Windows server 2008 crashes at startup – c00002e2

STOP: c00002e2 Directory Services could not start because of the following error: a device attached to the system is not functioning.

Applies to: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 with Exchange 2007 installed on single node.

You might face this issue while you are running your daily work, first you will panic and think that there is a huge problem and your domain controller is failing, not to mention the heat you will face if that domain controller machine is hosting your exchange 2007 too, which is typically the scenario I have seen in small business environment.


This problem occurs because one or more of the following conditions are true:

– The NTFS file system permissions on the root of the drive are too restrictive.

– The NTFS file system permissions on the NTDS folder are too restrictive.

– The drive letter of the volume that contains the Active Directory database has changed.

– The Active Directory database (Ntds.dit) is corrupted.

– The NTDS folder is compressed.

Troubleshooting steps:

  1. Boot into Directory Services Restore Mode (F8). You might need to do it twice if you have an error on your HDD.
  2. Run CHKDSK in read only mode to verify that there are no errors on your hard drive. If the system prompts you that there was an error on the hard disk, then feel safe to run /R command CHKDSK /R will not ruin your hard disk data, so don’t believe all the myths said.
    1. Boot again into Directory Services Restore Mode (F8).
    2. Go to command prompt (administrative privileges) and run the following command:
    4. activate instance NTDS
    5. files info

You will see an error similar to the following:

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

Event log: 

  • Error 1003: Active Directory Domain Services could not be initialized. The directory service cannot recover from this error. Restore the local directory service from backup media. Error value: -501 JET_errLogFileCorrupt, Log file is corrupt
  • Error 465: NTDS (2156) Corruption was detected during soft recovery in logfile C:\Windows\NTDS\edb.log. The failing checksum record is located at position END. Data not matching the log-file fill pattern first appeared in sector 6697 (0x00001A29). This logfile has been damaged and is unusable.
  • Error 454: NTDS (2256) Database recovery/restore failed with unexpected error -501.


The solution of this error is very simple and will be done in one step:

Go to C:\Windows\NTDS folder and rename all *.log files to .old and restart system.

Example, edb.log should be renamed to edb.log.old

This will solve the issue and your active directory domain services will be started again.

It might be wise in this phase to consider replacing your HDD and checking your GPO policies, if you see any more file corruption.

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