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Tech Tip: Troubleshoot Win2K login problems/Customize management consoles

Learn how to troubleshoot login problems and customize management consoles.

Windows 2000 Professional: Troubleshoot login problems

Here's a problem you may occasionally run into: A Windows 2000 system boots normally and displays the login prompt, but it subsequently hangs during login. This problem often occurs immediately after you install an application that you configured to start at login, which is unable to start properly.

In other situations, this problem can crop up sporadically. One possible culprit is an antivirus application that has updated since the last login and fails because of a corrupted data file.

When troubleshooting this problem, one avenue to explore is to disable services, starting with any present antivirus services. You can take a shotgun approach and disable a broad range of services at once, or you can try a step-by-step approach, disabling one at a time and testing after each.

A compromise is to disable a certain number each time (for example, three or four) until you locate the group that's causing the problem. You can then selectively disable the services in the group one at a time until you find the guilty service.

To disable services when you can't log into the computer, start with the Windows 2000 CD, and choose the option to repair the system using the Repair Console. After logging in with the Repair Console, use the LISTSVC command to view a list of services.

Once you've identified the service name using LISTSVC, use the DISABLE command to disable the service. Use the ENABLE command to reenable a service you've previously disabled.

As with any troubleshooting process, being methodical in your approach often yields the best results.

Windows 2000 Server: Create custom management consoles

The introduction of the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) was a big step forward in providing a seamless, consistent interface for administration and management in Windows Server platforms. Not only does the MMC provide a common interface through which administrators can manage servers and services, but it also enables administrators to create custom management consoles that bring together any combination of administrative tools.

It's a relatively easy process to add snap-ins for specific tasks to a single MMC console. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Start | Run, and enter MMC in the Open text box.
  2. In the MMC, choose Console, and select Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Click Add, choose a snap-in from the list, and click Add.
  4. If prompted, specify any additional information, add other snap-ins as needed, and click Close.
  5. In the Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box, click the Extensions tab.
  6. By default, the MMC adds all extensions for a selected snap-in, but you can remove some if you don't need them. Deselect the Add All Extensions check box, and then deselect the check boxes for each extension you want to omit from the console.
  7. Click OK.

You might prefer to use a taskpad view for certain snap-ins, which provides a graphical interface for the snap-in and can simplify accomplishing frequent tasks with the console.

To create a taskpad view, follow these steps:

  1. Select the snap-in in the left pane, and choose Action | New Taskpad View.
  2. Use the wizard to specify the taskpad view type and other settings.
  3. After you click Finish, the MMC starts the New Task Wizard, which you can use to add specific commands to the taskpad and set properties such as description and icon.
  4. To add other tasks after the wizard completes, go to Actions | Edit Taskpad View.
  5. On the Tasks tab, click New to start the New Task Wizard again.

To use the MMC effectively, try creating a custom console that comprises the snap-ins you use most often. For example, if you manage a large number of DNS domains and Web services, you might combine the IIS and DNS consoles.

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