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How to Fix C00002E2 Directory Services Could Not Start - Blue Screen

There are several reasons you may get get this error. The most common being a corrupt Active Directory database (NTDS.DIT). I know this sounds detrimental, but it's actually easy to fix this blue screen.

*** This is the Active Directory Database we're talking about here, so make sure you have a good backup of the server, in case this doesn't work***

This Stop code is only seen on a system with Active Directory on it. You notice it when the server is booting. You'll get a blue screen and an error code, like the following:

STOP: c00002e2 Directory Services could not start because of the following error:

A device attached to the system is not functioning.

Error Status: 0xc0000001.

Please shutdown this system and reboot into Directory Services Restore Mode, check the event log for more detailed information.

To begin, do as the message says, and boot into Directory Services Restore Mode. When the server powers on, press F8 before the OS begins to load. You should see a selection screen like this. Choose Directory Services Restore Mode:

Once in Directory Services Restore Mode, you can check if there is a problem with the database by running the following commands:


activate instance ntds


If there is a problem with it, you'll see something like this returned:

Could not initialize the Jet engine: Jet Error -501. Failed to open DIT for AD DS/LDS instance NTDS. Error -2147418113

To fix, just rename all of the .log files located in C:\windows\ntds\ to .log.old, or anything else, so they can be recreated.

Now reboot the server. For most people, this fixed the database, and the server booted up. For others, it still blue screened after this. If you continue to get a blue screen, run the following command in Directory Services Restore Mode, and then reboot:

esentutl /p "c:\windows\ntds\ntds.dit"
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