Five Pounds of Flax

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STOP: x000021a {Fatal System Error} -- recovering a dead NT4 server

Wednesday, August 18, 2004posted by Michael Rothwell @ 8:33 PM

Windows NT 4 is so fragile!

STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}

The Session Manager Initialization system process terminated abnormally with a status of 0xc0000003 (0x00000000 0x00000000)

The system has been shut down.

I changed the domain of a member server at work and rebooted. It didn't come back up -- I think the voltage regulator on the motherboard failed. The machine was a Dell Poweredge 1400 -- an SMP system with only one processor in it, an on-board "PERC" SCSI Raid controller (really an AIC-7899G), and an 18GB Ultra-160 LVD drive. I moved the hard drive to another PC and installed an Adaptec 2930U2 card I had at the house to access the LVD drive. NT, as you know, doesn't cope well when the hardware is switched out from underneath it. It tends to not boot.

First task is to replace the HAL.DLL and NTOSKRNL.EXE files with the uniprocessor versions (why other OSes can use one kernel for different hardware, and NT can't is... interesting).

Wait, back up. The first task is actually to boot from a Knoppix CD, start the samba server, and make a backup of all the important data over the network. Knoppix absolutely rocks.

There's no "single user" boot option, or GRUB menu that lets me load a differnet kernel, or any way to boot a kernel off a CD or floppy and start the system -- all of which I can do, and have done, with Linux. You have to boot off the setup floppies, load the "manufacturer driver disk" for the SCSI card, the run "repair". This replaces all of the NT4-Sp6a files with SP1 versions. This can get the machine past the "MPS" and HAL.DLL issue, but led to the item in the "blue screen" above. I booted using an XP-derived Bart's PE Boot CD and ran chkdsk. It repaired some stuff. Good. I then copied *.dll and *.exe out of the NT4-SP6 files into winnt\system32. Reboot. And what do you know, the damned thing started up!

VideoLAN Client (vlc) with built-in ReplayTV support.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004posted by Michael Rothwell @ 8:34 PM

See the post on AVS for more info!

If I ever get back to work on mReplay, I should... oh look, something shiny!