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PACE-IT: Troubleshooting Windows OS (part 2)


Hello, I’m Brian Ferrill, and welcome to PACE I T’s session on troubleshooting Windows operating systems part two. Today, we’re going to talk
about symptoms, causes of those symptoms, and tools to troubleshoot and repair your
Windows operating system. With that, let’s go ahead and begin this session.
Let’s begin this discussion with symptoms, causes, and tools. The first symptom we’re
going to talk about is your PC boots automatically into safe mode. The usual cause for this is
a misconfiguration to the start up process, and/or possible malware infection. To check
to see if it’s a configuration issue, use msconfig.exe to check the startup configuration.
And if that’s not the problem, then you need to work with your antivirus software and run
it in safe mode so that it can remove the malware. Now if a file fails to open, well, the usual causes include an unknown file extension,
or you’re missing the appropriate application for the file to open, or the file association
has been modified. Tools to resolve this include using the default program’s applet in the
Control Panel, or the command prompt to determine what file types are associated with applications. The command to do that is assoc pipe more (accoc |more). Now sometimes, when you boot you might get a message that says missing ntldr. Missing
NT loader. This one can be frustrating. Causes include trying to boot from a non-bootable
disk, your BIOS settings may be incorrect, you may have a corrupted boot sector, or a
corrupted MBR, or your NT loader file is missing or corrupted. Tools to troubleshoot and resolve
this include your BIOS settings page-to ensure that the boot order is proper, the command
prompt. From there, you run either fixboot or bootrec with the fixboot option to repair
the boot sector, or you run fixmbr or bootrec with the fixmbr option to repair the MBR.
You may need to manually copy a new NT loader file, and I’ve included the commands here for you. Related to the missing NT loader error message
is the missing boot.ini message. This only occurs in XP, by the way. The symptom is that
the PC will not boot and you get this message. The causes are the same as the NT loader,
only they involve the boot.ini file. The tools to fix it are the same as the NT loader, and
you can rebuild the boot.ini file with the bootcfg rebuild command.
Now your PC may fail to boot and you’ll get a missing operating system message. A missing
graphical interface, invalid boot disk, bootmgr not found, bootmgr is missing-any of those
messages all kind of point towards the same thing-all of these indicate that your graphical
user interface isn’t loading. Now, the causes for this can be the wrong boot order in the
BIOS, or a problem with the boot sector or MBR. Tools to fix it include the BIOS settings
page, the fixboot or bootrec with fixboot command, the fixmbr or bootrec with fixmbr
command. Finally, you might need to run the bootrec with rebuildbcd command. That’s the
boot configuration data file. Those are in Windows Vista and in newer operating system.
The BCD holds the boot parameters for Window, and informs the PC how to load the operating system. Now, let’s talk about some additional tools
for troubleshooting your Windows operating system. The first one that we’re going to
talk about is the Recovery Console, or in newer versions, the Recovery Environment.
It’s available from the advanced boot option page. To get there, you hold down F8 during
the startup process. This provides additional tools to the user for troubleshooting and
repairing a PC. You can also use emergency repair disks. These are bootable media that
holds a basic operating system that allows access to tools for troubleshooting and repairing systems that will not boot to their own operating system. You may also use regedit. This is
a registry editor for the Windows operating system. It can be used to modify or create
registry entries. Caution must be used here, as a mistake can cause more issues than it resolves. Finally, Windows Vista and newer operating
systems provide a tool called Startup Repair. This is an option from the system’s recovery
option menu that, when run, can diagnose and automatically repair many boot sector and
MBR issues without any intervention of the user. Now, that concludes this session on troubleshooting Windows operating systems part two. We talked
about symptoms, causes of those symptoms, some tools that you can use to resolve those
problems, and then some additional tools that are available for you to troubleshoot and
repair your Windows operating system. Now, on behalf of PACE I T, thank you for watching
and we’ll do it again soon.

Bernard Jenkins

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