188.8.131.52 Boot Sequence
After the computer loads Ntldr into memory, the boot sequence gathers information about hardware and
drivers in preparation for the Windows Server 2003 load phases. The boot sequence uses the following files:
Ntldr, Boot.ini, Bootsect.dos (optional), Ntdetect.com, and Ntoskrnl.exe.
The boot sequence also has four phases:
• Initial Boot Loader: During the initial boot loader phase, Ntldr switches the microprocessor from real
mode to 32-bit flat memory mode, which Ntldr requires. Then, Ntldr starts the appropriate the minifile
system drivers. The minifile system drivers are built into Ntldr so that Ntldr can find and load Windows
Server 2003 from partitions formatted with either the FAT or NTFS file system.
• Operating System Selection: During the boot sequence, Ntldr reads the Boot.ini file. If multiple
operating systems are supported on the computer in the Boot.ini file, then the Please Select The
Operating System To Start screen, which you can use to select the operating system that should be
loaded within a specified time before the default operating system. If no Boot.ini file is present, Ntldr
attempts to load Windows Server 2003 from the Windows folder on the first partition of the first disk,
• Hardware Detection: On Intel-based computers, Ntdetect.com and Ntoskrnl.exe perform hardware
detection. Ntdetect.com executes if Windows Server 2003 should be loads. Ntdetect.com collects a list of
installed hardware components and returns this list to Ntldr for later inclusion in the registry under the
• Configuration Selection: After Ntldr starts loading Windows Server 2003 and collects hardware
information, the operating system loader process displays the Hardware Profile/Configuration
Recovery Menu screen, which contains a list of the hardware profiles that have been created on the
computer, if more that one hard profile exists on the computer. The first hardware profile is highlighted.
You can press the Down arrow key to select another profile. You can also press L to invoke the Last
Known Good Configuration option.