i still gotta organize everything but this is some of it
The Windows 2000 Boot Procedure
Before we talk about specific troubleshooting steps, it will help you to see what happens when Windows 2000 first starts.
The Windows 2000 boot sequence is very similar to the way in which Windows NT boots, but it is quite different from the way in which both Windows 95 and Windows 98 boot. The latter two use Io.sys, Msdos.sys, Config.sys, and Autoexec.bat, which are not used in the Windows 2000 boot process.
The BIOS (basic input/output system) is in charge when you first apply power to your computer. Typically, it first conducts a power-on self-test, and it then loads some of the most basic drivers for essential equipment, such as your video card and disk drives. The BIOS then gives the command to run the program on the boot sector of your start-up drive.
Most computers are set up so that the BIOS first looks to the floppy drive -- drive A: -- for system files with which to boot, and it then looks to your system drive -- usually your C: drive. This is a safety measure. If your hard drive has malfunctioned, you can still boot the computer by inserting a boot diskette into the floppy drive. It is also the reason why you will see an error message "Non-system or disk error" if you have a non-bootable floppy in the drive when you turn on your computer.
The first file in the boot sequence is Ntldr (NT Loader), a hidden system file located in the root directory of your hard drive. Ntlrstarts the initial boot loading phase, and carries out a couple of jobs: it switches the microprocessor into 32-bit flat memory mode, and it then starts the minifile system drivers built-in to Ntldr, which are used to find the Windows 2000 files from their location on the hard drive.
Next, Ntldr looks for the Boot.ini file, which is what provides the text menu that asks which operating system you wish to load. Boot.ini is actually a small text file in the root directory of your hard drive.
A typical Boot.ini file used on a single-boot system
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
If you had a dual-boot system prior to installing Windows 2000, additional entries would be listed here from which you could choose the operating system you wanted to load. On dual-boot systems, one operating system is always designated as the default. If you don't make a choice before the timeout period expires, the default operating system is loaded.
After Ntldr completes its required processes, Ntdetect begins looking for installed hardware. It creates a list of all the currently installed hardware and sends this information to Ntldr so that Ntldr can open the Registry. Some of the hardware detected by Ntdetect includes: the installed bus and adapter types; the number and type of installed communications and parallel ports; the floating-point processor type; the number of installed floppy disk drives; the number of installed hard disk drives; the type of keyboard installed; the number and type of attached pointing devices; the type of video adapter installed; and, the number and type of SCSI (small computer system interface) adapters that are installed.
If you have different hardware profiles established on your computer (see Chapter 14 for information on creating hardware profiles), you will then see a menu from which you can choose which profile you wish to load. Otherwise, the default profile will be loaded. After all the hardware detection and setup is complete, Ntoskrnl then takes over.
It is only when you reach the log on screen -- where you enter your user name and password -- that your user profile is loaded. That means that any customized settings, such as a left-handed mouse configuration, are available only after you log on.