Ask Microsoft: Blue screens after a move to Win2k

A group manager for Microsoft's internal IT organization talks about how to troubleshoot Windows 2000-based restart and network slowdown issues.

On a regular basis, top Microsoft executives answer readers' toughest technical questions about Windows-based systems. This installment of "Ask Microsoft" was answered by Shahbaz Yusuf, group manager, Microsoft IT.

To submit a technical question for consideration, send an e-mail to editor@SearchWinComputing.com.

Question: What can I conclude if Windows is automatically restarting with the shutdown command and is OK shutting down with the same command only in Safe Mode? I have recently upgraded my remaining server from Window NT to Windows 2000. Now all are Windows 2000, but user access to the network has slowed down and takes long time to connect to the mapped drive, where it was very fast before. (We have four servers, Active Directory and about 60 users.)

Answer: It could be blue screening while shutting down, which would trigger a reboot. And by booting into Safe Mode, a driver involved in the crash is not loaded, so the server does not crash on shutdown. In System Properties/Startup and Recovery settings uncheck "Automatically restart" and it will sit at the crash screen -- if that is the case -- where stop codes and module information can be gathered.

Windows 2000 Server prior to SP4 would not cache long file names correctly (names longer than eight characters and up to 256 characters). This would cause server lookup times for long file names to take longer. Ensure you have Windows 2000 SP4 installed. You can turn off file sharing violation notification delay to improve the file server performance when accessing network resources. Ensure that all network resources are hosted on NTFS partitions. (They probably are, since this is Windows 2000).

You can also enable advanced caching on your Windows 2000-based or Windows XP-based computer so that it will also cache long file names and long folder names. This can improve performance when you access files over a network. This is described in Knowledge Base article 834350.

Things to check: Verify that name resolution is completing quickly, NIC duplex settings are set to match the network hardware, the latest NIC drivers are installed and that all servers are running SP4. Duplex should be hard set not auto-negotiate since many network devices do not negotiate well. -- Shahbaz Yusuf

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