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Disaster Recovery | NT 4.0 Home Page |


Be prepared

1) Create an emergency repair disk using the Rdisk command. - ...see the RDISK page

2) Save the repair information to the hard drive using the Rdisk /s option - ...see the RDISK page

3) Create the 3 boot disks needed for booting NT. - ...see the install NT page

4) Have the NT system CD or a copy readily accesible.

5) Have the Service Pack CD readily available

What to consider when installing NT

1) place only NT system files on the C drive. All other programs should be placed on the next hard drive. In case of a re-install only the C drive will be affected and all other files will remain on the different drive.

2) consider installing a second copy on NT server on a different folder. In case of trouble, you can select the alternate configuration during boot.


1) Every time you make major changes like installations of software you should recreate the Rdisk emergency repair disk.

2) Make backups routinely, and use a sensible rotation method that gives you at least 3 copies of the backup data.


After there is trouble...

...for NT 3.5 see KB article Q129102 @ Microsoft Link

In case of trouble, such as when NT will not boot, use the 3 boot disks you've created to boot the computer. At a certain point during the boot process, the computer will ask for the Emergency Repair disk you hopefully created as well. If everything goes well you should be able to repair the corrupt installation.

Reboot the computer with Disk 1, then when the computer asks, install Disk 2.

After several screens, you will be presented with the window "Welcome to Setup" and it will have the selections

In this case you need to select the " damaged.." selection, so press the R key to continue

The following screen will be displayed

[X] Inspect registry files
[X] Inspect startup environment
[X] Verify Windows NT system files
[X] Inspect boot sector
      Continue <perform selected tasks>

You can uncheck one or more of this entries or just let it run the way it is configured

Press Enter to continue

You will next be presented with a screen that allows you to select disk controllers. Most of the time you can press Enter to continue.

You will be asked to insert Disk 3

The disk controllers found will be displayed and you will be able to press Enter to continue

The next window will ask you if you have an Emergency Repair Disk.

You will be presented with the path (c:\winnt ) to the installation found on the drive.

Press Enter to repair the installation at that location

You will now see the following screen

Setup will now examine your hard disk(s) for corruption

In order to examine your drives, Setup requires the original installation
media. If you do not have the media, you may skip the verification process.

  • To allow Setup to verify your disk(s) press Enter
  • To skip disk verification, press ESC

Pressing Enter will prompt you to insert the NT system CD-ROM disk in the drive.

The drive will be checked for errors.

Next you will get a window prompting you to select what items to inspect in the registry

Setup will restore each registry file shown below with an 'X' in
its check box.

To restore the selected files, press ENTER to indicate "Continue".
If you want to select or deselect any item in the list, press the
Up or DOWN ARROW key to move the highlight to the item you want
to change. Then press ENTER.

WARNING: Restore a registry file only as a last resort.
Existing configuration may be lost. Press F1 for more information

[ ] SYSTEM <System Configuration>
[ ] SOFTWARE <Software Information>
[ ] DEFAULT <Default User Profile>
[ ] NTUSER.DAT <New User Profile>
[ ] SECURITY  <Security Policy> and
    SAM <User Accounts Database>
    Continue <perform selected tasks> 


Press the Enter key to continue

You will be prompted to select what to do for each file that the system thinks is corrupt.

You can...
... skip copying over a file by pressing Esc
... repair the file by pressing Enter
... repair ALL non-original files by pressing A
... F3 to exit

Most likely you should press A to let the computer fix everything. After a successful repair you will need to re-apply the Service Pack you had installed most recently.

When the process has finished you will be asked to remove the diskette and reboot the computer.

Type of disasters

1) boot drive failures

2) hard drive crash

3) System file corruption

4) Registry corruption


General Pointers

When using backup software, and are restoring the files after a crash, typically you would install the NT operating system, then the backup software, and finally restore the data files using the backup software's restore functions.


...Problem with using NT tape drivers instead of ArcServe drivers - ...More Info KB article Q155570 @ microsoft Link,



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