Boot Sequence


1.      BIOS Power On Self Test

2.      RISC firmware checks hardware configuration

3.      Check drives in boot sequence.

4.      For floppy drives, load the boot sector.

5.      For hard drives, load the Master Boot Record.

6.      Find the active partition.

7.      Load boot sector.

8.      Run the loaded boot code.

9.      Load and run NTLDR RISC systems run OSLOADER.EXE

10.  Load and run NTDETECT.COM

11.  Read BOOT.ini

12.  Ask which OS to start

13.  Load and run NT Kernel

14.  Ask to run LastKnownGood configuration

15.  Load Hardware Adaptation Layer

16.  Load system hive

17.  Load some drivers and services

18.  Initialize kernel and drivers that were loaded

19.  Load and initialize the rest of the drivers

20.  Create hardware list in registry using NTDETECT information

21.  Load and run Autocheck to check file systems

22.  Set up paging

23.  Load subsystems defined in the registry

24.  Win32 starts the logon process

25.  Upon first logon, writes control set to LastKnownGood configuration


Boot Error Messages

If the active partition does not contain the boot components (or if you left a data diskette in the floppy drive), you will see

BOOT: Couldn’t find NTLDR

Please insert another disk



If the NTDETECT.COM file is missing or damaged, you may see:

NTDETECT V1.0 Checking Hardware

NTDETECT V1.0 Checking Hardware


If the boot.ini file points to the partition and directory that does not contain a copy of NT, you may see the messages:

Windows NT could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

\<winnt root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe

Please re-install a copy of the above file.


If the boot.ini file points to a partition that if formatted in FAT32 or some other unrecognizable format, you may see the message:

OS Loader V4.01

Windows NT could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.

Could not read from the selected boot disk.  Check boot path and disk hardware.

Please check the Windows NT documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information.