My Windows 2000 domain controller (DC) shut down abnormally during a power outage. After I rebooted, the system hung at the message Preparing network connections. Although I could move the mouse and the system wasn't frozen, the logon screen never appeared and clients couldn't access the DC or its services over the network. I reloaded the system from scratch, but the problem has since happened a second time. Do you have any ideas about how I might fix this behavior?

I've seen this predicament several times. In each case, the problem occurred on a preĀ­Service Pack 1 (SP1) Win2K server, so I believe that Win2K's susceptibility to this behavior is inherent to the product's base release.

One remedy is to install SP1 and restart the system. First, use the Safe Mode boot option to boot the server. To access this option, press F8 when the system displays the Win2K boot loader. (I don't recommend using the Safe Mode with Networking option. Because the problem likely relates to the system's network configuration, that option might cause the same hang-up to occur during the system start-up's network-initialization phase.) Next, log on and install Win2K SP1 on the machine. After the service pack installation is completed and you reboot, your system should no longer exhibit this strange behavior.