I had a server go down the other day while I was away. I have no idea what the actual cause of it was. One of my assistants crashed it. The crash, probably, could have happened to anyone. And since it was the first time, and a non-critical server, I wasn't tempted to find out what had caused it.

After starting the server and watching Windows 2000 Server begin to boot, the blue screen appeared with the following error: STOP: 0x0000007B INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.

Usually, in Windows 2000 and Windows XP, this error signals a corrupted boot sector, device driver conflicts, some kind of conflict with a boot controller and another controller, or a nasty virus. (As I said, I wasn't interested in spending time identifying the cause.)

First, I tried booting into safe mode. The machine produced the same error. Then, I tried last known good configuration, only to get the same error.

So, I pulled out the Windows 2000 Server CD and booted the machine from it. At the prompt, I chose Repair a Windows 2000 Installation. Honestly, I've not had much success with this approach in the past. Admittedly, most of the times I had resorted to this method of repair were five or six years ago. Because I've fixed more serious problems since then, I figured this repair should work in this case, since, I figured, what else could this approach be used for. All the same, I was a little surprised it was so easy.

Choosing Fast Repair, Windows asked me to identify the operating system. After a little while Windows rebooted and the problem was resolved.