Windows 2000 Common Problems and Gotcha!s

  • AC3 passthrough for Soundblaster Live!
  • Active Directory

    • local registry setting to block domain policy being applied during logon
      a bit of research shows that the registry setting blocks NT Policy settings for NT and W2K boxes in an NT domain, NOT AD group policies in an AD domain. See System Policies Are Not Applied in Windows NT and How to Apply System Policies to Terminal Server

    • Group Policy May Not Be Applied to Users Belonging to Many Groups
      Kerberos token has a fixed size. The number of groups varies, but the limit is approximately 70 to 80 groups.

    • Single point of failure after converting from NT
      The first NT domain controller converted to W2K server gets the PDC Emulation role. Other servers will forward authentication and change requests to this machine. If it fails, no NT authentication or changes. The NT BDCs will stop functioning.

      Any W2K or Windows 2003 servers, W2K workstations or XP workstations will automatically detect that they are now in an Active Directory. They will convert themselves over to using Kerberos and LDAP as opposed to NTLM authentication methods. If you have to drop back to NT or the W2K DC fails before you have another one in place, these boxes will have to be removed from the domain manually and then added back in.

  • Add / Remove Programs generates error:
    mshta.exe has generated errors and will be closed by windows. You will need to restart the program. An error log is being created. You will get the error ever time you try Control Panel’s Add Remove Programs. To resolve at command line type:
    sfc /purgecache
    sfc /scannow
    If it doesn’t work, the problem may be caused by a registry problem. To resolve at command line type:
    regsvr32 appwiz.cpl

  • AGP (accelerated graphics port) with AMD processor gets corrupted memory allocation corruption in the driver causing W2K to lock. There is a reg hack:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management dword LargePageMinimum=0xffffffff.
  • APM/ACPI support, W2K Shutdown problems APM/ACPI support
  • AT: You schedule a task using Windows 2000 at scheduler. It mysteriously stops after 72 hours. Believe it or not, Microsoft built this behavior into W2K. A fix for this bizarre change will come with SP3 allowing you to have scheduled tasks run after 72 hours. Q304288
  • CD-Rom USB : you plug in a hotswapable USB CDROM. OK it doesn’t work. Not so unusual but then you discover that the internal CD-ROM is now also unavailable. Weird! Delete the two keys, UpperFilters and LowerFilters from the following key and your CD-ROMs, including the USB version should work: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  • Q304288
    AT: You schedule a task using Windows 2000 at scheduler. It mysteriously stops after 72 hours. Believe it or not, Microsoft built this behavior into W2K. A fix for this bizarre change will come with SP3 allowing you to have scheduled tasks run after 72 hours.
  • Baud rate keeps going back to 9600
    Go to Control Panel : System : Hardware : Device Manager : Port (COM & LPT) : Port Settings and override the default 9600
  • Bizarre unreliable behavior on multiboot box with Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
    You will have no problem dual booting or multi-booting IF you install each operating system on its own partition. I have seen lots of reports of flaky behavior when W2K or XP is installed on the same partition with another OS including NT or Win9x.
  • CDRW : DirectCD 3.01 or later required for W2K. Current version is 5.+ For info and update see Software updates
  • CDRW : Easy CD Creator and DirectCD

    • Microsoft Media Player 7.0 breaks Easy CD Creator and DirectCD
      Monitoring the newsgroups I see a lot of traffic pro/cons on Media Player but there seems to be a concensus on CD creator problems. A few report no problem. A large number report the CD Creator incompatibility. If this is part of your setup, I suggest caution re Media Player 7.
    • McAfee VirusScan breaks Easy CD Creator and DirectCD
      The combination of McAfee VirusScan and DirectCD can crash W2K. Adaptec has released a patch for the problem:
    • PromiseR Technology Ultra ATA/100 controller card
      Technology Ultra 100 driver version 1.60. This is known to cause conflicts. For current drivers:
    • 3COMR 3C905 network interface cards reports to conflict
      For current drivers:

  • CPU busy : One CPU Always Shown as Busy on Multiple-Processor Computer
  • Delay Viewing Shares on Win98 from W2K
    bug to be fixed next SP. There are reports that it can be resolved by deleting the key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ RemoteComputer\NameSpace\{D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}
  • Desktop does not appear after logging in with valid ID/PW. Instead the Welcome to Windows logon screen is displayed again. See Q249321: Unable to Log on if the Boot Partition Drive Letter Has Changed.
  • Dskprobe.exe May Damage Windows 2000 FAT32 Boot Sectors
  • Drivers : A persistent gotcha! is W2K driver availability. This will be resolved in time but you should check for incompatiblities. See Microsoft’s W2K Compatibility test at
  • DLL, Virtual Device Driver failed DLL initialization You install a new program and get VDD init failure. Caused by 16-bit program corrupting VDD registry value.
  • Event ID 37 or 61 Winspool Error caused by a problem in the WMI Performance Library Dredger.
    or other WinMgmt Performance counter error
  • Event ID 41
    You will get Event ID 41 on multiple CPU systems if the CPUs have different stepping levels. The text in the event log will be:
    “The CPUs in this multiprocessor system are not all the same revision level. To use all processors, the operating system restricts itself to the features of the least capable processor in the system. Should problems occur with this system, contact the CPU manufacturer to see if this mix of processors is supported.” The use of CPUs with non-matching revision levels is not good in general. If the first CPU supports features A, B, and C, and the second CPU supports feature A, the machine will use only feature A on both CPUs. Also, for these two CPUs to work together without unexpected failures, you might need to disable features B and C on the first CPU.
  • Event ID 51
    Getting these disk warnings in your event logs? If you are running an Open GL screensaver, change to a default or no screensaver and see if your errors don’t disappear.
  • Event ID 578 : See fair number of questions about the event 578 errors. See if Q266282 is your problem. If you are anal or need to see if the issue discussed in Q266282 is the problem, apply the patch and see.
  • Event ID 677 generated by the Kerberos Service Ticket Service
  • Event ID 1000 and 1202 Messages May Occur Every Five Minutes on the Domain Controller
  • Event: 2506 IRPStackSize Error caused by Norton Antivirus.
  • Exchange DLs : multi-domain gotcha! You can not use global or local groups as DLs in a multi-Domain environment! Exchange 2000 can only query one Global Catalog at a time therefore Exchange 2000 won’t be able to resolve members of Global Groups from a different domain in the forest. You have to use Universal Groups for DLs if your forest has multiple domains.
  • FASTFAT failure probably memory and not a corrupt driver
    kernel-level driver automatically loads to provide support for FAT16 volumes as well as reading and writing floppies. W2K systems sometimes crash or refuse to start reporting errors in the file FASTFAT.SYS. Before trying to replaced the driver via either a parallel install of Windows 2000 or via the Recovery Console, check the most likely cause – a faulty SIMM or DIMM. Replace the memory from a know good PC.
  • Fixmbr error : This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record. FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become inaccessible. If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do not continue. Are you sure you want to write a new MBR? Ignore the message, the fixmbr command can safely rewrite the MBR.


  • Games using MCI-DVD will not work

  • After upgrading to DirectX 8.2, you can’t play multi-user games. Possible symptoms:

  • HP : Upgrade Installation of Windows NT on HP NetServer Generates Error Event ID: 7026
    Hewlett-Packard recommends that you use the Hpdant.sys driver with its Hewlett-Packard Array Controllers and not the Dac960nt.sys driver that comes with NT

  • IE issues – probably not unique to any particular OS

    • IE: Can’t logon after installing IEAK version of IE5
    • IE only saves graphics as BMPs

    • IE : Links in Outlook Express Stop Working
      When you click on a link in Outlook Express either nothing happens, or when you open a link in a new window all you get is a blank page. The solution is fairly painless, all you need to do is re-register the URL monitor. Click on Start | Run and enter: “REGSVR32 URLMON.DLL” (without the quotes). You should then have a dialog tell you that the procedure was completed. Next, fire up Internet Explorer and Click Tools | Internet Options | Programs | then click the “Reset Web Settings” button.

  • IISreset gotcha!
  • Impersonation programs like su.exe fail starting with SP4 : user right Impersonate a client after authentication is required for the account that will run the impersonation program.
  • Internet Connection Sharing [ ICS ] does not work
    If ICS is installed on a W2K running either DNS or DHCP server, ICS will not work.
  • IP addresses: W2K only supports 51
    BugNet tests have verified that once the magical 52nd IP addresses is reached, without any warning or fanfare, Windows 2000 Server’s Active Directory misplaces all of its directory

  • Installation fails
    Attempts to install Windows 2000 Pro fail. If you have two video cards and only one has a monitor. Plug a monitor into the second video card and try again. This should clear up the problem.
  • ISA console error message when trying to connect thru the console: Operation Failed – You do not have necessary permissions to perform this act. Failed to Connect.
    You installed the Remote ISA Server MMC console on W2K Pro even logged in as a Domain Admin. To fix: Click

    • start
    • run
    • dcomcnfg.exe
    • Select Default Access Permissions on the Default Security tab.
    • Add the Administrators Group
    • Reboot the isa server
    For this and lots of other ISA tips, see ISA server FAQs.
  • LDAP Sessions Don’t Time Out
  • LDAP and Exchange port conflict
  • Logon script generates system error 85
    Your home drive mapping occurs before the logon script runs. If the home drive mappling grabs a drive letter that you try to allocate as part of the logon script, you will get system error 85. Admins tend to scratch their heads over this drive letter conflict. How could the user profile be conflicting with the logon script? It should be first. It is. It is an admnistrator conflict. Change one or the other to resolve.

  • Logon Time: Mixed NT and W2K Servers Logon Time Restriction
  • NT4 BDC : Cannot Add Windows NT 4.0 BDC to a Windows 2000 Domain
  • Mapped Drives in Windows Explorer Retain the Name of a Disconnected Drive
  • NTLDR boot error

    If you get error at boot:

    BOOT: Couldn’t find NTLDR
    Please insert another Disk

    IF the NTLDR file is missing, you will see this error message. Replace the missing file using the repair process.

  • NTDETECT.COM boot error

    If you get error at boot:

    NTDETECT V4.01: Checking Harware
    NTDETECT failed
    Error Opening NTDETECT
    Press any key to continue

    NTDETECT.COM is missing or corrupt. Replace the missing file using the repair process. Alternatively the error could be generated if the ARC path in the BOOT.INI file is incorrect. Added a new drive?

  • NTOSKRNL.EXE boot error

    If you get error at boot:

    Windows NT could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    \winnt\system32\NTOSKRNL.EXE Please reinstall a copy of the above file.
    The kernel file is missing or corrupt. Use the W2K emergency repair process to fix.

  • Outlook 97 : Cannot Start Outlook 97 in Windows 2000
    You receive the following error message: The Program is not registered properly. Please run Setup again. You don’t have appropriate permission to perform this operation. This happens if you are a local user or a domain user. Only local admins or domain admins can run Outlook 97 correctly. To fix it, you need to grant Users or Domain Users permissions to the key
  • Password change delegation
    when you delegate the ability to reset passwords to a user or group by using the Delegation of Control Wizard, that user or group does not have the permission to force a user, for whom the password has been reset, to change their password the next time that the user logs on. If the user to whom you give the permission to reset passwords right-clicks a user account, clicks Reset Password, and then clicks to select the User must change password at next logon check box, the user is not forced to change their password the next time that this user logs on. resolution: Q296999

  • Password change gotcha! : If you are logged onto two workstations, say a user workstation and admin workstation, and you change your AD password on one of the workstations. You are likely to get a surprise. On the the second workstation when the Kerberos Ticket attempts to refresh its token, it will result in your AD account getting locked out.
  • Computer Account Password Causes Error Message 0xc000006c user password filter applied to computer password – bug
  • PerfDisk Performance counter errors
  • Power-Saving : Laptop Computer May Be Unable to Enter
  • Printing is slow, slow, slow
    Clear your cache. You can get a hellish number of temporary print files if you do much printing using IE.
  • Print popups announcing job printed successfully
    It is a pain. Want to turn it off?

    • click Control Panel
    • Printers
    • Select Server Properties from the File menu
    • Select the Advanced tab
    • Uncheck the option Notify when remote documents are printed

  • Quickbooks causes kernel error during upgrade or Windows Readiness test
  • Reboots after a failure, W2K
    The system is probably set to automatically reboot when it fails. To turn off automatic reboot:

    • Right-click on My Computer and select Properties
    • Go to Advanced Tab
    • Under System Failure disable Automatically Reboot

  • Renamed folder when viewed in Explorer shows original name – press F5
  • Runas does not work with UNCs in W2K – NOT so
    NO : runas /user:Domainuser “\servernamesharepath”
    YES: runas /user:Domainuser “explorer \servernamesharepath”

  • Scheduler
    Scheduled Tasks No Longer Run When You Remove Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 See Q823441 for more info.
  • Services don’t start after installing ISA : for some reason longfile name support was disabled.
  • Server or workstation shutdown problems
    have seen several reports of W2K servers not shutting down, never getting to the shutdown screen. not uncommon for workstations either. In a lot of cases, the problem seems to be caused by the presence of Media Player. Now why one would have Media Player on a server ???? In any case, remove it and see if that resolves the problem. If you are using a server as a desktop, go to Control Panel, Display, Screen Saver, Click on the Power button and set the Power Schemes to Home/Office Desk.
  • sfc
    lots of problems with Windows 2000 can be solved using the command line utility sfc. See Manage boot volume space consumed by Windows 2000 Windows File Protection dllcache for background and more info on the sfc utility. If your W2K installation is now flaky, it may be something you installed that overwrote a W2K critical dll. Run sfc /scannow
  • Shares on the W2K server not accessible
    Windows 2000 allows creation of sharenames of length greater than 20 characters. Don’t if you want any other OS to access them, keep the sharenames below 20 characters.
  • Shortcuts from the Start Menu or from the Desktop don’t run Q172223
    When you double-click on a shortcut or select an item from the Start menu, nothing happens. When you try to run any program or shortcut from Control Panel, the following error messages may appear:

    Access to the specified device, path, or file is denied. -or- This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in My Computer by clicking View and then clicking Options. The problem is caused by the Open and/or Open\Command key(s) in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Exefile\Shell subkey of the registry have been corrupted, modified, or are missing.

  • Stop 0xC2 or Stop 0x000000C2 Error Messages, How to debug
  • Stop 0x6b or Stop 0x0000006b Stop 0x0000006b 0xc0000022. The code 0xC0000022 indicates “access denied.” This error generally occurs after applying a hotfix. See Q307012 to fix.
  • STOP 0x00000073 CONFIG_LIST_FAILED Error Message in Windows XP
    one of the core Windows system hives (the SAM hive, the SECURITY hive, the SOFTWARE hive, or the DEFAULT hive) cannot be linked in the Windows registry. However, this error does not mean that the hive is damaged or that it was not loaded successfully.
  • System Cannot Log You on Because Domain Computername Is Not Available
  • UNC : \\server\share is 10% slower than using drive letters.
    OK. No big deal usually but I have seen reports that Norton AV Autoprotect v7, nav2001 can make the UNCs extremely slow. If you think you have the problem, turn off Autoprotect and see if the network copies return to normal speeds.
  • “User Must Log On in Order to Change Password” Option No Longer Exists
    The Group Policy documentation is no longer correct on this subject.
  • SP1 breaks personal firewalls including BlackIce and ZoneAlarm.

    The vendors have to modified their products to make them compatible with W2K SP1.

    SP1 upgrade process generated virus alerts from NAV2000

    Upgrade Norton’s Antivirus to latest signatures to avoid issue or stop warnings

    Stop 0x0000007b INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE or computer hangs on install
    UltraDMA ATA/66 hard disk controller gotcha!

    STOP 0x7B Error Message or Unformatted Partitions After You Apply W2K SP1

    After your computer restarts, partitions on physical hard disks may be either missing or appear in the Disk Management tool as 7.88 gigabytes (GB) in size and “Healthy”. However, within the drive, one or more of the partitions may be listed as being unformatted or damaged. Also, if you try to open the partition in Windows Explorer, you receive a message that indicates the drive is not formatted and you are then prompted to format the drive. Windows 2000 SP1 introduced a fix to correct when CHS or LBA addressing should be used to address a drive. Some IDE hard disks provide a jumper that limits the number of cylinders. If this jumper is in use, the hard disk is not addressed properly after you apply Windows 2000 SP1. Note that this jumper is not required when you are running Windows 2000, is not usually installed as a default setting by the manufacturer, and should be removed.

    USB permission gotcha!

    Windows Update is enable when SP4 applied even if you have it disabled.

    When you logon, a Windows NT Explorer window opens displaying the contents of the System32 folder. This is can occur if a null, incomplete, or damaged entry exists in the registry. See Q170086.

    W2K has changed the NetBIOS domain naming standard from NT4. The space is no longer a legal character. Win2K NetBIOS domain names can contain the following special characters:

       ! @ # $ % ^ & ( ) – _ ‘ { } . ~

    I have added a separate tip for Windows 2000 logon issues

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