May 2003 Reader Challenge

The Windows XP and Windows 2000 Startup Process in a Windows 2003 or Win2K Domain

The May Reader Challenge had no winners. Many people tripped on Question 3, which has four correct answers. I have to admit that it's fun for me to trip the experts. After all, our readers are solid, talented IT pros.

The Problem:

Every systems administrator has received calls from users that begin with the words, "My computer won't start." The possibilities are endless because "start" is an obscure term in the absence of other information. Is the problem hardware? Software? Actually, the majority of these calls are prompted by errors during the OS startup process, including logon failures. To fix these problems, you need to know at what point the start-up failed. How much do you know about the Windows XP and Windows 2000 startup processes in a Win2K or Windows 2003 domain?

Question 1: At which point does Windows consider start-up complete (and store its settings as the "last known good" configuration)?

A. After the computer finds a domain controller (DC), sends the computer password to the DC, and is authenticated by the DC.

B. After the computer applies any existing local computer security policies.

C. After the user has successfully logged on to the domain.

D. After all device drivers are loaded without error.

Question 2: Which one of the following loads the Master Boot Record (MBR)?

A. NT Loader (NTLDR)

B. The computer's BIOS

C. The boot.ini file

Question 3: Which of the following statements about NTLDR are correct?

A. It operates in read-only mode.

B. It creates the paging file.

C. It reads the boot.ini file and executes instructions in that file (such as displaying a startup menu).

D. It gathers device and configuration information and sends the information to the registry in the subkeys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION.

E. If NTLDR is missing or corrupt, an error message to that effect displays.

Question 4: Which of the following statements about Ntdetect.com are correct?

A. It queries the registry to learn which devices are installed so that it can load drivers.

B. It queries the BIOS to learn which devices are installed so that it can load drivers.

C. If Ntdetect.com is missing or corrupt, an error message to that effect displays.

Solutions:

Question 1: The correct answer is C.

Question 2: The correct answer is B.

Question 3: The correct answer is A, B, C, and E. (Ntdetect.com performs the task that D describes.)

Question 4: The correct answer is B. (A corrupt or missing ntdetect.com freezes the computer, and no error message appears.)

TAGS: Windows 8
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