Unable to create a large number of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) scopes

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Article ID: 216369 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you create a large number of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) scopes with exclusions within each scope, the following error message may be displayed when the computer is restarted twice:
Windows NT could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\%SystemRoot%\System32\Config\System\Hardware Profile/Last Known Good menu


This problem can occur because the scopes, exclusions, or reservations added to the DHCP scopes generate large amounts of KEY data to the registry.

The SYSTEM hive is limited to approximately 11.5 MB in size. This is because the SYSTEM hive and the NT kernel must fit below 16 MB to start the system.


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
152734 How to Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows NT 4.0. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 5.


The resolution to this problem is not found in the DHCP service but rather in how the size of the registry is managed. Documentation on the actual fix is available in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
197632 Registry Hive Fragmentation Leads to Excessive Size


Article ID: 216369 - Last Review: October 14, 2013 - Revision: 2.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
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