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Microsoft KB Archive/172806

From BetaArchive Wiki

Article ID: 172806

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q172806


Digital Equipment Corporation's ALPHA-based RISC computers rely on having a small (less than 4 GB) FAT-formatted system partition containing boot files. This system partition can also contain the Windows NT operating system but must be FAT formatted. RISC computers use the systems firmware and the ARC paths defined in NVRAM to read the system and osload partitions. The firmware loads boot files from the system partition that in turn loads the Windows NT operating system files from the osload partition.

If your small, dedicated FAT system partition or one of the files contained in the \OS\WINNTxx (xx= Windows NT operating system version) directory gets corrupted or accidentally deleted, you will not be able to boot into Windows NT. It is, however, possible to make a Windows NT boot floppy disk to allow you to boot back into Windows NT.

This floppy can be pre-made and kept available in case of emergencies and used in the event the Windows NT installation CD-ROM is unavailable to perform a repair.

RISC-based systems have information equivalent to the Boot.ini file in nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM). The process for creating a boot disk for RISC systems is to copy the following files from the current working system partition or from the Windows NT installation CD-ROM's \ALPHA directory to the root of a DOS or Windows NT-formatted floppy disk:

. Osloader.exe   <--- This needs to be expanded if copied from CD:
                      IE: expand osloader.ex_ a:\osloader.exe
. Hal.dll        <--- This is machine specific - see chart below.
. A221064.PAL
. A221066.PAL
. A221164.PAL
. A321064.PAL

Once these files are copied to a floppy disk, you can add a new boot option entry in the computer's NVRAM to point to the floppy disk instead of the hard disk drive's system partition.


Digital Equipment Corporation's RISC computers each have their own Hal.dll File that must be used depending on the computer model number. Use the chart below to determine which hardware abstraction layer (HAL) file to copy to the boot floppy disk. The actual HAL file copied to the floppy disk must be renamed to Hal.dll.

--------        ---------------------

halmikas.dll = "Digital AlphaServer 1000 Family Uniprocessor"
hal0jens.dll = "Digital DECpc AXP 150"
halsabmp.dll = "Digital AlphaServer 2x00 4/xxx Family"
halsabmp.dll = "Digital AlphaServer 2100A 4/xxx"
halavant.dll = "Digital AlphaStation 200/400 Family"
halnonme.dll = "Digital AXPpci 33"
halqs.dll    = "Digital Multia MultiClient Desktop"
halalcor.dll = "Digital AlphaStation 500/600 Family"
halgammp.dll = "Digital AlphaServer 2x00 5/xxx Family"
halgammp.dll = "Digital AlphaServer 2100A 5/xxx"
haleb64p.dll = "Digital AlphaPC64"
haleb164.dll = "Digital Alpha EB164"
halavant.dll = "Digital Alpha XL 233/266 Family"
halxl.dll    = "Digital Alpha XL 300/366 Family"
hallx3.dll   = "Digital AlphaStation 255"
halflex.dll  = "DeskStation Technology UniFlex and Raptor 3 Systems"
halrawmp.dll = "Digital AlphaServer 4x00 5/xxx Family"
halrawmp.dll = "Digital AlphaServer 4100-5 - Multiprocessor"
halalp.dll   = "Aspen Alpine/Telluride"
haltimbr.dll = "Aspen Timberline/Summit"
halpinna.dll = "Digital AlphaStation 600A 5/500"
halpinna.dll = "Digital AlphaServer 1000 5/xxx Family"
halpinna.dll = "Digital AlphaServer 1000a 5/xxx Family"
hallego.dll  = "Digital Alpha 21064A PICMG SBC"
*halmiata.dll= "Digital Personal Workstation 433a, 500a"

Once the Windows NT boot floppy disk is made, it will be necessary to add or modify a boot menu selection in the computer's NVRAM using the computer's built-in firmware.

DEC has two different kinds of firmware - the new AlphaBios firmware and the original ARC multiboot firmware. Depending on the model number and age of the computer, you could have either kind of firmware.

NOTE: The screens and menu items may vary from one firmware revision to the next. Use the appropriate section below for instructions on adding a boot selection to address the boot floppy disk.

Adding a Boot Floppy Option Using AlphaBios Firmware

  1. Start the system.
  2. After POST-Initialization completes, press F2 to enter SETUP.

          Display System Configuration
          Upgrade AlphaBios
          Hard Disk Setup ...
          CMOS Setup ...
          Install Windows NT
          About AlphaBios
  3. From the main menu, select: UTILITIES --> OS SELECTION SETUP...
  4. The previous boot selections will be displayed.


       Windows NT Server Version 4.0     Primary Operating System
       | Boot Name: Windows NT Version 4.00                       |
       | Boot File: Disk 0, Partition 2  \os\winnt40\osloader.exe |
       | OS Path:   Disk 0, Partition 1  \WINNT                   |
       Insert=new   f6=edit    ESC= discard changes
       Del=Delete   f7=copy    f10=save changes
  5. Choose either Insert to make a new entry or f7 to make a copy.
  6. Modify the new boot entry to look like below:

       | Boot Name: Windows NT Boot Floppy                        |
       | Boot File: A:                   \osloader.exe            |
       | OS Path:   Disk 0, Partition 1  \WINNT                   |
  7. Press f10=save changes, then press Enter to continue.
  8. Press ESC back to the boot selection menu and you should now have an additional option titled "Windows NT boot floppy."
  9. Ensure your previously made Windows NT boot floppy disk is in drive A and press Enter on that new boot menu selection.
  10. Windows NT should now load.

Adding a Boot Floppy Option Using ARC Multiboot Firmware

  1. Start the system. The first menu will be the Boot menu.

          Boot menu:
          Boot Windows NT Server Vx.xx
          Boot an alternate Operating System
          Run A Program
          Supplementary menu...           <--- Select
    1. From the Boot menu, select Supplementary menu.

            Supplementary menu:
            Install new Firmware
            Install Windows NT from CD-ROM
            Setup the System ...            <--- Select
            Display Hardware Configuration
            Boot menu ...
    2. From the Supplementary menu, select Setup the system.

            Setup menu:
            Set System Time
            Set Default Environment variables
            Set Default Configuration
            Set System Language
            Manage Boot Selections menu     <--- Select
    3. From the Setup menu, select the Manage Boot Selections menu.
    4. From the Manage boot selections menu, select Add a boot selection.
  2. At the following prompts, type the correct information for your system.

    NOTE: When a specific path is requested, this may vary from one computer to another.

    Select a system partition for this boot selection
    Choose: New system partition

    Enter location of the system partition for this boot selection
    Choose: Floppy Disk

    Enter floppy drive number: 0

    Enter the osloader directory and name
    Type: \osloader.exe

    Is the operating system in the same partition as the osloader:
    Choose: NO [or YES depending on your configuration]

    NOTE: This may vary from one computer to another. The example here reflects the most common RISC configuration. The system and OS partitions are separate.

    IE: System partition is usually 6 MB to 10 MB and contains the boot files.
    OS partition is where the \winnt directory is located.

    Enter the location of the OS Partition
    Select media
    Choose: SCSI Hard Disk

    Enter SCSI bus number
    Type in the appropriate bus number - usually zero.

    Enter SCSI ID
    Type in the appropriate SCSI ID - usually zero.

    Enter partition
    Type in the appropriate partition number - usually 2

    NOTE: You can run Arcinst.exe program to display partition information. From the main menu, select Run a program, then type: CD:\ALPHA\Arcinst.exe

    Enter the operating system root directory
    Type in the path. For example: \winnt

    Enter the name for this boot selection
    Type in a name. For example: Windows NT boot floppy

    Do you want to initialize the debugger at boot time:
    Choose: Yes or No

After you enter the data, the Setup menu appears again. Choose Supplementary menu, and save changes to exit the Setup menu.

The changes will be saved in NVRAM. The new boot selection will become the default. The Manage boot selections menu has an option to rearrange boot selections if you do not want the new selection to be the default.

To verify your new boot selection: From the Manage boot selections menu, select "change a boot selection," then the new entry name.

It should display your custom entry information:

LOADIDENTIFIER = Windows NT Boot floppy

Possible Error Messages Booting from Floppy

STOP: 0xFACEFEED (0x800BD950,00000000,00000000,00000000)

The Alpha HAL generates this error when it encounters a hardware failure; this can be caused by using the wrong or outdated Hal.dll (see the HAL chart above).


Windows NT Could not Start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

Please Re-install a copy of the above file.
Press any key to continue"

You have missing or corrupt .PAL files on the boot floppy disk. Be sure to copy ALL the *.PAL files from the Windows NT installation CD-ROM to the root of the boot floppy disk.

Additional query words: dec alpha risc FT boot

Keywords: kbhowto kbsetup KB172806