Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows

Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows
Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 Boot.ini files
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Available switch options for the Windows XP and the
Windows Server 2003 Boot.ini files
SUMMARY
You can add many different switches to the Boot.ini file that will modify the way that
Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Server 2003 start.
Article ID : 833721
Last Review : April 21, 2005
Revision
: 2.2
For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the
Microsoft Knowledge Base:
102873 Boot.ini and ARC path naming conventions and usage
MORE INFORMATION
You can add the following switches to the Boot.ini file.
Note These switches apply to Microsoft Windows XP and to Microsoft Windows Server 2003, unless otherwise
specified.
/basevideo
The /basevideo switch forces the system into standard 640x480 16-color VGA mode by using a video driver that is
compatible with any video adapter. This switch permits the system to load if you selected the wrong video resolution
or refresh rate. Use this switch in conjunction with the /sos switch. If you install a new video driver, and it does not
work correctly, you can use this parameter to start the operating system. You can then remove, update, or roll back
the problem video driver.
/baudrate=number
This switch sets the baud rate of the debug port that is used for kernel debugging. For example,
type /baudrate=9600. The default baud rate is 9600 kilobits per second (Kbps) if a modem is attached. The default
baud rate is 115,200 Kbps for a null-modem cable. 9,600 is the normal rate for remote debugging over a modem. If
this switch is in the Boot.ini file, the /debug switch is automatically enabled.
For additional information about modem configuration, click the following article number to view the article in the
Microsoft Knowledge Base:
148954 How to set up a remote debug session using a modem
For additional information about null modem configuration, click the following article number to view the article in the
Microsoft Knowledge Base:
151981 How to set up a remote debug session using a null modem cable
/crashdebug
This switch loads the kernel debugger when you start the operating system. The switch remains inactive until a Stop
message error occurs. /crashdebug is useful if you experience random kernel errors. With this switch, you can use
the COM port for normal operations while Windows is running. If Windows crashes, the switch converts the port to a
debug port. (This action turns on remote debugging.)
For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
151981 How to set up a remote debug session using a null modem cable
/debug
This switch turns on the kernel debugger when you start Windows. The switch can be activated at any time by a host
debugger that is connected to the computer, if you want to turn on live remote debugging of a Windows system
through the COM ports. Unlike the /crashdebug switch, /debug uses the COM port whether you are debugging or
not. Use this switch when you are debugging problems that are regularly reproducible.
For additional information about remote debugging, click the following article number to view the article in the
Microsoft Knowledge Base:
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Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 Boot.ini files
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121543 Setting up for remote debugging
/debugport=comnumber
This switch specifies the communications port to use for the debug port, where number is the communications port,
such as COM1, that you want to use. By default, /debugport uses COM2 if it exists. Otherwise, the switch uses
COM1. If you include this switch in the Boot.ini file, the /debug switch becomes active.
For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
151981 How to set up a remote debug session using a null modem cable
/maxmem=number
This switch specifies the maximum amount of RAM that Windows can use. Do not make this setting less than 12. Use
this parameter to confirm whether a memory chip is faulty. For example, if you have a 128-megabyte (MB) system
that is equipped with two 64-MB RAM modules, and you are experiencing memory-related Stop messages, you can
type /maxmem=64. If the computer starts Windows and operates without problems, replace the first module to see
if this action resolves the problem.
For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
108393 MAXMEM option in Windows NT Boot.ini file
/noguiboot
This switch disables the bitmap that displays the progress bar for Windows startup. (The progress bar appears just
before the logon prompt.)
/nodebug
This switch turns off debugging. This scenario can cause a Stop error if a program has a debug hardcoded breakpoint
in its software.
/numproc=number
This switch sets the number of processors that Windows will run at startup. With this switch, you can force a
multiprocessor system to use only the quantity of processors (number) that you specify. This switch can help you
troubleshoot performance problems and defective CPUs.
/pcilock
For x86-based systems, this switch stops the operating system from dynamically assigning hardware input, hardware
output, and interrupt request resources to Peripheral Connect Interface (PCI) devices. With this switch, the BIOS
configures the devices.
/fastdetect:comnumber
This switch turns off serial and bus mouse detection in the Ntdetect.com file for the specified port. Use this switch if
you have a component other than a mouse that is attached to a serial port during the startup process. For example,
type /fastdetect:comnumber, where number is the number of the serial port. Ports may be separated with commas
to turn off more than one port. If you use /fastdetect, and you do not specify a communications port, serial mouse
detection is turned off on all communications ports.
Note In earlier versions of Windows, including Windows NT 4.0, this switch was named /noserialmice.
For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
131976 How to disable detection of devices on serial ports
/sos
The /sos switch displays the device driver names while they are being loaded. By default, the Windows Loader screen
only echoes progress dots. Use this switch with the /basevideo switch to determine the driver that is triggering a
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Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 Boot.ini files
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failure.
For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
99743 Purpose of the Boot.ini file in Windows 2000 or Windows NT
/PAE
Use the /PAE switch with the corresponding entry in Boot.ini to permit a computer that supports physical address
extension (PAE) mode to start normally. In Safe Mode, the computer starts by using normal kernels, even if the /PAE
switch is specified.
/HAL=filename
With this switch, you can define the actual hardware abstraction layer (HAL) that is loaded at startup. For example,
type /HAL=halmps.dll to load the Halmps.dll in the System32 folder. This switch is useful to try out a different HAL
before you rename the file to Hal.dll. This switch is also useful when you want to try to switch between starting in
multiprocessor mode and starting in single processor mode. To do this, use this switch with the /kernel switch.
/kernel=filename
With this switch, you can define the actual kernel that is loaded at startup. For example,
type /kernel=ntkrnlmp.exe to load the Ntkrnlmp.exe file in the System32 folder. With this switch, you can switch
between a debug-enabled kernel that is full of debugging code and a regular kernel.
/bootlog
This switch turns on boot logging to a file that is named systemroot\Ntbtlog.txt. For more information about boot
logging, see Windows Help.
/burnmemory=number
This switch specifies the amount of memory, in megabytes, that Windows cannot use. Use this parameter to confirm a
performance problem or other problems that are related to RAM depletion. For example, type /burnmemory=128 to
reduce the physical memory that is available to Windows by 128 MB.
/3GB
This switch forces x86-based systems to allocate 3 GB of virtual address space to programs and 1 GB to the kernel
and to executive components. A program must be designed to take advantage of the additional memory address
space. With this switch, user mode programs can access 3 GB of memory instead of the usual 2 GB that Windows
allocates to user mode programs. The switch moves the starting point of kernel memory to 3 GB. Some configurations
of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 may require this switch.
For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
823440 You must use the /3GB switch when you install Exchange Server 2003 on a Windows Server 2003based system
For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
171793 Information on application use of 4GT RAM tuning
/safeboot:parameter
This switch causes Windows to start in Safe Mode. This switch uses the following parameters:
•
minimal
•
network
•
safeboot:minimal(alternateshell)
You can combine other Boot.ini parameters with /safeboot:parameter. The following examples illustrate the
parameters that are in effect when you select a Safe Mode option from the startup recovery menu.
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Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 Boot.ini files
•
Safe Mode with Networking
/safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog /noguiboot
•
Safe Mode with Networking
/safeboot:network /sos /bootlog /noguiboot
•
Safe Mode with Command Prompt
/safeboot:minimal(alternateshell) /sos /bootlog /noguiboot
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Note The /sos, /bootlog, and /noguiboot switches are not required with any one of these settings, but the
switches can help with troubleshooting. These switches are included if you press F8 and then select one of the modes.
/userva
Use this switch to customize the amount of memory that is allocated to processes when you use the /3GB switch. This
switch permits more page table entry (PTE) kernel memory but still maintains almost 3 GB of process memory space.
Note Microsoft Product Support Services strongly recommends using a range of memory for the /USERVA switch that
lies within the range of 2900-3030. This range is wide enough to provide a large enough pool of system page table
entries for all currently observed issues. Usually a setting of /userva=2900 will provide close to the maximum
available number of system page table entries possible.
For additional information about how to use the /USERVA switch, click the following article number to view the article
in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
316739 How to use the /USERVA switch in the Boot.ini file to tune /3GB configurations
For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
810371 XADM: Using the /userva switch on Windows Server 2003-based Exchange Servers
323427 HOW TO: Manually edit the Boot.ini file in a Windows Server 2003 environment
317526 HOW TO: Edit the Boot.ini file in Windows Server 2003
317521 Description of the Bootcfg command and its uses
289022 HOW TO: Edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP
291980 A discussion about the Bootcfg command and its uses
/redirect
Use this switch to turn on Emergency Management Services (EMS) on a Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Editionbased computer. For additional information about EMS, search on "Emergency Management Services" in Windows
Help and Support.
To turn on EMS by editing the Boot.ini on an x86-based computer, edit both the [boot loader] section and the
[operating systems] section of the Boot.ini file. To do this, configure the following entries:
•
Under [boot loader], add one of the following required statements:
redirect=COMx
In this statement, replace x with one of the following COM port numbers:
1
2
3
4
redirect=USEBIOSSETTINGS
This statement permits the computer BIOS to determine the COM port to use for EMS.
•
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Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 Boot.ini files
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Under [boot loader], add the following option statement:
redirectbaudrate=baudrate
Replace baudrate with one of the following values:
9600
19200
57600
115200
By default, EMS uses the 9600 Kbps baud rate setting.
•
Under [operating systems], add the /redirect option to the operating system entry that you want to
configure to use EMS. The following example illustrates the use of these switches:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
redirect=COM1
redirectbaudrate=19200
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003, Enterprise" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003,
EMS" /fastdetect /redirect
/channel
Use this switch together with the /debug switch and the /debugport switch to configure Windows to send debug
information over an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) 1394 port. To support debugging over
a 1394 port, both computers must be running Microsoft Windows XP or later. The 1394 port has a maximum number
of 63 independent communications channels that are numbered 0 through 62. Different hardware implementations
support a different number of channels across one bus. Windows XP has a limit of four destination computers.
However, this limitation is removed in Windows Server 2003. To perform debugging, select a common channel
number to use on both the computer that the debugger runs on, which is also known as the host computer, and the
computer that you want to debug, which is also known as the destination computer. You can use any number from 1
to 62.
To configure the destination computer
1.
Edit the Boot.ini file to add the /CHANNEL=x option to the operating system entry that you have configured
for debugging. Replace x with the channel number that you want to use. For example, configure the
[operating systems] area of the Boot.ini file to look similar to the following:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003,
Enterprise" /fastdetect /debug /debugport=1394 /CHANNEL=3
2.
Plug the 1394 cable in one of the 1394 ports.
3.
Disable the 1394 host controller on the destination computer. To do this, start Device Manager, right-click the
device, and then click Disable.
4.
Restart the computer.
To configure the host computer
1.
Plug the 1394 cable in one of the 1394 ports.
2.
Install the kernel debugger binary files.
3.
Start a command prompt. Press enter after you type each of the following commands:
set_NT_DEBUG_BUS=1394
set_NT_DEBUG_1394_CHANNEL=x
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Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 Boot.ini files
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kd -k
4.
Move to the folder where you installed the kernel debugger, and then type the following command:
kd.exe
When you first start the debugger, a 1394 virtual driver is installed. This driver permits the debugger to communicate
with the destination computer. You must be logged on with administrator rights for this driver installation to complete
successfully.
APPLIES TO
• Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition
• Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition
• Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
• Microsoft Windows XP Professional 64-Bit Edition (Itanium)
• Microsoft Windows XP Professional
• Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: KB833721
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