Stop a bad boot-time driver from loading

A boot-time device driver that doesn't load correctly will cause Windows 2000 to bluescreen with the following error:

STOP c000026c unable to load device driver %SystemRoot%System32 Drivers<driver>.sys. Device driver could not be loaded, error status 0xc000012F.

<driver>.sys is the name of the malfunctioning driver. If this happens, you'll need to stop the driver from loading to allow Windows 2000 to boot correctly.

  1. Boot your Windows 2000 CD-ROM, and select R and then C from the starting menu to start the Recovery Console. You'll need to provide the Administrator account password to continue.
  2. At the Recovery Console command prompt, type disable <driver>.sys, where <driver>.sys is of course the name of the faulty driver. This flags the driver as disabled and keeps it from loading at the next reboot.
  3. Type exit, reboot the system normally and check for any other errors.

Note: If this is a storage device driver that is required by the system to load the OS, it may have become corrupted and you may need to replace it with a fresh copy. You can use the Recovery Console to copy in an uncorrupted copy as you would from the command line in Windows.

Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the

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This was first published in May 2002

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