Feb 202008

When you are troubleshooting a problem with your Windows especially a Windows Start up problem, the best place to start would be to create a Boot Log. This would create a file named Ntbtlog.txt in the C:\Windows directory with the list of drivers that tries to load. It adds entries for every successfully loaded driver referred by “Loaded Driver” and failed drivers reffered by “Did not load driver”.

This could define the root cause of the problem. It could be a device driver or a startup item that Windows tries loading at the startup. Once identified you can then fix the driver or startup item by either disabling it or updating to a proper version.

To Create a bootlog,

1. Restart the computer and press F8 when Windows start booting. This will bring up the startup options.

2. Select “Enable Boot Logging” option and press enter.

3. Windows prompts for you to select a Windows Installation (even if there is only one windows installation)

This boots windows normally and creates a boot log named ntbtlog.txt and saves it to C:\Windows (%systemroot%) folder which can later be accessed to see if there was a troublesome driver.


ntbtlog entry

You can also enable boot log by adding the /BOOTLOG switch to the operating system entry in the boot.ini file as follows:
This file is in the C:\ (root) and is visible only when “Hide protect operating system files (Recommended)” option is unchecked from “Tools – Folder Options” when in the C:\ drive. Also, the file is set as Read-Only so uncheck the “read-only” option from right-click and Properties.

bootlog in bootini

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  2 Responses to “How to Create a BootLog in Windows 2000/XP and later”

  1. This doesn’t work for Windows 7 -

    EasyBCD by NeoSmart Technologies, which is a very useful frontend GUI for BCDEDIT – the application which lets you view and modify the bootloader in Windows Vista. It also works fine for modifying the Windows 7 bootloader.

  2. Thanks for showing how to put boot logging on permanently.
    Got some issues with a PCI S-ATA RAID controller that makes XP freeze when I’ve got the drivers installed.

    Another way to get into the boot.ini that avoids permissions is to go to Control Panel > System > Advanced and in the Startup and Recovery section click on Settings.
    At the top under System Startup, you will see the option “To edit the startup file manually, click Edit”.
    Clicking on Edit opens up boot.ini and you can then make the necessary edit with /BOOTLOG. That’s in XP SP2 at least

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