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WindowsNT4 General Tips

When reading computer journals, I sometimes find a topic, which I like to file for later possible use, so I decided to put them on my website, even if the item is not network related.
See also
Windows95 General Tips


Installation source

When changing the NT4 configuration, the systems (often) prompts for the installation source A:, although NT was installed from CD-ROM. Or if all NT installation files have been copied from the NT4-CD-ROM to an \i386 directory on the local disk (to avoid to insert the CD-ROM each time).
The default installation source can be defined in the Registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup:



Display of drivers loaded and Disks checked during Boot

While booting, NT displayed indicates twice with dots the boot-process:
- on the black/white screen the progress loading device drivers
- on the blue screen the progress checking the local disks
You can configure NT to display the details (instead of just an ".") by editing BOOT.INI
WARNING: Be careful editing BOOT.INI, if you modify the file
incorrectly, your NT-system will not boot anymore ! :

BOOT.INI is located on the NT-Boot drive,
which is usually C:.
You need to reset the Read-Only bit to be
able to edit this file (right-click, Properties)


At the end of the line, which defines your NT-partition, add : /sos
Before restarting your system, make sure that you made BOOT.INI again a READ-ONLY file.


NT Splash Screen during booting

NT displayed during booting the default spash screen, stored in the Windows directory (default : \WinNT) as WINNT.BMP and WINNT256.BMP.
You can define in the registry a different Bitmap to be displayed:


additional keys:
TileWallpaper (0=normal, 1= multiple)
WallpaperStyle (0=normal, 2=full-screen)
WallpaperOriginX, WallpaperOriginY (position on the screen)


Additional Information Windows on pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del


using the registry-keys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon
the keys LegalNoticeCaption and LegalNoticeText allow to define information to be displayed

after pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del and (on clicking OK) to get then the logon-window:



PowerOff on Shutdown

Changing the key PowerdownAfterShutdown to "1" on systems with APM
(Advanced Power Management) should power-off the PC (does not work on ALL APM-systems):



Quick Restart

after selecting to restart NT4, it takes a fairly long time before NT is completely shutdown and the
PC is restarting.
By adding to the Registry in the WINLOGON-section the key: "EnableQuickReboot" with string-value "1",
then after a first reboot you can press: SHIFT-CONTROL-ALT-DELETE and NT is down within a few seconds:



Support for large IDE-disks

When installing NT4 from a preloaded version on the disk or from a recovery CD-ROM, it will contain most probably
already an updated disk-driver supporting IDE-disks larger than 8 GBytes.
However, when installing from the retail NT4-CD-ROM, you need to use an updated ATAPI.SYS driver to be able to
use IDE-disks larger than 8 GBytes.
Since Microsoft keeps changing around their download locations, I put up a copy of the file ATAPI.EXE (34.565 Bytes)
on my site, copy the file to a floppy disk and then double-click on the file to expand it:

Note: to be able to use this new driver, you can
NOT boot the PC fom the NT-CD-ROM !
YOU MUST BOOT from the SETUP-FLOPPY DISKS !

View the README.TXT-file for more details.

DOCUMENT:Q197667
TITLE :Installing Windows NT Server on a Large IDE hard drive
PRODUCT :Microsoft Windows NT
PROD/VER:4.00
OPER/SYS:WINDOWS

---------------------------------------------------------------------
The information in this article applies to:

- Microsoft Windows NT Server version 4.0
- Microsoft Windows NT Workstation version 4.0
- Microsoft Windows NT Server version 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
- Microsoft Small Business Server versions 4.0, 4.0a
---------------------------------------------------------------------

SYMPTOMS
========

During the installation of Windows NT to an 8 gigabyte (GB) or larger IDE
hard drive, the computer may stop responding (hang) during the format
portion of setup. If the drive was previously formatted as FAT and
designated to be converted to NTFS, the computer may hang during the
conversion process. Other symptoms include the drive taking an extremely
long time to format or Windows NT not recognizing the entire size of the
drive.

CAUSE
=====

The Microsoft supplied generic IDE driver (Atapi.sys) may not be fully
compatible with drives larger that 8 GB. This issue only affects IDE-based
drives 8 GB and larger.

RESOLUTION
==========

Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 (SP4) has a new Atapi.sys file that allows
the drive to be formatted during setup of Windows NT. SP4's Atapi.sys can
also access space beyond 8 GB on these IDE drives.

NOTE: The system board BIOS must support and recognize drives larger than 8
GB before Windows NT can access the entire drive. You can verify this
ability by entering into the BIOS or contacting your system board
manufacturer.

If you are using Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Server, or Terminal Server,
follow these instructions:

1. Download the updated Atapi.sys from Microsoft's FTP server

ftp.microsoft.com/bussys/winnt/winnt-unsup-ed/fixes/nt40/atapi/ATAPI.EXE

and copy the file to a blank floppy disk. Run Atapi.exe on the diskette
and the new Atapi.sys file will be extracted to the diskette. Label the
disk "Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver."

2. Boot from the three setup disks supplied with Windows NT Server.

3. When asked if you would like setup to detect your mass storage devices,
press S so that detection is skipped and you specify a mass storage
device.

4. When setup list devices found, which should list <none>, press S again
and insert the Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver disk and press
ENTER twice.

5. After setup reads the disk and list the Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4
IDE driver, press ENTER to accept the driver.

6. Setup will now list Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver as an
installed driver. If you have additional drivers for other mass storage
devices, press S; if not, press ENTER to continue through setup.

7. Setup should continue through normally but, it will prompt you to insert
the disk labeled "Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver Support
Disk" at the copy phase after you have chosen or formatted a partition
on a hard drive.

If you are using Microsoft Small Business Server 4.0 or 4.0a, follow these
instructions:

1. Download the updated ATAPI.SYS from Microsoft's FTP server

ftp.microsoft.com/bussys/winnt/winnt-unsup-ed/fixes/nt40/atapi/ATAPI.EXE

and copy the file to a blank floppy disk. Run Atapi.exe on the disk and
the new Atapi.sys file will be extracted to the disk. Label the diskette
"Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver."

2. Copy an updated file to Small Business Server (SBS) disk 2. To do this,
rename the file Winnt.sif to Winnt.bak on disk 2. Then copy the
Winnt.sif from the I386 folder on SBS CD 1 to SBS disk 2.

3. Boot from the modified SBS setup disks. When the computer is booting off
of disk 1 and the message "Setup is inspecting your hardware
configuration..." is displayed, press F6 on the keyboard.

NOTE: This is at a black screen and no visible indicators occur when you
press F6.

4. When prompted, insert the modified disk 2 into the computer.

5. The next screen that appears will prompt you to specify a mass storage
drivers. To do that, press the S key and then arrow down to the listing
of OTHER. Insert the Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver disk and
press ENTER twice.

6. After setup reads the disk and list the Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4
IDE driver, press ENTER to accept the driver.

7. Setup will now list "Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver" as a
installed driver. If you have any more drivers for other mass storage
devices, press S; if not, press ENTER to continue through setup.

NOTE: Because we are using a modified version of Winnt.sif, you will be
prompted to insert disks 2 and 3 several times. Make sure you format or
convert the partition to NTFS as SBS requires it.

8. Setup should continue through normally but it will prompt you to insert
the disk labeled "Microsoft ATAPI Service Pack 4 IDE Driver Support
Disk" at the copy phase after you have chosen or formatted a partition
on a hard drive.

STATUS
======

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products
listed at the beginning of this article.

MORE INFORMATION
================

For related issues that this article addresses, please see the following
articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q177257
TITLE : STOP 0x0000000A or Difficulty Recognizing IDE CD-ROM Drives

ARTICLE-ID: Q183654
TITLE : IBM DTTA-351010 10.1 GB Drive Capacity Is Inaccurate


Keyboard mismatch at the Login-Prompt

(the original source of this information refers to Windows NT 3.51, but the information seems also to be
valid for NT4)


During installation of NT using a Windows NT-CD-ROM, you are prompted to confirm the keyboard layout.
But now more-and-more NT-systems are not delivered anymore with a real NT-setup CD-ROM, but with
a "Recovery CD-ROM", which more-or-less automates the installation of NT, but assumes that the keyboard
layout is matching the language of the NT-Operating system.

While you can configure the type of keyboard in the control-pane; that change will not yet have any effect when
you are logging on to NT, so on systems with a mismatch between keyboard and Operating system language,
it can be very difficult to enter your password, because you do NOT see what you type and the label on the keys
is also not matching. That can be very complicated in case of using a password with extended (=special local
language characters).

RESOLUTION
============

If you want to continue to use a different language keyboard, you must change the default keyboard settings
in the registry as follows:

1. Run Registry Editor: REGEDIT.
2. From the HKEY_USERS subtree, go to the key: .DEFAULT\Keyboard Layout
(note: there is a "." in front of the key-word DEFAULT)
3. Change value "Preload" to the appropriate string.


For example, the string 00000409 defines US keyboard layout. See below for a list of Language IDs.
( The default settings in HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT are also used when you define a new user.)

Language IDs :

00000402 = "Bulgarian"
0000041a = "Croatian"
00000405 = "Czech"
00000406 = "Danish"
00000813 = "Dutch (Belgian)"
00000413 = "Dutch (Standard)"
00000409 = "English (American)"
00000c09 = "English (Australian)"
00000809 = "English (British)"
00001009 = "English (Canadian)"
00001809 = "English (Irish)"
00001409 = "English (New Zealand)"
0000040b = "Finnish"
0000080c = "French (Belgian)"
00000c0c = "French (Canadian)"
0000040c = "French (Standard)"
0000100c = "French (Swiss)"
00000c07 = "German (Austrian)"
00000407 = "German (Standard)"
00000807 = "German (Swiss)"
00000408 = "Greek"
0000040e = "Hungarian"
0000040f = "Icelandic"
00000410 = "Italian (Standard)"
00000810 = "Italian (Swiss)"
00000414 = "Norwegian (Bokmal)"
00000814 = "Norwegian (Nynorsk)"
00000415 = "Polish"
00000416 = "Portuguese (Brazilian)"
00000816 = "Portuguese (Standard)"
00000418 = "Romanian"
00000419 = "Russian"
0000041b = "Slovak"
00000424 = "Slovenian"
0000080a = "Spanish (Mexican)"
00000c0a = "Spanish (Modern Sort)"
0000040a = "Spanish (Traditional Sort)"
0000041d = "Swedish"
0000041f = "Turkish"


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