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Chapter 3 Windows NT 4.0 Workstation. Overview. Introduction to Windows NT Workstation 4.0. Installing Windows NT Workstation 4.0. Customizing and managing NT Workstation 4.0. Managing Windows NT Workstation security. NT boot-up process and creation of a startup disk.

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Chapter 3Windows NT 4.0 Workstation


  • Introduction to Windows NT Workstation 4.0.

  • Installing Windows NT Workstation 4.0.

  • Customizing and managing NT Workstation 4.0.

  • Managing Windows NT Workstation security.

  • NT boot-up process and creation of a startup disk.

  • Troubleshooting common Windows NT problems.

Introduction to Windows NT Workstation 4.0

  • Features of Windows NT.

  • Limitations of Windows NT.

  • Strengths of Windows NT.

  • Hardware and Windows NT Workstation 4.0.

Features of Windows NT

  • Desktop – Windows NT provides a better user interface and allows users to create a hierarchy of folders and shortcuts.

  • File system – NT 4.0 supports the FAT16 and (NTFS4)

  • Security - NT’s advanced file system protects files and folders by assigning permissions to individuals or groups.

  • Better Stability - NT 4.0 allows a user to work on different applications without the risk of data loss

  • Memory – The NT virtual memory manager allows more programs and data in memory.

Features of Windows NT

Software compatibility:

  • NT 4.0 runs applications in environments called subsystems.

  • 32-bit Windows applications are the ‘native’ applications of Windows NT and run in the Win32 subsystem.

  • A DOS application in Windows runs within a virtual DOS machine (VDM).

  • NT 4.0 provides support for different types of applications by creating a simulated environment specific for the application.

Limitations of Windows NT

  • Hard drive limits - The Windows NT setup program can only create a maximum hard disk partition size of 4 GB.

  • Hardware support - NT does not support a variety of hardware and does not support the plug and play feature.

  • Software compatibility – A few DOS and 16-bit Windows-based applications do not work in NT’s simulated environment.

Strengths of Windows NT

  • Organizations use Windows NT 4.0 for backward compatibility.

  • An organization owning a license for Windows NT can continue to use the same license when old computers are replaced.

Hardware and NT Workstation 4.0

  • Windows NT 4.0 Workstation can be installed on a computer that complies with the Intel/Microsoft set of standards.

  • Windows NT Workstation 4.0 supports symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) with two processors.

    Recommended hardware requirements for installing NT are:

    • Intel Pentium processor.

    • 128 MB of RAM.

    • 2 to 4 GB of hard disk space.

    • CD-ROM drive.

    • SVGA or higher resolution video adapter.

    • Microsoft mouse.

  • It is essential that the hardware and the software to be installed are both compatible with the operating system.

  • Users can refer to the Microsoft site to check the list of hardware & software that have passed MS compatibility tests.

  • Prerequisites for NT Workstation 4.0 Installation

    • Ensure the system complies with hardware requirements, and the hardware is compatible with the operating system.

    • All the connections should be in place for the installed components.

    • Ensure device drivers required for the hardware are present.

    • A device driver is a small program that allows the operating system to interact with and control a hardware device.

    • Manual and automated are the two methods of installing NT.

    • Automated installation is used by organizations that need identical applications and desktop configurations on a large number of systems.

    • Automated installations and some manual installations use the WINNT.EXE or WINNT32.EXE program.

    Installing NT Workstation 4.0

    • The common Windows NT 4.0 installation strategy involves installing Windows NT 4.0 using the generic drivers.

    • A clean installation of the op-system is recommended.

      A clean installation in Windows NT refers to either:

      • Installing the operating system on a clean hard disk, or

      • Removing the old partitions and allowing setup to create a new partition, and formatting the same during the installation process.

    Post-Installation Tasks

    Verifying network access:

    • Ensure that users requiring access to the LAN are able to connect to other resources on the network.

    • The Network Neighborhood window is used to display a list of computers visible on the network.

      Installing service packs:

    • The latest service pack must be tested before being installed.

    • The WINVER program can be used for determining information regarding the Windows version, license, amount of memory available, and the service pack level.

    Creating a New Hard Disk Partition

    • A partition defines the boundaries on a hard disk.

    • Primary and extended are the two standard partition types.

    • A primary partition has a single drive letter assigned to the partition, while an extended partition has multiple logical drive letters.

    • Each area, defined as a drive letter, is a volume.

    • A hard disk can have a total of four partitions, but the number of extended partitions cannot exceed one.

    • The Disk Administrator tool is used for creating and managing disks in Windows NT.

    Installing and Removing Applications and Windows Components

    • Most applications come with their own installation programs.

    • The Add/Remove Programs applet in the Control panel can be used for installing and uninstalling applications and Windows components.

    Managing NT Workstation Security

    • The NT operating system offers both, a local security database for authentication of users and the ability to set permissions on local files and folders.

    • Logons can be enforced only at the network level.

    • A hard disk can have a total of four partitions, but the number of extended partitions cannot exceed one.

    • The Disk Administrator tool is used for creating and managing disks in Windows NT.

    Managing Users, Groups, Permissions, and Rights

    • Security accounts in Windows NT include individual user accounts and group accounts that can contain multiple users.

    • User and group accounts are used to protect sensitive data.

    • In a workgroup, security accounts are on individual computers

    • In a domain, security accounts are contained in a centralized accounts database on special servers called domain controllers.

    Managing Users, Groups, Permissions, and Rights

    Users and groups:

    • NT requires an authenticated logon with a valid username and password.

    • For easier administration, NT uses security groups to group user accounts.

    • Administrator and Guest are the two built-in user accounts that are created by default when Workstation is installed.

    • Windows NT Workstation, by default, creates the Administrators, Backup Operators, Guests, Power Users, Replicator, and Users built-in group accounts.

    Managing Users, Groups, Permissions, and Rights

    Users and groups (continued):

    • All local user accounts automatically become members of the Users group.

    • The User Manager administrative program is used for creating and managing users and groups.

    • The Everyone group is a special default group, which includes all users on a network irrespective of their authentication.

    Managing Users, Groups, Permissions, and Rights

    User rights:

    • A right is a privilege to perform system-wide functions.

    • In Windows NT, user rights can be viewed by opening User Manager and selecting User Rights from the Policies menu.

    Managing Users, Groups, Permissions, and Rights


    • Permissions define the actions that can be performed by a user on an object.

    • Each folder and file in a NTFS file system has a set of security permissions associated with it.

    • No Access, List, Read, Add, Add and Read, Change, and Full Control are the standard folder permissions.

    Managing Users, Groups, Permissions, and Rights

    Planning for users, groups, and permissions:

    • Additional user accounts must be created if a Windows NT Workstation computer is to be used by more than one user.

    • A user must log on as a member of the Administrators group to create users or groups.

    Using and Managing a Local Printer

    • A local printer can be used only after the printer driver is installed.

    • Only the Administrator or a member of the Administrators group can install a printer driver.

    Windows NT Startup Diskette

    • A Windows NT startup disk can be created by formatting a diskette in NT, and copying the files NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, and BOOT.INI to the diskette.

    NT System Files and Partitions

    • The NTLDR is a file that loads the operating system into the memory from the boot sector of the active partition.

    • The active partition in Windows NT is called the system partition.

    • NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, BOOT.INI, and NTBOOTDD.SYS are the NT boot files, and they reside in the system partition.

    NT System Files and Partitions

    • The partition containing the system files is called the boot partition.

    • System files include the operating system kernel, the file containing the operating system settings from the registry, and the driver files.

    • The system files are installed into the WINNT\SYSTEM32 folder.

    NT Boot-Up Process

    Boot-up process in NT is divided into the following stages:

    • Pre-boot sequence.

    • Boot sequence.

    • Load sequence.

    Pre-Boot Sequence

    • In the pre-boot sequence, the NTLDR is loaded into the memory.

    • A part of the instructions in the NTLDR are activated in this stage.

    Boot Sequence

    • In this stage, the NTLDR loads, switches the processor into the protected mode, and reads the BOOT.INI.

    • NTLDR loads and starts NTDETECT.COM, if ‘Windows NT Workstation Version 4.0’ is selected.

    • NTLDR also loads NTOSKRNL.EXE, HAL.DLL, and the system portion of the registry into the RAM.

    • NTLDR is also responsible for loading the drivers that are configured to load at boot time.

    Load Sequence

    • The load sequence begins when NTLDR passes control to NTOSKRNL.EXE.

    • Windows NT gets loaded and initialized in this stage.

    • The load sequence has three phases – the kernel initialization phase, the services load phase, and the Windows system start phase.

    • The components NTOSKRNL.EXE and SMSS.EXE control the first two phases of the load sequence respectively.

    Troubleshooting Common NT Problems


    • The registry is a central place where NT stores all configuration settings for the operating system.

    • The REGEDIT.EXE and REGEDT32.EXE tools are used for viewing and modifying the registry as a hierarchical structure.

      Event Viewer:

    • System, application, and security are the three categories of events that can be logged in the Event Viewer.

    • The system log shows events involving the operating system components.

    • The application log shows events involving application.

    Troubleshooting Common NT Problems

    • The Microsoft Web site and the Windows NT Help program provide help for troubleshooting problems with Win NT.

    • The defragmentation tool can be used to reorganize data on the hard disk, thereby increasing the speed of the computer.

    • Ensure that the contents of the TEMP folder and temporary Internet files are cleaned regularly.

    • The Windows NT backup program can be used to back up all valuable files, thereby preventing data loss.

    • The Windows NT startup disk can be used to resolve startup errors that occur while booting.

    Troubleshooting Common NT Problems

    The Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD):

    • The BSOD is a blue character-mode screen that displays a message indicating a fatal error.

    • A bad driver can cause the BSOD during installation and during startup.

    • The BSOD problem can be solved by either reporting it to a computer support person or by researching on the stop code in the Microsoft’s Technet site.

    • The Recovery settings on the Startup/Shutdown tab of the System applet in the control panel can be used for configuring the behavior of the computer after a BSOD error.

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