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Windows Server 2008 R2 STOP: c00002e2 Directory Services could not start

A Windows 2008 R2 Domain controller started coming up with with the following error, coincidentally at the same time one of the drives failed in the raid array

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.

  1. Restart the server and press F8 key, select Directory Services restore mode.
  2. Log in with the local administrator username and password
  3. Type: cd \windows\system32
  4. Type: NTDSUTIL
  5. Type: activate instance NTDS
  6. Type: files
  7. If you encounter an error stating that the Jet engine could not be initialized exit out of ntdsutil.
  8. Type: cd\
  9. Type: md backupad
  10. Type: cd \windows\ntds
  11. Type: copy ntds.dit c:\backupad
  12. Type: cd \windows\system32
  13. Type: esentutl /g c:\windows\ntds\ntds.dit
  14. This will perform an integrity check, (the results indicate that the jet database is corrupt)
  15. Type: esentutl /p   c:\windows\ntds\ntds.dit
  16. Agree with the prompt
  17. Type: cd \windows\ntds
  18. Type: move *.log c:\backupad   (or just delete the log files)

This should complete the repair.  To verify that the repair has worked successfully:

  1. Type: cd \windows\system32
  2. Type: ntdsutil
  3. Type: activate instance ntds
  4. Type: files        (you should no longer get an error when you do this)
  5. Type: info       (file info should now appear correctly)

I then rebooted and windows started normally.

31 comments to Windows Server 2008 R2 STOP: c00002e2 Directory Services could not start

  • Wayne

    This worked PERFECTLY WELL.
    My origional issue was winload.exe and i had to use

    I made progress but got “Windows Server 2008 R2 STOP: c00002e2 Directory Services could not start” and ran this and it worked.

  • Zehn

    Many many thanks for this 🙂

  • Cha

    This worked PERFECTLY

  • pete

    Had a macrium server image restore to new HD, that kept rebooting with the same error and this article fixed it.
    dont be put of if it does not go quite as the article states as it still worked!!
    Happy to know that all our servers will be recoverable.

    Big Thanks

  • avi

    work like charm!

  • This article was perfect to resolving an SBS2008 server loop booting with the detailed error, first class resolve after many hours of trying all else, thanks so much for the 100% detail on how to resolve. Big Thanks Richard

  • Rus Clark

    You are a god amongst men sir, I have been working on this for 48 hours and was going for a server rebuild!

    Thank you so much.


  • You are my hero, so simple, yet a big problem for me. You are a god of computers

  • Patrick

    I was glad to find this article, but unfortunately it didn’t work. After accepting the promtp at step 16 the repair runs, but after some time it ends with

    Operation terminated with error -327 (JET_errBadPageLink, Database corrupted) after 380.830 seconds.

    It does the same over and over if I retry the esentutl /p

    I had to clean the AD metadata and rebuild the whole thing.

  • Balaji

    very very good
    it is working fine ans i used this command 2 times.

  • IT Support

    Fantastic, life saver, ran though after system state restore failed. All back up and running
    Many Thanks

  • thankyou , just saved the remaining hair on my head from being pulled out.

  • PE Lynn

    Thank you so much! This worked perfect on SBS 2008, but after the system came back up in the Hyper-V, the DHCP server would not startup? Any suggestions?

  • Mark

    I have had an issue where the dhcp database file became corrupt simply deleting the edb file and restarting the service sorted that particular issue.

  • Dave

    Thanks for the help. I spent hours trying to get this fixed before finding your post. Awesome post!

  • Glenn

    Had this error after a RAID mirror fail. Your solution works perfectly. Life Saver!


    Man, thank you very much. This worked like a charm. Greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  • alru

    Thanks man your a life saver! Kudos!

  • Paul Reid

    I was skeptical, since I wasn’t showing any errors during the Jet engine initialization or integrity check (but was experiencing the BSOD referenced), but this did solve my issue anyway. Awesome.

  • Alex Olivencia

    This guide has saved me tons of time. Thanks so much for your contribution!

  • Kerry Reid

    Flipping Legend, this just saved my Sunday!

  • Lin Lancaster

    Worked like a charm – many thanks. You made my day.

  • François Voermans

    This worked perfectly on a Hyper-V 2012 core server with SBS 2011 installed.
    Due a power failure the Hyper-V box shut down, leaving me with a corrupted SBS 2011 installation. After these steps all worked again.

    Man, if I ever met you you’ll get a beer from me!
    Cheers and many thanks!!!


  • Ben

    Thanks you for sharing this information. It help me to resolve a big problem.

  • Thank You for sharing this perfect solution.

  • Nazim

    This also worked for me perfectly.

    Thank you

  • Azher

    After P2V of an SBS2008 server, this fix worked a charm. Thank you.

  • SpaceApe

    Thanks for the help!

    My solutions was a little different, I had a jet database (-546) error. Which was caused by a P2V conversion into a VHDX as opposed to a VHD file which caused the cluster size to be different and not allow the AD to start.

    Thanks for putting me on the right path!

  • my friends the instructions was correct 100%.
    but remember you can proceed with this from command prompt after selecting repair from installation DVD.



  • JayGee

    Perfect, thank you! Was getting different errors initially, but we had problems with dirty shutdown that had to be sorted by an offline CSHDSK /R.

    Once that was complete, we were able to follow this to resolve out C0000E2E BSOD.

    Running on a standalone SBS2008 R2 box.

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