Boot logging lists the files that successfully and unsuccessfully processed during startup . You use boot logging to log the Windows features that are processed when you start your computer in safe mode and also in normal mode. By comparing the differences between the two logs, you can determine which features are not required to start .
Windows records the name and path of each file that runs during startup in a log, %WinDir%\Ntbtlog.txt. The log marks each file as successful ("Loaded Driver...") or unsuccessful ("Did Not Load Driver.") . Boot logging appends entries to Ntbtlog.txt when you start Windows in safe mode. Comparing normal mode and safe mode entries enables you to determine which services run in normal mode only—one of which must be the cause of the startup problem if Windows is able to start in safe mode successfully. The following lines are sample Ntbtlog txt entries
Loaded driver \SystemRoot\System32\DRIVERS\flpydisk.sys
Did not load driver \SystemRoot\System32\DRIVERS\sflpydisk.SYS
Note that not every "Did Not Load Driver" message necessarily indicates an error that would prevent Windows from booting, because many drivers are not required for Windows to start . To repair problems caused by problematic drivers when you can start safe mode, follow these steps:
1. Restart the computer and enable boot logging.
2. Restart the computer after it fails and then start safe mode.
3. Click Start and then type %WinDir%\ntbtlog.txt. The boot log file opens in Notepad.
4. Compare the list of drivers loaded in normal mode to the list of drivers loaded in safe mode. The driver that is causing the system to fail is one of the drivers listed with
"Loaded Driver..." in the normal mode boot log, but listed with "Did Not Load Driver..." in the safe mode boot log.
5. In safe mode, use Device Manager to replace or roll back potentially problematic drivers, as described in the next section, "How to Roll Back Drivers ." Start by replacing drivers that have been recently installed or updated. After replacing a driver, repeat this process until the system starts successfully in normal mode .
For the services that run only in normal mode, disable those services one at a time, trying to restart your computer in normal mode after you disable each service. Continue to disable services individually until your computer starts in normal mode .
To repair problems caused by problematic drivers when the computer does not start in safe mode, follow these steps:
1. Restart the computer and then load System Recovery tools.
2. Click Command Prompt. At the command prompt, type Notepad %WinDir%\ ntbtlog.txt Notepad opens and displays the boot log.
3. Compare the boot log created when the system failed to start in safe mode to a boot log created when the system started successfully in safe mode . If you do not have a boot log that was created when the system started successfully in safe mode, create a boot log on a similarly configured computer by starting it in safe mode . The driver that is causing safe mode to fail is one of the drivers that is not listed in the boot log that was created when the system failed but is listed with "Loaded Driver." in the boot log created when safe mode started successfully.
4. Replace the driver file with a working version, using the Copy command at the command prompt. Start by replacing or deleting drivers that have been recently installed or updated. After replacing a driver, repeat this process until the system starts successfully in normal mode .
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