System Hangs at Splash Screen or Boot freezes on ACPITABL.DAT

System Hangs at Splash Screen or Boot freezes on ACPITABL.DAT

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Often we have seen operating system hanging at Splash screen as seen in the screenshot below.

For Windows Server 2003:


For Windows Server 2008 and above:


As the first troubleshooting step, you would like to boot into safemode and you would notice operating system hangs at acpitabl.dat. See image below:



Unplug any external Devices or Storage connected to Server (for example: SAN cable Plugged in to HBA Ports) and then try boot the operating system in normal mode.

Operating system should come up fine and now we can plug back devices or cables one at a time and reboot to find the root cause. If the server does not boot unplugging the cables or removing the devices, we can boot into Recovery Console or WinRE and initiate a CHKDSK on system drive.

For windows Server 2003 run the following command:

C:\>Chkdsk /r C:

For windows Server 2008 run the following command:

C:\> Chkdsk /f C:

Once the CHKDSK completes without any errors, boot the machine in normal mode.

More Information: In most scenarios, we have seen one or more to be the root cause;

1.       BIOS/Firmware out of date.

2.       SAN Configuration issues.

3.       Multipath not configured correctly.

4.       Outdated Storage/ FC drivers.

5.       File system corruption.


Jaspreet Singh
Support Engineer
Microsoft Platforms Enterprise Support

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  • Hi,

    thanks for the tip but i had same issue with HP server (Windows server 2003) and it did not have any external devices conencted, only tape drive. Thing is that after hanging all night on the splash screen it booted to the OS in the morning (about 9 hours). This happened twice randomly.

  • Hello Remick,

    Were you able to boot into safe mode ?

    How is your tape drive connected?

  • Hi, thank you for the post.

    iam currently with the same issue on a HP Windows 2003 BOX.

    Safe Mode with Networking is fine.

    i tried a repair of the whole OS by NOT choosing the "R" Option during CDBoot - no usccess

    Today i deleted the Raid1 and reinitialized it again - no success.

    Now we have a clean install from scratch. We tried all the hints like chkdsk ...and remove one of mirror disk to start a remirroring, removing the latest MS patches - uninstalling most of the drivers from hardware-management and reboot - remove the physical FC HBA. We failed

    So we will try a 2weeks old full recovery from Backup ..hopefully it works. Thank you  

  • Hello Jaspreet,

    This issue appears to occur only on HP Proliant servers. We had 3 cases this month. Disconncting the FC on 2 of them and resetting the FC switch ports appears to have fixed the issue on those 2. Fighting the 3rd one right now. There is just no common thread here - seems to happen out of the blue.

  • I: We recovered the 3rd system by restoring the SOFTWARE hive from the previous good backup.

  • Hello,

    I am also facing this problem, windows 7 freezes in startup, its very common with me but after reading this article i fixed it. thanks for sharing this post. i also got some help from this article <a href=" 7 FREEZES ON STARTUP</a>

  • Number 4 did it for me.  Something in the most recent batch of Windows Updates conflicted with an outdated FC driver.  I disconnected the SAN (thankfully we boot to local disk) and updated the drivers and all is well.  Thank you for this very helpful post, it saved me lots of troubleshooting.  

  • Hi

    I have this right issue, I'm running on HP DL380 G5 Windows Server 2003 R2, after create new RAID the OS didn't start again, I removed all that could be installed with the new storage but didn't work, I update all the firmware and verify the RAID configuration and seems to be OK, after use chkdsk c: /p /r system says that all is OK but after the reboot OS didn´t start, any suggestion ??

  • dear Jaspreet Singh

    i tryied you're solution using chkdsk /r c:

    but nothing changed

  • we tried the above workaround but this did not help us to fix the OS for being booting successfully. Can you some please us if there are any other method to fix this issue. Thank you.

  • this solution doesn't work - and they stop short of giving any additional info to fix it !!!!!!!!

  • I'm having this problem too and none of the options (safe mode, last good config, etc) work. none of them. so what do I do - throw the piece of crap in the trash and get a new one or do I have any other options

  • Hi Jaspreet. I have this issue with a Dell PowerEdge running Windows 2003. This started after running Windows update. I cannot start in safe mode, and not even in the command line. Bootup hangs at the acpitabl.dat line and then the server reboots. Any suggestions?

  • I am have the same issue with a Dell PowerEdge T300 running Windows Server 2003. Worked with 3 Dell Techs over the last three long nights and they have not resolved issue either.  Issue started after a Windows update!.

  • Guillaume/Simz

    If the server reboots automatically after "acpitabl.dat" then its blue screening you need to use Advanced Boot options and select "Disable Automatic Restart" and check the bug check you are getting & need to troubleshoot accordingly.

    We have also seen problem with "Registry corruptions" and same can be replaced in Recovery console or from Windows RE , provided you have restored registry from back up to an alternate location.