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If the server did not start then what log file can check that would indicate why?

Is there a file to check in Windows to see which process or file is causing the system not to boot proerly and then remove those files or disable that process from starting?

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3 Answers

You can press F8 while he system is booting an it should give you the Advanced Boot Options menu.

From this you can select Enable Boot Logging which creates a file ntbtlog.txt which lists all the drivers loaded etc.

You can also select various Safe Mode options and Last Known Good options.

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+1, Also, Last Known Good Configuration simply changes registry entries, if there's a file, driver, or program preventing the boot process it still wont fix it. –  Chris S Oct 17 '10 at 14:06
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Microsoft has documentation about troubleshooting the startup process, enabling Boot logging as well as the ntbtlog.txt that generates. You may need an alternate method of booting the server to get the log file however (such as WinPE, a setup disc, or some other boot disk).

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You can make a Windows PE disk: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Preinstallation_Environment if you need something in a quick pinch, look up UBCD4Win. Has some limitations dealing with w2008 but will get you start quickly.

With it you can verify first the hardware such as RAM, th disks etc for HW faults. Once the HW is out of the way you can start looking throught the rest of the system.

You should be able to look at the event viewer from the boot disk. You can also look to see if there are any Blue Screens of Death etc... And if you build you boot disk with an Anti-Virus, you scan the system for that too....

Using safe mode you can disable services, uninstall apps, reinstall drivers etc

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