    Windows takes a long time to shut down  Page 248
Sound  Page 250
    My sound system doesn’t work  Page 252
    I can’t play, hear, or record what I want  Page 254
    Voices echo or sound choppy in Internet or conference calls  Page 256
    There’s no (CD) music in my life  Page 258
Starting up  Page 260
    Windows won’t start correctly  Page 262
    I can’t repair the computer because I can’t start it  Page 264
    Windows takes a long time to get started  Page 266
    Windows keeps reconfiguring my computer  Page 268
Start menu  Page 270
    Some items I want aren’t on the Start menu  Page 272
    An item on the Start menu doesn’t work  Page 274
    The Start menu is disorganized  Page 276
Taskbar  Page 278
    The taskbar is missing  Page 280
    The taskbar is the wrong size or is in the wrong location  Page 282
    The items I want aren’t on the taskbar  Page 284
Toolbars  Page 286
    The items I need aren’t on the toolbars  Page 288
    I can’t find the items I want on the toolbars  Page 290
    The toolbars are too big or are in the wrong place  Page 292
APPENDIX A  Page  
    Installing a service pack  Page 295
APPENDIX B  Page  
    Editing the Registry  Page 297
APPENDIX C  Page  
    Gathering information  Page 299
INDEX  Page 303

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